You’ve got the idea to start a fabric printing business. It’s one of the best-selling and highest-grossing businesses in the printing niche. However, the main issue with this type of business is the cost of the printer. For fabric printing, you need a special printer known as a DTF printer.
And DTF printers are prohibitively expensive. That’s why this blog post will bring a solution for you.
We will talk about how you can convert regular Epson printers into DTF printers.
Yes, normal Epson printers can also be used as DTF printers. You don’t have to pay third parties to make this conversion.
Want to know more? Keep reading so you won’t miss out.
Let’s dive in!
How to Convert an Epson L 1800 Printer Into a DTF Printer
To convert the Epson L 1800 printer into a DTF, the process is straightforward, and you can do this at home as well.
The first thing you’ve got to do is remove the rollers. Why do you need to remove the rollers? It’s because if you keep the rollers, they’ll disturb the printing process. Since the fabric has a lower drying rate than paper and the roller’s speed is synchronized with the paper’s speed, This will affect the printing if you don’t remove them.
Use a spatula or any other flat, thin, solid spatula-like tool. Put it under the printer against the rollers, so you’ll not damage the bottom surface. while removing the rollers. Now, use a sharp knife, or better yet, a nose plier. Place them inside the tool and pull out the roller with force.
The rollers will be detached from the frame. However, remember that once you remove the roller, you need to buy a new frame. They cannot be removed from the factory.
In default mode, the waste ink of the printer is stored in the waste tank situated inside the printer. However, that printing and waste tank mechanism is made for paper printing. If you use it in fabric printing, it’ll overfill the waste tank. It’s because the fabric has a higher wattage than paper.
Therefore, extend the waste tank pipe and connect it with the external waste tank. You can use any extension or pipe. For the tank, the cheapest option is the disposable water bottle; it’ll serve the purpose at no cost.
Shake the Ink
Now, you’ve got to shake the ink. For fabric printing, DTF ink is used. And DTF ink develops bubbles if the ink is left to rest for a long time. Shaking the ink is essential; otherwise, it’ll leave a blank spot on the fabric. This can eventually disturb your whole canvas, including the fabric, ink, and time as well.
However, unlike YouTube videos, never go crazy shaking the ink. Turn the ink pot upside down and then upside up. That’s it! The bubble will disappear, and the pot is ready to use. If you shake the ink pot like a crazy person, it’ll damage the inkpot permanently. And then you’ll have to replace the inkpot again.
You’re All Set to Go
Now, you’re ready to go. Take any test fabric, place it on the thermocol, and test to see if it works or not. It’s that easy. It should work flawlessly. And if not, you’re doing something wrong, and you need to diagnose it.
How to Convert an Epson Ecotank Et-8550 Printer into a DTF Printer
The Epson Ecotank ET-8550 already comes with a DTF mode. It’s not purposefully a DTF, it’s an inkjet. However, you can use it as a DTF printer without any issues. To use it as a DTF, here’s a quick guide on how to do so:
Use DTF Ink
Of course, for the DTF printing, you’ll need to use DTF ink. and not an inkjet printer’s ink. DTF inks are different from inkjet inks. They have a strong drying rate, better electromagnetic properties, and are more resistant as compared to inkjet inks.
And when using the Ecotank ET-8550 for DTF, put the DTF ink on the DTF container and not on the inkjet side. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a great mess.
Shift the Printer to DTF Mode
Since the Ecotank ET-8550 comes with a digital screen menu, you can easily swap the printer between the inkjet and DTF modes. In the DTF mode, the printer will disable the rollers, increase the height of the rollers, and slow down the printing mechanism for fabric printing.
Wait for the Greenlight
Now, wait for the green light from the screen. During that interval, the printer is shifting itself from inkjet to DTF mode. Once the screen displays the green tick, you’re ready to go. Now you can put the fabric on it and start printing the DTF designs on it.
How to Convert an Epson XP-15000 Printer into a DTF Printer
To convert the Epson XP-15000 printer into a DTF, you need to follow some easy steps.
To flatten the film, use a bottom base
You need to flatten the film. Since the fabric is much softer than paper, flattening is essential. Otherwise, the fabric alignment will change due to the irregular surface on the bottom of the printer. To do this, put a hard, plain object under the printer. This will help you flatten the surface, like in a DTF printer.
Note that the surface you use is hard enough that it won’t bend from the printer’s roller impact. The main goal is to keep the entire bottom surface flat and plain so that printing does not cause any problems.
Remove the Roller Board
Since you’re going to use an externally flattened board. Therefore, you need to remove the roller board. If you keep using the roller board in DTF mode, the roller board might stick during the insertion. as it’s only good for paper-size objects and not for a thermocol-sized board.
Removing the board is easy, and you aren’t going to break anything. All you’ve got to do is pull out the two holders from the bottom of the roller. Once you open those holders, you’re done. Remove the roller board from your hand. It’s that easy!
Use the DTF Ink for XP-15000
Since the inkpot is placed above the printer’s jet, you can’t use a regular DTF inkpot, as it’s much bigger than the regular pot used in the XP-15000. You can find a small-size XP-15000 inkpot on Amazon or at any other supermarket. Plug it in, and you’re ready to print DTF prints from that.
Can DTF work on Dark T-shirts?
If your T-shirt is a dark color, then you’re probably wondering if DTG printing works on dark shirts. The answer is yes, but you need to do a few things to make sure your design looks its best.
If you have a solid black shirt, there isn’t much you can do to make it look good. You can try adding some white around the design for some contrast and to give it some depth.
Alternatively, you can use any other light-colored DTF theme to ensure that your print has contrast and is visible to the eye. Using dark colors, e.g., grey, dark green, and dark blue will give your T-shirt a not-so-good look. Therefore, it’s better to keep a light color, or better yet, use more white in dark T-shirts.
Is DTF sustainable?
DTF inks are high-quality inks that can last a long time. However, please note that DTG inks are not resistant to machine washing and cleaning agents, e.g., cleaning soaps and detergents.
If a person puts them in a machine wash, their print will peel off easily. Therefore, you should always use dry cleaning with DTF inks, and they’ll last forever. Moreover, due to the property of the fabric, DTF prints could rip if scratched on the fabric. Otherwise, in ideal conditions, they work great.
Which is better, DTF or DTG?
There isn’t a clear answer to that question. It depends on you and your needs.
DTG printing is becoming more popular because it offers some of the same benefits as DTF printing but without the need for an additional machine. It’s also faster than traditional DTF printing and doesn’t require as much setup time.
On the other hand, DTF printing does offer some benefits that DTG doesn’t. It uses a toner-based process instead of a laser-based process and has greater flexibility with color selection, size selection, and non-photographic material selection (like paper). This means you can print more types of material with this method than you can with DTG printing alone.
DTF printers are industrial-grade business printers that are expensive for a startup. Therefore, we’ve brought you an alternative solution for how you can convert some popular regular Epson printers into DTF printers.
But note that you still need to buy the DTF ink; your regular inkjet ink will not do the work. With some modifications, it’s possible to convert some regular Epson printers into DTF printing machines. However, you might need to do some modifications, but it can serve the purpose.
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