Unfortunately, printer conversions are still a topic of discussion. Every year a handful of people attempt to make their own homemade t-shirt printers. Most often they fail, funnel tons of money into the project and are left with an expensive, oversized paperweight.
Some popular printer conversion attempts we have seen on the web are homemade sublimation printers, white toner printers and direct-to-garment printers.
T-shirt printing experts and seasoned DTG professionals will tell you there are tons of reasons to not do your own DTG printer conversion.
But to make thing simpler we gathered the top three reasons, straight from the DTG printing technicians, to not build your own DTG printer at home.
The first reason is it’s just not going to work reliably and consistently. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how big your garage shop is; taking the various components that make up a direct to garment printer and produce professional results on a repeatable and reliable basis, is just not a realistic goal for anyone.
But before we move on to reason number two, let’s talk about the technology behind professional, commercial DTG printers, like the DTG G4. These printers have complex print heads on precision rails, with specifically developed ink delivery systems.
This is just not something you are going to be able to duplicate at home. It’s kind of like trying to build your own car. It’s the same kind of technology, the same level of sophistication that goes into building a direct to garment printer.
Now the G4 is special for a couple of reasons, not just what’s under the hood, but also because of the new patented vacuum platen.
So rather than the plywood constructions that you often see on how to videos, what you have here is a platen that actually has a vacuum built inside that sucks the t-shirt down and holds it firmly onto the surface.
That ensures that the shirt is all at the same level and the inkjets have the same distance between the jet and the platen itself to spray in front of the shirt. You get much sharper, more clear and more vibrant images with a professional system like this.
The second reason that you do not want to build your own direct to garment print at home is that you’ll be all by yourself.
Our DTG technicians get calls all the time from people that have bought older used direct to garment printers and they struggle because they’ve never had any training. They don’t really know how to use it.
Because printing with DTG is an art and a science combined, you really need some professional guidance and training to get it done right.
When you buy a DTG G4 from ColDesi you automatically get enrolled in our world class, self-paced online training courses. There are over 50 lessons built into this and it’s growing all the time. As we learn things, and as our customers learn things and share them with us, we add them to the training course.
This kind of community of users really helps accelerate your business and it helps improve your profitability because you know what to do.
The third reason that you should not build a direct-to-garment printer at home is because, you’re going to need help.
You’re going into business selling custom t-shirts, you’re going to be running a homemade printer out of your garage or home office to try to fill orders.
And that’s not going to work on a regular and consistent basis unless you have somebody that you can call and talk to about technical support.
We’ve got trained direct to garment printer technicians that have been in the business for decades, literally that know these things backward and forwards. You need to get back up and running as fast as possible. You’re going to need us to help you do that.
On a budget? | Better Options
If you’re not trying to build a direct to garment printer at home, just for the challenge itself, then you probably want to go into a custom t-shirt business, BUT you’re on a budget and you’re trying to save money.
If you can’t afford it, or if you can’t qualify for financing a brand new direct to garment printer, then there are a lot of other technologies that will also let you create great selling and beautiful custom t-shirts.
This includes sublimation like with the SawGrass SG1000 or DigitalHeat FX with the i560, 8432 or the 9541. The BN20 from Roland and ColDesi.
There are a lot of ways to get an image on a t-shirt. Rather than build your own direct-to-garment printer, why don’t you just give us a call and have someone walk you through your options in a variety of price ranges.