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T-Shirt Printer Comparison 2020 [Ricoh ri1000 vs DTG G4]

2 of the top direct to garment t-shirt printers this year have a lot in common. As well as some important differences.

The 2-year-old Ricoh (formerly Anajet) Ri1000 is a modern, fast printing DTG printer based on the Ricoh print engine, and it looks similar to the DTG G4 from DTGDigital and ColDesi.

Both printers have:

The same Ricoh print head technology

Powerful touch screen control panel

Fastest t-shirt printer on the market

Same 16" x 20" print size capabilities

Designs sent to machine via ethernet or USB

But there are 3 unique features which tilt this comparison firmly in favor of the G4.

#1: The Vacuum Platen® Advantage

What seems like such a simple concept (vacuum stability) turns out to be hugely significant to your bottom line.  A patented technological innovation that boosts productivity print quality.

The Vacuum Platen® works just like it sounds.  -It’s a mesh platform that locks the garment in place faster and easier than any other DTG printer.

  • No tucking.
  • No hooping.
  • No training required


Just drop the shirt on top of the platen and the patented Vacuum Platen® does the rest.

How does this make things easier for you?

Production Time

Side by side tests showed a massive time savings of ten seconds per shirt to hoop, and another ten to un-hoop and remove from the printer. You save more time when you consider the occasional misalignment correction. Twenty seconds or more savings per shirt may not SEEM like a big deal. But when your printing 300 shirts or more, that's up to 2 hours of extra repetitive motion strain you've saved with the G4.

Reduced Maintenance

Surprisingly, your printer's ink is also the enemy of the printer itself. For example, when the Ricoh Ri1000 jets its ink onto the shirts, some of that excess ink bounces up and into the case of the printer. This mist of ink ends up covering valuable components, like the encoder strip, computer chips, and circuit boards. Typically, you need to occasionally wipe the ink out of the inside of the printer. The Vacuum Platen® prevents the aerosolization of ink. There's no overspray because it gets sucked down into the shirt by the platen. Your internal parts last longer and your overall maintenance is less.

Better Images

When the Ricoh Ri1000 jets ink onto a shirt a lot of that ink lands in the right place and produces a great image.

But the G4’s vacuum platen draws nearly ALL the ink into the shirt – so the same image, the same shirt, gets more ink.

More ink = a more colorful, vibrant prints.

Prints that you can’t get on
Non-Vacuum machines.

#2: Production Queue Advantage

Every DTG in this class works this way – except for the G4.

That’s the way the Ricoh Ri1000 works too.

The way the G4 works with its advanced Print Queue is different.

You DO still need to RIP the graphic and send it to the printer – or save it onto a thumb drive.

Then you:

But here’s the important part:

Need to print another shirt?

You never have to revisit the RIP software or the computer again if you want to repeat printing the same design.

In fact, you can store 20 unique designs on the machine itself, and load as many more as you’d like onto a thumb drive.

That’s Production Time Savings, Labor Savings and gives you more options to how you set up your production in total.

#3: G4 Ink Set

Simply put, the G4 ink set is better.  The new inks and pretreatments from ColDesi are specifically manufactured for the G4 with its patented Vacuum Platen®.

They’re not Ricoh inks. AND They’re not DuPont inks relabeled. They’re ground up designed and manufactured in the United States for Direct to Garment printers.  We are not repurposing the inks from some other application.

Generally, if you can lay down a thicker ink layer in a shorter amount of time, you can produce better prints.  And that’s the advantage of the DTG G4 system.   

The thicker ink formulation combines with the Vacuum Platen® to produce vibrant colors using LESS ink. When you combine that with the G4’s low touch self-cleaning systems, it all comes together into beautiful, long lasting print.

Final Thoughts

When you consider two machines that on the surface have similar specifications, your left to decide which machine to choose based on the day to day operations.  Hands down, the G4 takes the cake here.

When you combine the three advantages above, Production Queuing, Better Inks and a much more user friendly shirt loading system, the G4 wins every time.

Want to know more about the DTG G4?

Our professional team knows what makes a good direct to garment printer for your specific business needs. Click the chat button below, call (877) 458-0444 or select the button below to contact us.

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