It is difficult to imagine a world without a printed image or word. How did humanity live in the past before the invention of printing machines? A printer is a device that accepts pictures or text files from a computer or a laptop and transfers them to a film or paper. A printer is connected directly to a computer or indirectly through a network.
This article will share the 10 best DTF printers for beginners. Keep reading through the article to get well-detailed information. Let’s get started!
What does DTF(Direct to Film) printing mean?
DTF printing means direct-to-film printing. DTF printing uses a specific ink that is water-based to print a film. Then it is dried and a powder glue is applied on the back of the film and then it is heat cured, making it ready for use or storage. Moreover, Direct to film does not need pre-treatment because the glue does the job for you.
Once heat-pressed, the ink is transferred to the cloth in fifteen seconds. The transfer works best on polyester and non-cotton garments. Cotton garments are printed using DTG printing. Furthermore, Direct to film printing is a good choice, especially if you want to start a business. It has a low investment amount for either the automated system in mass production transfers or the stand-alone version.
What is a DTF(Direct to Film) Printer?
It is a direct to film printer that allows you to make designs that include art and wording on a film; then, you transfer them to fabrics such as polyester, leather, and nylon. The ability of the printer to work with a wide range of fabrics makes it the most versatile printer in the market for printing. Additionally, the printer works on both dark and white garments without the need for A+B papers.
The direct to film printers are sustainable, reliable, and have unmatched quality, enabling them to handle large transfers production. Moreover, you can be sure as the textile industry keeps growing, the DTF printer’s technology will keep advancing to meet its printing needs.
1. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000:
The Epson XP-15000 printer only uses Epson cartridges and the use of non-genuine ink will damage your printer. It produces quality borderless photos of up to 13 inches by 19 inches. Moreover, it uses Claria photo HD ink such as grey and red for smooth graduation and a wider gamut. It has a sound pressure of 49dB(A).
It accommodates different paper finishes from four inches by six inches to thirteen inches by nineteen inches. It also supports two-sided document printing and has a two hundred front sheet tray. It has a feature that alerts you when your printer has a low ink amount to avoid running low on ink while printing.
- It has excellent quality photos
- Prints color pages and monochrome with the same speed
- It uses Claria Photo HD ink
- It prints borderless images
- Prints color pages and monochrome with stunning accuracy
- High running costs
- Printing speed is low compared to its competitors
The Epson XP-15000 produces high-quality photos and is compact, making it fit well in your small area or even your home office. Also, it has detailed and sharp images because of the dpi resolution. It should be your first option if you want to buy an affordable DTF printer.
2. Epson P700 For DTF Printing:
It produces a distinctive image color and quality using ultra-chrome pro10 inks cartridges. It has a dedicated nozzle for black ink types; no switching is required. Also, it has a 10channel print head with dedicated channels for photo black and matte black that delivers prints accurately, consistently, and with outstanding speed.
It has an option of printing from your smart devices using Epson print layout, google cloud print, and Air print for ios. Also, it has a touchscreen that allows you to check and adjust printer settings, an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi connectivity options, and a USB port. It has a carbon black mode that gives your images black density by creating a rich wet-looking black print.
- It has excellent print quality
- It prints panoramas of 13 inches wide, cut sheets of 13 by 19 inches and borderless banners
- It has manual and mechanized cutters
- It switches automatically between roll media and cut and between matte and photo
- It increases color gamut by using ultra-chrome pro10 ink
- Has high running costs
You can easy convert Epson P700 to direct to film printer. It’s creates quality images with rich blacks and vivid colors, producing exceptionally detailed colors. It also allows you to make a quality borderless gallery of up to 13 by 19 inches in size.
3. Epson SureColor P600:
It is an inkjet printer with a maximum print resolution of 5760 by 1440 dpi. It uses a nine-color ultra-chrome HD ink to give images rich blackness and sharpness. The cartridges have a high ink capacity that boosts your production of prints. It creates panoramas of over ten feet long and borderless 13 by 19 inches prints.
It is compatible with smart devices; it has a USB 2.0 port, an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a display LCD screen of 3.5 inches. It has advanced media handling to print different fine arts and roll papers easily. Additionally, it has wireless technology that enables you to google cloud print and apple air print.
- It has a high-quality output
- It prints a maximum size of roll papers of 12 by 13inches and cut sheets of 13 by 19 inches
- Availability of fine art papers
- Art papers are difficult to feed at times
- It has long lagged for housing-keeping tasks
The Epson SureColor P600 one of the best DTF printing machines. it has excellent graphics and prints with unprecedented black density. It provides smooth tonal transitions in white and black prints. Meaning whatever you print with the P600, it will be a phenomenal image.
4. Epson sure color P400:
It is an inkjet printer that operates under 500 to 900 Fahrenheit. The printer comes in black color. When closed, it measures 12.8 by 24.5 by 8.6 inches. Its depth is 31.4 inches when the rear and front trays are extended. It also has no display, meaning you will have to control it from a computer.
The front panel has buttons including On/ Off, Wi-Fi, roll-paper controls, and Resume. Also, the top-loading feeder can fit a maximum of a hundred and twenty sheets of plain or thirty sheets of photography paper that measure 13 by 19 inches. The rear feeder holds one sheet plain and one sheet for fine-art paper.
- It has an excellent photo quality
- It is a dedicated photo printer
- It has a good speed
- It supports large prints such as banners
- The rear paper feeder is bulky
- It has average graphics for a photo printer
The Epson SureColor P400 has a moderate price for a dedicated photo printer. It is large and needs a fair amount of space for storage. Also, it generates magnificent photo prints. Its printing speed is high and it prints from paper rolls.
5. Epson L1800 DTF Printer:
It has an A3+ borderless printing of images; it gives a good color intensity for graphics and large photos. It has a high ink tank capacity and affordable ink bottles. The tank system is designed in a way that is easy to refill the bottles, ensuring reliable and smooth ink flow. The L1800 has six ink bottles that produce up to 1500 borderless photos.
The L1800 has a fast printing speed of 15ppm and 45 seconds per 4R borderless image. It also supports different types of print media, such as 4R photo prints and A3+ sizes, enabling you to finish your printing tasks in time. Additionally, it delivers a high print resolution of 5760 dpi and has a reliable print head.
- It has a high printing speed
- It supports different media
- It has a high tank capacity
- It has an unsurpassed print quality
- It has a high running cost
- Hard to find one inside the USA
The Epson L1800 DTF printer produces a photographic gradation and superior color tone in every printout. The 6 photo inks give a color gamut that helps achieve print’s radiance and color density.
6. Epson Artisan 1430:
It has a printing speed of 2.8. It is also compatible with different media types, including presentation paper, photo matte, photo glossy, and photo luster; this will make your printing work easy. Additionally, you can print on inkjet – printable DVDs and CDs directly when printing on a standard media.
It also has a USB connection and Wi-Fi connection making it easy to print. It is compatible with Android phones, iPhones, and tablets such as the Ipad. Also, it has a front-side USB that you print directly from the PictBridge device, which includes a digital camera. It has printhead technology of 5760 by 1440 dpi resolution and ink droplets of 1.5 picoliters.
- Has an outstanding photo replication mechanism
- Has different connectivity options
- Has different connectivity options
- It is a compact wide, format printer
- It has six color inks
- It has a low printing speed
The Epson Artisan 1430 combines high-definition ink with printing speed to produce a quality photo that lasts for a longer time. It has a low printing speed meaning you cannot use it to make large printouts.
7. Epson Eco Tank PhotoET-8550:
It allows connection with different interfaces such as USB 2.0 Wi-Fi connection and Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet. It can scan and print from both USB thumb drives and SD cards. It also has a 4.3-inch touch screen or downloads the Epson Smart Panel app to operate your ET-8550. The smart panel-supported operating systems are iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.
It has standard process colors such as gray, photo black, yellow, cyan, magenta, and black. These colors produce grayscale graphics and images, enhance black and improve detail in artwork and photos, making dark regions deeper and richer. Moreover, it does not have an automatic document feeder making it scan multi-page documents easily.
- Has low running costs
- It has a fast printing speed for its class
- Exceptional output quality
- Produces borderless prints of 4 by 6 inches to 13 by 19 inches
- It is a little expensive
The Epson EcoTank Photo ET8550 lets you print everyday documents, including lab photos; it produces quality graphics and photos. It is also very economical, considering it has free ink for the first two years. For multi-purpose prints, you can use or buy this one.
8. Epson Stylus Photo R2000:
It has the Epson ultra-chrome Hi-Gloss two pigment inks that give colorful, vibrant prints. It has unparalleled connectivity of high speed of USB 2.0, 100 megabit Ethernet support, and wireless802.11n. Also, it has an auto-selection of inks, which helps achieve superior contrast and optimal black density on matte, glossy and fine art paper from Photo black ink or matte.
It has a high capacity, auto top feeder sheet, an art paper feed, a rear sheet, and roll papers. It has ink droplets of 1.5 picoliters with a printing resolution of 5670 by 1440 dpi. Also, it has HG technology that ensures the laying of ink is monitored on the paper surface to ensure sharpness and better uniform ink coverage.
- Has high-quality graphics and photos
- It prints on cut sheets and roll paper
- Has a variety of connectivity options
- It has a fast printing speed
- It prints 13 inches wide.
- It has no LCD
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 produced high-quality images. It is an improved version of the R1900 and comes with multi-connective options. Also, it ensures uniform ink prints reflectivity by using the HG image technology.
9. Epson Stylus Photo 1400:
The printer has an automatic light and color correction to ensure every print is perfect and beautiful. Furthermore, it has tiny ink droplets provided by the MicroPiezo print head, which gives your image the finest details while printing at high speed. Also, it has a high printing resolution of 5760 by 1440 dpi optimized with 6-color ink.
It has other features like direct print on DVDs and CDs to create professional digital files. The printer has Adobe Photoshop software features to print poster photo prints, customized CDs, and a borderless book layout. Additionally, it prints four by six photos in 46 seconds and graphics and prints text at a speed of 15ppm.
- It prints photos of 4 by 6 inches to 13 by 44 inches.
- It has a light-fastness of 200 years and behind glass is 98 years
- It has a relatively high printing speed
- Allows direct printing of CDs and DVDs
- It is not an all-purpose printer
The Epson Stylus Photo 1400 produces bright quality prints that last for 200 years if kept under optimum conditions. If you are looking for longevity of prints, this is the printer to select. Their prints are resistant to fading, water, scratch, and smudge.
10. Epson L805:
The Epson L805 has various connectivity options such as USB, OTG, and Wi-Fi. That makes it useful in a workgroup. You can also connect directly through the Epson iPrint App to control all your printing activities. Furthermore, it has a print resolution of 5760 by 1440 dpi with five pages per minute printing speed.
It has paper support of 280 GSM and borderless printing. It has different trays that serve various purposes; for example, the card tray prints cards such as business cards, and CD tray prints DVDs/CDs. Additionally, it has six inks to produce high-quality image depiction and produces 5000 regular prints using a single refill.
- Has superior quality print
- It has a high print speed
- Has custom made trays
- Allows Wi-Fi connectivity
- Has no automatic duplex
The EPSON L805 is one of the best DTF printers for beginners and small businesses with excellent print resolutions. It is also a cost-effective printer for an initial start in printing. Also, direct printing for CDs and cards is a unique feature that you use to market your products.
Direct To Film Printers Buyers Guide:
When you want to buy a printer, you should consider the following factors to ensure you purchase a printer that best serves your needs. The factors include:
- . Six-color ink tank:
There are different types of printers available in the market, but the best option for DTF is a printer with a six-color ink tank. A printer with a six-color ink tank can produce high-quality prints, and it is also more affordable than other types of printers.
How resistant are the prints to normal conditions? Prints of dye inks are more robust than prints of pigment inks because dye inks get sucked on the upper surface of the paper while pigments sit on the upper surface of it.
- Print longevity and ink types:
How long can prints last on various types of paper? The best ink type to use with different types of inks. These are factors you should be considering for ink types and multiple printers.
- Running costs:
When doing the calculations of running costs put into consideration such as over-inking, user error, wasting inks, paper misfeeds, unsatisfactory working conditions ( power surge and dust), poor color control, and driver settings.
Depending on your work volume, you will have to choose a printer that meets the speed you want and at the same time does not compromise quality and how the ink is laid down. Remember also fast printing speed may produce less color intense prints.
- Paper handling:
You should ensure the printer can handle the paperweight and sizes you plan on using, including fine-art papers for exhibition and display. You should watch for paper jams and misfeeds that can cause paper wastage.
Converting an Epson Printer to DTF:
The following are the steps of converting an EPSON printer to direct to film printer. They are as follow:
– Open the printer and replace it with refillable cartridges that will enable you to refill them when ink is over.
– Then turn the printer on, wait for the printhead to start moving, and immediately unplug it.
– The printhead will unlock and move it to one side with your hand.
– Move the print head to the right side to unscrew the left upper roller assembly and then move the print to the left to unscrew the right side of the roller assembly.
– After that, move the printhead to the left as look at the printer, and remove the whole roller assembly.
– After that, turn on your printer and install rip software or Ek rip studio software.
– After installing the software, you are good to go; your printer is now a DTF
List of the basic equipment you will need to start DTF:
- A DTF printer:
You will need a direct to film printer with a six-color ink tank or more. The printers include Epson P600 and P700. These printers work with six colors and will enable you to print with ease using a wide range of colors
The Pet films are used in DTF printing. They have a thickness of 0.75mm and have quality transfer characteristics.
The final print on the garment and uniformity of ink is greatly influenced by the software you use. For DTF printing, you will need to use rip software that best handles white colors and CMYK.
- Hot-melt powder:
The DTF printing uses a white powder is adhesive; it binds the color pigments in the image to the fibers in the cloth.
- DTF printing inks:
They are specific inks designed for direct to film printing; they include white, black, yellow, magenta, and cyan ink colors. White is a special color; it lays out the foundation of where the color design is printed.
DTF printing process:
The DTF printing process involves the following steps:
Print the film by inserting the pet film in the tray. Remember, while printing on the film, it should be a mirror picture of the original image.
It involves powder; you will apply the hot-melt powder to the film containing the print image. You spread the powder uniformly across the wet print and remove excess powder.
After that, you will melt the powder using a curing oven or a heating press. You will place the film close to the press in the heat and ensure it does not touch it. You should heat it for two to five minutes.
It involves pre-pressing the fabric before you transfer the image by the film. Pre-pressing helps in the transfer of the print from film to the fabric.
You will transfer the print image to the fabric by curing it at 160 to 168 degrees Celsius for ten to twenty seconds. After doing this, the film will be attached to the fabric.
It involves cold peeling, where you will allow the film to cool down before pulling it off. After the film has cooled, peel it off, it will leave the design print on the fabric.
The fabric containing the transferred design is heat pressed for three to five seconds and your fabric will be ready.
Yes, DTF printing is of good quality. Direct to film printers are compared to being cheaper in terms of printing ink prices. DTF can also print around 50 prints in 3 hours which is considerable to inefficiency in printing speed. However, the DTF printings are always of good quality and are recommendable to those like Hanrun papers with special fluorescent color schemes and ink.
Of course, you need special inks for DTF printing, specifically DTF printing inks. They are pigment-designed inks and exist in white, black, yellow, magenta, and cyan colors. Having a white color will provide a white foundation on every print and all printed designs incorporating other colors.
DTF printing is not expensive; in fact, it’s cheaper compared to other print services you may ever interact with. It uses less ink, and particularly it doesn’t need pretreatment. For individuals who use acro rip, the needed color ink for DTF printing is 80%, while the white ink is 200%. Considerably, the cost of printing with DTF printers is cheap.
Indeed, DTF transfer is better than sublimation as you can achieve high-quality images. Specifically, having fabric polyester content will vividly produce high quality and better image. Designing your DTF on fabric will provide a soft touch and achieve a more printing experience.
Yes, you need special software for DTF. Raster Image Processor Software(RIP) is the recommended software in DTF since it is modified to print using special inks such as white inks. RIP can also handle CMYK, providing optimized printings by size dropping, ink leveling, and color profiling.
Direct To Film printers can use specially modified DTF printers that consist of six color ink tanks. Such printers include Epson L1800, P600, and P700. These kinds of printers are convenient for CMYK DTF inks systems and filling White DTF inks.
A DTF printer can allow you to have a wide printing design. These printers can work on white and dark fabric, and you won’t incur A & B paper expenses. DTF printers use technology that easily prints silk, synthetic, polyester, or cotton on the material.
DTF printing usually fits well with printers that have six-color ink tanks. For example, Epson series such as L805 printers provide high-quality prints, and printing on cotton, synthetic, and polyester produces good-quality prints.
Yes. The Epson printer series contains six-color ink tanks that can carry inks of different colors. DTF printings rely on applying specialty inks and white inks to an image. Therefore, Epson makes a good printer for direct to film like: Epson XP15000, P600, and ET8550.
If you have ever used DTG printing, the maintenance level you experienced is not different from when using direct to film printing, although not often. For instance, DTF white ink experiences separation from time to time, and therefore daily shaking is required. However, regular printing is the most regarded DTF maintenance. After every two days print, shake the ink but ensure an automatic printhead cleaning before the actual printing.
The best printers to convert to DTF are those Epson printers with 6-color ink tanks or more. This is because they can hold inks of different colors. Such compatible printers with the DTF system include L1800, L805, ET8550, ET15000, P600, P700 and other Epson print-heads printer series.
Yes, if the printer with min 6 color ink. you can by changing its ink cartridges to refillable ones and installing a special type of software (WIC reset software) to enable you to make adjustments.
In conclusion, the above-discussed printers are the best for beginners. However, you will notice each printer has its advantages and disadvantages. So, it is best to select a printer that best serves your needs according to the type of work and volume. Feel free to use this article as a guide to help you choose the printer that best addresses your needs.