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Direct to Garment => DTG - General => Topic started by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 01:36:42 PM

Title: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 01:36:42 PM
New MLink has landed, I believe I am one of the first if not the first on the board with one. Landed today, install next week. Once we get it up and running and comfy with it we will allow you guys to send some garments for testing if you like and we can even compare it against our brand new Brother unit.  Looking forward to seeing them both in action and going over what I like about this one vs the other and pros/cons of each.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvieira on December 10, 2015, 01:39:48 PM
I'm excited to see the results but is it really fair to compare a $15.000 unit against a $75.000 other?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 01:47:09 PM
I'm excited to see the results but is it really fair to compare a $15.000 unit against a $75.000 other?

Brother is actually a 25k unit, the Mlink I believe is around 40k, the Mlink X is more like 75k.  To be fair the brother was onsale at $20k + pretreat and such. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 10, 2015, 02:23:41 PM
My interest is what's inside the M-link that makes them as for that price like the print heads etc, Yeah I know they have to have some kind of patented stuff going on that we might not know of, but dang 40K & 75K.  I know we all are looking for a true push button easy DTG machine that you can walk away for a week or two maybe a month and hit print and your back in action with out clogs and extra maintenance that cost you an arm and leg....with that said can't wait to see your result's Brandt.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 02:32:57 PM
My interest is what's inside the M-link that makes them as for that price like the print heads etc, Yeah I know they have to have some kind of patented stuff going on that we might not know of, but dang 40K & 75K.  I know we all are looking for a true push button easy DTG machine that you can walk away for a week or two maybe a month and hit print and your back in action with out clogs and extra maintenance that cost you an arm and leg....with that said can't wait to see your result's Brandt.

Our Tech for the Brother leaves theirs for weeks no prints. No issues.  He wouldn't fib us he installed our Roland as well and every single thing he's told us about it has been 100% accurate.  Ill take him for the word.  The Mlink I know zero about, I only seen one when it hit my shop floor.  First impression is that its a beast, Brother came in a box, MLink came on a pallet. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on December 10, 2015, 02:34:01 PM
There are shut-down steps for white ink.  CMYK is no biggie.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 10, 2015, 02:39:15 PM
Brandt that's what I've been told by several different companies ( you can walk away for a week or so and come back and hit print with no worry) then I talk to a few owner's and they say yeah right LOL.  I know when we pull the trigger on one I can't see us using it 24/7 and might would sit a week or so maybe without use and I'm just scare to get a unit that needs a constant dose of use.   What Brad said about white ink that's the problem ink that cause's the most trouble.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: TCT on December 10, 2015, 02:40:55 PM
Excited to hear your review! I tried to find a M-Link owner a little while ago to help a friend out but couldn't find anyone I knew. I really look forward to hearing about it!

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 02:46:21 PM
Excited to hear your review! I tried to find a M-Link owner a little while ago to help a friend out but couldn't find anyone I knew. I really look forward to hearing about it!

Soon as its running send some shirts, wont be any charge other than cover your shipping. Also understand I am not a DTG pro yet, so I wouldn't exactly suggest sending me something to sell right away, but if you want to see some no BS results from a newbie, we can do that Haha.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 02:47:12 PM
Brandt that's what I've been told by several different companies ( you can walk away for a week or so and come back and hit print with no worry) then I talk to a few owner's and they say yeah right LOL.  I know when we pull the trigger on one I can't see us using it 24/7 and might would sit a week or so maybe without use and I'm just scare to get a unit that needs a constant dose of use.   What Brad said about white ink that's the problem ink that cause's the most trouble.

Everyone will see different results because everyone does things a little different I am sure. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on December 10, 2015, 05:10:01 PM
Do a video with same design being printed at same time. Then do a ink consumption usage. Those 2 things are the big ones, plus pretreat time.

That should tell a lot about everything ROI to output looks of the 2 printers.
 

My thoughts.
Shane
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 05:20:51 PM
Do a video with same design being printed at same time. Then do a ink consumption usage. Those 2 things are the big ones, plus pretreat time.

That should tell a lot about everything ROI to output looks of the 2 printers.
 

My thoughts.
Shane

We will do some comparison printing for sure, same design same shirt type stuff and will post results. Can't wait to see myself which is better in what ways. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on December 10, 2015, 05:34:12 PM
For sure I would love to see the difference. I have seen the 361 in my shop run, not mlink. Very interested.

Shane
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Croft on December 10, 2015, 05:34:16 PM
how often/ many shirts a week or month do you think you need to do to make it worth getting?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 05:44:51 PM
how often/ many shirts a week or month do you think you need to do to make it worth getting?

Not sure on the Mlink yet as its still in a crate.  I will provide some real world ink usage for both the machines for our style of printing soon as we are using it normally. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Mr Tees!! on December 10, 2015, 05:50:45 PM
...can I send some shoes?

 ;) ;D
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: TCT on December 10, 2015, 06:30:13 PM
What's the pre treat like for the M-Link?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 10, 2015, 06:35:09 PM
What's the pre treat like for the M-Link?

Using same machine as the Brother for both.  Its easy as hell really.  But that machine is about 5k.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 15, 2015, 10:21:28 AM
Install starts today.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GaryG on December 15, 2015, 01:37:15 PM
Crazy cool man!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 07:18:00 AM
Prints quick on white, doubt we print much white though.  Will be running darks/blacks today.  Right away differences are coming forward between the two machines.  The Brother is slower, more ink use and due to that lost some detail in the prints we did so far. BUT, the Mlink has some light banding in this print on the blue, BUT each print it is going more and more away and we've only done a couple prints late yesterday so we suspect it will go away all the way.  Today should tell the full story on that.

Video here:
https://www.facebook.com/138282122879494/videos/1019047731469591/ (https://www.facebook.com/138282122879494/videos/1019047731469591/)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 07:18:58 AM
That print is on 1200x600 BTW.  I believe there is 1 quality level higher and a couple lower levels.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 16, 2015, 07:48:18 AM
Very nice, I am wanting to see that in AC this spring.  I know that the M&R version is not the exact same version lawson was selling so I am interested to see how it holds up. Also, I am assuming M&R spent a good bit of time working on the rip.  When using the white ink, does the cost compare similar due to ink costs or is brother a loose/loose as far as ink costs being high per CC and use more?

I am still a believe in Epson heads running slower at high resolution, but this machine may change that.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 07:50:52 AM
Very nice, I am wanting to see that in AC this spring.  I know that the M&R version is not the exact same version lawson was selling so I am interested to see how it holds up. Also, I am assuming M&R spent a good bit of time working on the rip.  When using the white ink, does the cost compare similar due to ink costs or is brother a loose/loose as far as ink costs being high per CC and use more?

I am still a believe in Epson heads running slower at high resolution, but this machine may change that.

We run some dark's today, not ran any yet on the M&R.  I am told ink costs are lower on the M&R across the board, but I have no data to report on that yet other that whites are using more ink on the brother and its not as good a print but its is marginal. The brother appears to be putting more ink down, causing some detail loss.  Keep in mind we could play with settings some I am sure to get them closer to look.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 10:01:38 AM
So ran the first black, looks better (more vibrant), prints faster, and ink cost NO BS is a fraction of the brother.  We have some tweaking to do with pretreat/heat pressing as the print has more shirt fibers in it than the brother tests did.  So we will play with that today. Heat press time is way more than the Brother though.

Here is first black off the machine.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: easyscore on December 16, 2015, 11:01:20 AM
Try heat pressing before the pretreatment. Seems to helps us keep the fibers down. Think roller squeegee on press.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 11:09:20 AM
Try heat pressing before the pretreatment. Seems to helps us keep the fibers down. Think roller squeegee on press.

We may but now we'd be heat pressing a shirt 6 times (assuming a front and back print).  I think at some point that is a bit much to expect.

In other news as of right now that shirt above was about $.60 in ink, the brother was around $4. Keep in mind plus around $1 each for pretreat. 

He's re-calibrating the machine now as we are seeing some alignment issues and even with clean heads we are seeing some banding on the blue of the white shirt printed previously.  The Brother had VERY light banding on that print as well but honestly if I didn't point it out to you, doubt you would notice. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 16, 2015, 11:38:43 AM
Try heat pressing before the pretreatment. Seems to helps us keep the fibers down. Think roller squeegee on press.

We may but now we'd be heat pressing a shirt 6 times (assuming a front and back print).  I think at some point that is a bit much to expect.

In other news as of right now that shirt above was about $.60 in ink, the brother was around $4. Keep in mind plus around $1 each for pretreat. 

He's re-calibrating the machine now as we are seeing some alignment issues and even with clean heads we are seeing some banding on the blue of the white shirt printed previously.  The Brother had VERY light banding on that print as well but honestly if I didn't point it out to you, doubt you would notice.
Pre-treatment should average around .25-.30. At least that is what we see on our unit. There should be no banding and you should not have to manipulate the file in almost all cases. The quality of the shirt is a major player when it comes to ink jet. Contact Alex or Geoff Baxter to get better information on the type of shirt. Also the ink we use is curable down the dryer but not at screen speeds so that will need to be addressed later.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 11:46:04 AM
Try heat pressing before the pretreatment. Seems to helps us keep the fibers down. Think roller squeegee on press.

We may but now we'd be heat pressing a shirt 6 times (assuming a front and back print).  I think at some point that is a bit much to expect.

In other news as of right now that shirt above was about $.60 in ink, the brother was around $4. Keep in mind plus around $1 each for pretreat. 

He's re-calibrating the machine now as we are seeing some alignment issues and even with clean heads we are seeing some banding on the blue of the white shirt printed previously.  The Brother had VERY light banding on that print as well but honestly if I didn't point it out to you, doubt you would notice.
Pre-treatment should average around .25-.30. At least that is what we see on our unit. There should be no banding and you should not have to manipulate the file in almost all cases. The quality of the shirt is a major player when it comes to ink jet. Contact Alex or Geoff Baxter to get better information on the type of shirt. Also the ink we use is curable down the dryer but not at screen speeds so that will need to be addressed later.

We did loose math based on the Brother Pre-Treat.  Banding he's hoping will be good once he's calibrated it he's about to do more printing now on it.

Market we are in uses Gildan about 90% of the time, so we are stuck there a bit. They want a bunch of color options and they are heavy set many of them.  We have some other garments here to test but ultimately it will have to work on a G200. 

Ya we'd be too far away from the dryer to use that to cure,
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Colin on December 16, 2015, 12:16:31 PM
Can you "flash" it under a heat press and stack them to run down the dryer later?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 04:16:26 PM
Getting better as we go here. The ink cost folks, fraction of the Brother.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 04:28:58 PM
The only major issues so far is M&R is banding some still on some blues, he's trying to figure that out still. Its mild but the brother is not banding. The M&R is also putting out files that are not as color accurate as the actual artwork on screen or the artwork coming out of the Brother.  The brother isn't nailing it either but its much closer. Worth noting the Brother has red ink in place of Magenta, M&R has Magenta.  So they are obviously going to look somewhat different based on that and the rips being different I am sure.

My initial thoughts are this. The Brother is easier to run. Its a print driver, install and print to it.  This also means a bit less control. M&R has a few more steps to output a shirt. The M&R is faster. Lower ink cost. 

Obviously we are 1 day in so this will all develop as we go and YMMV I am sure. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mimosatexas on December 16, 2015, 04:57:07 PM
as you said, one day in, but from the photos, the top white looks pretty underwhelming.  I have a sample DTG print in my shop from the guy down the road with a $8k epson offbrand build and the white is blinding.  Color accuracy is something he had to work on as well, but he dialed it in.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 04:59:49 PM
as you said, one day in, but from the photos, the top white looks pretty underwhelming.  I have a sample DTG print in my shop from the guy down the road with a $8k epson offbrand build and the white is blinding.  Color accuracy is something he had to work on as well, but he dialed it in.

Neither of those last images are designed with a super bright white. One is cream. We are still playing for sure.

Here's another.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 05:02:02 PM
BTW thats a laser on the bottom right of that image, not in the print. Quality is pretty serious. The brother is nearly as good though. It is however we are seeing at least 3x-6x the money.  We printed that last image on the first day on the Brother, it was $6-7 in ink, the M&R was $.83 cents.  13 inch wide print by around 15-16 tall.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 16, 2015, 05:05:27 PM
We printed that last image on the first day on the Brother, it was $6-7 in ink, the M&R was $.83 cents.  13 inch wide print by around 15-16 tall.

just curious how the numbers are displayed?  is that in the rip or on the printer?

Nice white on that last image...  our '1-off' cheapy customers would love that.

(not that we do enough work like that to justify even a brother machine at 8k, but maybe someday)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: islandtees on December 16, 2015, 05:24:00 PM
I going to throw this out.
GraphicDisorder is just learning DTG. He has a long way to go to get those killer prints that those of us with experience do all day long.
I have 2 Brother GT782 printers with 6 years in this field. We have  mastered white ink and know how to tweak to get a lower cost on the ink. If I had that m link I could do killer prints just knowing how to tweak the design. In all fairness I don't think a beginner can give a fair review of the machines until they have lots of experience in the field. Pretreating is a art  even using pretreat machines. You have to experiment with different amounts of fluid to get the whites to pop.
Someone with a lot of experience using a Epson DTG could take the same artwork and blow away the Brother or the M link .
This is why you see a lot of these machines go on e bay or digitsmith because everyone thought it would be so easy and found out
it was not. If I didn't already have the Brother I would consider the m link since everything else we have is M&R.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 06:36:29 PM
I going to throw this out.
GraphicDisorder is just learning DTG. He has a long way to go to get those killer prints that those of us with experience do all day long.
I have 2 Brother GT782 printers with 6 years in this field. We have  mastered white ink and know how to tweak to get a lower cost on the ink. If I had that m link I could do killer prints just knowing how to tweak the design. In all fairness I don't think a beginner can give a fair review of the machines until they have lots of experience in the field. Pretreating is a art  even using pretreat machines. You have to experiment with different amounts of fluid to get the whites to pop.
Someone with a lot of experience using a Epson DTG could take the same artwork and blow away the Brother or the M link .
This is why you see a lot of these machines go on e bay or digitsmith because everyone thought it would be so easy and found out
it was not. If I didn't already have the Brother I would consider the m link since everything else we have is M&R.

We are new to DTG for sure, but we know what quality looks like. So we will tweak and learn just like you did. I am giving my fair initial assessment of both machines installed just days apart. So as I like one more in one way or another I will post as such. People can take that for what it is...which is the type of experience most will go through as new users.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 06:51:15 PM
We printed that last image on the first day on the Brother, it was $6-7 in ink, the M&R was $.83 cents.  13 inch wide print by around 15-16 tall.

just curious how the numbers are displayed?  is that in the rip or on the printer?

Nice white on that last image...  our '1-off' cheapy customers would love that.

(not that we do enough work like that to justify even a brother machine at 8k, but maybe someday)

After the machine rips it, it displays ink cost.  The brother does same thing but it gives it to you in CC's, so you have to do the math.  M&R is killing the Brother on ink if the manufactures are telling us the truth on ink use. Both claim that it is fairly accurate but time will tell.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 06:51:55 PM
BTW every one of these images are a iPhone in shitty light and saved from my facebook and then posted here. No filters/tricks/nothing.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 16, 2015, 07:18:44 PM
Another video, just so you can see speed. I think this was on 1200x600 quality.
https://www.facebook.com/138282122879494/videos/1019626504745047/ (https://www.facebook.com/138282122879494/videos/1019626504745047/)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on December 16, 2015, 07:29:50 PM
Also remember this is an Mlink and not the X. The only diff is speed! Quality and ink cost the same.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: LuckyFlyinROUSH on December 16, 2015, 08:30:04 PM
Lookin Good!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 17, 2015, 07:04:58 AM
Just for the readers following along. The 361 was 20k with pretreat machine, right? Did that include shipping, training, etc?

How much was m&r, with shipping, install & training?

Those ink costs are worlds  apart.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 07:13:36 AM
Just for the readers following along. The 361 was 20k with pretreat machine, right? Did that include shipping, training, etc?

How much was m&r, with shipping, install & training?

Those ink costs are worlds  apart.

We have the Brother 381, its on sale right now (5k off) so all in with pretreat machine/install/ship/etc its in the high 20's. The Mlink is around 40k. 

The ink costs are very much a huge difference and speed as well. Neither are particularly slow but the M&R is faster. Each have differences in print. I will try to post a image later of the same image we printed on each machine. Its a person and some design around it, the machines handle it much differently and each are better and worse in some ways.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on December 17, 2015, 07:53:04 AM
this is really interesting.  That ink is way cheaper.  How do you buy it? bulk, carts? do you know how much it costs per liter or ml?

Those numbers are crazy different.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 08:53:53 AM
this is really interesting.  That ink is way cheaper.  How do you buy it? bulk, carts? do you know how much it costs per liter or ml?

Those numbers are crazy different.

It comes in jugs I believe but they are roughly 3x the size of the Brother and they are the similar in price as the smaller Brother cart. So the ink is 3x less basically.  M&R seems to be using less ink as well.  So the difference adds up quick there.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 08:58:27 AM
Which machine printed which do you think? Which do you think looks better?

Same exact file sent to both machines.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 17, 2015, 09:11:55 AM
I'm gonna say M&R on the right due to the fades.  (which ever it is, I like the fades better on the right).

interesting difference in the gray color in the ribbon tho...

Do these machines have support for a colorimeter?  I'd guess that you'd end up with different color profiles for the shirt colors, pretreat, and maybe even fabric weave?

I'm such a 'technician' that I'd be wanting perfect color calibrated output from photoshop on my calibrated screen to the shirt... especially since you should be able to 'dial' it in nearly perfectly.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 09:36:29 AM
Let's see if anyone else has input.  Ill chime in shortly if not.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: XG Print on December 17, 2015, 09:46:08 AM
Whites look more vibrant on the one on the left but Im not sure I like the fades on the front of the belt.  Looks kinda washed.  But I know nothing about DTG.  Id guess M&R is on the left
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 09:50:21 AM
Here is the actual art.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mimosatexas on December 17, 2015, 09:58:35 AM
Right looks more accurate tonally, but seems to be too dark in some areas, missing the brightest whites and some areas of the darker grays (like the detail in the belt).  I like how the left looks overall, but the fades definitely don't look as good on the stomach and the banner.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bimmridder on December 17, 2015, 09:59:34 AM
Since I don't know squat about DTG, do you not have to calibrate each machine for grey scale and "4 color"? Wouldn't you be able to tweak both machines to make them look exactly the same as far as colors? Sure, the gradients and quality may be different. Do you not "build to your specs"? Just like I can't output 4CP screens on both of my CTS machines and expect to see the same print on press. I'm not trying to start anything, or argue with anyone, just trying to get it figured out in my head.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 10:20:13 AM
Left is the Brother, it has most detail but is also boosted areas of the design brighter than they are. Some areas look more correct than the M&R.  The right image is the M&R and it looks closest over all to the actual artwork.  But lost details where there was some in the artwork. 

A hybrid of the two would be the most correct to be honest.  But I wanted to show you all a image off both, same file.  No tricks.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 10:22:50 AM
Another printing video, M&R
https://www.facebook.com/138282122879494/videos/1019956958045335/ (https://www.facebook.com/138282122879494/videos/1019956958045335/)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 10:23:35 AM
M&R.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 10:34:03 AM
They are doing a print right now, 4.5"x2", its 3 color print (white/red/grey), ink cost.  $.02   8)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: screenprintguy on December 17, 2015, 10:52:31 AM
So theoretically, if each machine is consistent in it's own "changes" to the original design, say, either not catching all of the fine small percentage fades, or over doing those same fades, you can go at it a design phase with that in mind and achieve a more accurate print from what you have in mind? Or, is that just becoming a bigger p.i.t.a.? Either way, that stuff looks really nice man! I'm voting for a machine that can get it done faster and cost less in consumables over time. Especially if you, Brandt, go at this new market like you did when you went from a manual press to automatic and leaped over what you were doing in the past. Tweaking some artwork to make these prints come out how you like them and cost less in consumables to keep the highest profit margin pays for the more expensive unit over time.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:01:40 AM
Again day 2 thought process here.... 

Each machine prints differently so I probably wont be able to keep both and not go crazy dealing with those differences.  M&R has the leg up here right now. Its faster, its using less ink and the ink costs less.

Each machine to get the most ideal results will probably need each design tweaked some what to match more closely the artwork or represent more closely a screen printed shirt.

I believe Marco did say you can calibrate the M&R to a color profile, we haven't got into that yet. 

Keep in mind I am commenting in the context of how I intend to use this machine. We have 500+ designs we could make available tomorrow for our retail customers, all that were screen printed before. So I want those items to be pretty close as far as color/detail that we sent them screen printed.  So we will have some leg work to do I think to accomplish that on either machine or both in some wild scenarios.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 17, 2015, 11:02:24 AM
Tweaking some artwork to make these prints come out how you like them

I still want to know why these machines can't be calibrated so what's on a calibrated monitor matches what's on the print.

this is freaking DIGITAL printing... the variables (within a set of parameters) should be able to be controlled nearly 100%...

(I'm sure they can be calibrated, just needs to be done and figured out...  --- Rich if you're listening... having a 'target' and a colorimeter built into a machine so that you *CAN* automatically calibrate to a color space would be an AWESOME feature)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvieira on December 17, 2015, 11:02:46 AM
I for one, came into this thread rooting for the Brother. It is way cheaper and I have been considering for a while to sell our Anajet and buying a Brother.

Now, looking at the pictures and the comments on ink usage (I had already noticed they're VERY expensive) I have to say this... please stop ruining DTG for those of us who cannot afford a $45k machine! The M-Link is way better than I expected and judging by the pictures alone, quality seems better than those of a Kornit (which is even more expensive).

Guess I'll need to save for a couple more years before I buy a new DTG :/
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:05:28 AM
Tweaking some artwork to make these prints come out how you like them

I still want to know why these machines can't be calibrated so what's on a calibrated monitor matches what's on the print.

this is freaking DIGITAL printing... the variables (within a set of parameters) should be able to be controlled nearly 100%...

(I'm sure they can be calibrated, just needs to be done and figured out...  --- Rich if you're listening... having a 'target' and a colorimeter built into a machine so that you *CAN* automatically calibrate to a color space would be an AWESOME feature)

Who said they "can't be".  As I said, I believe Marco mentioned it can be.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Mr Tees!! on December 17, 2015, 11:18:01 AM
Brandt, this is awesome. Very educational for those of us waiting for the DTG market to settle out somewhat. Thanks for that!

At the end of all the testing, It would be really cool to compare overall average ink costs, and compare that to the initial cost of each machine. That way, we can figure out how many shirts need to be printed before the costs are equal. It seems like the M&R costs less per print, but more upfront. Therefore we could figure up how may shirts the Brother would print before ink costs eat up any savings in the purchase of the machine.

...good stuff, brah!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 17, 2015, 11:20:50 AM
Both seemed to miss the mark on the original in opposite directions.

Kind of frustrating.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:23:11 AM
Brandt, this is awesome. Very educational for those of us waiting for the DTG market to settle out somewhat. Thanks for that!

At the end of all the testing, It would be really cool to compare overall average ink costs, and compare that to the initial cost of each machine. That way, we can figure out how many shirts need to be printed before the costs are equal. It seems like the M&R costs less per print, but more upfront. Therefore we could figure up how may shirts the Brother would print before ink costs eat up any savings in the purchase of the machine.

...good stuff, brah!

We have noted ink costs on several shirts so far that ill post when I can.  It's easily 1/3rd to 1/6th less ink cost for the M&R. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:24:55 AM
Both seemed to miss the mark on the original in opposite directions.

Kind of frustrating.

I agree, but some things coming off of each are really a nearly exact representation of the artwork. So one wonders if some variation on some styles of prints are just going to be the nature of the beast.  Assuming it could be calibrated to our monitors we might fix one type of print and break another since some seem perfect, then that black/white/grey style print was off from each. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 17, 2015, 11:25:17 AM
Tweaking some artwork to make these prints come out how you like them

I still want to know why these machines can't be calibrated so what's on a calibrated monitor matches what's on the print.

this is freaking DIGITAL printing... the variables (within a set of parameters) should be able to be controlled nearly 100%...

(I'm sure they can be calibrated, just needs to be done and figured out...  --- Rich if you're listening... having a 'target' and a colorimeter built into a machine so that you *CAN* automatically calibrate to a color space would be an AWESOME feature)

Who said they "can't be".  As I said, I believe Marco mentioned it can be.

I'm just curious why they don't do this at install...  -- not being argumentative or dissing the results at ALL... this is pretty freaking amazing actually.

I'd just love to see an automatic way so that you can auto calibrate based on the shirt/pretreat/etc...
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 17, 2015, 11:30:05 AM
Tweaking some artwork to make these prints come out how you like them

I still want to know why these machines can't be calibrated so what's on a calibrated monitor matches what's on the print.

this is freaking DIGITAL printing... the variables (within a set of parameters) should be able to be controlled nearly 100%...

(I'm sure they can be calibrated, just needs to be done and figured out...  --- Rich if you're listening... having a 'target' and a colorimeter built into a machine so that you *CAN* automatically calibrate to a color space would be an AWESOME feature)

Who said they "can't be".  As I said, I believe Marco mentioned it can be.

I'm just curious why they don't do this at install...  -- not being argumentative or dissing the results at ALL... this is pretty freaking amazing actually.

I'd just love to see an automatic way so that you can auto calibrate based on the shirt/pretreat/etc...
we do calibrate and profile the colors but we must be in the middle. The nice part is you can adjust.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:31:29 AM
Tweaking some artwork to make these prints come out how you like them

I still want to know why these machines can't be calibrated so what's on a calibrated monitor matches what's on the print.

this is freaking DIGITAL printing... the variables (within a set of parameters) should be able to be controlled nearly 100%...

(I'm sure they can be calibrated, just needs to be done and figured out...  --- Rich if you're listening... having a 'target' and a colorimeter built into a machine so that you *CAN* automatically calibrate to a color space would be an AWESOME feature)

Who said they "can't be".  As I said, I believe Marco mentioned it can be.

I'm just curious why they don't do this at install...  -- not being argumentative or dissing the results at ALL... this is pretty freaking amazing actually.

I'd just love to see an automatic way so that you can auto calibrate based on the shirt/pretreat/etc...

Well as I mentioned in the previous post, almost everything coming off it is very close to appearance on screen.  That one example I used was the most extreme example we've seen as "wrong".  Both machines got it wrong as well so I think that suggests that it may be the nature of the beast. I do know I wouldn't want to change calibration sot hat it prints right only to have other things print wrong.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 17, 2015, 11:36:26 AM
totally agree...

so it's just one of those 'you can get close' but you still need to know what to tweak in the art for the best results type deals...
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:47:19 AM
totally agree...

so it's just one of those 'you can get close' but you still need to know what to tweak in the art for the best results type deals...

At risk of the other prints being affected by changing color calibration I would probably just adjust the random print that may not look ideal. I doubt the common customer would notice on that one particular example.  But it was a vast difference between the 2 that I wanted to highlight.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 11:50:28 AM
 8)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: kingscreen on December 17, 2015, 12:49:01 PM
8)

This looks incredible.  Which machine is this from?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 12:53:01 PM
8)

This looks incredible.  Which machine is this from?

Mlink. Thats from a JPG, open it and print. Nothing special.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 17, 2015, 12:57:52 PM
that is awesome... the fades and blends look amazing.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 17, 2015, 01:13:00 PM
8)

Can you print the exact same on the Brother now?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 17, 2015, 01:31:21 PM
Are you still printing everything on G2000 or have you tried ring spun yet?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Printficient on December 17, 2015, 01:42:50 PM
These look good.  I think you are miscalculating the Brother ink cost.  $6-$7 per print?  I don't think that can be correct.  I know the Brother ink is expensive but that much?  One reason some buy Kornit is the cost of consumables.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 01:54:36 PM
These look good.  I think you are miscalculating the Brother ink cost.  $6-$7 per print?  I don't think that can be correct.  I know the Brother ink is expensive but that much?  One reason some buy Kornit is the cost of consumables.

It's not $6-7 per print, but some prints have been that high. The kindig it print was $6-7 bucks id have to double check the notes for exact number.  That print was $.89 on the M&R if memory serves me. We have done so many now I can't exactly remember but I believe I posted it before on this thread take a look if you like.  We've printed with the machine in all the quality options available and did math each way. Its higher ink cost and higher ink usage. 

I intend to feel out both for a period to see how I feel over time.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 01:56:20 PM
Are you still printing everything on G2000 or have you tried ring spun yet?

Mostly Gildans, but we have printed some Hanes, some Next Level, I think a couple anvils as well.  I am not sure what models as Shelly bought a case of random shirts to try.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 01:57:13 PM
8)

Can you print the exact same on the Brother now?

Haven't used the Brother today, but yes I will be sure we do that, remind me if I haven't in a couple days. SO much going on.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 02:36:14 PM
The Flame shirt off the Mlink BTW, $1.49 in ink, that's a 13.5 wide print.  When we do it on the brother ill get data on that. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 17, 2015, 02:36:39 PM
I wonder how much ink consumption would change as you get them closer to 1:1.

That print between the two the Brother erred on the side of too much ink being put down and the M&R was the opposite (or at least in the lighter colors laid down).  So I wonder if the numbers aren't skewed in some bit by that.  I mean, if I want 100% opacity of white on a black shirt there will be a point of diminishing returns and just wasted ink.  BUT, until that point every drop of ink will need to be there.  What does it take to make the M&R print that way vs the Brother is the $20,000 question.

I mean, if we end up with a $2/shirt ink cost difference that is large... but that's not $20,000 large.  You'd have to print 10,000 shirts to make the cost savings justified, then you also run into "discounted value" as that 20k today is not worth the same as it will be invested somewhere else 5 years from now.  What could you do with $20,000 today that will net you more money than $2/shirt over the next 10,000 shirts?

Now, if we continue to see $6/shirt difference then that skews things in their favor a bit more.  Still need 3,333 shirts to catch up... but that's a different ROI at that point and the discounted value is less as the time span is less.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 02:51:33 PM
I wonder how much ink consumption would change as you get them closer to 1:1.

That print between the two the Brother erred on the side of too much ink being put down and the M&R was the opposite (or at least in the lighter colors laid down).  So I wonder if the numbers aren't skewed in some bit by that.  I mean, if I want 100% opacity of white on a black shirt there will be a point of diminishing returns and just wasted ink.  BUT, until that point every drop of ink will need to be there.  What does it take to make the M&R print that way vs the Brother is the $20,000 question.

I assume your saying this in the context of the black shirt from both printers.  I agree in that context. Remember the M&R also looked closer to the actual artwork.  Neither were correct though. Other prints have not been like that.  That black/white/grey scale image is the only one we have seen like that so far as far as being way off the on screen artwork...well other than the first couple prints off either when the print heads were still clearing themselves up. In fact we had huge color shift issue on the M&R for the first few shirts. Once both machines have got moving we are seeing pretty similar prints in most cases, I would give the M&R the nod on quality but we are not talking night at day SO FAR.

I mean, if we end up with a $2/shirt ink cost difference that is large... but that's not $20,000 large.  You'd have to print 10,000 shirts to make the cost savings justified, then you also run into "discounted value" as that 20k today is not worth the same as it will be invested somewhere else 5 years from now.  What could you do with $20,000 today that will net you more money than $2/shirt over the next 10,000 shirts?

Now, if we continue to see $6/shirt difference then that skews things in their favor a bit more.  Still need 3,333 shirts to catch up... but that's a different ROI at that point and the discounted value is less as the time span is less.

Correct, but keep in mind its not just the ink costs, speed too. The M&R is faster, so time is a factor on that ROI. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 02:52:40 PM
Also if some missed it.  The Brother machine has basically RED ink in the magenta.... Were the M&R has Magenta. This is bound to cause some printing differences with that alone. I am sure they attempt to make this up in the rip/software/etc. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 03:47:23 PM
Ink Costs

Top image $.29
Bottom Image $.21

These are about 13 wide.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 17, 2015, 03:51:39 PM
Well, I'd say they both looked equally off but maybe one way was more aesthetically pleasing than the other... To me in the sense of a laboratory examination, wrong is wrong. Now when it comes down to having to hand over the product to a customer, you would rather hand them the one that is wrong the most aesthetically pleasing way.  So for this experiment, I'd say they were both off by a relatively similar margin... neither of them made me cringe in the end.

I'm still curious as to which one is putting down the closer to right amount of ink to get the job done.  In the end I think we would all rather put down 110% of the ink needed vs 90% of the ink needed to get the job done.  Sure one saved you money, but that one also is only 90% of what the customer asked for, the other is 100% what they asked for, just 10% more ink than you NEEDED to put down to hit that goal.


What are the speed differences for your average size print?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Printficient on December 17, 2015, 04:11:48 PM


Correct, but keep in mind its not just the ink costs, speed too. The M&R is faster, so time is a factor on that ROI.

What is the heat press time?  That is the true time.  If DTG 1 can do 2 shirts a minute and DTG 2 can do 1 shirt a minute and you have to Heat press the shirt for let's say 90 seconds than you would have two shirts on DTG 1 waiting to cure and 1.5 shirts on DTG 2.  The point is print speed is a factor if cure speed is as fast or faster.  You can only do as many shirts in a given time as you can press.  What are the press times?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 04:18:14 PM
Well, I'd say they both looked equally off but maybe one way was more aesthetically pleasing than the other... To me in the sense of a laboratory examination, wrong is wrong. Now when it comes down to having to hand over the product to a customer, you would rather hand them the one that is wrong the most aesthetically pleasing way.  So for this experiment, I'd say they were both off by a relatively similar margin... neither of them made me cringe in the end.

I'm still curious as to which one is putting down the closer to right amount of ink to get the job done.  In the end I think we would all rather put down 110% of the ink needed vs 90% of the ink needed to get the job done.  Sure one saved you money, but that one also is only 90% of what the customer asked for, the other is 100% what they asked for, just 10% more ink than you NEEDED to put down to hit that goal.


What are the speed differences for your average size print?

Having screen printed the shirt, the M&R was closer to the actual printed shirt we made and it was closer to the actual artwork on screen.  BOTH I agree where wrong, no debate there. I called that out as well. I posted that scenario to illustrate that. That scenario as an extreme is what we are seeing but I figured why not show the worst we've seen with both. Of both machines that print was worst for each. Pretty much both are printing very similar to screen in most cases all cases. They are printing similar in quality/detail as well. M&R with the edge but again not night and day.

Ill look at that closer in coming days of what amount of ink one is printing vs the other. We do know the M&R ink to be nearly 1/3rd the cost just straight up. So even if they are using same exact ink amounts, print cost will be around 1/3rd less.

Haven't timed the printing but Mlink is faster. Ill time a print at some point same art on each.

Holiday is coming and we are so behind having 2 machines installed in less than a weeks time. More to come soon as we get under control.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 04:28:55 PM


Correct, but keep in mind its not just the ink costs, speed too. The M&R is faster, so time is a factor on that ROI.

What is the heat press time?  That is the true time.  If DTG 1 can do 2 shirts a minute and DTG 2 can do 1 shirt a minute and you have to Heat press the shirt for let's say 90 seconds than you would have two shirts on DTG 1 waiting to cure and 1.5 shirts on DTG 2.  The point is print speed is a factor if cure speed is as fast or faster.  You can only do as many shirts in a given time as you can press.  What are the press times?

Of course the heat press could be or may be the bottle neck with the wrong heat press, that's obvious I would assume for most. if a person is reading these threads and cares about speed they will get a mack daddy heat press and get the fastest machine to go with it. I have paid nearly no attention to heat press time so far as they played with them a lot between the two machines and I have been in and out of the area as we are swamped busy as well right now. Not sure where they landed. If our heat press isn't fast enough we will by a new one, no big deal.

Once I know what our print times are for large/small/average prints and what our heat press times are ill post them. We are essentially 3 days in to 1 machine and 2 days into the other and zero use in a production style environment yet, training/testing only still. So all very new still.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 17, 2015, 04:45:31 PM
How can the heat press be faster?  It needs X time at Y temp.

Googling I came across this info:

Alex M: recommending a hover heat press These numbers are NOT correct, they were for an older machine with different as noted below... my bad.
Quote
With the heat press we recommend 1 minute of hover and 2 consecutive 1 minute pressure presses (with 5-10 seconds in between to let the vapor escape).

Brother PDF:
Quote
. Use a regular heat-press* set at 356°F and press for approximately 35 seconds† with light pressure to
cure both a light garment and dark garment prints.

So we are at 3 mins and 10 seconds for M&R and 35 seconds for Brother.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 17, 2015, 04:53:41 PM
How can the heat press be faster?  It needs X time at Y temp.

Googling I came across this info:

Alex M: recommending a hover heat press
Quote
With the heat press we recommend 1 minute of hover and 2 consecutive 1 minute pressure presses (with 5-10 seconds in between to let the vapor escape).

Brother PDF:
Quote
. Use a regular heat-press* set at 356°F and press for approximately 35 seconds† with light pressure to
cure both a light garment and dark garment prints.

So we are at 3 mins and 10 seconds for M&R and 35 seconds for Brother.

Some heat presses have trouble holding heat/recovering heat. So that would/could affect speed of heat press.

I don't believe Marco has us spending 3 min's heat pressing the shirts. Ill report when I spend some time with it.  I've been watching printing first and foremost, that is after all the important part. Heat pressing doesn't worry me, ill buy as many as I have to if I have the demand for more speed.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 17, 2015, 05:01:03 PM
I'm only going off Alex M's postings, I assume them to be accurate.

We are seeing a diminishing return on this faster speed once you start having to buy 5 or 6 heat presses to keep up.  Not to mention floor space and electrical running them.

I only want to make sure all of this is transparent for people checking this out.  I honestly forgot about the heat press times till Sonny brought it up so it's warranted to take a look at the details and numbers.   

No sense kicking out 2 shirts a min if you need to heat press those shirts for (a combined) 6.5 mins.  You are bottle necking quick.

VS

If you can only print 1 shirt a min but can heat press it in 35 seconds then you are able to produce 1 shirt a min with a single brother + heat press combination.  This also gives you time for your heat press to recover as you mentioned.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on December 17, 2015, 05:06:25 PM

How can the heat press be faster?  It needs X time at Y temp.

Googling I came across this info:

Alex M: recommending a hover heat press
Quote
With the heat press we recommend 1 minute of hover and 2 consecutive 1 minute pressure presses (with 5-10 seconds in between to let the vapor escape).

Brother PDF:
Quote
. Use a regular heat-press* set at 356°F and press for approximately 35 seconds† with light pressure to
cure both a light garment and dark garment prints.

So we are at 3 mins and 10 seconds for M&R and 35 seconds for Brother.

This was for the idot. Different machine and ink.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 17, 2015, 05:08:13 PM
Ideally these printers would be out on the floor near the dryer in my opinion as well as near the heat press station. I could totally see myself being lazy if I had one and DTG my 12 piece orders lol or better yet pay a newb to run it so they don't mess up the big press/ink/screens. If those heat press times are right or close, I'd say you shouldn't be curing shirts on a heat press that were printed by the Mlink, just run them through your big ass dryer and save the space/money/electric.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 17, 2015, 05:38:07 PM

How can the heat press be faster?  It needs X time at Y temp.

Googling I came across this info:

Alex M: recommending a hover heat press
Quote
With the heat press we recommend 1 minute of hover and 2 consecutive 1 minute pressure presses (with 5-10 seconds in between to let the vapor escape).

Brother PDF:
Quote
. Use a regular heat-press* set at 356°F and press for approximately 35 seconds† with light pressure to
cure both a light garment and dark garment prints.

So we are at 3 mins and 10 seconds for M&R and 35 seconds for Brother.

This was for the idot. Different machine and ink.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Whew!  My bad.

So what are the current recommended heat press times/procedures?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on December 17, 2015, 06:56:09 PM


How can the heat press be faster?  It needs X time at Y temp.

Googling I came across this info:

Alex M: recommending a hover heat press
Quote
With the heat press we recommend 1 minute of hover and 2 consecutive 1 minute pressure presses (with 5-10 seconds in between to let the vapor escape).

Brother PDF:
Quote
. Use a regular heat-press* set at 356°F and press for approximately 35 seconds† with light pressure to
cure both a light garment and dark garment prints.

So we are at 3 mins and 10 seconds for M&R and 35 seconds for Brother.

This was for the idot. Different machine and ink.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Whew!  My bad.

So what are the current recommended heat press times/procedures?
45 sec cmyk
60 sec with white ink


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 05:22:11 AM
I'm only going off Alex M's postings, I assume them to be accurate.

We are seeing a diminishing return on this faster speed once you start having to buy 5 or 6 heat presses to keep up.  Not to mention floor space and electrical running them.

I only want to make sure all of this is transparent for people checking this out.  I honestly forgot about the heat press times till Sonny brought it up so it's warranted to take a look at the details and numbers.   

No sense kicking out 2 shirts a min if you need to heat press those shirts for (a combined) 6.5 mins.  You are bottle necking quick.

VS

If you can only print 1 shirt a min but can heat press it in 35 seconds then you are able to produce 1 shirt a min with a single brother + heat press combination.  This also gives you time for your heat press to recover as you mentioned.

Forgive me for late chiming in here, we sponsor Shop with Cop each year and that event was last night.

I have been nothing but transparent, you are asking me about heat pressing and I am still talking about printer differences still. I haven't yet paid much attention to the heat pressing time (maybe because it hasn't been an issue?).  I will report fully when we are actually running production and I see what heat pressing times are and I will discuss both machines times and if I see either machines required time as an issue. I was having conversations with Marco or others when almost all of the heat pressing was going on.  I have been concerned first and foremost in this order:

1. Quality of Print
2. Cost of Print
3. Speed of Print

Heat press time isn't even on my radar yet but it will be shortly.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 05:24:52 AM
Ideally these printers would be out on the floor near the dryer in my opinion as well as near the heat press station. I could totally see myself being lazy if I had one and DTG my 12 piece orders lol or better yet pay a newb to run it so they don't mess up the big press/ink/screens. If those heat press times are right or close, I'd say you shouldn't be curing shirts on a heat press that were printed by the Mlink, just run them through your big ass dryer and save the space/money/electric.

It's something we will be looking at for sure, but the distance from the printer to our dryer is an issue for us. I am thinking yes 12pcs orders would run on a DTG here in the future.  Orders we turn away currently. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 18, 2015, 08:09:33 AM
Looking forward to hearing the pricing discussion for 12pc orders on DTG...  (VERY)  -- as this is our bread and butter work here.... we do a lot of screen print 10 shirts 1 or 2 color work (at a HIGH premium), but it might be a LOT more profitable to DTG where we can...

To say nothing about fulfilment jobs that we currently turn away.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 08:33:23 AM
We have a fulfillment style account that was looking at 300-400k first year sales (invoices from prior year to back it up), that we turned away because they had some designs that they only did 4-5-10 shirts a year.  Others they runs are in the 100's and 1000's of pcs.  Over 200 designs. So we let them walk in fear of those smaller deals bogging us down as it was a good of small runs. I could go get that account tomorrow they are "waiting on me" they said. Never mind my own retail line of 500+ designs made to order. Then we could open up 12pcs or less jobs to DTG or even contract DTG, I bet I have no less than 10 companies asking me for that pricing right now and we are a week in....

I have a good feeling about DTG for us.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Printficient on December 18, 2015, 09:28:27 AM
Couple of Questions.  Can you cure prints from either printer in your dryer?  Are you keeping both machines or are they there on trial and you choose one?
Either way congrats and Merry Christmas
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 09:51:21 AM
Couple of Questions.  Can you cure prints from either printer in your dryer?  Are you keeping both machines or are they there on trial and you choose one?
Either way congrats and Merry Christmas

Both could be cured in dryer I am told, but I didn't get into specifics on time needed as its not logical for our shop since our dryer is many many steps from where our printers are. Some printers may want to consider it though if the proximity is more logical for them and check with each manufacture on that.

We own the Brother/Pretreat machine/etc (Purchased from Nazdar, paid in cash). The M&R was not on our radar when I first heard cost (someone said it was 75k). I did not at that time realize that was for the Mlink X...the Mlink is much less so I would have considered it harder at the time. DTG is new for us and I was most satisfied with the Brother test prints I had seen and had shops do me over last few months. Rich heard I bought a Brother and wanted some real world feedback compared to the Brother and we have space so I was game. Soon you guys can send me shirts to print, your art, your shirt, no bs I will just print and ship back. We need to recover from a week of training / installs and the coming holiday but shortly ill put up some info and you can see for yourself real world results from someone just learning it.

If I find the M&R to be all around better its likely id buy it from M&R. If not it goes back. It's here for at least 90 days. We may or may not keep the Brother in that scenario. Again we are basically a week in on DTG and lots to learn.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 18, 2015, 11:03:13 AM
Brandt I think what your doing is good for us that are looking hard at DTG and will be newbie's at it real world testing, right now I still on the fence of which machine we want to buy plus we are looking at coast and what machine id best for the money we have to spend.  I know the Mlink is out of our range but does sound like a nice machine, but does not sound like the push and play as Rich said it was or I must have missed something, because I believe somewhere here you said the brother was a little easier to operate.  I'll be sending you a shirt soon with a design just to see if can do what we might expect to print in our shop once we get off the fence and make our purchase.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 11:18:57 AM
Brandt I think what your doing is good for us that are looking hard at DTG and will be newbie's at it real world testing, right now I still on the fence of which machine we want to buy plus we are looking at coast and what machine id best for the money we have to spend.  I know the Mlink is out of our range but does sound like a nice machine, but does not sound like the push and play as Rich said it was or I must have missed something, because I believe somewhere here you said the brother was a little easier to operate.  I'll be sending you a shirt soon with a design just to see if can do what we might expect to print in our shop once we get off the fence and make our purchase.

I want to use them both some more before I give final answer on use but yes my initial thought is the Brother is a bit easier to use. You just send it a file to print, hit the button.  Couple more steps on the Mlink. We are talking seconds difference though so don't read super far into it. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 01:28:57 PM
Ok, we had a minute at lunch today to do a quick test.  Info as follows:

Same type of garment. Same time of day printing at the same exact time in fact pretreated on the same exact pretreat machine right before printing. Same exact file, print size and so on. This is down and dirty we fired up both machines for the first print neither printed anything prior to this other than a nozzle check and to be fair the Brother printed NOTHING yesterday. Transparent as it gets.

First image both garments laying next to each other. Left image is the Brother, right image is the M&R.

Time to print: Brother 5:07 seconds, M&R 5:10 seconds. So the Brother from go button to ready to take shirt off is 3 seconds faster. Note worthy, the M&R is printing faster but it takes more time to pull the pallet in and begin printing than the Brother, it also waits longer to spit it out than the Brother.  Also I did forget to check the resolution on both but I think they both were in 1200x600.  Ill double check that.  That could affect time of either and if they were not the same id want to do this again.

Now what we see as far as image quality. The Brother, has better detail in the grey tones. The Brother has a blue tone to the grey and the M&R has a slight red tone to its grey both look fine though. I will point out one drastic area below in the last image where the grey has more detail, left is still Brother, Right is M&R.  Red ink on the M&R is better and closer to on screen image.  The M&R White is better as well.  Other issue. The this artwork has a shadow on the artwork that fades from black to shirt color.  The Brother handles this correctly. The M&R does not, it prints the shadow but put a halo around it.  Keep in mind we did nothing the artwork we printed it on each. So we'd have to figure that out on the M&R. We did have this issue on the Brother day one as well and I cant remember what we did to fix that so we may need to look at that for the M&R as well.

The cost to print. Brother used 1.62cc of CMYK, and 11.70 of white.  The M&R used C= .201, M=.346, Y=.214, K=.776 and white = 4.58.   All in Brother used $5.52 in ink, the M&R used $1.49 of ink.  These prices are pulled TODAY from both M&R and Brother. So this is up to the minute.  Again we are assuming both machines are telling the truth on ink use.

You decide, id take the M&R at $4.03 less to print with better white and the red is more correct. I can fix the shadow in some artwork I am sure.

Also neither of these factor in pretreat cost, so that is additional and id have to do some maths on that. 

I will do many of these if we can find time. Ive mentioned we are covered slammed right now so this test is all I have time for today.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 18, 2015, 01:49:13 PM
Are there any third party RIPs that could be used with the Brother that would be more efficient?

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mimosatexas on December 18, 2015, 01:55:59 PM
What the cause of the irregular speckling in the white lettering on the brother side?  Neither white looks great, but that could be shirt choice, pretreat, print settings, etc
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 02:08:55 PM
What the cause of the irregular speckling in the white lettering on the brother side?  Neither white looks great, but that could be shirt choice, pretreat, print settings, etc

Not sure to be honest. Tired to give a equal test best as we could. We can start playing with each machine to get the most ideal print at some point and then compare costs but that's not really apples to apples then. I remember on first day with the brother we tried a print at 1200x1200 and it actually used less CMYK I think it was but more white, but was slower and really didn't look much different.  So there are a lot of ways to play with these things and change the way they print.

Are there any third party RIPs that could be used with the Brother that would be more efficient?

No idea on that one. Ink cost are still 3x roughly on Brother ink so even if it was using exact CC's, still cost more to print. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 18, 2015, 02:19:48 PM
I don't know they both look good, for that matter both would be great for customer's because I don't think they will nitpick as much nitpicking is going on now...I would take either machine from what I've seen and I think Brandt has done a very good job on the info thus far for being a newbie at DTG ;).  I just got off the phone with Epson and ask about ink cost for there F2000 $207.00 for a 600ml cart and that's white ink cost as well, just a rough guess you could get 400 to 500 printed shirt's depends on print size, so Brandt what ml are the cart's for the Brother/MLink and ink cost for each?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 02:24:26 PM
I don't know they both look good, for that matter both would be great for customer's because I don't think they will nitpick as much nitpicking is going on now...I would take either machine from what I've seen and I think Brandt has done a very good job on the info thus far for being a newbie at DTG ;).  I just got off the phone with Epson and ask about ink cost for there F2000 $207.00 for a 600ml cart and that's white ink cost as well, just a rough guess you could get 400 to 500 printed shirt's depends on print size, so Brandt what ml are the cart's for the Brother/MLink and ink cost for each?

The Brothers are 380cc carts. M&R is 1000cc I think.  All that info I have down stairs, my office is upstairs.  It will have to wait.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: blue moon on December 18, 2015, 03:03:34 PM
I don't know they both look good, for that matter both would be great for customer's because I don't think they will nitpick as much nitpicking is going on now...I would take either machine from what I've seen and I think Brandt has done a very good job on the info thus far for being a newbie at DTG ;).  I just got off the phone with Epson and ask about ink cost for there F2000 $207.00 for a 600ml cart and that's white ink cost as well, just a rough guess you could get 400 to 500 printed shirt's depends on print size, so Brandt what ml are the cart's for the Brother/MLink and ink cost for each?

The Brothers are 380cc carts. M&R is 1000cc I think.  All that info I have down stairs, my office is upstairs.  It will have to wait.

Brandt,
thanx for all the info!

pierre
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 03:24:41 PM
Forgive me for late chiming in here, we sponsor Shop with Cop each year and that event was last night.

I have been nothing but transparent, you are asking me about heat pressing and I am still talking about printer differences still. I haven't yet paid much attention to the heat pressing time (maybe because it hasn't been an issue?).  I will report fully when we are actually running production and I see what heat pressing times are and I will discuss both machines times and if I see either machines required time as an issue. I was having conversations with Marco or others when almost all of the heat pressing was going on.  I have been concerned first and foremost in this order:

1. Quality of Print
2. Cost of Print
3. Speed of Print

Heat press time isn't even on my radar yet but it will be shortly.

I wasn't suggesting you weren't being transparent.  I was only stating why I was stating what I was stating.



That M&R looks better for the car and the white, but the details in the road get lost where as the Brother seems to shine better there.


I'd also say that it's hard to call anything apples to apples.  I mean, right now this is "what they look like right out the box" which is ok, but as Islandtees pointed out, that isn't where you will be 5 years from now on these machines.

Now if you could get them to print out as identical a print as possible, I'd rather call that "apples to apples" because now we are looking at what it takes for machine A. to get the print vs machine B..  Time and cost.

Also, I think heat press time is as big of a factor as print time.  Though right now that seems negated by the fact that the brother printed faster anyway.  I'd want to double check your resolution though.  Wouldn't be fair for the M&R if it was printing at a higher resolution.  And if that higher resolution equates to less ink usage then that wouldn't be fair to Brother in that regards.

Just my thoughts!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: shellyky on December 18, 2015, 03:35:39 PM
M&R is $230 per liter (1000cc) CMYK,  and $250 on White.

the reason the white text on brother print looked irregular is because we used settings that produced best results for sim process--for the spot color areas we probably should have turned it down a notch or two, it was kinda pooling up. (we boosted the highlight white in other words and likely should not have as much for this particular design)

yes.  both were printed same resolution.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 03:47:18 PM
Forgive me for late chiming in here, we sponsor Shop with Cop each year and that event was last night.

I have been nothing but transparent, you are asking me about heat pressing and I am still talking about printer differences still. I haven't yet paid much attention to the heat pressing time (maybe because it hasn't been an issue?).  I will report fully when we are actually running production and I see what heat pressing times are and I will discuss both machines times and if I see either machines required time as an issue. I was having conversations with Marco or others when almost all of the heat pressing was going on.  I have been concerned first and foremost in this order:

1. Quality of Print
2. Cost of Print
3. Speed of Print

Heat press time isn't even on my radar yet but it will be shortly.

I wasn't suggesting you weren't being transparent.  I was only stating why I was stating what I was stating.



That M&R looks better for the car and the white, but the details in the road get lost where as the Brother seems to shine better there.


I'd also say that it's hard to call anything apples to apples.  I mean, right now this is "what they look like right out the box" which is ok, but as Islandtees pointed out, that isn't where you will be 5 years from now on these machines.

Now if you could get them to print out as identical a print as possible, I'd rather call that "apples to apples" because now we are looking at what it takes for machine A. to get the print vs machine B..  Time and cost.

Also, I think heat press time is as big of a factor as print time.  Though right now that seems negated by the fact that the brother printed faster anyway.  I'd want to double check your resolution though.  Wouldn't be fair for the M&R if it was printing at a higher resolution.  And if that higher resolution equates to less ink usage then that wouldn't be fair to Brother in that regards.

Just my thoughts!

For sure its hard to call anything apples to apples exactly. They each rip differently (as clearly shown in a few prints now), they each print colors a little different and as I pointed out before one is even using Red ink instead of magenta.  Differences will be there. Of course someone 5 years later will be producing something different/better.  This thread really isn't about that yet.  My intention of this thread to was to highlight what a NEW DTG user could expect out of either machine right off the bat, we've all heard the horror stories. My prints will improve just like islands did im sure. My knowledge will as well and on we go. We've got very little time in this right now outside of training/testing during training heavy testing will come soon and then real world testing as we start selling some and seeing what could improve via feedback and so on. I've gotten a bunch of DTG samples in my day, some prints off BOTH of these machines are better than most of them and a few we've done are flat out some of the better ive seen ever off a DTG and that from "right outta the box".  I think ive tried to make it clear I feel both machines are very good.  I see differences in each positive and negative, ive highlighted each. Big one is I can't ignore the ink costs... period.  We haven't seen a single print yet come off the brother that wasn't multiple dollars and that is in any configuration. Just putting that out there.  Keep in mind we are also printing almost everything 13 inches wide and nearly 15-16 tall.  We actually expect to be printing 14/15 wide on production so ill be commenting in that contest.

Heat press time Alex lined out as pretty similar to the Brother yes? So no major diff. Heat pressing has yet to take up enough time that ive noticed it as an issue. I will address those times when I am satisfied with prints to the point of selling them. Which should be soon.


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 03:53:01 PM
Here's a good one they just brought me. Double sided print. Back is a 13x12 image.  Front around 7 inches wide.  Excuse the shitty phone pictures again, one image was taken down stairs an the other upstairs (different light) haha.

Was printed on the Mlink. Cost for this print? Front $.08  Back $.46. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 18, 2015, 04:10:24 PM
If I remember right the Mlink is using a Ricoh head using the new dupont ink made for it (not the epson artisan version).  A good epson DX5 head machine should have similar ink costs to what you are seeing on the Mlink for the black print above.

The biggest thing I want to see with the Mlink is the life span of the Ricoh head since they are made for this long use.  The best machine to compare the Mlink to would be the new Belquette machine coming out at 35,000.  This would be more like comparing apples to apples.

Also, lawson did sell a similar looking version of this machine years ago (I don't think it was a ricoh head).

The awesome part is that the head is staggered allowing for proper one pass printing.  I would also like to see how far you can push the artwork automation with scripting.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 04:28:58 PM
I just can't wrap my head around spending $20k today to save $3 a shirt tomorrow.

For someone that doesn't have a CTS yet I'd think that $20k would serve them better by buying one of those or something.

One way to think of it is, would you buy an embroidery machine for $20,000 if it only made you $3 per garment?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 04:31:30 PM
If I remember right the Mlink is using a Ricoh head using the new dupont ink made for it (not the epson artisan version).  A good epson DX5 head machine should have similar ink costs to what you are seeing on the Mlink for the black print above.

The biggest thing I want to see with the Mlink is the life span of the Ricoh head since they are made for this long use.  The best machine to compare the Mlink to would be the new Belquette machine coming out at 35,000.  This would be more like comparing apples to apples.

Also, lawson did sell a similar looking version of this machine years ago (I don't think it was a ricoh head).

The awesome part is that the head is staggered allowing for proper one pass printing.  I would also like to see how far you can push the artwork automation with scripting.

The Belquette machine I have a sample off of, the new one. It was awesome print other than heavy banding in orange.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 04:55:23 PM
I just can't wrap my head around spending $20k today to save $3 a shirt tomorrow.

For someone that doesn't have a CTS yet I'd think that $20k would serve them better by buying one of those or something.

One way to think of it is, would you buy an embroidery machine for $20,000 if it only made you $3 per garment?

Well in the example being used its over $4, not $3. Adding $4 cost in a product I intend to sell for just $20 retail is pretty big difference per shirt. If you can't wrap you head around that...not sure I can help you. I intend to sell 1000's of prints a year off one of these once things get going, $4 per print or maybe as much as $6-8 per shirt time you do 2 sides is staggering ink difference over just a year even.  Also remember I am not even printing EITHER of these machines at my intended print size yet. Ink costs will be worse when the print size is correct.

I didn't buy this thing to run a couple shirts a week.  Id agree with you if that was the case.  I have been clear both are great machines. I wouldn't be scared of either. But we can't ignore ink costs.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: screenprintguy on December 18, 2015, 05:04:59 PM
I think it's a kinda nobrainer at this point. If the MLink is rendering a better print, faster, and CHEAPER ink usage. No questions asked. If you plan to use the machine ALOT, duuuuhhhhhhh. Like buying a cheaper gas dryer only to pay more than double in gas usage, simple math over a 12 month period takes care of that. And if this is something you plan to, again, use alot and for several  years, well, the extra money up front for a better print and LESS consumable cost is again, no brainer, no matter what the brand is. In this case, it's an M&R MLink. I've had some stuff done that came from Brother machines, looks great, but didn't hold up nearly as good as the shirts that we demoed in Chicago on the M-Link. Not sure in the process what causes that, or gives a better washability, just like why a print can look as deep and vibrant on the M-Link and use 3 times less the ink. It's gotta be in the technology, which obviously, is what you pay for. Long term, this week of your testing Brandt, I feel shows serious favorability in the Blue corner from the results. Someone wanting to pony up the dough for the better results, well, you know how that goes. Stuff looks awesome. Start putting it to the test lots and lots and lots of washes because in the end, customers will come back and beotch if stuff fades and looks crappy after a month or so of washing.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 05:10:43 PM
I was rooting for the Brother is whats funny.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 05:17:18 PM
My only concerns on ink cost is that it always seems that the M&R shirts are erring on the side of a darker print (on a dark shirt)... this means it's laying down less ink.

What if you took a 4"x4" square of straight white.  How would that compare?

What about something like CMYK 4 block grid on a royal blue shirt... how would that compare.  I'm just curious about getting full coverage before we really start comparing ink costs.  If the print isn't 1:1 then it's hard to really say one is less or more than another.  It's almost like comparing two different designs at that point.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 18, 2015, 06:11:43 PM
For what it's worth on the epson mod (from Belquette) I got the ink costs are much similar to the mlink. Obviously I don't have the same art to know for sure. Solid white prints cost about 2x a full color print. But I'm seeing somewhere around .80 for full color on black and 1.40 for solid white. That is in my limited testing so far. I just got it setup yesterday so I won't track anything until I figure everything out. Roughly 2-4 minutes a print. 2 extra minutes heat pressing. (Not counting heat press pretreat)

The new Belquette machine is impressive (I think it is more like 30k) but for me it is too new(not even to market yet, I believe). I want to wait until it is proven before I would try that.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 07:46:43 PM
My only concerns on ink cost is that it always seems that the M&R shirts are erring on the side of a darker print (on a dark shirt)... this means it's laying down less ink.

What if you took a 4"x4" square of straight white.  How would that compare?

What about something like CMYK 4 block grid on a royal blue shirt... how would that compare.  I'm just curious about getting full coverage before we really start comparing ink costs.  If the print isn't 1:1 then it's hard to really say one is less or more than another.  It's almost like comparing two different designs at that point.

The prints are not darker on many, the kindigit print I've run on both machines and the M&R was a better brighter print, not night and day by any means though. I believe is post of it in the brother thread and this one.  More detail on the M&R In that example as well.  Seems the Brother only really has more detail is the greys in most cases so far.  If you do the math on the print example I shown the largest difference was white ink usage...  Not cmyk. 

I suppose we could run a circle or square of color or white but how is that logical real world for most shops.  It's not really.  I guess I like to print stuff I'd actually print and compare that first and foremost but maybe we will try it when time permits. 

As you continue to point out your precieved flaw in the M&R I'd argue the Brother is flawed the opposite way on several prints.  The Brother is blowing out images more than they should be as illustrated by the Legends shirt a few pages back.  The M&R was closer to correct. 

I am sure as we learn each machine prints will continue to improve but at the end of the day if they use exact same ink amount even, the M&R is punching in a much lower ink cost per cc and so far you seem to be the only one acting like that's no big deal. Are you even in the market for one?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 07:57:44 PM
I've always said they were equally wrong vs the original artwork.  No winner, both have a flaw that I am "perceiving".

I'm only saying that M&R might be erring on the side of less ink.  Maybe this is why those prints differ... Brother is more in the market of selling ink as we all know, so maybe they want you to use up ink.  More ink = "better print" and also more money in their pocket.  That's a win win for them since no one is doing what you are doing typically.

The big square of white is essentially like printing the half tone test on film and then having it tested with a densometer to make sure you are getting 50% dots where you are supposed to and such.  This would mean that you are sure that when it is laying down a solid block of white ink or yellow ink or whatever, it would be a way to dial up or back the ink to make sure you are laying down the right amount vs too much or too little.  One is important to the client and one is important to your bottom line.

This entire thread is poised to be a great academic discussion on how these guys work in a more side by side comparison than probably anyone else has done.  That is why I would be running seemingly unimportant test.

It's like a nozzle check, you never print such a thing but you use it to make sure you are getting the best image you can get and aren't short changing a customer or are running handicapped.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 18, 2015, 08:13:04 PM
I just can't wrap my head around spending $20k today to save $3 a shirt tomorrow.

For someone that doesn't have a CTS yet I'd think that $20k would serve them better by buying one of those or something.

One way to think of it is, would you buy an embroidery machine for $20,000 if it only made you $3 per garment?


20,000 cost at a savings of 3.00 per?
I think that is about 128 Dtg shirts per week.  Can you sell that many?  Many shops could if in the right market. Low quantity orders in full color. I could have done that many myself with being a retail store front that was open for one year. I can see justifying that easily. For the record, that's coming from a current M&R employee. Step over a dollar to save a dime. If you got the $ it's worth it. If not, then another option is good also. We all buy what we are capable of.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 08:53:04 PM
Well, he's saying that he should be seeing larger savings so that makes it make more sense.

My theory is you have to look at if it was a machine that you bought that would make you $3/shirt would you buy it?

Obviously, the math works for many shops... so time will tell.  I'd still like to see the settings tweaked to get the prints closer to 1:1 so we can compare more apples to apples when it comes to ink cost.  As said, if the prints aren't coming out the same then you might as well be comparing two different designs entirely.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 08:55:28 PM
I've always said they were equally wrong vs the original artwork.  No winner, both have a flaw that I am "perceiving".

I'm only saying that M&R might be erring on the side of less ink.  Maybe this is why those prints differ... Brother is more in the market of selling ink as we all know, so maybe they want you to use up ink.  More ink = "better print" and also more money in their pocket.  That's a win win for them since no one is doing what you are doing typically.

The big square of white is essentially like printing the half tone test on film and then having it tested with a densometer to make sure you are getting 50% dots where you are supposed to and such.  This would mean that you are sure that when it is laying down a solid block of white ink or yellow ink or whatever, it would be a way to dial up or back the ink to make sure you are laying down the right amount vs too much or too little.  One is important to the client and one is important to your bottom line.

This entire thread is poised to be a great academic discussion on how these guys work in a more side by side comparison than probably anyone else has done.  That is why I would be running seemingly unimportant test.

It's like a nozzle check, you never print such a thing but you use it to make sure you are getting the best image you can get and aren't short changing a customer or are running handicapped.

I personally think you are just attempting to be argumentative to a degree and you may just derail this thread by you are going off on tangents about $4 per print difference not mattering.  It makes me go cross eyed on a retail item of 15-20$ price tag $4 pre print not mattering. 

I haven't seen a single print off the brother that I would say was over all better than the M&R.  I've seen the brother have better detail in Grey.  It's also yet to produce a more vibrant print in colors. No it's not night and day different and both are producing excellent prints mostly and they are very close in quality.  In fact I've posted the most extreme example of differences in print with the legends shirt.  No other prints off either have been near that drastic a difference so keep talking about more ink or less ink all you like but it really only shown up drastic visually in that one print. Seems like you may be assuming a cc is a cc, so more ink must mean better.  Inks are totally different and I bet they laundries different on each, so maybe that's how one is using less.  I'm no expert, I have 20/20 vision.

Again go back and look at cc comparison I posted the cmyk use wasn't night and day between the 2 so you keep saying more ink.  I am only seeing drastically more white being used on the brother so at some point maybe you should acknowledge that and not exaggerate like you trying to turn $4 into $3 a couple posts back.  I'm all for making this a helpful thread and thus far I've only seen one thread to even this detail on dtg ink costs/examples off competing machines / etc in my searching and I'm only just getting started if this can be informative and not argumentative.  Even that thread was comparing 2 machines of the same brand just different models and it was on the tshirt forums so a lot of randomness derailing it.  Let's not turn this into that. 

Once again I was/am rooting for the brother...  Remember I bought it already, it's mine paid in full I own it.....  Egg on my face if I end up buying the M&R also.....
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 18, 2015, 09:01:20 PM
How has the hand been on the prints?

Have you done any washes yet or waiting to get it dialed in more?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 09:12:34 PM
Well, you would be wrong.  I have no desire to be argumenative, only to see the numbers compared as close to 1:1 as can be... that way everyone benefits by seeing which is best for them.

Even if it is "only $3" then for a shop that is only putting out 50 shirts a week it might not make as much sense.  You can do better math if you have better knowledge.

I "turned $4 into $3" because I was talking about an AVERAGE print.... average for the average person, not average for your shop.  As you know, you have to do what is best for YOUR shop.  Same for anyone. So seeing numbers based on larger prints when another shop might not do that large of a print typically isn't working for them.

We send out for DTG and we had a descent sized order that wanted to explore DTG options and they asked for 9x9 and 12x12 quotes.  Nothing larger.

I understand that isn't your clientele and that's super awesome that you get to print larger stuff... we push for cooler stuff all the time.  Not everyone is down to push boundaries sadly.

I want an academic DISCUSSION on all the numbers here, I'd rather not see a single argument on here.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 09:12:56 PM
Well, he's saying that he should be seeing larger savings so that makes it make more sense.

My theory is you have to look at if it was a machine that you bought that would make you $3/shirt would you buy it?

Obviously, the math works for many shops... so time will tell.  I'd still like to see the settings tweaked to get the prints closer to 1:1 so we can compare more apples to apples when it comes to ink cost.  As said, if the prints aren't coming out the same then you might as well be comparing two different designs entirely.

Almost every print done so far with same art the prints are very similar in appearance, you've continued to miss/ ignore me saying that.  You continue to dwell on the extreme example that I intentionally posted to highlight the differences in them in that specific case, how you assumed that applies to all is a stretch even for you.  Why you keep saying $3 diff when it was over $4 is interesting, your attempting to minimize it for some reason...hmmm.  You also say $3 shirt difference when it's actually $4 per print not per shirt that's a big difference as well.  In my shop probably less than 10% of our prints are single sided....  So over 2 print locations that brother could add $6-8 in ink from what I am seeing and that's assuming 13 inch prints,  we will be running more like 14-15 inch wide prints.  So it's not likely to get better...

 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 09:17:18 PM
How has the hand been on the prints?

Have you done any washes yet or waiting to get it dialed in more?

Washed prints from both machines.  Initially we saw some fiber issues from both machines.  That's gone now. Hand after one wash is a bit worse than screen print but many of these shirts are fully covered 13x15/16 area so there is a fair amount of ink.  We have printed some things with nearly no hand.  When we design specifically for dtg going forward we will be able to play more with it and get some better hand.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 09:31:17 PM
Well, you would be wrong.  I have no desire to be argumenative, only to see the numbers compared as close to 1:1 as can be... that way everyone benefits by seeing which is best for them.

Even if it is "only $3" then for a shop that is only putting out 50 shirts a week it might not make as much sense.  You can do better math if you have better knowledge.

I "turned $4 into $3" because I was talking about an AVERAGE print.... average for the average person, not average for your shop.  As you know, you have to do what is best for YOUR shop.  Same for anyone. So seeing numbers based on larger prints when another shop might not do that large of a print typically isn't working for them.

We send out for DTG and we had a descent sized order that wanted to explore DTG options and they asked for 9x9 and 12x12 quotes.  Nothing larger.

I understand that isn't your clientele and that's super awesome that you get to print larger stuff... we push for cooler stuff all the time.  Not everyone is down to push boundaries sadly.

I want an academic DISCUSSION on all the numbers here, I'd rather not see a single argument on here.

I guess I disagree on this end it seems your argumentative.

Average?  I think honestly the average will be worse than $3 in my shop.  That kindigit print for example was 6-7 bucks, it was around $1.50 on the M&R.  Maybe I'll reprint that one on both again next week as it printed very similar looking and drastic ink usage difference.  I doubt many would buy DTG with the hopes of only 50 shirts a week, people are smart they can do basic math. I'm going to give my usage numbers now and as I go as long as this thread gets back on track and if they print smaller they can estimate it. Beside you should always base estimate on the high side so your not surprised.  If they can build a business off my 14/15 inch wide print costs they will be swimming it in at 12 inches wide won't they.  BTW Brother tech said he has a client doing 500 prints a shift off same machine I have. They are work horses.

I find both machines great so far.  Different but great. 

Food for thought as well.  Waste tank on that brother has wasted a bunch more ink as well than the M&R so that could be more good info.  If one is wasting more ink as well... That's money going in the drain.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 18, 2015, 09:50:14 PM
Sorry that you feel I'm being argumentative.  I certainly am not trying to be.

Quote
Food for thought as well.  Waste tank on that brother has wasted a bunch more ink as well than the M&R so that could be more good info.  If one is wasting more ink as well... That's money going in the drain.

Exactly, they want to sell you INK more than the machine!  That is one thing I can't stand about printer companies.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 18, 2015, 10:02:47 PM
You are dead right there.  They are really in the ink business.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 18, 2015, 10:36:58 PM
Oh yeah, what is the daily/weekly maintenance like on both machines? That is one thing that turned me off to brother before was I heard it was crazy expensive, you have to do a ton of ink flushes and what not. I'm curious to what you've seen since you say that waste bottle is filling up fast.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 18, 2015, 10:57:44 PM
What are the print areas of either machine?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 19, 2015, 01:33:20 PM
If I remember right the Mlink is using a Ricoh head using the new dupont ink made for it (not the epson artisan version).  A good epson DX5 head machine should have similar ink costs to what you are seeing on the Mlink for the black print above.

The biggest thing I want to see with the Mlink is the life span of the Ricoh head since they are made for this long use.  The best machine to compare the Mlink to would be the new Belquette machine coming out at 35,000.  This would be more like comparing apples to apples.

Also, lawson did sell a similar looking version of this machine years ago (I don't think it was a ricoh head).

The awesome part is that the head is staggered allowing for proper one pass printing.  I would also like to see how far you can push the artwork automation with scripting.

The Belquette machine I have a sample off of, the new one. It was awesome print other than heavy banding in orange.

I wouldn't be surprised since they are still tweaking the settings.  But the print speed is going to be fast.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 19, 2015, 01:47:04 PM
The biggest variable (unless I didn't see the photos right) is that the print time is about the same.  When I review our pricing the variable we use is time since dtg printers will run the same print time (within seconds) time and time again.  So no matter what the machine if running the same or similar designs (bulk run or one offs) you will only output so many CC's of ink per hour.

When we used to look at just ink cost the difference of a "black" shirt setting and "color" shirt setting could be $0.50-$1.00 with dupont ink.

Yes, that that may seem like a lot but only $6.00 to $12.00 per machine per hour.  More money is lost in production inefficiency and scrap prints since you can't gain that time back and overtime hours don't mix well with most dtg pricing structures unless running multiple machines.

Ink cost for both the brother and mlink should differ since they are completely different inks, brother's ink per CC is just way to high for us to reason in a fulfillment/production environment.

Yes, the new dupont ink for the ricoh head is more expensive per liter (more like what old dupont ink prices had been) but I do believe you get better cure times on it and also better white ink bonding with the pre-treat to allow for one pass printing.

With Mlink being bulk ink and brother being cartridge the ink prices also will never be the same. BUT the one thing to come out of this would be which machine has the easiest and most efficient start-up and shut down procedures and which has a higher "general" maintenance cost (think cleaning solutions, cleaning supplies, and consumable parts on the machine).

Every dtg niche has the right machine to fit the printers need but making sure your buying the right one is key. 

Also in regard to the Belquette price I do believe it's 27K but may go slightly up last I heard.


How heavy was the Mlink?  Also having a computer and software come with it is so much nicer.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 19, 2015, 03:05:21 PM
Hey Garrett, are you basically getting 12 prints per hour on darks? You are running the Mod1 right?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 19, 2015, 04:14:13 PM
Hey Garrett, are you basically getting 12 prints per hour on darks? You are running the Mod1 right?

I actually run FreeJets. I just know a little bit about Mod and such since I did a lot of research for a second time (after I already bought FreeJets) before expanding dtg even further into our bigger MD facility.

The actual print speed of 12 per hour really depends on a lot of variables but with all of that drama aside here is what I have found and it should pertain to most DX5 epson print head dtg machines running dupont (or similar) ink on a 1800 - 2000's engine.

- Average shirt speed on darks is 12 per hour if going smooth or 4.5 minutes per print. Depending on your rip and how you set up your machine you can run faster.  But the key is the resolution you print, you can reduce ink costs with settings but 1440x1440 dpi is a standard setting as well as 1440x720 (may get banding). 

IF your machine has the ability on the CMYK pass to only "print" the area that has ink deposit and not have to travel the full shaft you can now actually save time, from the average resolution above.  I was told Mod's new upgrade has it and our newest machines in MD have it.  This does cut times down on graphics that may have a 12 inch circle in white (1440 DPI with 0% highlight white) and on the CMYK pass it is just a red tiny circle in the center.  It will allow the machine to move MUCH faster. 

Factory settings I would say 10-14 are a good average per hour.  This is with a diligent quick exchange system.  We make sure the platen can be taken right off and placed in front of each machine and the next one just lifted and on.  It drastically will reduce turnover time per shirt and increase your shirts per hour (must make up time somewhere).


 - Average shirt speed on lights is anywhere from 1/3 to many times more than 1/2 quicker per hour (gross amount of shirts) than dark shirts..  Depending on your resolution, print settings, and so forth it can get pretty high.  A standard setting without pre-treat is two passes of 720x720 dpi to allow the cmyk to settle into the white shirt fabric, this helps reduce bleeding.

It really is up to the rip though, the rip is the make or break I believe of all dtg machines.  Even with 0% highlight white and 100% base we still get pooling in our ink and have to done it down.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 19, 2015, 04:18:47 PM
Awesome info, thanks Garrett!

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 20, 2015, 06:05:12 AM
If I remember right the Mlink is using a Ricoh head using the new dupont ink made for it (not the epson artisan version).  A good epson DX5 head machine should have similar ink costs to what you are seeing on the Mlink for the black print above.

The biggest thing I want to see with the Mlink is the life span of the Ricoh head since they are made for this long use.  The best machine to compare the Mlink to would be the new Belquette machine coming out at 35,000.  This would be more like comparing apples to apples.

Also, lawson did sell a similar looking version of this machine years ago (I don't think it was a ricoh head).

The awesome part is that the head is staggered allowing for proper one pass printing.  I would also like to see how far you can push the artwork automation with scripting.

The Belquette machine I have a sample off of, the new one. It was awesome print other than heavy banding in orange.

I wouldn't be surprised since they are still tweaking the settings.  But the print speed is going to be fast.

Fast is good if it's quality.  If it's a banded reject then no good for my needs. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 20, 2015, 06:10:27 AM
What are the print areas of either machine?

Not positive of max image area yet.  Machines came with smaller pallets than we will eventually use.  We already have the larger 16x20 pallet for the brother to install.  The M&R larger one just shipped as well.  So the ink numbers I've been sharing will go up as the print size will be 15x17 probably so a customer will get same print size off these as off our auto.  Our market would laugh at a 12x12 for a large back.  So that won't work for us. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building - 3rd Party RIP Solution
Post by: pwalsh on December 20, 2015, 09:28:10 AM
Are there any third party RIPs that could be used with the Brother that would be more efficient?

Availability of 3rd Party RIP Solutions for Brother GT- Series DTG Printers.  Brother’s strategy with their DTG printing equipment, going all the way back to the industry changing GT-541 printer has been to deliver a DTG printing solution that provides reliability and predictability, combined with ease of use and image processing capabilities.  The primary way that Brother has achieved these objectives is to supply the machine with an intuitive and robust printer driver versus using a full scale RIP solution.

The disadvantage of this approach is that the print driver only enables a limited range of image optimization and color management corrections, whereas a more sophisticated RIP offers a much greater level of flexibility.  I have been in contact with the Technical Team at Brother, and have been advised that there is a high performing 3rd Party RIP solution for the GT Series of printers available from CADLink called;  Digital Factory Apparel RIP for Brother GT printers (DFA). 

In addition to the color management and ink usage optimization, the DFA RIP is reported to achieve significant improvements in printer production.  You can download a trial version (full features, but limited to a specific period of time) of DFA from this page - https://www.cadlink.com/index.php/en-us/digital-factory-apparel-brother-edition. (https://www.cadlink.com/index.php/en-us/digital-factory-apparel-brother-edition.)  There is also a link to the brochure and user guide at the bottom of the page.  In addition CADLink also created some videos for this product that are definitely worth watching;  https://youtu.be/m0MRzJsSmiE (https://youtu.be/m0MRzJsSmiE) & . https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1PwfsU_n8C_2j5jdFW2LTw/videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1PwfsU_n8C_2j5jdFW2LTw/videos)

I realize that you already have a lot invested in this head-to-head DTG printer comparison, but if you are interested in further reviewing enhanced color management, ink usage, and image optimization, I’d recommend that you download and review the trial version of DFA from CADLink. Let me know if you decide that DFA is something that you are interested in for Graphic Disorder, and we can talk about how Nazdar SourceOne can partner with you in obtaining this solution.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building. (Warning Long Post)
Post by: pwalsh on December 20, 2015, 09:42:25 AM
Brandt:  Thanks for posting this valuable information regarding performance, print quality, and operating (ink) cost differences between the M&R M-Link and Brother GT-381 DTG Printers.  I don't think that anyone has ever been so fully “engaged” in this level of comparative side-by-side testing and reported on the differences between both of these machines to the level that you have in this thread.  I expect that as you get more hours and garments on both machines, you will eventually “marry” all of the information that you develop into a recommendation of the best DTG print solution to ensure that Graphic Disorder lives “happily ever after.”   

I’d like to provide some input on both printers and the DTG process, although I’m a little bit challenged given that Nazdar SourceOne maintains significant relationships with both M&R and Brother.  With that said,  I’m going to try the “fair and balanced approach” to share some information with you based on what I know of both systems.  The first place that I’d like to start is to compare some of the key printer performance metrics:

Printer List Price:  Brother GT-381 $24,999 – M&R M-Link $39,995 - Advantage Brother
Lease Cost 36 Month Term – Estimated Monthly payment GT-381 $772 Per Month - M-Link $1,236 - Advantage Brother 
$436 Monthly payment difference = Approximately $24 per production day 

Production Speed:  Based on your most recent testing both machines are comparable – Advantage Even
(Note:  M&R M-Link X would be considerably faster, but at a higher cost)

Ink Volume Usage:     Although your initial testing has shown that ink usage on the M-Link is lower than the GT-381, I would argue that the higher ink usage of the GT-381 is the result of the Bother unit using a simple printer driver vs. the sophisticated RIP that powers the M-Link.  The reality is that the chemistry of the ink used in both the Brother and the M&R DTG printers is very similar, and the ink volume usage on a properly color corrected image printed on both machines is going to be comparable. – Advantage Even

Benefits of using a Printer Driver vs. a RIP:  In the initial start-up and operator training, the ease of use afforded by Brother’s simple printer driver is an advantage, although it comes at the cost of having limited color management and image optimization tools.  o   Longer term the image optimization, color, and ink management options available from RIP supplied with the M&R M-Link will outshine the initial ease of use advantage offered by the Brother Printer Driver.  (Please see my comments on CADLink DFA in previous post)  Short Term Advantage Brother, Longer Term Advantage M-Link

Service & Support:  While M&R could be considered a “recent entry” to the DTG printer segment the company has, established an extremely strong reputation over an almost 30 year period in supporting the equipment they manufacture. Additionally the experience that M&R has gained by selling, installing, and supporting almost 500 of I-Image STE CTS Screen Imaging and Exposure systems has enabled the company to develop a skilled base of inkjet savvy development engineers, applications specialists, sales specialists and service technicians.  Contrast  M&R’s capabilities with the track record of Brother Corporation, as a company that is fully committed to the DTG market segment.  From the game changing GT-541, to the high performance GT-782, and onto the current GT-Series printers Brother Corporation has developed a stellar reputation as a full system integrator that delivers equipment that provides many years of predictable and trouble free performance. I’m going out on a limb and calling this one – Advantage Even

The Biggest Difference – Ink Pricing:
o   Brother CMYK Inks for GT series printers $194.67 per 380CC Cartridge = $0.52 per CC
o   M&R CMYK Inks for M-Link printers $229.00 per 1 Liter of bulk ink        = $0.23 per CC
o   Brother White Inks for GT series printers $153.18 per 380CC Cartridge = $0.40 per CC
o   M&R White Inks for M-Link printers $249.00 per 1 Liter of bulk ink        = $0.25 per CC

Raw Ink Pricing Summary
o   Brother CMYK inks are +$0.28 per CC or 2.2 times the cost of M-Link CMYK inks 
o   Brother White inks are +$0.15 per CC or 1.6 times the cost of M-Link White ink 

The Bottom Line:
o   The cost differential of a moderate ink using customer purchasing more than a total (6) Cartridges of Brother inks in a month (2) x C.M.Y. or K inks & (4) x White would offset the higher monthly lease payment for the more expensive M&R M-Link Printer
As the volume of ink usage increases, the cost of the ink becomes an increasingly significant factor 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Frog on December 20, 2015, 10:08:29 AM
Where do third party inks fit into the equation?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 20, 2015, 10:45:34 AM
Great info from everyone here. It is very interesting to me especially since I've just joined the DTG ranks. Mine is an epson mod so basically the same print area as a 13x19 film. Perfect for me, but not for Brandt. So the larger print areas of the two being compared here will definitely be a significant advantage to some people.

I think what makes this thread so great is usually when someone gets a DTG, they're not going to get another of a different brand, at least not right away. So rarely would you have the opportunity to do side-by-side comparisons.

So thanks again to Brandt for taking the time to do this.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Frog on December 20, 2015, 11:03:54 AM

I think what makes this thread so great is usually when someone gets a DTG, they're not going to get another of a different brand, at least not right away. So rarely would you have the opportunity to do side-by-side comparisons.

So thanks again to Brandt for taking the time to do this.

And of course Rich Hoffman, who is actually providing the machine to make the comparison possible.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 20, 2015, 11:09:30 AM
Rich is awesome too.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 20, 2015, 11:32:05 AM
Where do third party inks fit into the equation?

Great Question Andy.  So far there haven't been a lot of 3rd Party or OEM Replacement Inks on the market for DTG printers, but as the market expands and the price that a decorator can get for a printed shirt is reduced we should expect to see more aftermarket ink manufacturers and suppliers enter the market. 

If the DTG Market follows the Graphics wide-format inkjet market we can expect to see aftermarket ink solutions from "No-Name" suppliers that are 30% to 50% the price of OEM inks, and products from more established companies that are 60% to 70% of the cost of the OEM Brands.  (Just to be clear I'm not saying that this will occur in DTG, but it's exactly was happened in wide format)

One thing to be aware of is that the DTG equipment market is still in its relative infancy and the OEM's are heavily reliant on ink revenues to fund their R&D and Product Development programs.  It concerns me that an influx of 3rd party inks coming onto the market could slow down equipment and software development in this important garment decorating segment.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Frog on December 20, 2015, 11:38:40 AM
I thought that five years ago already there were other inks for these.
I remember hanging with a buddy at the Long Beach show who won some for his Fast T-Jet, which even improved clog resistance.
Then again, maybe it was a dream.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 20, 2015, 11:52:01 AM
Quote
Fast is good if it's quality.  If it's a banded reject then no good for my needs.

Just so you are aware, all digital printers can produce band at some time a little bit.
The most common reason would be two temporary instances.

1, ink starvation.
2, clogged a little with dry ink if it's not cleaned out properly when storing. They dry (after sitting not used for multiple days).

outside of that, although more rare, banding can be from the alignment /position off the heads but this would be noticeable at the factory or at install and addressed at that time.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 20, 2015, 12:14:00 PM
I thought that five years ago already there were other inks for these.
I remember hanging with a buddy at the Long Beach show who won some for his Fast T-Jet, which even improved clog resistance.
Then again, maybe it was a dream.

Andy:  I didn't say that there weren't any 3rd party DTG inks on the market, just that they aren't particularly prominent right now.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Frog on December 20, 2015, 12:22:37 PM
I thought that five years ago already there were other inks for these.
I remember hanging with a buddy at the Long Beach show who won some for his Fast T-Jet, which even improved clog resistance.
Then again, maybe it was a dream.

Andy:  I didn't say that there weren't any 3rd party DTG inks on the market, just that they aren't particularly prominent right now.

I guess I assumed that even if choices have not increased at the same rate as DTG adoptions, sales of the existing choices would have.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 20, 2015, 07:13:31 PM

I think what makes this thread so great is usually when someone gets a DTG, they're not going to get another of a different brand, at least not right away. So rarely would you have the opportunity to do side-by-side comparisons.

So thanks again to Brandt for taking the time to do this.

And of course Rich Hoffman, who is actually providing the machine to make the comparison possible.

We have Rich to really thank for the second machine to make this possible.  We wouldn't have bought 2 different t brands just for the sake of comparing this.  So the real Kudos needs to be to him.  We will do our best to make it as fair as we can and regardless we will tell it like we see it.  More to come. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 20, 2015, 07:15:42 PM
Quote
Fast is good if it's quality.  If it's a banded reject then no good for my needs.

Just so you are aware, all digital printers can produce band at some time a little bit.
The most common reason would be two temporary instances.

1, ink starvation.
2, clogged a little with dry ink if it's not cleaned out properly when storing. They dry (after sitting not used for multiple days).

outside of that, although more rare, banding can be from the alignment /position off the heads but this would be noticeable at the factory or at install and addressed at that time.

I am aware.  I'm also aware when a manufacture wants you to buy a machine they shouldn't send you a banded print lol.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: TCT on December 20, 2015, 07:34:29 PM
Wow! Hadn't been on the forum for a few days, this thread blew up to say the least!

The thing is, go to post #2, Jvieira pointed out already. Is it fair to compare the 2? You are talking a 60% price difference!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 20, 2015, 08:30:35 PM
Wow! Hadn't been on the forum for a few days, this thread blew up to say the least!

The thing is, go to post #2, Jvieira pointed out already. Is it fair to compare the 2? You are talking a 60% price difference!

It's a big jump in price for sure.  I'm being as objective as possible.  Each so far has done prints amazing and each has had prints where I wasn't perfectly happy.  So far as we compare the print quality which is similar and the speed is similar we have to look at the ink costs difference....  It's drastic.  If your looking at margins you can't ignore that. It's easily 3x the cost per print on the brother so far.  I'm told the Brother wastes more ink as well and after we get some more prints on each I'll document what amount that was over what amount of prints/time. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 11:31:49 AM
So just a few ago we fired up both machines after being gone all weekend.  Both were shut down at the same time end of the day Friday.

Start up both at the same time this AM.  Did a nozzle check on each.  M&R's first one had 1 color needing a clean, we cleaned it and the second nozzle check was good to go.  The Brother same deal really except the machine had us run a white agitation procedure to start which is a fairly long process.  First nozzle check (colors only), the Brother needed 1 color cleaned 3 times to be clear.  The White needed 2 cleanings to be clear. 

So longer process to get to "ready" for the Brother in this scenario. (No idea if that will be the same story every week without some more time with each).  The difference was probably almost 10 minutes between the agitation and extra prints to clear nozzles.

Next up we are printing another test print on each machine and we will be printing it in the manner that looks best on each machine.  Ill report print time/ink cost/and any differences in print.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 21, 2015, 11:35:30 AM
Next up we are printing another test print on each machine and we will be printing it in the manner that looks best on each machine.  Ill report print time/ink cost/and any differences in print.

Brandt, thank you for doing all the hard core research as well as having both machines side by side to give a true comparison.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 11:42:44 AM
Next up we are printing another test print on each machine and we will be printing it in the manner that looks best on each machine.  Ill report print time/ink cost/and any differences in print.

Brandt, thank you for doing all the hard core research as well as having both machines side by side to give a true comparison.

No problem, this has been fun for us as well.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 12:19:19 PM
New test, straight vector image.  Did nothing to the files. Same print size on each, best settings on each we've seen best results from each.

Brother -
Print Time: 4:40
Ink Use: .52 CMYK / 4.75 White
Print Cost: $2.68

Mlink-
Print Time: 5:59
Ink Use: .47 CMYK / 2.29 White
Print Cost: $.70

Now... which matches the artwork on screen best?  The M&R by far.  The first image, left is Brother, Right is M&R.  The coverage is way better on the M&R, the Brother looks like it was a shirt printed without under-base (even though it did print it). The green and gold are way off.  Grey not to bad. The M&R the green is slightly off from the on screen artwork but I am being picking picky on that one. Image 2 is the Brother close up. Image 3 is the M&R close up.

In this case the Brother is terrible as far as the result, not even sell-able on this one if I was being honest. First one off the brother id say that I would not even close to sell-able compared to on screen artwork.


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 12:21:32 PM
Here was the digital mock up of this from when we screen printed it.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 01:17:14 PM
Heres another, Brother left, M&R Right. Staggering differences on this print.

Brother -
Print Time: 5:31
Ink Use: 1.85 CMYK / 11.58 White
Print Cost: $6.76

Mlink-
Print Time: 5:11
Ink Use:  .96 CMYK / 4.35 White
Print Cost: $1.30

Pretty much nothing right about the Brother Print on this one. White looks bad, real bad. Splotchy, not bright. Even the underabse was not as bright as I would have figured as it was printing it. So on this one the M&R was faster, better, and cheaper.  Second image is close up of the Brother, 3rd is the M&R.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 21, 2015, 01:23:46 PM
Wow, what do you think is contributing to such big differences now when it seemed they were printing fairly similar before?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mimosatexas on December 21, 2015, 01:25:20 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 01:31:57 PM
Wow, what do you think is contributing to such big differences now when it seemed they were printing fairly similar before?

No idea. The nozzle checks were good, did all the maintenance as instructed.  Its going down hill fast.   In the interest of being honest, the print before this picture of the same design off the Brother I made them reprint it it was so bad.  So It cost me 2 prints to go from terrible to bad.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 01:33:26 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 21, 2015, 01:36:42 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.
I will go out on a limb as I am not there and say the white has an issue from sitting over the weekend. I don't know how to clean it out but I think that is the issue. Our machine has a built in solution for this issue.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 21, 2015, 01:37:06 PM
What is the difference in shutdown vs mlink to brother? I'm assuming you have to have some fluid in the capping station on each?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 01:54:08 PM
What is the difference in shutdown vs mlink to brother? I'm assuming you have to have some fluid in the capping station on each?

Brother we were told to shut it off.  Mlink stays running and agitates/cycles ink.  The Brother does this all on boot up, shake carts, agitate process on the head.  Each have nozzle checks to run before printing. 

Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.
I will go out on a limb as I am not there and say the white has an issue from sitting over the weekend. I don't know how to clean it out but I think that is the issue. Our machine has a built in solution for this issue.

Something has to be up for sure. Looks way worse than it had in the past.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 21, 2015, 02:01:50 PM
Can you do a head cleaning? Not sure if that would help or not.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bimmridder on December 21, 2015, 02:04:44 PM
Not to ride on Rich's coattails, but that was my first thought also.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 02:12:36 PM
Can you do a head cleaning? Not sure if that would help or not.

Did all that this AM, nozzles checked out good.  So its a bit odd. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 21, 2015, 03:24:38 PM
I would look at the pre treat. Assure yourself that the pre treat is actually happening as it should for both tees equally. Assure its an apples to apples. It visually seems as if the brother tee may have not received enough pre treat. This would make the ink brighter. Was ithe brother the first on the pre treat or 2nd?  You may have to do a test scrap pre treat at the very beginning of the morning to get consistant results.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 03:46:10 PM
I would look at the pre treat. Assure yourself that the pre treat is actually happening as it should for both tees equally. Assure its an apples to apples. It visually seems as if the brother tee may have not received enough pre treat. This would make the ink brighter. Was ithe brother the first on the pre treat or 2nd?  You may have to do a test scrap pre treat at the very beginning of the morning to get consistant results.

M&R was first I believe, but we spray a few times on the Pretreat machine in the AM. I think we have some other issue going on because as mentioned we had been seeing mostly similar prints.  We are so behind its not looking good for much testing today. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvieira on December 21, 2015, 04:30:31 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.

Welcome to DTG. Try to make a long run with DTG and you'll be pulling your hair!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 21, 2015, 04:51:25 PM
Maybe being somewhat of a jerk here but M&R is always 9 out of 10 times going to produce better equipment than anyone, why because they wait and see all the the mistakes other equipment companies make and fix them when they introduce a simpler product (smart business)...ask Scott Fresner who I thought jumped out way way to early with his T-Jets.  Once the white ink issue is looked at more careful and fixed them all DTG machines will just about be on equal footing except price.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 21, 2015, 05:37:35 PM
For the brother print if you have good nozzle checks look ahead at the pre-treat.  Not enough on the shirt to hold the white ink up or it is not dry/cool when printing. 

At least with your dupont inks you should be able to print all day and get the same results as long as your pretreat consistency is the same.

Just finished about 38 units and not a single variant other than a printer's eye looking for them.  But we are using a auto-pretreater.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 21, 2015, 05:50:50 PM
For the brother print if you have good nozzle checks look ahead at the pre-treat.  Not enough on the shirt to hold the white ink up or it is not dry/cool when printing. 

At least with your dupont inks you should be able to print all day and get the same results as long as your pretreat consistency is the same.

Just finished about 38 units and not a single variant other than a printer's eye looking for them.  But we are using a auto-pretreater.

We are on a auto pretreater as well using same amount of pretreat that the tech had us do.  (we used scale and all to dial in the amount).  We will start messing with it to see, nothing was changed it just started going down hill today. It was doing great prints prior. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: CSPGarrett on December 21, 2015, 06:30:37 PM
One of the dumbest things we did in a while was not prime our pre-treater enough.  So it mixed the pre-treat fluid with water/cleaner and it took the first 2-3 shirts to actually figure it out.  They still printed but not like normal. Once primed (Vipor) it went smooth.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 21, 2015, 07:15:05 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.

Welcome to DTG. Try to make a long run with DTG and you'll be pulling your hair!
That is not necessary true. We have people doing long runs daily for almost a year without issue.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 21, 2015, 07:35:25 PM
Brandt, what is that pretreat machine you have? I thought I saw it in one of the pics but it didn't jump out to me as to what it was.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 21, 2015, 07:41:58 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.

Welcome to DTG. Try to make a long run with DTG and you'll be pulling your hair!
That is not necessary true. We have people doing long runs daily for almost a year without issue.

Rich, I can't remember if this was said already, is the Mlink running the new Gen5 head or is that not completed yet?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 21, 2015, 07:45:21 PM
Yea, little confused here as well.  If these are "best settings" for each machine, why are these looking worse than your untouched out of the box brother prints from last week?

These are the same settings as last week, that's why this is confusing to us as well.  Nothing has changes other than the machine sat all weekend.  Nozzle checks are good. Puzzling.  Everything we've printed prior to today has been pretty similar on each machine other than the Legends shirt. So this is interesting.

Welcome to DTG. Try to make a long run with DTG and you'll be pulling your hair!
That is not necessary true. We have people doing long runs daily for almost a year without issue.

Rich, I can't remember if this was said already, is the Mlink running the new Gen5 head or is that not completed yet?
The M Link is running gen4 heads and the M link X is running gen 5 heads. Quality is the same. M Link X does a black shirt in a minute while the M Link can be up to 3 minutes.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 22, 2015, 07:20:12 AM
Brandt, what is that pretreat machine you have? I thought I saw it in one of the pics but it didn't jump out to me as to what it was.

Schulze
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 22, 2015, 08:08:34 AM
So this AM we did just as we did yesterday on the Brother, but I did do 3-4 white head cleaning runs which seemed to improve the print a lot. But that was several steps more to get it to this point and white ink wasted testing. But here is today's print, this is a sell-able shirt. It doesn't look as good as the M&R IMO but its still a good print.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on December 22, 2015, 08:33:06 AM
I will say after a weekend of sitting the brother does need a bit of help getting back to good shirts.

We shake the carts, do a white agitation(which is only good for the lines and heads) and then we print any CMYK jobs we have to help get things moving.  Then we will do at least 1 white head clean as well.

With the M&R cycles, does it use ink as it sits?  I always thought that made more sense than the Brother method of recovery rather than prevent.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 22, 2015, 08:44:33 AM
I will say after a weekend of sitting the brother does need a bit of help getting back to good shirts.

We shake the carts, do a white agitation(which is only good for the lines and heads) and then we print any CMYK jobs we have to help get things moving.  Then we will do at least 1 white head clean as well.

Did all that as well except the print any CMYK jobs as we had none. But that is our procedure and we repeated it today except I did a few more White Nozzle Cleaning steps just to be sure.  It helped it a lot as you can see.  It's a good print. Not as good as the M&R though.

With the M&R cycles, does it use ink as it sits?  I always thought that made more sense than the Brother method of recovery rather than prevent.

The M&R circulates the ink, so I don't think it uses it or at least not much.  The waste tank is probably less than 1/2 inch deep as of yesterday.  The Brother is a few inches deep now.  Ill wait maybe tomorrow and take a picture of each tank.  It's wasting more for sure. 

Just as a over all opinion as of today.  What I know at this point is Brother is using more ink (specifically white), the ink costs more money, and it wastes more ink.    We've seen the Brother print faster and slower depending on the print so id have to go with a "neutral" that as a advantage to either on speed. We've seen the Brother print as good or better in some respects (grey tones mostly) but we've also seen less detail in some of the color prints and M&R's white looks better. I would say the M&R has the edge slightly on print quality. We've seen the M&R have not a single printing issue and we hit our first already yesterday with the Brother. So advantage so far M&R. Those are just the facts at this point as we see them.

More to come.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on December 22, 2015, 08:51:36 AM
Having a Brother I was rooting for them big time, but it seems M&R has made a damn fine machine, probably a better one.  The transition to digital printing equipment is a tough one for traditional manufacturers.  Look at Heidelberg.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 22, 2015, 09:08:20 AM
Having a Brother I was rooting for them big time, but it seems M&R has made a damn fine machine, probably a better one.  The transition to digital printing equipment is a tough one for traditional manufacturers.  Look at Heidelberg.

I was rooting for the Brother as well. Still am, make no mistake we are running both as rookies. I wanted to be in the machine for around what I spent on the Brother package. I could make that set up work but the ink costs are staggering at this point. Again when I am looking at a product I want to retail at $20 price point and the margin is key to making that work. A $3-$4 different per print is a huge thing, consider most shirts we do are double sided we could be looking at $5-8 per shirt difference.  Folks on a $20 item thats huge difference.  Some will just look at the cost difference of $25 to $40k. Already we see the Brother had a hiccup and required monkeying with... how much of my time will be spent doing that over the years if we were to use it?

The Brother just 2 weeks in has had a major issue with prints and maybe that's no big deal to fix as we figure out how to get that cleaned up... but it does cost time/effort/labor/ink/etc. Don't forget that on your magic ROI!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Racer Tees on December 23, 2015, 03:06:52 AM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 05:22:20 AM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.

So far the Brother and the M&R pre-treat is discoloring some shirt colors. But all have washed in the washer.  I am wondering if we should launder before shipping to be honest. Customers first impression is everything.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 23, 2015, 06:25:29 AM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.

So far the Brother and the M&R pre-treat is discoloring some shirt colors. But all have washed in the washer.  I am wondering if we should launder before shipping to be honest. Customers first impression is everything.

Unless there is too much pre-treat it should be barely noticeable, if at all, as the end result. No way you want to pre-wash 1000s of shirts before sending to customers.

Can you take a picture that can show the difference?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 06:39:53 AM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.

So far the Brother and the M&R pre-treat is discoloring some shirt colors. But all have washed in the washer.  I am wondering if we should launder before shipping to be honest. Customers first impression is everything.

Unless there is too much pre-treat it should be barely noticeable, if at all, as the end result. No way you want to pre-wash 1000s of shirts before sending to customers.

Can you take a picture that can show the difference?

Charcoal shirts seem to be the most noticeable. Ill try to do one soon and get a pic.  Wasn't like crazy or anything. Just some what discolored.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: whitewater on December 23, 2015, 07:35:59 AM
I am not sure how the ink cartridges work and what not. But is there any feedback from the companies about how long anything needs to be replaced after certain amount of time? And if there is is there a difference in price of those parts from each manufacturer?

Or are these sort of new machines and theres no data on that yet?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on December 23, 2015, 07:54:52 AM
On the Mlink series the ink filters should be done in 6mo and 1yr intervals depending on which one it is. Wipers once per year as well total cost is around $425.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 08:07:04 AM
On the Mlink series the ink filters should be done in 6mo and 1yr intervals depending on which one it is. Wipers once per year as well total cost is around $425.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Alex is there a way I can see total prints on the Mlink?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 23, 2015, 08:26:15 AM
Do you use a teflon cover on the heat press?

Saw these ideas for stains, not sure if they're worth trying. Hover the press for 10-15 seconds before locking it down. Or break up the press so the steam can escape in between a little better.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 11:34:45 AM
So just to point out another difference. We've had the Brother 1 week longer than the Mlink. We were trained on a Tuesday-Thursday on the Brother, the following Tuesday - Thursday the Mlink.  We did not turn the Brother on at all the whole week of the Mlink training.  The Brother is reading 88 prints, the M&R does not have a print counter. My team believes we've printed similar amounts of prints on each. Couple think the Brother has more prints, couple thinks the M&R has more. We all agree its likely within around 10 prints of each other. Here are the waste tanks given that full disclosure.

Top one is the Brother, bottom the Mlink. The Mlink's jug is also a lot smaller physically.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 23, 2015, 11:51:12 AM
Just looking, that's a few hundred dollars of ink wasted in the top pic compare to the bottom pic, I'll say the Mlink looks to be a ink saver which save's $ in the long run even thought it cost more.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvieira on December 23, 2015, 11:55:44 AM
Want to know why the Brother wastes a lot of ink? Same reason as Epson! Brother sells ink, Epson sells ink, they are able to probably price down their printers because they'll make it up on ink. I know their cartridges cost 3x what we pay for our Anajet ink.

M&R is not in the ink business. Due to its price point and brand name, it's also a machine for a different kind of user.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: screenprintguy on December 23, 2015, 12:06:25 PM
Want to know why the Brother wastes a lot of ink? Same reason as Epson! Brother sells ink, Epson sells ink, they are able to probably price down their printers because they'll make it up on ink. I know their cartridges cost 3x what we pay for our Anajet ink.

M&R is not in the ink business. Due to its price point and brand name, it's also a machine for a different kind of user.

Exactly why their unit is lower in price. Once you buy it, you are stuck buying THEIR ink.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 01:03:12 PM
Id also like to mention this thread has hit some radars out there. Brother will be doing a return visit the 4th, M&R is also coming shortly as well again.  Brother believes they can save me some money on ink with some other software/rip. I am of course open to that. They did a test print with our file and he got some pooling with the white ink. We didn't see pooling on that same print here so there are some differences in pre-treat /settings/etc that caused each to act the way they have. Either way we are a open door for whom ever that wants to come see, look, feel, touch, use.  Nothing to hide. Just a small shop giving input on use of 2 machines thus far.

Nazdar has also been concerned that I am happy with the Brother, I want to point out that I am in fact just fine with the Brother and really my only gripe is the ink cost.  Both have small differences in print time/print quality from one design to the next. Each seem run well. The Brother does feel like it will be a bit more work to keep running correctly over time but not terrible.

Over all ive tried to be as transparent and honest as a person can be in this situation. Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Racer Tees on December 23, 2015, 02:16:10 PM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.

So far the Brother and the M&R pre-treat is discoloring some shirt colors. But all have washed in the washer.  I am wondering if we should launder before shipping to be honest. Customers first impression is everything.

Unless there is too much pre-treat it should be barely noticeable, if at all, as the end result. No way you want to pre-wash 1000s of shirts before sending to customers.

Can you take a picture that can show the difference?

First 2 are the DTG shirt, 3rd is my screen print and then the provided art.  I did provide it on a transparent background in RGB.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on December 23, 2015, 02:19:44 PM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.

So far the Brother and the M&R pre-treat is discoloring some shirt colors. But all have washed in the washer.  I am wondering if we should launder before shipping to be honest. Customers first impression is everything.

Unless there is too much pre-treat it should be barely noticeable, if at all, as the end result. No way you want to pre-wash 1000s of shirts before sending to customers.

Can you take a picture that can show the difference?

First 2 are the DTG shirt, 3rd is my screen print and then the provided art.  I did provide it on a transparent background in RGB.

Do you know what they printed it on? Curious?
Shane
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 02:26:35 PM
There's a guy practically across the street from us that popped up with a Brother GT-341.  I went to have him do 2 youths to add to a customer order.  Paid $15 a piece for a 10x10 print and a 4x3 print on each.... and they were so terrible I wouldn't send them to my customer.  May have been my art, but who knows.  The pre-treat actually dyed the shirt as well.  Almost like it got burnt.

Really rooting for the Brother to do well here as I feel part of the problem I saw with this guy is they seem to have no clue.

So far the Brother and the M&R pre-treat is discoloring some shirt colors. But all have washed in the washer.  I am wondering if we should launder before shipping to be honest. Customers first impression is everything.

Unless there is too much pre-treat it should be barely noticeable, if at all, as the end result. No way you want to pre-wash 1000s of shirts before sending to customers.

Can you take a picture that can show the difference?

First 2 are the DTG shirt, 3rd is my screen print and then the provided art.  I did provide it on a transparent background in RGB.

Did you wash those?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 23, 2015, 02:35:51 PM
No way that should look like that even before washing.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Racer Tees on December 23, 2015, 02:44:18 PM
Do you know what they printed it on? Curious?

Gildan 2000 - Charcoal

Did you wash those?

No.  This is how they looked 24 hours after printing.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on December 23, 2015, 02:47:52 PM
What machine?
Shane

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Racer Tees on December 23, 2015, 03:27:39 PM
GT-341.  No idea what they are using for pre-treat but it was an auto pre-treat machine.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on December 23, 2015, 03:28:55 PM
Thanks,
Shane
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 23, 2015, 03:45:36 PM
I can't believe they gave that to you. Also, what is going on under the bottom text in the photo?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on December 23, 2015, 03:48:26 PM
First, Gildans suck with DTG.  They are working on it and most ink companies are working on better pretreats as well.

The problem with Gildans is you need more pretreat to make them work, more pretreat means burns.  That ain't washin out either.

I avoid them mostly.  Some pretreats out there work better on them, but they are still dicey.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 03:54:14 PM
We haven't noticed a problem on Gildans other than Charocal but we are still infants. What is your favorite garment for DTG right now?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 23, 2015, 03:55:17 PM
First, Gildans suck with DTG.  They are working on it and most ink companies are working on better pretreats as well.

The problem with Gildans is you need more pretreat to make them work, more pretreat means burns.  That ain't washin out either.

I avoid them mostly.  Some pretreats out there work better on them, but they are still dicey.

I will say the ones Brandt has been able to pull off on the 5000s have looked MUCH better than I thought they would.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 23, 2015, 04:18:15 PM
You mean G200.  We printed some beefy tee's on them today, terrible. Nano was good. Jerzees were good as well. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 23, 2015, 04:25:39 PM
Sorry, was thinking 5000. I wonder how much difference there is between 5000 and 2000 for DTG.

I've gotten some nice prints on Anvil 780 and NL 3600. Going to try Tultex soon.

Those are the closest ringspun I've found to t-shirts and not fashion fit crap.

If I can get good prints on a 2000 or 5000 I'll be on cloud 9.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 08:30:25 AM
Firing both up this am, have to do the tube cleaning on the Brother, I think this is either weekly or bi monthly I dont have my notes right in front of me but it is required today.  This process is easily around a hour to do. Very manual process as well on the Brother. Swapping between 2 carts and the ink cart as well as closing and opening a air tube.

The M&R needed 3 nozzle checks, its ready to print.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 10:27:51 AM
So its now 10:26 here, we started firing these machines up at around 8:15. The M&R was ready in minutes. The Brother is still not ready. We have done the weekly tube cleaning on the Brother which took more like 1.5hrs with someone pretty much on top of the machine from start to finish and it requires switching carts in and out and closing air tubes and such.  Even after doing the tube cleaning, shaking the carts, several nozzle checks, 3-4 normal cleaning, and a powerful cleaning (all on the white heads) we still don't have clean nozzle check.  I gave up, I didn't have 2hrs for this today and I certainly do not have 2hrs for this weekly.

I am sure Brother and Nazdar will both see this and both want to contact me. Please don't today. My shop is so far behind I don't have a person or myself to give you to play troubleshooting today or even this week probably.  I was hoping to fire these both up and do a quick couple prints to compare some more. Not happening looks like. If I can find time ill do a new print on the M&R, maybe even on the Brother as well just to see if that clears it up.  But this took way too long in my opinion.

I am not mad, I am disappointed though. Nobody tells you BEFORE you buy it that you will spend 1-2hrs weekly just on a single maintenance. (forget the daily nozzle checks and so on the Brother).

See attached, this is a nozzle check and a 600dpi test print. These are AFTER the weekly maintenance was done and the several nozzle checks and powerful/normal cleanings.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: T Shirt Farmer on December 28, 2015, 10:42:09 AM
I am not mad, I am disappointed though. Nobody tells you BEFORE you buy it that you will spend 1-2hrs weekly just on a single maintenance. (forget the daily nozzle checks and so on the Brother).

Ouch...good thing you do not have production to run on the Brother today.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 10:52:15 AM
In the interest of fairness, I was not been present for the M&R's regular maintenance but my employees told me after the nozzle checks (which i was there for and took no time), that he'd be ready to print with it in just 2 more minutes of maintenance. Also the M&R stays on and circulates the white ink, so doesn't seem to require as much human management as far as the process of keeping the machine from drying up ink or keeping heads clean and all this flushing/tube/head cleaning and so on. Maybe after we start using the Brother to print shirts daily this will become easier. 

The issue right now is we've spent so much time being trained on each and testing on each we've  not printed a single shirt to sell on either.  It's a busy time for my shop.  We are having a record December, one of the top 4 months of our year (Dec is normally a slower month for us) and we were not prepared for the time required thus far. We are looking to hire again in the new year and that will free up someone to be involved on this daily regularly and we can start selling shirts off these things.



Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 28, 2015, 11:08:04 AM
Not to be a jerk here Brandt, but I'd love to hear what trouble other's are having with there Brother machine's that use them everyday...are they having your same trouble's, plus with you having the M&R equipment to compare you just about know which one is going to get a thumbs up.  After all is said and done and the Mlink is really that much better machine and less hassle to work with it should give it a big time jump in sells cause the white ink is what makes or breaks this machines now oh and ink cost.  40k is a good hunk change, but from your testing it might be the less cost down the line, I'm still sitting on the fence here.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 28, 2015, 11:31:01 AM
Not to be a jerk here Brandt, but I'd love to hear what trouble other's are having with there Brother machine's that use them everyday...are they having your same trouble's, plus with you having the M&R equipment to compare you just about know which one is going to get a thumbs up.  After all is said and done and the Mlink is really that much better machine and less hassle to work with it should give it a big time jump in sells cause the white ink is what makes or breaks this machines now oh and ink cost.  40k is a good hunk change, but from your testing it might be the less cost down the line, I'm still sitting on the fence here.
The one reason I ask Brandt to accept our press was the fact that he would be brutally honest and unbiased. If we had done This at M&R I know there would be a bunch of people jumping on the bandwagon saying this was sales hype by M&R. Take it for what it's worth. I truly believe Brandt is the normal user experience and I had no problem putting out product out there with the risk it was not the best long term bargain. This is typical of what we are seeing in the field. Do what is best for you. It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay. Just a FYI.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: blue moon on December 28, 2015, 11:38:32 AM
It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay.

I LOVE this line!!! mind if I use it in the future?

pierre
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 11:50:41 AM
Not to be a jerk here Brandt, but I'd love to hear what trouble other's are having with there Brother machine's that use them everyday...are they having your same trouble's, plus with you having the M&R equipment to compare you just about know which one is going to get a thumbs up.  After all is said and done and the Mlink is really that much better machine and less hassle to work with it should give it a big time jump in sells cause the white ink is what makes or breaks this machines now oh and ink cost.  40k is a good hunk change, but from your testing it might be the less cost down the line, I'm still sitting on the fence here.

If anyone doesn't believe I am telling the truth my shop is wide open and BOTH machines are sitting here doing nothing this whole week. Come by and throw shirts though them and share your opinion. 

I have only had a little trouble out of the Brother, which I have detailed.  The point of today's posts is your have 1-2hrs weekly tube cleaning to do each Monday. That's a lot more time than the M&R is requiring and early in this thread some where all about talking about speed differences (which we've shown prints both faster and slower off each). So now as we look at the up keep and we see differences.

I am not going to give the M&R the thumbs up just to give it the thumbs up regardless what anyone may believe. I bought the Brother, egg on my face by pointing out the M&R seems better so far overall. If anything many would suggest id be biased to the Brother, after all I already bought it and its paid in full. I am actually upset that the M&R is better so far, because if this pans out that way I will want to buy it. That's not good for the check book buddy. I was/am rooting for the Brother because thats where I put my dollars. Many argue here we all defend the things we buy, well if that was the case wouldn't the Brother be printing real gold bars and id be retired already?

As of today, right now, this is what I see-
Brother is a lower cost machine, so Brother has the advantage there by a lot.

Speed is a push, each printing some prints faster/slower than each other.

Quality is a push, each printing detail better and worse than the other on various prints.

Ink cost is drastically cheaper on the M&R.

Ink use is a good bit more so far on the Brother, Brother suggests they can get us closer to M&R's ink use, but even if it was the same the M&R ink is 1/3rd the cost.  They say we are using too much ink, maybe so, we played with those settings in training PRIOR to M&R's machine showing up and we selected settings that we felt looked the best, which had nothing to do with Ink cost. First and foremost we want a quality print.  Maybe they will have some tricks to make the ink use/costs closer which I welcome.

Maintenance seems to be a good bit more on the Brother, highlighted by the weekly 1-2hr tube cleaning and so on.

Issues, we've seen on the Brother 1 day with prints looking a bit wrong even though the nozzle checks looked good I still have no real idea why that one happened but basically went away the next day. Then today where we haven't been able to achieve a clear nozzle check even after tube cleaning, nozzle checks, test prints, power clean, normal clean, etc.

Waste tank is a lot more full than the M&R.

Keep in mind when Rich asked me to do this I bluntly told him I would pull no punches or sugar coat anything on this machine. If this thing blows up tomorrow you cats will know. Brother I am sure isn't thrilled about this but I have been as transparent as I can be and I have pointed out I like their machine just fine and I am not upset at them or Nazdar.

I did similar to this thread when I got my first Auto, as it was my opinion at the time there wasn't enough people talking about them in detail.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: TCT on December 28, 2015, 12:24:21 PM
Maintenance was the main reason we ditched the DTG side of things. Now we didn't have either of the machines in this thread, but it was 15min every morning. Printed nice, but when you are use to screen printing or running a auto DTG for us was WAY too much of a time eater if we didn't have shirts lined up for the whole day.




It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay. Just a FYI.

While I agree with this, you kinda skewed the situation here. If someone is looking to get a better machine that is 60% more expensive initially, sometimes that extra initial price is hard to swing. Be it a approved lease amount, cash on hand, whatever. But if you are coming in and GIVING the nicer machine to someone for free for 90 days or whatever, that makes the whole thing waaaaaaaaay different. Who wouldn't go with the initially higher priced machine then???

Darryl/3Deep who is looking into a DTG right now would probably love a free 90 days of printing/time to make more off offering DTG. But is that available to all? Otherwise this is a good head head comparison of print quality, but nothing else.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 12:49:39 PM
Darryl/3Deep who is looking into a DTG right now would probably love a free 90 days of printing/time to make more off offering DTG. But is that available to all? Otherwise this is a good head head comparison of print quality, but nothing else.

Darryl doesn't have another machine does he? I am pretty certain that is the only reason I had the offer of the Mlink to compare.

I am confused how this thread is only valid comparison for print quality...nothing else?  Print speed, print quality, ink costs, ease of use, waste ink, this goes on and on with comparisons does it not? I mean I would hope many would compare more than just print quality.... 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: TCT on December 28, 2015, 12:53:40 PM
Darryl/3Deep who is looking into a DTG right now would probably love a free 90 days of printing/time to make more off offering DTG. But is that available to all? Otherwise this is a good head head comparison of print quality, but nothing else.

Darryl doesn't have another machine does he? I am pretty certain that is the only reason I had the offer of the Mlink to compare.

I am confused how this thread is only valid comparison for print quality...nothing else?  Print speed, print quality, ink costs, ease of use, waste ink, this goes on and on with comparisons does it not? I mean I would hope many would compare more than just print quality....
You are comparing 2 machines, one is 60% more expensive.

Try comparing 2 other machines that have a 60% price difference, the M-Link and the M-Link Plus, which one do you think will be a better investment in the long run??
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 28, 2015, 01:07:01 PM
Alex you are correct, we went to the show and thought we found the machine we wanted to buy, turns out I didn't have all the info I needed and the machine I thought was good has bad reviews' and the one I like was price to high for us and the other machine would cost us a ton ink wasted ink.  I'm not knocking the Mlink maybe price but like Rich said (It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay) and trust me I've got what I paid for a few times and didn't like the out come and it was all about about doing my homework.  I hit Brandt with the hard question's because we all know as he has stated many times he buy's new equipment and top notch, nothing wrong with that, so I was surprised when he pulled the trigger on the Brother then getting the Mlink on loan, which to Brandt's credit he did say he didn't know about the Mlink at that time.  This is a good thread but I'm going to ask hard question's because our pocket's don't hang to our ankle's and I want to get the best machine for our bucks that will make us bucks, so far the the Mlink looks like a good machine but still out of the range I would like to pay at this time, but would still like to hear about other brother user's...at one time my choice was the Anajet & Epson.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 01:33:16 PM
Darryl/3Deep who is looking into a DTG right now would probably love a free 90 days of printing/time to make more off offering DTG. But is that available to all? Otherwise this is a good head head comparison of print quality, but nothing else.

Darryl doesn't have another machine does he? I am pretty certain that is the only reason I had the offer of the Mlink to compare.

I am confused how this thread is only valid comparison for print quality...nothing else?  Print speed, print quality, ink costs, ease of use, waste ink, this goes on and on with comparisons does it not? I mean I would hope many would compare more than just print quality....
You are comparing 2 machines, one is 60% more expensive.

Try comparing 2 other machines that have a 60% price difference, the M-Link and the M-Link Plus, which one do you think will be a better investment in the long run??

So I guess since you zipped past most of my post you don't find print speed/quality/ink use/maintenance/waste/down time/etc all relevant points?

Yes of course the machine costs more. Just like many Autos cost more than many others, but most of us still seem to have higher end machines.  Why is that I wonder? The Brother also has ink costs that in case's we have seen is as much as 5-6x PER PRINT. Guess that's a big deal to me when I will be retailing a tshirt for around $20 and id like as much margin in each as I can. I don't plan to run a couple shirts a day, I am hoping to run 2-3k shirts a year at least off a DTG after I get it going and I frankly feel like if I put the time in that's a drop in the bucket in my market. At that rate it wont take long to make up that difference in money with the loss of a couple hours a week to maintenance and the high cost of ink wouldn't you say? Math says even based on a few of our typical prints (front and rear) id make up that machine cost difference just off ink cost in a year or so. These are things that must be pointed out and everyone sorta sweeps them under the rug and only looks at initial machine cost. Guess that's why there are loads of Tjets that don't work and loads of Epson based DTG's that seem to come in and out of the market quick. Heck even Epson is in the game now.

If print speed/quality/maintenance/ink use/waste/down time are all not relevant to the discussion some how I guess I don't understand that.  Forgive me for bringing those up. I fail to see how it's just about price of machine.  If it was there are many cheaper than the Brother.

As far as comparing a MlinkX Vs the Mlink, they are the same machine, ones just faster. I am not certain of my market yet but maybe when this test it up Ill buy a Mlink X... never know. I dont have another machine to compare it to here. At least someone is comparing machine differences and talking about real ink costs of these machines. I have seen very little of that on ANY machine outside manufactures talking about some optimal artwork at some small print size.   
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 01:55:26 PM
Alex you are correct, we went to the show and thought we found the machine we wanted to buy, turns out I didn't have all the info I needed and the machine I thought was good has bad reviews' and the one I like was price to high for us and the other machine would cost us a ton ink wasted ink.  I'm not knocking the Mlink maybe price but like Rich said (It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay) and trust me I've got what I paid for a few times and didn't like the out come and it was all about about doing my homework.  I hit Brandt with the hard question's because we all know as he has stated many times he buy's new equipment and top notch, nothing wrong with that, so I was surprised when he pulled the trigger on the Brother then getting the Mlink on loan, which to Brandt's credit he did say he didn't know about the Mlink at that time.  This is a good thread but I'm going to ask hard question's because our pocket's don't hang to our ankle's and I want to get the best machine for our bucks that will make us bucks, so far the the Mlink looks like a good machine but still out of the range I would like to pay at this time, but would still like to hear about other brother user's...at one time my choice was the Anajet & Epson.

You should buy the machine that fits you best. Ive mentioned both machines are great quality. Both are similar in speed and print quality. But don't ignore ink costs, waste, down time etc. That's the whole point of this thread because people aren't really talking about those things much. In Brothers booth you know what they told me that day at SGIA?  $1.60 a print was average cost and then he said to me....double it to be safe per print. So I was OK at that.  So far we've only seen a single print at the range of $1.60 and it wasn't a full size print. Anything large has been a lot more. So remember these manufactures are going to tell you optimal info. In my situation based on where we are today, I think id be saving money before year 2 on the Mlink. I am not sure how many of you are buying a DTG for just a year or so of use but I am guessing most of you are buying them for longer term use than that.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 28, 2015, 02:08:00 PM
The maintenance on a Brother is what steered me away from it. You start digging on tshirtforums and you'll see a lot of people complain about that.

15 minutes in the morning is not really a big deal if you're going to run the machine for the next 8 hours.

I think there are two types of people in DTG. Ones that just want to do fill ins and one offs where they might not use the machine much or on the flip side you have people looking to run 1000s a year on one.

For the first group, the cost of the machine is going to be a huge factor, ink won't be as noticeable because they don't use that much. Second group has to look more closely at everything. The ink difference on the Mlink vs Brother (though I am one that thinks the Brother is using too much) is enough to pay for the difference in no time, way less than a year.

So far, at 40k the Mlink looks like a bargain compared to the Brother just on ink and maintenance. It will be interesting to see how they still compare in a month or so if Brandt hasn't gone Office Space on the Brother yet.



Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 28, 2015, 02:22:31 PM
The maintenance on a Brother is what steered me away from it. You start digging on tshirtforums and you'll see a lot of people complain about that.

15 minutes in the morning is not really a big deal if you're going to run the machine for the next 8 hours.

I think there are two types of people in DTG. Ones that just want to do fill ins and one offs where they might not use the machine much or on the flip side you have people looking to run 1000s a year on one.

For the first group, the cost of the machine is going to be a huge factor, ink won't be as noticeable because they don't use that much. Second group has to look more closely at everything. The ink difference on the Mlink vs Brother (though I am one that thinks the Brother is using too much) is enough to pay for the difference in no time, way less than a year.

So far, at 40k the Mlink looks like a bargain compared to the Brother just on ink and maintenance. It will be interesting to see how they still compare in a month or so if Brandt hasn't gone Office Space on the Brother yet.

You've pretty much nailed my opinion thus far.  Both still being great machines. Id keep and still may keep the Brother in some contexts. But right now for sure ink cost/use and how it would not even clear the heads this morning after 2hrs I find to be things I have to be concerned with.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 28, 2015, 02:58:33 PM
Maintenance was the main reason we ditched the DTG side of things. Now we didn't have either of the machines in this thread, but it was 15min every morning. Printed nice, but when you are use to screen printing or running a auto DTG for us was WAY too much of a time eater if we didn't have shirts lined up for the whole day.

It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay. Just a FYI.

While I agree with this, you kinda skewed the situation here. If someone is looking to get a better machine that is 60% more expensive initially, sometimes that extra initial price is hard to swing. Be it a approved lease amount, cash on hand, whatever. But if you are coming in and GIVING the nicer machine to someone for free for 90 days or whatever, that makes the whole thing waaaaaaaaay different. Who wouldn't go with the initially higher priced machine then???

Darryl/3Deep who is looking into a DTG right now would probably love a free 90 days of printing/time to make more off offering DTG. But is that available to all? Otherwise this is a good head head comparison of print quality, but nothing else.


Skewed?

I occasionally give my art or some art training files away every now and then. When I do, I've been questioned as to why I didn't give more ....and also criticized for how I do my process or the quality of the vid. It's that ole "Gift horse" thing.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 28, 2015, 03:08:49 PM
I've learned a lot from this thread. Namely, I don't ever want a DTG machine lol what a nightmare. ROI on these things is so hard to justify in light of all the additional gotchas with cleanings, ink costs, unexpected down time. Seems almost cruel to sell one to a person who thinks it's all they need to print $$. Like the guy in the mall with a single head embroidery machine doing hats one by one.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 28, 2015, 03:35:33 PM
I've learned a lot from this thread. Namely, I don't ever want a DTG machine lol what a nightmare. ROI on these things is so hard to justify in light of all the additional gotchas with cleanings, ink costs, unexpected down time. Seems almost cruel to sell one to a person who thinks it's all they need to print $$. Like the guy in the mall with a single head embroidery machine doing hats one by one.

I don't know about that. Let's say you buy a decent automatic at 20k and let's say you make $3 a shirt gross profit. It would take you 6667 shirts to recoup that money. Take a 40k DTG printer and you make $10 gross profit a shirt, it takes you 4000 shirts for a return. Obviously, those numbers can change a lot up or down. Now, the question is, what is quicker for you? Most people here could probably sell 6667 shirts via screen printing faster than 4000 via DTG, for sure.

There are also things you don't necessarily think of when buying an auto, such as chiller/compressor, wiring. You learn about that through research, or the hard way. DTG is pretty similar, I would say.

I guess it is all about perspective.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 28, 2015, 06:39:47 PM
Not to be a jerk here Brandt, but I'd love to hear what trouble other's are having with there Brother machine's that use them everyday...are they having your same trouble's, plus with you having the M&R equipment to compare you just about know which one is going to get a thumbs up.  After all is said and done and the Mlink is really that much better machine and less hassle to work with it should give it a big time jump in sells cause the white ink is what makes or breaks this machines now oh and ink cost.  40k is a good hunk change, but from your testing it might be the less cost down the line, I'm still sitting on the fence here.
The one reason I ask Brandt to accept our press was the fact that he would be brutally honest and unbiased. If we had done This at M&R I know there would be a bunch of people jumping on the bandwagon saying this was sales hype by M&R. Take it for what it's worth. I truly believe Brandt is the normal user experience and I had no problem putting out product out there with the risk it was not the best long term bargain. This is typical of what we are seeing in the field. Do what is best for you. It's not what you pay. It's what you get for what you pay. Just a FYI.

Wait a sec... you don't respond to me because:

Quote
I also know responding to your post will do nothing but get negative comments so not going any further with this.

Because I have been semi critical of your service based on my ACTUAL experience.

Yet, I don't believe anyone on this forum will believe that Brandt isn't an EXTREMELY pro M&R user.  I'm not saying that he won't be fair, but I am saying that you can't say with all honestly that you think he would be "brutally honest" about a product you allowed him to borrow.

Aside from all of that... let's pretend that isn't even an issue.

Why not send a machine to Brad (mk162) who was a beta tester for Brother and has a TON of experience with them.

I'd think that is the best way to prove your product vs a Brother machine that wouldn't be obviously unbiased to anyone that is watching.

*shrug*
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 28, 2015, 07:25:19 PM
Too predictable.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 28, 2015, 07:34:30 PM
Ah, the guy that got in a "fight" with me because I suggested that his job of INSTALLING M&R CTS machines was in some way related to the SALES of said same machine.

Speaking of predictable.

Why detract from an honest discussion with drama Dan... aren't you a forum owner and one that is supposed to lead by example?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 28, 2015, 07:37:50 PM
The only way you'd ever get a truly 100% unbiased for sure review is to take someone that has never printed a shirt before, teach them how to use an mlink and a brother for free and then get feedback. (Not saying Brandt is slanted but at the same time you couldn't be sure mk162 wouldn't be biased towards brother, again not saying that is the case.)

Perhaps the case just happens to be that the M&R is better? I would hope it is. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a BMW, both very fine vehicles but one should just be better.

From what I've read, the idot didn't work out so great. It doesn't seem very M&R like to not learn from that and make the next generation much better.

And, if I had to guess, Rich probably knows you like to troll so he probably doesn't want to engage.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 28, 2015, 08:12:09 PM
The only way you'd ever get a truly 100% unbiased for sure review is to take someone that has never printed a shirt before, teach them how to use an mlink and a brother for free and then get feedback. (Not saying Brandt is slanted but at the same time you couldn't be sure mk162 wouldn't be biased towards brother, again not saying that is the case.)

Perhaps the case just happens to be that the M&R is better? I would hope it is. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a BMW, both very fine vehicles but one should just be better.

From what I've read, the idot didn't work out so great. It doesn't seem very M&R like to not learn from that and make the next generation much better.

And, if I had to guess, Rich probably knows you like to troll so he probably doesn't want to engage.

ABSOLUTELY, I'd agree with you on just about everything you said... including the statement about Rich's opinion of me.  Doesn't mean that my opinion about actual experiences with actual equipment I OWN isn't any more/less valid than anyone else's.  I mean, in fact, that quote came from a point where I was only ECHOING someone else's complaint that I too had experienced but kept rather quiet about as I didn't see the need to "troll" until it was being made out that that person wasn't being honest.

I COMPLETELY agree that Brad would possibly biased towards the Brother... what better way to prove your machine if you truly believe it to be that much better than to put it in someone's hands like that and change their mind.

Bring it back to the Chevy vs Ford debate.  Find me a guy with a Calvin peeing on X brand truck sticker on his Y brand truck and then give that man the other truck to put it through the paces and compare it and if he walks out saying "You know what?  X brand truck is actually better than my Y brand truck."  Would you not be a believer?

Now, that was a hypothetical with something that is 95% based on pure emotion.  We are talking about trying to take as much emotion out and I think when it comes down to machines that make us money, finding the guy that has 5 different brand pieces of equipment in his shop is probably the better "unbiased" equipment than a guy that has been well taken care of by one particular brand like Brandt has.

Again, any bias towards the competition that is squelched in the shootout only further proves their claim to be a better machine.  I know I'd be sitting here with my mouth shut.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 28, 2015, 09:24:17 PM
Car companies do that all the time now. Chevy I think is the one right now that takes Ford and Dodge owners and "changes their mind" about Chevy. Ford has done it before. I think I even remember Dodge doing it. It doesn't make it any more valid to me.

I'd rather see a discussion like this where all the pros and cons are laid out there. Everything Brandt has said about the Brother so far jives with all the research I have done. Not to say it can't get better, and I'm sure lots of people make good money with Brother printers.

There really is not much real world info on the Mlink because I think it just debuted early this year and who knows how many are out in the field. And let's face it, the entry fee is going to keep most of the people over at tshirtforums from buying it. The ones making serious change with it, you'll probably never hear a peep from.

That's what also makes this thread so great. The first real world info on the mlink that someone might find one day when they are researching a DTG.

Now, if YOU were reviewing a Brother and Mlink and gave the nod to the Mlink I don't think I would have ANY doubt you were unbiased in that respect.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 28, 2015, 09:50:15 PM
I lead by honesty and I'd like to think a few other qualities I value.
No matter who I work for or my partnership. Always have found that to work for me although now days, I try to not be as brash as I once was. The other two I feel lead the same way. I may chime in more than they.  You are obvious you know.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 28, 2015, 09:56:29 PM
Car companies do that all the time now. Chevy I think is the one right now that takes Ford and Dodge owners and "changes their mind" about Chevy. Ford has done it before. I think I even remember Dodge doing it. It doesn't make it any more valid to me.

I'd rather see a discussion like this where all the pros and cons are laid out there. Everything Brandt has said about the Brother so far jives with all the research I have done. Not to say it can't get better, and I'm sure lots of people make good money with Brother printers.

There really is not much real world info on the Mlink because I think it just debuted early this year and who knows how many are out in the field. And let's face it, the entry fee is going to keep most of the people over at tshirtforums from buying it. The ones making serious change with it, you'll probably never hear a peep from.

That's what also makes this thread so great. The first real world info on the mlink that someone might find one day when they are researching a DTG.

Now, if YOU were reviewing a Brother and Mlink and gave the nod to the Mlink I don't think I would have ANY doubt you were unbiased in that respect.
the M Link has been out well over two years. Some real big users run these 24 hrs a day and have been for some time. Just a FYI.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 28, 2015, 10:11:07 PM
the M Link has been out well over two years. Some real big users run these 24 hrs a day and have been for some time. Just a FYI.

Rich, I was under a different impression, mainly from this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y)

Go to about 6:25 and you'll hear that M&R guy say it has only been for sale since Long Beach and there had only been 8 installed (as of the FESPA show in May.)

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 28, 2015, 10:53:36 PM
Probably taking about beta users. The ones you want to beta test is someone who can potentially beat it to death. A big shop like he's referring to may have had it for a few years. I know our digital dept working model was there in our departement since I've been there two full years in Feb. You can bet we had these in a select few locations well before May. It was just not a public announcement at that time.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 28, 2015, 10:56:04 PM
I was under the same impression of the Mlink, that it was just making the rounds and Brandt was one of the first to test it, lot I don't know.  This is a good thread but only with two products that are priced out of my budget, but still a butt load of good info to ask and look for in other brands that are in my price range.  Far as Rich goes I don't give him a break because he is in the biz to make money and sell the best equipment he can, and he should know me by now what I might ask and he defends himself quite well and answer's my question's.   LOL this post might have saved me some money as I might have jumped head first into and Anajet, so far I know if we get into DTG we will have o have a machine that cost less to maintain and want eat a hold in our pocket on inks plus can take a week or two sitting.   Buying a DTG is nothing like buying a auto press, not even in the same ball park if you ask me.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 28, 2015, 10:58:34 PM

Now, if YOU were reviewing a Brother and Mlink and gave the nod to the Mlink I don't think I would have ANY doubt you were unbiased in that respect.

In my shop I have M&R Exposure (my favorite piece of gear in the shop since I bought it), M&R Radicure dryer, Sabre Auto (some action squeegees and some M&R squeegees), Vastex semi-coater, Epson printers, CCI washout booth, two different Dip Tanks.  Looks like I'm more "Team Blue" than most probably thought.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 28, 2015, 11:27:11 PM

Now, if YOU were reviewing a Brother and Mlink and gave the nod to the Mlink I don't think I would have ANY doubt you were unbiased in that respect.

In my shop I have M&R Exposure (my favorite piece of gear in the shop since I bought it), M&R Radicure dryer, Sabre Auto (some action squeegees and some M&R squeegees), Vastex semi-coater, Epson printers, CCI washout booth, two different Dip Tanks.  Looks like I'm more "Team Blue" than most probably thought.

Well, it's official then. If you've got even a single M&R squeegee  in your shop then you are a valued customer of the blue team.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on December 28, 2015, 11:50:18 PM
the M Link has been out well over two years. Some real big users run these 24 hrs a day and have been for some time. Just a FYI.

Rich, I was under a different impression, mainly from this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y) we showed the m link two years ago at the Sgai show. Where we printed on a CH3 and a Alpha and then finished the print on th m link thus the name link in the name. We have some large shops that have been running them continuously for over a year in their shops. He may be referring to Europe or that specific model.

Go to about 6:25 and you'll hear that M&R guy say it has only been for sale since Long Beach and there had only been 8 installed (as of the FESPA show in May.)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 07:08:17 AM

Yet, I don't believe anyone on this forum will believe that Brandt isn't an EXTREMELY pro M&R user.  I'm not saying that he won't be fair, but I am saying that you can't say with all honestly that you think he would be "brutally honest" about a product you allowed him to borrow.

I have been nothing but brutally honest. Just because I love their screen printing products has nothing to do with DTG's. I have never not told the truth about my experiences with their products or services. Like many things in the world we can find people who have good and bad experiences with about anything. If you believe me to not be honest about this, put your money with your mouth is always running and get yourself in a car or on a plane and come use both of these machines. Then post your findings. Personally I don't think you will as you'd rather just argue on the internet and make little side comments like someone is skewing something of course for your own personal enjoyment of drama. 

I am as raw as they get as a DTG user. Brand new. I know what good quality prints look like. But outside that DTG is a new thing for us. So I frankly think this is a great test for people watching who aren't DTG users and who are considering getting into it and what they can expect from go on each.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 07:16:26 AM
The only way you'd ever get a truly 100% unbiased for sure review is to take someone that has never printed a shirt before, teach them how to use an mlink and a brother for free and then get feedback. (Not saying Brandt is slanted but at the same time you couldn't be sure mk162 wouldn't be biased towards brother, again not saying that is the case.)

Ive never printed a DTG shirt before either of these machines. This is about DTG.  So I am not sure how the fact I am a screen printer relates.  I am biased if anything TO the Brother because I have skin in that game folks. I am disappointed the M&R is better. Listen people like Gilligan would have a bone to pick in either case here.  If I was telling you all the Brother was better, he would claim it was because I was biased to it since I bought the Brother.  This guy will troll the opposite direction just to see keystrokes on the screen. If anyone doesn't believe I have told the truth, get on over here and use them both and tell everyone what you think. 

Perhaps the case just happens to be that the M&R is better? I would hope it is. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a BMW, both very fine vehicles but one should just be better.

I don't follow you on this one, Brother is a company that builds printers. Shouldn't theirs be better?

From what I've read, the idot didn't work out so great. It doesn't seem very M&R like to not learn from that and make the next generation much better.

I never heard much good about the iDot so to your point it was one reason I didn't look at the Mlink (other than hearing it was 75k which later found out they had 2 models). M&R doesn't do everything as well as they do Screen Print Presses and Dryers. Period.

And, if I had to guess, Rich probably knows you like to troll so he probably doesn't want to engage.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 07:28:21 AM

Now, that was a hypothetical with something that is 95% based on pure emotion.  We are talking about trying to take as much emotion out and I think when it comes down to machines that make us money, finding the guy that has 5 different brand pieces of equipment in his shop is probably the better "unbiased" equipment than a guy that has been well taken care of by one particular brand like Brandt has.

Again, any bias towards the competition that is squelched in the shootout only further proves their claim to be a better machine.  I know I'd be sitting here with my mouth shut.

Again, you have no data that I have skewed anything and if you believe as such and really care about this issue outside the trolling and drama....get in a car or on a plane and come see for yourself. You can start by helping me get the brother running since after 2+hrs yesterday it still wouldn't clear its print heads... Ill even come in on Thursday and Friday if you want, my shop is closed those days for the holiday and we can just play with DTG's all day long. What say you?

It kinda baffles me in one respect you claim ive been so well taken care of and that I am so biased to M&R yet I BOUGHT A BROTHER DTG.  Doesn't that sorta silence your claim? 

BTW I have had Vastex, Ryonet, and Ameragraph as well as various other random equipment in my screen printing departments for years. Forgive me for going to something that works better from actual experience. 


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 07:45:49 AM
I'd rather see a discussion like this where all the pros and cons are laid out there. Everything Brandt has said about the Brother so far jives with all the research I have done. Not to say it can't get better, and I'm sure lots of people make good money with Brother printers.

Of course it jives, I am telling nothing but the truth based on our experiences so far as NEW DTG users. I feel I have laid out the pros and cons pretty well so far. I will do a summary over time or updates to this post of my opinion if it changes or info becomes more stable as we use them over time. For example in the beginning the M&R seemed so much faster as the head was moving faster on prints, but it turns out the time it takes to start printing and the time it holds the garment in the machine are longer than the Brother so in some prints the M&R is slower in that respect. I have pointed that out which is a negative to the M&R.  The Brother in the beginning I mentioned I thought was easier to run. I now disagree with that as the maintenance alone is drastically more on the Brother.  This is a fluid situation, as we change our opinion from use we will post that.  As we see things pop up good or bad ill post that. 

I also have no doubt that the Brother will get better actually and I hope it does. I dont know how many more times I need to say it but I don't WANT to buy another DTG. I want the Brother to be the answer for us as I like that price point and over all I hear mostly good things about the 381. Brother will be here Monday. He's bringing new software and he claims he will get the ink use in check some more. This will bring the machines closer.  We will compare the two with the closer numbers. This wont be good for the M&R if they get a lot closer. Ink cost will be the big one at the end of the day. Even if they are the same the Brother ink remains 3x the price.

Brother sent me a picture and info of one of my files where they got the ink use from around 11cc's down to around 7 cc's. Which without it in person I am not sure if the white is bright enough but that is a big drop in ink use for sure. I am curious to see it in person.  BUT the M&R was only using around 4cc's for that print so nearly half the ink use at 1/3 the ink cost.  So again even if the Brother uses the SAME amount of ink, the costs are way off for the ink.



Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 29, 2015, 09:43:26 AM
The irony is that I've never said you have lied, I've never even said that you have pulled punches.

I've only simply stated that I think most on the forum might have a hard time believing that you would be "brutally honest" like Rich says.  I'm only speaking of the perception you have as such a "Blue Baller".  I don't fault you or your process at all for such... just letting you know of the perception.

I'm not going off on some tangent because Bulldog made a comment that he feels like I'd be biased AGAINST M&R.  I feel like such a claim is ridiculous, but I'm not going to go off crying wolf because I understand that people on the forum might have such a perception of me as I have been critical of some of the "over reaching" claims (in my opinion) on some issues.  I would be absolutely unbiased as well... but yet, many would think I'm too much of a Blue hater to be unbiased.  Yet, if I'm such a blue hater then why is two of my most critical pieces of gear Blue? Also, I'm likely to buy a Starlight if the time comes for us to go LED.  "Doesn't that sorta silence your claim?"

Speaking of that quote, that is exactly the point I'm making about between what you "typically" say vs this "I'm super unbiased".  You just said above that you didn't even really look at MLink because it was 75k and you didn't know of the second machine.  So, that was a solid reason not to have really given the M&R a look and to focus on the next best known brand for your needs.  Same reason you didn't get a Kornit, though it's a better machine, it's not really at a price point that makes sense.

I haven't been trolling in this thread, I've only been stating my observations.

I'm not sure that an inexperienced user is the best way to demo such a machine.  Would anyone on this forum really suggest that giving a newbie to screen printing a couple of auto's and having them evaluate which is better makes a lot of sense?  VS giving a guy like Alan the same two presses to evaluate?  Which review will we get better (and more) feedback from.  I get the "newbie" angle... but in the end we won't be newbie's for long and we want to know what these machines can do when run as a professional.  We aren't TSF and hobbyist on this forum.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 29, 2015, 09:46:03 AM

If anyone doesn't believe I am telling the truth my shop is wide open and BOTH machines are sitting here doing nothing this whole week. Come by and throw shirts though them and share your opinion. 

As of today, right now, this is what I see-
Brother is a lower cost machine, so Brother has the advantage there by a lot.

Speed is a push, each printing some prints faster/slower than each other.

Quality is a push, each printing detail better and worse than the other on various prints.

Ink cost is drastically cheaper on the M&R.

Ink use is a good bit more so far on the Brother, Brother suggests they can get us closer to M&R's ink use, but even if it was the same the M&R ink is 1/3rd the cost.  They say we are using too much ink, maybe so, we played with those settings in training PRIOR to M&R's machine showing up and we selected settings that we felt looked the best, which had nothing to do with Ink cost. First and foremost we want a quality print.  Maybe they will have some tricks to make the ink use/costs closer which I welcome.

Keep in mind when Rich asked me to do this I bluntly told him I would pull no punches or sugar coat anything on this machine. If this thing blows up tomorrow you cats will know. Brother I am sure isn't thrilled about this but I have been as transparent as I can be and I have pointed out I like their machine just fine and I am not upset at them or Nazdar.


Brandt:  I want to thank you again for your commitment of time and resources to conduct this side by side evaluation of the Brother  GT381, and the M&R M-Link DTG Printers.  As I stated in an earlier post I don't recall anyone ever providing this level of detailed performance data on two different units.  One comment that I would offer regards making a final judgment on the performance of both DTG printers is that all of the data gathered has come from running the machines in either a training, or a sampling mode. 

I'm not saying that the results will be different, but I would be very interested in seeing a report on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for both DTG printers over a period of one week, to a month running under typical production conditions for this type of equipment.  In fact, the advantage(s) that one DTG printer has over another should be amplified in a production environment.  Beyond these comments I am going to restate a couple of points from my earlier post on this subject (see Reply #147 from page 10 of this thread)

Ink Volume Usage:  The reality is the chemistry of the ink used in both the Brother and the M&R DTG printers is very similar, and the ink volume usage on a properly calibrated and color corrected image, printed at a common resolution is going to be comparable for both machines.  For this reason I would argue that the issue of the volume of ink being used will be a non-factor.  (assumes that a RIP will be used to drive the GT-381)

Ink Cost Comparison: The Brother DTG ink cartridges are more expensive per CC or ML, than the bulk packaged inks for the M&R M-Link.  With that said, they are not 3X the price of the M&R inks as previously reported.  Detail on MSRP ink pricing and packaging for both DTG printers is as follows;     
Brother CMYK Inks for GT series printers $194.67 per 380CC Cartridge = $0.51 per CC
M&R CMYK Inks for M-Link printers $229.00 per 1 Liter of bulk ink      =  $0.23 per CC
Brother White Inks for GT series printers $153.18 per 380CC Cartridge =  $0.40 per CC
M&R White Inks for M-Link printers $249.00 per 1 Liter of bulk ink        = $0.25 per CC

Raw Ink Pricing Comparison:
Brother CMYK inks are +$0.28 higher cost per CC, or 2.2 times the cost of M-Link CMYK inks 
Brother White inks are +$0.15 higher cost per CC or 1.6 times the cost of   M-Link White ink 

Equipment Purchase / initial Acquisition Cost: 
Brother GT-381 $24,999 vs. M&R M-Link $39,995 represents a +$14,996 or +60%  higher initial cost for the M-Link over the GT-381. The monthly payments based on a 36-Month Lease term also show an advantage to the Brother DTG with an estimated monthly payment for GT-381 $772 vs. M-Link $1,236, representing a $436 lower monthly payment for the GT-381.
*Note:  Pricing comparison based on MSRP pricing, although in this case Brother was running a promotion so the cost of the GT381 was lower than regular published list price

Equipment Operating Cost Comparison:  When comparing a machine from one company versus another, it can be extremely limiting to only consider the initial equipment purchase price, or even the amount of the monthly lease payment, which in this case both strongly favor the GT-381.  A more interesting picture emerges when the review is extended to be more focused on equipment operating cost. For example, the $436 higher monthly lease payment for the M-Link represents an higher operating cost of approximately $24 per production day.  You would need to print 5 additional shirts at a Gross Margin of $5.00 per garment to offset the higher monthly lease payment.   

The Impact of Ink Price on Operating Cost:  The ink cost differential to a moderate ink user, purchasing a total (6) Brother Ink Cartridges per month to include (2) x C.M.Y. or K inks & (4) x White compared to an equivalent volume of the same C.M.Y.K & White bulk packaged inks for the M&R M-Link   would offset the higher monthly lease payment of the higher priced M-Link Printer

Equipment Cost Per Garment: Another way to compare operating cost is to allocate a portion of the annual equipment acquisition cost against the total number of garments printed per year.
 
GT-381 Monthly Lease Payment $772 = Annual Lease Expense $9,264
Print 30 Garments per day x 250 days  = 7,500 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $1.24 

M-link Monthly Lease Payment $1,236 = Annual Lease Expense $14,832
Print 30 Garments per day x 250 days  = 7,500 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $1.98   

GT-381 Monthly Lease Payment $772 = Annual Lease Expense $9,264
Print 48 Garments per day x 250 days  = 12,000 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $0.77   

M-link Monthly Lease Payment $1,236 = Annual Lease Expense $14,832
Print 48 Garments per day x 250 days  = 12,000 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $1.24   





   
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 09:58:49 AM
So I monkeyed with the Brother this AM, I did 2 white tube flushes, head cleanings, shook carts, white agitation and 4-5 nozzle checks and it looked pretty damn good on the nozzle check after that. Did a shirt prior to this one on the Brother before this one that wasn't so awesome. The M&R hasn't printed a shirt since last Wednesday.

See attached.  Left is Brother, right in M&R

Pros:
Red is more correct in shade on the Brother.
M&R has more detail in the red and other colors..
Gold and white are way better on the M&R.

Cons:
Brother boosted/blew the grey out, its more exaggerated.
M&R has noticeable color tones in the grey, barely there but you can see it and that would be wrong.

Info:
We printed the Brother print with settings closer to what Brother recently suggested via email. The white suffered as I suspected. But yes it used less ink than it would have. One would have to decide...more correct white/brightness that costs more to print or less correct print and but cheaper to print.

Ink use:
Brother total ink used was 8.96cc (CMYK 1.75 and White 7.21)
M&R total ink used was 2.48cc (CMYK .94 and White 1.54)

Ink Cost:
Brother $3.80
M&R $.60

Print time, forgot to time them both.  So no data. My bad.

Overall I can sell either of these prints. General person would probably not care about these differences much.  Again I hate to be a broken record, but all things equal I am making $3.20 more on the M&R print. On a $20 shirt, that is drastic.




Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: blue moon on December 29, 2015, 10:19:19 AM
let's please keep this thread on topic from now on. Gilligan brought up some valid points on perspectives while reading this and let's not put words in his mouth about calling Brandt a liar. I think he said few things some of us were thinking, but not expressing. Now with that said, lets gt back to the comparison of the units. Brandt is doing a phenomenal job here giving us the information many, many of us here would really love to have. He is also taking a considerable amount of time to report his findings and even run the test we ask him for. The added wrinkle of the manufacturers working with him makes this even more valuable!

So thank you Brandt and please keep us informed on your progress!

pierre
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on December 29, 2015, 10:47:03 AM
Yes, Brandt keep doing what you are doing giving us a fair and honest report with numbers and picture to show what he is seeing.

Thanks for all the hard work,
Shane
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 10:49:43 AM
The irony is that I've never said you have lied, I've never even said that you have pulled punches.

I've only simply stated that I think most on the forum might have a hard time believing that you would be "brutally honest" like Rich says.  I'm only speaking of the perception you have as such a "Blue Baller".  I don't fault you or your process at all for such... just letting you know of the perception.

Perception of people who don't know a thing about me other than what they read on the internet (with bias generally). I have in fact pulled no punches and will pull no punches, again my shop is open for you to come see yourself. Offer is to anyone. I was clear to Rich about that from go. I was worried about it in fact as M&R hasn't been a bright shining light in the DTG market prior to this. I even made it a point to say to Rich that I was going to be brutally honest and I hoped it wouldn't affect our friendship/business relationship with printing.  He said tell it like you see it. Period. So he had confidence of these results it sounds like.

I'm not going off on some tangent because Bulldog made a comment that he feels like I'd be biased AGAINST M&R.  I feel like such a claim is ridiculous, but I'm not going to go off crying wolf because I understand that people on the forum might have such a perception of me as I have been critical of some of the "over reaching" claims (in my opinion) on some issues.  I would be absolutely unbiased as well... but yet, many would think I'm too much of a Blue hater to be unbiased.  Yet, if I'm such a blue hater then why is two of my most critical pieces of gear Blue? Also, I'm likely to buy a Starlight if the time comes for us to go LED.  "Doesn't that sorta silence your claim?"

I don't think you have a particular problem with M&R, more so you seem to like drama and since many threads are about M&R you find yourself creating or attempting to create some drama around it and often you have to be on the other side to do that. Just my observation. I am sure you have but I can't remember you siding with something relating to M&R.

Speaking of that quote, that is exactly the point I'm making about between what you "typically" say vs this "I'm super unbiased".  You just said above that you didn't even really look at MLink because it was 75k and you didn't know of the second machine.  So, that was a solid reason not to have really given the M&R a look and to focus on the next best known brand for your needs.  Same reason you didn't get a Kornit, though it's a better machine, it's not really at a price point that makes sense.

Fact is I have been looking at DTG for years, I dismissed the iDot among other brands. I even dismissed previous prints/samples off the 782 Brother. Of course if I was super rich and was going to get into high volume id be buying a Kornit. I don't find the difference between 25k and 40k as drastic as 25k and say 60-70-100-300k like some of those Kornits cost. So Kornit wasn't a option. I didn't know the Mlink was only 40k. After all I heard about it what days before I made the choice to buy a Brother and its a unproven machine. If I was so biased to M&R I would have looked at it harder don't you think once I heard about it? I didn't even look hard enough at it because M&R hasn't been a DTG force to look at. But now one is sitting here and I am seeing first hand I should have looked at it harder instead of just being about the bottom dollar cost of the machine. After all there is so much more here than just cost of the equipment that I and others clearly have ignored.

I haven't been trolling in this thread, I've only been stating my observations.

Well I wasn't the only one to point out your a troll generally. So I guess perception works both ways.

I'm not sure that an inexperienced user is the best way to demo such a machine.  Would anyone on this forum really suggest that giving a newbie to screen printing a couple of auto's and having them evaluate which is better makes a lot of sense?  VS giving a guy like Alan the same two presses to evaluate?  Which review will we get better (and more) feedback from.  I get the "newbie" angle... but in the end we won't be newbie's for long and we want to know what these machines can do when run as a professional.  We aren't TSF and hobbyist on this forum.

Inexperienced user is relevant to someone who's new to the DTG game, its really so far a play by play as to what they can expect as new users of either machine. Everyone learns from there. I am sure Brad has tricks to make his Brother run so much better than it did day one. I am sure ill pick up on those as well.  I doubt we overcome the ink differences and the extra time it takes to keep that Brother running so far.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 11:00:41 AM
let's please keep this thread on topic from now on. Gilligan brought up some valid points on perspectives while reading this and let's not put words in his mouth about calling Brandt a liar. I think he said few things some of us were thinking, but not expressing. Now with that said, lets gt back to the comparison of the units. Brandt is doing a phenomenal job here giving us the information many, many of us here would really love to have. He is also taking a considerable amount of time to report his findings and even run the test we ask him for. The added wrinkle of the manufacturers working with him makes this even more valuable!

So thank you Brandt and please keep us informed on your progress!

pierre

Anyone that suggests that I won't be brutally honest doesn't know me and is attempting to create doubt to this process in my opinion.  What value are they to this thread at that point? They are basically in nicest way they can are calling me a liar. If I am omitting something or skewing it in some way that means I am being dishonest. But the truth is I have done this in the most fair way I know how at least with the time we have. I have nothing to hide and my shop is wide open for your doubters. Hope on a plane or get in the car. Come see for yourself. Seriously.  Hell at this point this whole process is costing me money/time.  I haven't sold a single shirt off either because we are slammed in our business right now. Im fine with that for now but if we have to keep defending our reported info then this is going to get pointless at some point.

It's sad that these guys would find fault in no matter the outcome of this. If I had loved the Brother the most they would say it was because I bought the Brother and was biased in that way. We've seen the peanut gallery do just that here when someone defends a product they have. "It's because you own it, yadda yadda".  You can't have it both ways.

The way some of them approach this stuff turns off people to doing things like this.  I don't really have the time to do this, but I like the idea of someone finally putting it out there. Not even so much as a comparison but even just hard data from a machine. Its few and far between.  People protect the info it seems like at times.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 29, 2015, 11:05:34 AM
let's please keep this thread on topic from now on. Gilligan brought up some valid points on perspectives while reading this and let's not put words in his mouth about calling Brandt a liar. I think he said few things some of us were thinking, but not expressing. Now with that said, lets gt back to the comparison of the units. Brandt is doing a phenomenal job here giving us the information many, many of us here would really love to have. He is also taking a considerable amount of time to report his findings and even run the test we ask him for. The added wrinkle of the manufacturers working with him makes this even more valuable!

So thank you Brandt and please keep us informed on your progress!

pierre

Well said!  100% agree.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 11:21:05 AM

If anyone doesn't believe I am telling the truth my shop is wide open and BOTH machines are sitting here doing nothing this whole week. Come by and throw shirts though them and share your opinion. 

As of today, right now, this is what I see-
Brother is a lower cost machine, so Brother has the advantage there by a lot.

Speed is a push, each printing some prints faster/slower than each other.

Quality is a push, each printing detail better and worse than the other on various prints.

Ink cost is drastically cheaper on the M&R.

Ink use is a good bit more so far on the Brother, Brother suggests they can get us closer to M&R's ink use, but even if it was the same the M&R ink is 1/3rd the cost.  They say we are using too much ink, maybe so, we played with those settings in training PRIOR to M&R's machine showing up and we selected settings that we felt looked the best, which had nothing to do with Ink cost. First and foremost we want a quality print.  Maybe they will have some tricks to make the ink use/costs closer which I welcome.

Keep in mind when Rich asked me to do this I bluntly told him I would pull no punches or sugar coat anything on this machine. If this thing blows up tomorrow you cats will know. Brother I am sure isn't thrilled about this but I have been as transparent as I can be and I have pointed out I like their machine just fine and I am not upset at them or Nazdar.


Brandt:  I want to thank you again for your commitment of time and resources to conduct this side by side evaluation of the Brother  GT381, and the M&R M-Link DTG Printers.  As I stated in an earlier post I don't recall anyone ever providing this level of detailed performance data on two different units.  One comment that I would offer regards making a final judgment on the performance of both DTG printers is that all of the data gathered has come from running the machines in either a training, or a sampling mode. 

I'm not saying that the results will be different, but I would be very interested in seeing a report on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) for both DTG printers over a period of one week, to a month running under typical production conditions for this type of equipment.  In fact, the advantage(s) that one DTG printer has over another should be amplified in a production environment.  Beyond these comments I am going to restate a couple of points from my earlier post on this subject (see Reply #147 from page 10 of this thread)

Ink Volume Usage:  The reality is the chemistry of the ink used in both the Brother and the M&R DTG printers is very similar, and the ink volume usage on a properly calibrated and color corrected image, printed at a common resolution is going to be comparable for both machines.  For this reason I would argue that the issue of the volume of ink being used will be a non-factor.  (assumes that a RIP will be used to drive the GT-381)

Ink Cost Comparison: The Brother DTG ink cartridges are more expensive per CC or ML, than the bulk packaged inks for the M&R M-Link.  With that said, they are not 3X the price of the M&R inks as previously reported.  Detail on MSRP ink pricing and packaging for both DTG printers is as follows;     
Brother CMYK Inks for GT series printers $194.67 per 380CC Cartridge = $0.51 per CC
M&R CMYK Inks for M-Link printers $229.00 per 1 Liter of bulk ink      =  $0.23 per CC
Brother White Inks for GT series printers $153.18 per 380CC Cartridge =  $0.40 per CC
M&R White Inks for M-Link printers $249.00 per 1 Liter of bulk ink        = $0.25 per CC

Raw Ink Pricing Comparison:
Brother CMYK inks are +$0.28 higher cost per CC, or 2.2 times the cost of M-Link CMYK inks 
Brother White inks are +$0.15 higher cost per CC or 1.6 times the cost of   M-Link White ink 

Equipment Purchase / initial Acquisition Cost: 
Brother GT-381 $24,999 vs. M&R M-Link $39,995 represents a +$14,996 or +60%  higher initial cost for the M-Link over the GT-381. The monthly payments based on a 36-Month Lease term also show an advantage to the Brother DTG with an estimated monthly payment for GT-381 $772 vs. M-Link $1,236, representing a $436 lower monthly payment for the GT-381.
*Note:  Pricing comparison based on MSRP pricing, although in this case Brother was running a promotion so the cost of the GT381 was lower than regular published list price

Equipment Operating Cost Comparison:  When comparing a machine from one company versus another, it can be extremely limiting to only consider the initial equipment purchase price, or even the amount of the monthly lease payment, which in this case both strongly favor the GT-381.  A more interesting picture emerges when the review is extended to be more focused on equipment operating cost. For example, the $436 higher monthly lease payment for the M-Link represents an higher operating cost of approximately $24 per production day.  You would need to print 5 additional shirts at a Gross Margin of $5.00 per garment to offset the higher monthly lease payment.   

The Impact of Ink Price on Operating Cost:  The ink cost differential to a moderate ink user, purchasing a total (6) Brother Ink Cartridges per month to include (2) x C.M.Y. or K inks & (4) x White compared to an equivalent volume of the same C.M.Y.K & White bulk packaged inks for the M&R M-Link   would offset the higher monthly lease payment of the higher priced M-Link Printer

Equipment Cost Per Garment: Another way to compare operating cost is to allocate a portion of the annual equipment acquisition cost against the total number of garments printed per year.
 
GT-381 Monthly Lease Payment $772 = Annual Lease Expense $9,264
Print 30 Garments per day x 250 days  = 7,500 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $1.24 

M-link Monthly Lease Payment $1,236 = Annual Lease Expense $14,832
Print 30 Garments per day x 250 days  = 7,500 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $1.98   

GT-381 Monthly Lease Payment $772 = Annual Lease Expense $9,264
Print 48 Garments per day x 250 days  = 12,000 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $0.77   

M-link Monthly Lease Payment $1,236 = Annual Lease Expense $14,832
Print 48 Garments per day x 250 days  = 12,000 Garments per year
Equipment Lease Cost per Garment = $1.24   





 

Peter thanks for your post. I am not going to dispute your info other than to say that not only is the ink more expensive, the Brother is using and wasting more of it. This info isn't in your numbers.  I have thrown around the number 3x the cost as it seems every print costs at least 3x more. That's been my general context of that.  See my latest post with print, 6x the cost on that Brother and that was with settings near what Brother suggested for less ink use.  The white isn't bright enough, so to me it needs more white, which will just make that gap even bigger with more ink used.

Id love to discuss these machines in a production situation. Right now we can't even seem to find the time to set our site up to begin to sell anything off these machines. I hope by next weeks end we are very close to that after we have Brother and M&R both come by. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 29, 2015, 11:21:32 AM
Yes, Brandt keep doing what you are doing giving us a fair and honest report with numbers and picture to show what he is seeing.

Thanks for all the hard work,
Shane

Thanks!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvieira on December 29, 2015, 03:07:51 PM
Perhaps the case just happens to be that the M&R is better? I would hope it is. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a BMW, both very fine vehicles but one should just be better.

I don't follow you on this one, Brother is a company that builds printers. Shouldn't theirs be better?

In all fairness, M&R has been in this business for a long long (looong) time. They have contacts and knowledge in the industry. Brother is pretty new in the garment decoration business and it is not their main biz.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Dottonedan on December 29, 2015, 05:30:20 PM
Perhaps the case just happens to be that the M&R is better? I would hope it is. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a BMW, both very fine vehicles but one should just be better.


I don't follow you on this one, Brother is a company that builds printers. Shouldn't theirs be better?


In all fairness, M&R has been in this business for a long long (looong) time. They have contacts and knowledge in the industry. Brother is pretty new in the garment decoration business and it is not their main biz.


To be more precise, it's just the opposite. Brother has been in business since 1954 producing a variety of products (as is M&R) but not as long as Brother.

As it pertains to DTG. Brother was/are a digital garment printer manufacturer since 2005 and earlier.

SOURCE: https://printaura.com/dtg-printing/ (https://printaura.com/dtg-printing/)
History of DTG. DTG printing is a relatively new technology (within the last 10 or so years.)  Direct to garment printing was introduced around 1996 at a trade show in Tampa, Florida.  In 1998, Brother, Intl. began to develop proprietary DTG printers, beta testing them until 2003, with a first showing at an Atlantic City, NJ trade show in 2005.

SOURCE: http://www.coldesi.com/learning-center/learn-about-t-shirt-printing/history-of-digital-garment-printing (http://www.coldesi.com/learning-center/learn-about-t-shirt-printing/history-of-digital-garment-printing)
Early 2005 brought the first large traditional printer company into the marketplace as Brother introduced thier GT-541 - a light shirt only printing solution that eventually became the Brother Graffittee DTG printer line.


They are great but is not the only thing they have been developing printers to print on...for a long long time. They are large in size and history, towering over M&R in that area of business.

About Brother
With a dedication to product quality and excellent customer service, Brother International Corporation, the US subsidiary of Japan-based Brother Industries Ltd., is committed to an At Your Side philosophy with its customers, business partners and colleagues. Established in 1954, Brother International Corporation is a premier provider of home, home office, and business products, as well as industrial solutions that revolutionize the way we live and work. Headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ, the company employs approximately 1,200 colleagues in the Americas. The globally-recognized Brother product line includes an award-winning range of printers and Multi-Function Center® all-in-ones, the CES and CHA Award-winning ScanNCut, the market-leading P-touch® electronic labeling line, OmniJoin™ web and video conferencing, document management solutions, industrial and home sewing equipment, and the number one line of facsimile machines in the United States.
 In 2014, for the sixth year in a row, consumers voted Brother Printers and All-in-Ones #1 in overall satisfaction and reliability in the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Awards. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Brother Printers and All-in-Ones were awarded #1 honors in overall satisfaction and reliability in the 2014 PCMag.com Business Choice Awards.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 29, 2015, 05:30:40 PM
Here's what I don't get. Cost of white ink aside, how can THIS BE ACCURATE?

Quote
Ink use:
Brother total ink used was 8.96cc (CMYK 1.75 and White 7.21)
M&R total ink used was 2.48cc (CMYK .94 and White 1.54)

Clearly the Brother print is waaaay darker than the M&R, yet it used over 3 times the VOLUME of white ink? Peter said it himself, the white inks both machines use aren't that far apart in chemical make up. So either the ink volume calculations are wrong for one or both of these machines, or the Brother unit is dumping over half its white ink into the waste container rather than printing it on the shirt (if that's even calculated into the print CC). Peter argues that white ink volume differences are a non-factor even.

Something's fishy. One of these measurements is off by a lot in my opinion.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Mr Tees!! on December 29, 2015, 06:36:04 PM
Here's what I don't get. Cost of white ink aside, how can THIS BE ACCURATE?

Quote
Ink use:
Brother total ink used was 8.96cc (CMYK 1.75 and White 7.21)
M&R total ink used was 2.48cc (CMYK .94 and White 1.54)

Clearly the Brother print is waaaay darker than the M&R, yet it used over 3 times the VOLUME of white ink? Peter said it himself, the white inks both machines use aren't that far apart in chemical make up. So either the ink volume calculations are wrong for one or both of these machines, or the Brother unit is dumping over half its white ink into the waste container rather than printing it on the shirt (if that's even calculated into the print CC). Peter argues that white ink volume differences are a non-factor even.

Something's fishy. One of these measurements is off by a lot in my opinion.

Ive been thinking this too. My film printer is never out of ink when it THINKS it is (or sometimes the opposite), it just assumes so based on some algorithm and print count. I wonder if the same thing is happening here? Maybe one of them is calculating incorrectly?

I would say weight the pretreated shirt, print it, then weigh again (before pressing). Do this for each machine, same print. You DID finally get a kickass scale, didnt you? DIDNT YOU?!  ;)  ;D  ::)

REGARDLESS....the fact that the Brother ink is 3x more expensive, cc-cc, speaks volumes here (pun patially intended). Brother,as primarily a digital-imaging company, likely folllows the business model that all similar outfits do: sell the machine at a break-even (or even a loss), and make all then money on consumables. Remember that, in terms of volume, retail-level ink is one of the most expensive substance on earth. M&R, on the other hand, is in the business of selling machines, and not consumables; hence, the higher priced machinery!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 29, 2015, 07:11:11 PM
I could not agree with you two more get a cheaper machine and pay a high ink price, get a high dollar machine and pay lower for ink and use, but I think in the long run the higher price machine with the low ink cost might be a better deal, unless someone raise the ink price  ;).  This is a market where there might not be a top dog for some time, but tons of machines and ink sold.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 29, 2015, 07:25:01 PM
This is why I'd like to see the settings tweaked till we get a nearly identical print.  That would be the better test in which one is putting out more ink.  That and coupled with a weight test as stated to see if it's wasting vs actually using that much ink.  I only really know Epson but I know that unless my machine is going through it's priming or cleaning phase it doesn't have a chance to arbitrarily dump ink.  It would have to stop over the waste section to do so.  Now that might be different on the Brother but I don't really see how.

That said, that is a TON of ink in that waste tank and as everyone has said, they are in the business of selling ink mostly so I'm sure they waste ink unnecessarily. (Dan, I forgot about that one in our discussion, it's been said a couple of times.)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvieira on December 29, 2015, 08:41:11 PM
Perhaps the case just happens to be that the M&R is better? I would hope it is. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a BMW, both very fine vehicles but one should just be better.


I don't follow you on this one, Brother is a company that builds printers. Shouldn't theirs be better?


In all fairness, M&R has been in this business for a long long (looong) time. They have contacts and knowledge in the industry. Brother is pretty new in the garment decoration business and it is not their main biz.


To be more precise, it's just the opposite. Brother has been in business since 1954 producing a variety of products (as is M&R) but not as long as Brother.

As it pertains to DTG. Brother was/are a digital garment printer manufacturer since 2005 and earlier.

SOURCE: [url]https://printaura.com/dtg-printing/[/url] ([url]https://printaura.com/dtg-printing/[/url])
History of DTG. DTG printing is a relatively new technology (within the last 10 or so years.)  Direct to garment printing was introduced around 1996 at a trade show in Tampa, Florida.  In 1998, Brother, Intl. began to develop proprietary DTG printers, beta testing them until 2003, with a first showing at an Atlantic City, NJ trade show in 2005.

SOURCE: [url]http://www.coldesi.com/learning-center/learn-about-t-shirt-printing/history-of-digital-garment-printing[/url] ([url]http://www.coldesi.com/learning-center/learn-about-t-shirt-printing/history-of-digital-garment-printing[/url])
Early 2005 brought the first large traditional printer company into the marketplace as Brother introduced thier GT-541 - a light shirt only printing solution that eventually became the Brother Graffittee DTG printer line.


They are great but is not the only thing they have been developing printers to print on...for a long long time. They are large in size and history, towering over M&R in that area of business.

About Brother
With a dedication to product quality and excellent customer service, Brother International Corporation, the US subsidiary of Japan-based Brother Industries Ltd., is committed to an At Your Side philosophy with its customers, business partners and colleagues. Established in 1954, Brother International Corporation is a premier provider of home, home office, and business products, as well as industrial solutions that revolutionize the way we live and work. Headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ, the company employs approximately 1,200 colleagues in the Americas. The globally-recognized Brother product line includes an award-winning range of printers and Multi-Function Center® all-in-ones, the CES and CHA Award-winning ScanNCut, the market-leading P-touch® electronic labeling line, OmniJoin™ web and video conferencing, document management solutions, industrial and home sewing equipment, and the number one line of facsimile machines in the United States.
 In 2014, for the sixth year in a row, consumers voted Brother Printers and All-in-Ones #1 in overall satisfaction and reliability in the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Awards. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Brother Printers and All-in-Ones were awarded #1 honors in overall satisfaction and reliability in the 2014 PCMag.com Business Choice Awards.



Well, thanks for the education, I did not know that! They are, indeed, larger than M&R overall, just not in the industry.  I still think part of my point is valid. THIS (apparel decoration) is what M&R does. And we all agree they do it well. They make expensive but top of the line units. Of everything! M&R is not for everyone and they are priced in that way. If they are doing DTG, they have the mindset that they have to do it better than anyone. It's their reputation on the line.

Brother, on the other hand, is for the mass consumer market. They are out there with Anajet (which I own), the Epson and so many others. We all know these big companies are not in it for the machine, they're in it to sell ink. That's why they sell so many home printers so cheap (most times losing money). They just want to sell sell sell and are not too worried with quality clogs as long as they keep selling consumables.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 29, 2015, 09:45:04 PM

Peter thanks for your post. I am not going to dispute your info other than to say that not only is the ink more expensive, the Brother is using and wasting more of it. This info isn't in your numbers.  I have thrown around the number 3x the cost as it seems every print costs at least 3x more. That's been my general context of that.  See my latest post with print, 6x the cost on that Brother and that was with settings near what Brother suggested for less ink use.  The white isn't bright enough, so to me it needs more white, which will just make that gap even bigger with more ink used.

Id love to discuss these machines in a production situation. Right now we can't even seem to find the time to set our site up to begin to sell anything off these machines. I hope by next weeks end we are very close to that after we have Brother and M&R both come by.

Brandt:  Just to be clear I don't in anyway doubt your report that you are using more CC's / ML's of ink for the same print on the GT-381, than you are on the M-Link. I also agree that your total ink cost per print from the GT-341 could be 3X or more than what you are experiencing from the M-Link, with the ink cost differential fueled by a combination of increased ink volume per print, and a higher cost per CC or ML.  With that said, here’s what I’m having some trouble understanding.  As I stated in my earlier posts the ink chemistry between the inks used in both DTG printers is very similar.  The difference in one DTG inkjet ink versus another is nothing like it is in screen inks, where the opacity and performance of a low cost plastisol ink weighing 9 lbs. per gallon, is way different to a high performance white ink that weighs 13 lbs. per gallon.  One of your recent posts reported ink usage on the same print of 8.96cc (CMYK 1.75 and White 7.21) for the GT-381, and 2.48cc (CMYK .94 and White 1.54).  These results report that the total ink usage on the GT-381 is 3.6X (CMYK 1.9X, and White 4.7X) that what used by the M-Link.  I can understand that the basic Print Driver on the GT-381 could be laying down a little more ink than the OEM RIP supplied by the M-Link, but 3.6X the total volume ink usage doesn't sound right to me.

Earlier this year Nazdar SourceOne engaged a DTG Industry Expert to support us in a detailed analysis of pre-treatment cost, print quality, production performance, ink cost, and overall cost per print comparison between the AEOON KYO Series DTG printer, and another high production DTG printing system.  One thing our Industry Expert insisted was that he wouldn't base his findings on the pre-treatment and ink volume usage numbers that were reported by the pre-treatment application systems, and DTG printers. Rather we went old school, and started out by weighing a number of "virgin" shirts, that were re-weighed after the pre-treatment was applied.  We recorded the weight increase in each garment to get the actual volume of wet pre-treatment on each garment. In the case of the shirts for the AEOON they were dried under a heat press, and then reweighed to establish a before printing net weight.  The garments were printed with white ink, then removed from printer to be weighed.  These garments the had to be trashed as they couldn't be reloaded.  Another set of pre-treated and weighed garments were loaded onto the DTG units and printed with White and CMYK, then weighed.  We were able to convert the data based on the weight in grams of pre-treatment, white ink and CMYK applied to the garment into a volumetric measurement in CC's or ML's. 

I realize how busy that you are right now, but when the smoke clears it might make sense to use a weighing process to validate the ink volume usage of both DTG print platforms. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 29, 2015, 10:57:56 PM
Earlier this year Nazdar SourceOne engaged a DTG Industry Expert to support us in a detailed analysis of pre-treatment cost, print quality, production performance, ink cost, and overall cost per print comparison between the AEOON KYO Series DTG printer, and another high production DTG printing system.  One thing our Industry Expert insisted was that he wouldn't base his findings on the pre-treatment and ink volume usage numbers that were reported by the pre-treatment application systems, and DTG printers. Rather we went old school, and started out by weighing a number of "virgin" shirts, that were re-weighed after the pre-treatment was applied.  We recorded the weight increase in each garment to get the actual volume of wet pre-treatment on each garment. In the case of the shirts for the AEOON they were dried under a heat press, and then reweighed to establish a before printing net weight.  The garments were printed with white ink, then removed from printer to be weighed.  These garments the had to be trashed as they couldn't be reloaded.  Another set of pre-treated and weighed garments were loaded onto the DTG units and printed with White and CMYK, then weighed.  We were able to convert the data based on the weight in grams of pre-treatment, white ink and CMYK applied to the garment into a volumetric measurement in CC's or ML's. 

Wow Peter, you guys don't mess around! I'm curious, when you did this, how close were the actual results to what the rip was saying?

I will say 4.7x the white ink does seem crazy, I would think you'd have enough ink pooling on the shirt to swim in it.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 29, 2015, 11:56:20 PM
Awesome stuff there Peter, I'd love to see more details.

How about waste ink?  Was that accounted for as well?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 30, 2015, 01:20:51 AM
Awesome stuff there Peter, I'd love to see more details.

How about waste ink?  Was that accounted for as well?

Gilligan:  We did not include waste ink consumption in the evaluation.  Based on the good information provided by Brandt, I would say that this was an oversight that should have been reviewed.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 30, 2015, 02:00:31 AM

Wow Peter, you guys don't mess around! I'm curious, when you did this, how close were the actual results to what the rip was saying?

I will say 4.7x the white ink does seem crazy, I would think you'd have enough ink pooling on the shirt to swim in it.

Bulldog:  I will have to reach out to Glenn Shull our SourceOne Equipment Product Manager for specifics on this question
 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: tonypep on December 30, 2015, 05:55:08 AM
Peter.........Tell Glenn I said hello. That's a name I haven't heard in a very long while. Pls resume thread
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 06:29:27 AM
Here's what I don't get. Cost of white ink aside, how can THIS BE ACCURATE?

Quote
Ink use:
Brother total ink used was 8.96cc (CMYK 1.75 and White 7.21)
M&R total ink used was 2.48cc (CMYK .94 and White 1.54)

Clearly the Brother print is waaaay darker than the M&R, yet it used over 3 times the VOLUME of white ink? Peter said it himself, the white inks both machines use aren't that far apart in chemical make up. So either the ink volume calculations are wrong for one or both of these machines, or the Brother unit is dumping over half its white ink into the waste container rather than printing it on the shirt (if that's even calculated into the print CC). Peter argues that white ink volume differences are a non-factor even.

Something's fishy. One of these measurements is off by a lot in my opinion.

Measurements are coming directly from the Brother and M&R Software/Machines. I am only told by both that it is an accurate reading. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 06:36:51 AM
This is why I'd like to see the settings tweaked till we get a nearly identical print.  That would be the better test in which one is putting out more ink.  That and coupled with a weight test as stated to see if it's wasting vs actually using that much ink.  I only really know Epson but I know that unless my machine is going through it's priming or cleaning phase it doesn't have a chance to arbitrarily dump ink.  It would have to stop over the waste section to do so.  Now that might be different on the Brother but I don't really see how.

That said, that is a TON of ink in that waste tank and as everyone has said, they are in the business of selling ink mostly so I'm sure they waste ink unnecessarily. (Dan, I forgot about that one in our discussion, it's been said a couple of times.)

Been there done that. Page 8, post #106, those prints while slightly different are for all purposes very very close. $4 difference in print cost.

I don't believe the machine is wasting ink in the print cycle, I could be wrong about that but I think that is only coming from the cleaning/flushing/etc that you have to do A LOT on the Brother in contrast to the M&R.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 06:52:56 AM

Brandt:  Just to be clear I don't in anyway doubt your report that you are using more CC's / ML's of ink for the same print on the GT-381, than you are on the M-Link. I also agree that your total ink cost per print from the GT-341 could be 3X or more than what you are experiencing from the M-Link, with the ink cost differential fueled by a combination of increased ink volume per print, and a higher cost per CC or ML.  With that said, here’s what I’m having some trouble understanding.  As I stated in my earlier posts the ink chemistry between the inks used in both DTG printers is very similar.  The difference in one DTG inkjet ink versus another is nothing like it is in screen inks, where the opacity and performance of a low cost plastisol ink weighing 9 lbs. per gallon, is way different to a high performance white ink that weighs 13 lbs. per gallon.  One of your recent posts reported ink usage on the same print of 8.96cc (CMYK 1.75 and White 7.21) for the GT-381, and 2.48cc (CMYK .94 and White 1.54).  These results report that the total ink usage on the GT-381 is 3.6X (CMYK 1.9X, and White 4.7X) that what used by the M-Link.  I can understand that the basic Print Driver on the GT-381 could be laying down a little more ink than the OEM RIP supplied by the M-Link, but 3.6X the total volume ink usage doesn't sound right to me.

You could be right but Charles your tech and Brother while at SGIA said to me that the numbers are reported correctly.  So I kinda take that for what it was, "experts" telling me that is correct. Also just to point out if it is incorrect you have 1,000's of these machines (the Brother) in the market reporting ink costs that shops are using to decide pricing. Did I stumble on another fumble by a manufacture like the large Roland cutters? If that reporting is incorrect I would suggest very seriously someone needs to come forward on that from Brother. I personal tend to agree that the numbers are way far apart on use but again when I am told they are correct I figure they must be.

Earlier this year Nazdar SourceOne engaged a DTG Industry Expert to support us in a detailed analysis of pre-treatment cost, print quality, production performance, ink cost, and overall cost per print comparison between the AEOON KYO Series DTG printer, and another high production DTG printing system.  One thing our Industry Expert insisted was that he wouldn't base his findings on the pre-treatment and ink volume usage numbers that were reported by the pre-treatment application systems, and DTG printers. Rather we went old school, and started out by weighing a number of "virgin" shirts, that were re-weighed after the pre-treatment was applied.  We recorded the weight increase in each garment to get the actual volume of wet pre-treatment on each garment. In the case of the shirts for the AEOON they were dried under a heat press, and then reweighed to establish a before printing net weight.  The garments were printed with white ink, then removed from printer to be weighed.  These garments the had to be trashed as they couldn't be reloaded.  Another set of pre-treated and weighed garments were loaded onto the DTG units and printed with White and CMYK, then weighed.  We were able to convert the data based on the weight in grams of pre-treatment, white ink and CMYK applied to the garment into a volumetric measurement in CC's or ML's. 

I realize how busy that you are right now, but when the smoke clears it might make sense to use a weighing process to validate the ink volume usage of both DTG print platforms.

So you probably used a Brother in that process yes Peter?  What were your findings of actual ink on a shirt vs what the machine is reporting? Surely you used one of the more common DTG's on the market? Id love to hear that data for sure.

As far as us running a test like that, I am not against it. That would take some time and as ive laid out at some point we have to stop playing detective and start making money on these machines or one of them at least. I have not been able to sell a single shirt so far and in fact im spending labor and money printing all these test (many not posted).

We have a busy next week, M&R/Brother will be here, the following Week our new Sprint 3000 goes in as well as new security system/cameras, but we may be able to try this test for you in there some where. 

If our new year kicks off right we will be hiring someone to replace one of our printers so one of our artist can come in and help run the DTG's and our Roland as well as help in the art department. This would allow for that test.  OR if you want and would like to see it run faster/sooner send in one of your guys and run this test on each machine and post your findings.  I am a open door.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 30, 2015, 08:16:13 AM
wouldn't the key to understanding the ink cost be something like:

I've printed X 'square inches' of prints on the M&R until the 'ink ran out'
-and-
I've printed Y 'square inches' of prints on the Brother until the 'ink ran out' 

this would be easier on the brother since it'll tell you when the cartridge is empty... on the M&R you'd likely have to figure out how many CC's are left in the bulk containers but still totally do-able.

this would tell you some average 'cost per square inch' numbers for each machine.

if you wanted to take it one step further, measure the amount of waste in the waste tanks as well, as then you could find out the waste cost per square inch as well...

Something else that I'm trying to understand... if the ink chemistry is truly similar... why is brandt having such issues on monday morning with the ink drying?  I can understand that the M&R machine keeps the ink moving in the tubes, but is it really keeping the ink running into the print head as well?  or does it just do a quick 'cleaning-cycle' every X hours to make sure that there's absolutely no chance of it drying?  -- if this is the case, wouldn't the M&R waste tank be filling more as well? 

We're still a decent time from needing/wanting a DTG machine, but issues like this will be something that I'll be curious to watch as time goes on...

I'm also interested in wash-tests... how are these garments holding up.. if you print one side on the brother and one side on the M&R and then throw it in your weekly wash, how do they look.


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 08:33:01 AM
wouldn't the key to understanding the ink cost be something like:

I've printed X 'square inches' of prints on the M&R until the 'ink ran out'
-and-
I've printed Y 'square inches' of prints on the Brother until the 'ink ran out' 

this would be easier on the brother since it'll tell you when the cartridge is empty... on the M&R you'd likely have to figure out how many CC's are left in the bulk containers but still totally do-able.

this would tell you some average 'cost per square inch' numbers for each machine.

Would be awhile on this since we are just printing a shirt here and there on each no production thus far it would be a long time before we could have data like that.  Without a counter on the M&R it also makes it hard to say we've printed X prints on M&R and Y on the Brother.  We feel they are similar at this point though. I don't know that there would be a way to easily calculate "square inches" of prints either.  Even when you are printing a 13x15 image your not printing a full 13x15 parts of it wouldn't be printed/etc.  I dont know that either machine would tell me anything like how many square inches have been printed.

if you wanted to take it one step further, measure the amount of waste in the waste tanks as well, as then you could find out the waste cost per square inch as well...

We can measure the waste for sure, but keep in mind the Brother has Cleaning solution also in that waste tank. So no exact way to determine what parts are what. All I can say there is the Brother is climbing fast and the M&R is basically same as it has been.

Something else that I'm trying to understand... if the ink chemistry is truly similar... why is brandt having such issues on monday morning with the ink drying?  I can understand that the M&R machine keeps the ink moving in the tubes, but is it really keeping the ink running into the print head as well?  or does it just do a quick 'cleaning-cycle' every X hours to make sure that there's absolutely no chance of it drying?  -- if this is the case, wouldn't the M&R waste tank be filling more as well? 

M&R Machine is on always, it cycles ink through the lines every so often.  The heads are capped when not in use (machine does this for you).  So they are always submerged in ink.  The Brother doesn't cycle ink.

We're still a decent time from needing/wanting a DTG machine, but issues like this will be something that I'll be curious to watch as time goes on...

I'm also interested in wash-tests... how are these garments holding up.. if you print one side on the brother and one side on the M&R and then throw it in your weekly wash, how do they look.

Wash tests we have washed a lot of the garments all are holding up. We had first few prints with some fiber issues but that's long gone as a issue. Over all the prints feel great.  One design on both machines the LSX shirt (tons of ink/coverage) was a bit of a hand still after wash.  Not crazy bad though. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 09:48:26 AM
Brandt, when you are heat pressing the garments are you getting a shine or are you knocking it down with parchment paper or something?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 09:51:06 AM
I stumbled upon this:

http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg (http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg)

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 09:56:10 AM
Brandt, when you are heat pressing the garments are you getting a shine or are you knocking it down with parchment paper or something?


We heat press them prior to printing with Teflon. Which is was Brother tech directed us to do as well as M&R. 

I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


Wow!!! Looks exactly the same other than red??
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 30, 2015, 10:05:58 AM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:10:31 AM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

Was that in the real long video?  I glossed over some of that missed that I guess. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:12:37 AM
Shelly is sick and thinks she will be going home early today, BUT before leaving I think she is going to run a test weighing each shirt prior to print and give us something to compare as far as that goes.  She will be posting results.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 10:12:52 AM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

Oh yeah, the video I posted! LOL - that's probably what put the Lawson into my head. Didn't remember the rebranded part but I guess that makes sense. The RIP is very important.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 10:17:24 AM
We heat press them prior to printing with Teflon. Which is was Brother tech directed us to do as well as M&R. 

I mean after you print, I'm assuming you are heat pressing them again to cure. I've noticed with the teflon when I press the print is shiny/glossy after pressing. Parchment paper seems to knock the shine down some, I'm trying to get it down more. Talking more about white. Colors don't seem too bad.

Just wondering if you have experienced the same.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:19:24 AM
I would suspect the RIP's are where the largest difference will show up between machines. I think the fact that some prints look very similar off each machine illustrates that. People can't assume each rip will be the same, they may get to a similar result but it may not be accomplished the same way. So ink use from one to another will never match. If they do I doubt the prints match, only way cc's will ever match is if it was same print heads and same rips.

Another consideration is obviously the machines have to rip differently since the Brother is using RED ink instead of Magenta like the M&R. Somewhere someone has had to play with software on that. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:22:21 AM
We heat press them prior to printing with Teflon. Which is was Brother tech directed us to do as well as M&R. 

I mean after you print, I'm assuming you are heat pressing them again to cure. I've noticed with the teflon when I press the print is shiny/glossy after pressing. Parchment paper seems to knock the shine down some, I'm trying to get it down more. Talking more about white. Colors don't seem too bad.

Just wondering if you have experienced the same.

Correct after print we use a parchment style paper. Not sure exactly what its called.  I would not call them "shinny" after that really. But they do have a slight shine compared to screen print I would say.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:24:39 AM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


M&R can chime in more if they want but I asked them about this just now. Reply was: "We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 10:29:42 AM
Correct after print we use a parchment style paper. Not sure exactly what its called.  I would not call them "shinny" after that really. But they do have a slight shine compared to screen print I would say.

Yeah, slight shine I guess you could call it. I'm trying to get to an almost flat. During my demos they achieved a darn near flat finish.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:30:40 AM
Correct after print we use a parchment style paper. Not sure exactly what its called.  I would not call them "shinny" after that really. But they do have a slight shine compared to screen print I would say.

Yeah, slight shine I guess you could call it. I'm trying to get to an almost flat. During my demos they achieved a darn near flat finish.

Ive only noticed it on super high ink coverage prints.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 10:32:32 AM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


M&R can chime in more if they want but I asked them about this just now. Reply was: "We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.


Fair enough, thought it was worth mentioning. I'm sure if other people saw that they would have a similar reaction.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 30, 2015, 10:34:03 AM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

Oh yeah, the video I posted! LOL - that's probably what put the Lawson into my head. Didn't remember the rebranded part but I guess that makes sense. The RIP is very important.

5:25 in that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y)

He says it's not the same machine. Ink, RIP software, and print heads are different? But the rest is the same? It would be interesting to hear the differences on those two.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 30, 2015, 10:40:24 AM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


Anyone know of the price point on this guy?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:44:13 AM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

Oh yeah, the video I posted! LOL - that's probably what put the Lawson into my head. Didn't remember the rebranded part but I guess that makes sense. The RIP is very important.

5:25 in that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y)

He says it's not the same machine. Ink, RIP software, and print heads are different? But the rest is the same? It would be interesting to hear the differences on those two.

See my posts a few up M&R says:

"We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 10:46:07 AM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


Anyone know of the price point on this guy?


Id contact Lawson to be sure but a few posts up M&R says to me:
"We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: IntegrityShirts on December 30, 2015, 11:17:27 AM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

Oh yeah, the video I posted! LOL - that's probably what put the Lawson into my head. Didn't remember the rebranded part but I guess that makes sense. The RIP is very important.

5:25 in that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KS27-gcF-Y)

He says it's not the same machine. Ink, RIP software, and print heads are different? But the rest is the same? It would be interesting to hear the differences on those two.

See my posts a few up M&R says:

"We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.

Yeah my bad I was watching the video when you posted lol
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 30, 2015, 11:29:56 AM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


Anyone know of the price point on this guy?


Id contact Lawson to be sure but a few posts up M&R says to me:
"We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.


Is anything new now a days, maybe once upon a time it might have been, but I think everyone takes a little bit from each other and add there on tech to try and make a better product.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on December 30, 2015, 11:46:32 AM
Shelly is sick and thinks she will be going home early today, BUT before leaving I think she is going to run a test weighing each shirt prior to print and give us something to compare as far as that goes.  She will be posting results.

Thanks Brandt, weighing the shirts to confirm the actual amount of ink (in grams) being printed by both machines will help check one more box in this side by side DTG printer evaluation.  Hope that Shelly gets to feeling better soon and that you guys have a happy new year. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 11:55:13 AM
Shelly is sick and thinks she will be going home early today, BUT before leaving I think she is going to run a test weighing each shirt prior to print and give us something to compare as far as that goes.  She will be posting results.

Thanks Brandt, weighing the shirts to confirm the actual amount of ink (in grams) being printed by both machines will help check one more box in this side by side DTG printer evaluation.  Hope that Shelly gets to feeling better soon and that you guys have a happy new year.

Shes completed here test, results posted shortly.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 30, 2015, 12:08:49 PM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


Anyone know of the price point on this guy?


Id contact Lawson to be sure but a few posts up M&R says to me:
"We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.


I read that, it's still listed on their current website, so someone has some bad info... either M&R or Lawson's website.  I'd HOPE Lawson's website would be more accurate on what they are carrying over their competition, so I was just "assuming" that and wondering IF it was still on the market, how much.  If the reverse is the case then that doesn't help the Lawson brand very much.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 12:22:53 PM
I stumbled upon this:

[url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url] ([url]http://www.lawsonsp.com/screen-printing-equipment/digital-equipment/express-jet-printers/diamond-jet-dtg[/url])

And couldn't help but notice the similarities.

Is the M&R and Lawson made by the same people and rebranded?


Anyone know of the price point on this guy?


Id contact Lawson to be sure but a few posts up M&R says to me:
"We use a different drive, different RIP, Firmware, actually only visually similar." He also mentioned he didn't think Lawson sells it anymore.


I read that, it's still listed on their current website, so someone has some bad info... either M&R or Lawson's website.  I'd HOPE Lawson's website would be more accurate on what they are carrying over their competition, so I was just "assuming" that and wondering IF it was still on the market, how much.  If the reverse is the case then that doesn't help the Lawson brand very much.


It isn't really totally relevant to this thread since M&R has pointed out they are not the same machine other than visually. Maybe you can pick up the phone and add some value to this thread. Report in if they do/don't and how much if so.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 30, 2015, 12:32:37 PM
I read that, it's still listed on their current website, so someone has some bad info... either M&R or Lawson's website.  I'd HOPE Lawson's website would be more accurate on what they are carrying over their competition, so I was just "assuming" that and wondering IF it was still on the market, how much.  If the reverse is the case then that doesn't help the Lawson brand very much.

you mean the Lawson who doesn't like to give people the time of day at shows?  Their booth was empty and I had questions about a Trooper and they could care less at the time.  (and I was in a position to be ready to purchase which I made clear when I first talked to them).

-J
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: shellyky on December 30, 2015, 12:33:51 PM
i had a little bit of time to run this test on weight.  I'm not sure it can be an end all be all test as maybe there is a heavier solids content in one of the inks, one could be more water weight...etc...weights and volumes aren't apples to apples, but in the end i guess one shirt is heavier.  Take my findings for what they are...ive done my best to science the crap out of it.

CONSTANTS:
14x12.5" print
No black ink used on either
L black gildan g200

M&R:
COST TO PRINT: $.52 (.322 CMYK and 1.8 WHT = 2.122cc)
TIME TO PRINT: 4:02
WEIGHT OF PRE-TREATED/PRESSED SHIRT: 204.0g* (note for science, i ran it thru the conveyor dryer to get rid of excess moisture created by the heatpress)
WEIGHT OF WET INK SHIRT: 209.6 (5.6g of ink laid down)
WEIGHT OF PRESSED SHIRT: 204.3 (overall change of .3 in weight)
PRINT QUALITY: Light green a little blown out in comparison to brother.  Better whites and very vivid.  Face seems clearer than brother. 

BROTHER:
COST TO PRINT: $1.79 (.39 CMYK and 3.51 WHT = 4.26cc)
TIME TO PRINT: 2:58
WEIGHT OF PRE-TREATED/PRESSED SHIRT: 205.2g* (note for science, i ran it thru the conveyor dryer to get rid of excess moisture created by the heatpress)
WEIGHT OF WET INK SHIRT: 213.1 (7.9g of ink laid down)
WEIGHT OF PRESSED SHIRT: 207.5 (overall change of 2.3 in weight)
PRINT QUALITY: Whites not as bright as M&R, however lots more detail in the dark green areas. 

FACTS:
Softwares say the Brother used almost exactly 2x the cc as the M&R. 
The overall weight change was not 2x (brother should have .6 weight increase if so, not 2.3)
The wet ink weight was not 2x (brother should have weighed in at 11.2g instead of 7.9)

CONCLUSION:
Inconclusive in my opinion and i think we're about done with testing theories at this point and ready to sell garments. The brother shirt weighed more at the end, and it does say it uses more ink.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 01:38:47 PM
That's a damn good print on a G200. Both sellable for sure. Thanks for the info Shelly, hope you feel better.

How many grams (or ML) of pretreat are you laying down and what is the area you are spraying (like 14x18)?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: tonypep on December 30, 2015, 01:43:56 PM
The Science Cat pic almost looks real
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: shellyky on December 30, 2015, 01:48:30 PM
That's a damn good print on a G200. Both sellable for sure. Thanks for the info Shelly, hope you feel better.

How many grams (or ML) of pretreat are you laying down and what is the area you are spraying (like 14x18)?

thank u me too...hoping the long weekend cures me. 

they set us up to hit about 30g as far as i recall.  spray area for this test was set to i think 15x15 roughly.  wash results so far are great with both machines.  tried a triblend next level  tank top and it even looks good so far.   
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 30, 2015, 01:56:20 PM
WAIT... I was under the impression that DTG was just for 100% cotton?  You can do blends and triblends with it?

can you post some pics of those?  They can't do 100% poly tho right?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on December 30, 2015, 01:57:40 PM
Clearly it seems that Brother is selling a lot of water/carrier in their ink since most of that went away after the heat press.

That is possibly why the weight difference doesn't like up to the volume difference.  Assuming pigment weighs more than water/carrier fluid.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 02:00:21 PM
Clearly it seems that Brother is selling a lot of water/carrier in their ink since most of that went away after the heat press.

That is possibly why the weight difference doesn't like up to the volume difference.  Assuming pigment weighs more than water/carrier fluid.

Well it is pretty much a water based ink.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 02:03:53 PM
WAIT... I was under the impression that DTG was just for 100% cotton?  You can do blends and triblends with it?

can you post some pics of those?  They can't do 100% poly tho right?

A lot of them claim to. I tried a 60/40 NL and it faded the white ink badly. I tried a G8000 and it turned white ink dark gray. Both black shirts. It was crazy. But I am using an Epson mod so results could be different on those other two printers. Never did try colors...might have to give that a shot and see what happens.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 02:06:30 PM
That's a damn good print on a G200. Both sellable for sure. Thanks for the info Shelly, hope you feel better.

How many grams (or ML) of pretreat are you laying down and what is the area you are spraying (like 14x18)?

Both sell-able prints for sure, id say both are great prints.

The test proves is that the Brother is using more ink. I believe she picked this design randomly and we have not run it on either machine prior to this. So it was a even Steven test at least until someone starts objecting about swamp gas refracting light off Venus making Pluto release toxic laser beams that made the M&R use less ink. I am sure even this test wont be enough for some and we will need to bring in Nasa to measure the PSI used per print nozzle and weigh the ink at the atom level. I dunno folks. Take it for what it is, we've tested these things as even as we know how.

I find them both to be good machines, but they are different. Period.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: shellyky on December 30, 2015, 02:18:04 PM
WAIT... I was under the impression that DTG was just for 100% cotton?  You can do blends and triblends with it?

can you post some pics of those?  They can't do 100% poly tho right?

they dont recommend it... I did a 60/40 next level black tee and the colors were dull looking...i later tried just white text on a black and a char-black heathered and it appeared ok.
the tank top was triblend next level and i printed black and cream vector art on the that macchiato color...looked good enough for the style of print i did--it did appear to crack a little after first wash which for me, was ok because it was a distressed thing anyways.  I dont know how it will go with multiple washings, will need to do more laundry.  Also did  black text on a 60/40 oxford gray hanes beefy tee with good results.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 02:19:17 PM
Clearly it seems that Brother is selling a lot of water/carrier in their ink since most of that went away after the heat press.

That is possibly why the weight difference doesn't like up to the volume difference.  Assuming pigment weighs more than water/carrier fluid.

Some might say if the inks are similar between the two (someone else's words not mine), then maybe the Brother is diluted with higher volume of carrier/water, thus requiring more volume to end up with a similar final result. Which means more ink sales when its all said and done.

This isn't shocking really as others pointed out. Most of us probably agree M&R wants to sell machines and Brother wants to sell ink.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 30, 2015, 02:36:57 PM
WAIT... I was under the impression that DTG was just for 100% cotton?  You can do blends and triblends with it?

can you post some pics of those?  They can't do 100% poly tho right?

they dont recommend it... I did a 60/40 next level black tee and the colors were dull looking...i later tried just white text on a black and a char-black heathered and it appeared ok.
the tank top was triblend next level and i printed black and cream vector art on the that macchiato color...looked good enough for the style of print i did--it did appear to crack a little after first wash which for me, was ok because it was a distressed thing anyways.  I dont know how it will go with multiple washings, will need to do more laundry.  Also did  black text on a 60/40 oxford gray hanes beefy tee with good results.

Thank you!!!  this is still a stumbling point for us... once they can do 50/50's, triblends and 100% poly we'll be super interested... until then, it's a watch other people play with them game for us.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on December 30, 2015, 02:37:51 PM
Clearly it seems that Brother is selling a lot of water/carrier in their ink since most of that went away after the heat press.

That is possibly why the weight difference doesn't like up to the volume difference.  Assuming pigment weighs more than water/carrier fluid.

Some might say if the inks are similar between the two (someone else's words not mine), then maybe the Brother is diluted with higher volume of carrier/water, thus requiring more volume to end up with a similar final result. Which means more ink sales when its all said and done.

This isn't shocking really as others pointed out. Most of us probably agree M&R wants to sell machines and Brother wants to sell ink.

this could also explain some of the 'drying' issues with the Brother unit... that is, if the other carrier elements aren't as prone to evaporation at low temps...
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on December 30, 2015, 02:49:16 PM
blends work OK, they are more work on the front end.  We find that you have to do 2 light coats of PT for them to work.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 30, 2015, 02:52:37 PM
blends work OK, they are more work on the front end.  We find that you have to do 2 light coats of PT for them to work.

With the two light coats are you doing something like half for a regular cotton shirt, then heat pressing it for 60 seconds, spraying again half and another 60 seconds of heat press?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Printficient on December 30, 2015, 03:17:15 PM
I believe the Kornit is the only one doing poly and poly blends well.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on December 30, 2015, 03:22:41 PM
Shelly brought up a bag of shirts we've washed some of them couple times some just 1 time. Most felt great. Some had no hand at all. Particularly the Next Level and Hanes Nano T had zero hand. Gildans has a slight hand felt like most screen printed shirts. Couple prints were heavy hand but had large filled print areas.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: DGP ConsultCo on December 30, 2015, 05:59:32 PM
I believe the Kornit is the only one doing poly and poly blends well.


White and light colored poly can be done with just about any dtg...as long as you use the proper pretreatment first. That is the reason the 3rd party ink suppliers have light, dark and "other" formulations of PT. The holy grail for dtg is no pretreat at all and bonding to anything dark or light. The current dtg ink technology just is not there ...yet. First one across the finish line wins!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on December 30, 2015, 09:01:15 PM
Speaking of pretreat, I'm thinking this stuff is somewhat like the emulsion type stuff they put on film for inkjet film so the black ink will stay on, I'm learning that pretreating is a very big part of DTG.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Mr Tees!! on December 30, 2015, 10:42:53 PM
That's a damn good print on a G200. Both sellable for sure. Thanks for the info Shelly, hope you feel better.

How many grams (or ML) of pretreat are you laying down and what is the area you are spraying (like 14x18)?

Both sell-able prints for sure, id say both are great prints.

The test proves is that the Brother is using more ink. I believe she picked this design randomly and we have not run it on either machine prior to this. So it was a even Steven test at least until someone starts objecting about swamp gas refracting light off Venus making Pluto release toxic laser beams that made the M&R use less ink. I am sure even this test wont be enough for some and we will need to bring in Nasa to measure the PSI used per print nozzle and weigh the ink at the atom level. I dunno folks. Take it for what it is, we've tested these things as even as we know how.

I find them both to be good machines, but they are different. Period.

I'm gonna need you to weight that swamp gas.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on December 31, 2015, 11:47:38 AM
Brandt, what brand of pretreat are you using?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 01, 2016, 07:12:21 AM
Brandt, what brand of pretreat are you using?

Brother for Brother, M&R for M&R.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on January 02, 2016, 11:19:13 AM
Brandt, what brand of pretreat are you using?

Brother for Brother, M&R for M&R.

Have you tried printing out just a block of white like 5"x5" on a Gildan? I can lay down a pretty good full color print on a Gildan but if I'm doing a white block test it shows some pitting. Still experimenting with pre-treat variables but wondering if you've done anything similar and what results were? I also know I could be pissing in the wind with the Gildans.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 02, 2016, 12:41:27 PM
Brandt, what brand of pretreat are you using?

Brother for Brother, M&R for M&R.

Have you tried printing out just a block of white like 5"x5" on a Gildan? I can lay down a pretty good full color print on a Gildan but if I'm doing a white block test it shows some pitting. Still experimenting with pre-treat variables but wondering if you've done anything similar and what results were? I also know I could be pissing in the wind with the Gildans.

We haven't printed a solid large white square image as I am not sure what it would/wouldn't prove in relation to the typical images we print. I suppose we could do it but we already know the Brother as of this second will put down a bunch more white and so far its not been as good of a white as the M&R. So it will cost more and look worse I suspect. Kind of more of what we already know. I am curious after Monday we have any differences in the way we use it after Brother comes. 

I am still happy with both machines. Many people have the Brother and it works great for them and its a cash maker I am certain. I wouldn't argue otherwise nor would I tell someone not to buy the Brother. I am sure some believe I would tell someone not to buy the Brother, just not the case. I would however make sure anyone asking me understands there are vast ink costs differences and maintenance time involved so far between the two. if they ask me which I like better id say M&R.

Remember there is always more than one way to skin a cat, neither are really wrong just different.  Most of us run our shops a bit different and if we plugged in each of us into the others shop it would probably be chaos. M&R and Brother likely have a much different philosophy as how they do things. I suspect if we sat down at the main table at each we'd find M&R wants to sell the machine, Brother wants to sell the consumables. Doesn't make either wrong, just different. In some case I believe you could make a case for each being more ideal depending on the situation.

As of today if I had to do it again knowing what I see with my own 2 eyes, id buy the M&R. We will see how/if that changes over some time and ill give my updated opinion then. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on January 02, 2016, 03:27:17 PM
if brother is coming on monday, I assume/am hoping that you're going to leave the machine in a non-powered up state until they arrive, so they can go through the monday morning pain with you or your staff and tell you if/what you're doing wrong?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ScreenPrinter123 on January 03, 2016, 09:55:41 AM
So the ink chemistry is similar and the brother lays down more white and looks worse.  Is it possible that the pretreat is contributing to the difference?  I know nothing about DTG so maybe it is not possible but have you tried swapping the pretreats to see if that changes the print results?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 03, 2016, 06:24:36 PM
if brother is coming on monday, I assume/am hoping that you're going to leave the machine in a non-powered up state until they arrive, so they can go through the monday morning pain with you or your staff and tell you if/what you're doing wrong?

The machine prompts you for all the maintenance on Monday, not sure how it could be done wrong. It's pretty cut and dry as far as that goes. Not sure what time he is coming in but we will likely start that maintenance at 8 am with or without him so we aren't wasting 2hrs of his time.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 03, 2016, 06:28:40 PM
So the ink chemistry is similar and the brother lays down more white and looks worse.  Is it possible that the pretreat is contributing to the difference?  I know nothing about DTG so maybe it is not possible but have you tried swapping the pretreats to see if that changes the print results?

Each machine has its own pretreat.  We've used both with each other just to see how they react.  Both machines print worse with the others pretreat. I'm going to assume each recommend using their own version of pretreat so we'd like to stick with that for now as we learn. 

Also remember it seems with our testing the Brother ink has more water or carrier fluid in its ink.  So while its laying down more cc a higher percentage of it is evaporating in the heat pressing process.  But that does mean higher costs as your using higher volume of more expensive ink. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: pwalsh on January 04, 2016, 12:39:02 AM
So the ink chemistry is similar and the brother lays down more white and looks worse.  Is it possible that the pretreat is contributing to the difference?  I know nothing about DTG so maybe it is not possible but have you tried swapping the pretreats to see if that changes the print results?

Each machine has its own pretreat.  We've used both with each other just to see how they react.  Both machines print worse with the others pretreat. I'm going to assume each recommend using their own version of pretreat so we'd like to stick with that for now as we learn. 

Also remember it seems with our testing the Brother ink has more water or carrier fluid in its ink.  So while its laying down more cc a higher percentage of it is evaporating in the heat pressing process.  But that does mean higher costs as your using higher volume of more expensive ink.

Brandt:  Based on Shelly's testing where she weighed the wet ink deposit and the after heat pressing weight I'd have to say that the opposite result occurred.  Unless I screwed up and misinterpreted the numbers here is what the results of Shelly's test regarding ink evaporation and remaining solids content indicate:

M&R M-Link Ink Usage = 2.12cc ink volume reported, 5.6 grams of weighed wet ink, & 0.3 grams of ink remaining after heat pressing / drying
Brother GT-381 Ink Usage = 4.26cc ink volume reported, 7.9 grams of weighed wet ink & 2.3 grams of ink remaining on the garment after heat pressing / drying.

Observation:  assuming that all weights were consistent it appears that the Brother ink has a higher solid content
M-Link –  Weight wet inks 5.6 grams, and  0.3 grams remaining solids after heat pressing, for a reduction from wet to dry ink of 94.6%
GT-381 –  Weight wet inks 7.9  grams, and 2.3 grams remaining solids after heat pressing, for a reduction from wet to dry ink of 70.9%

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 04, 2016, 06:22:34 AM
Looks like it yes, never did the % math, my bad so much going on. I was more focused on what ink weight was left which was the point of the test really.  .3 vs 2.3.  Pretty much proving it is using more ink. I would suggest that just logically if one has more solid content then cc for cc wouldn't the higher solid content ink look better? Doesn't seem to be the case. Brother comes today, so today should be interesting.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 04, 2016, 06:47:15 PM
Good day with Brother/Nazdar today. He showed us some options on using a bit less ink but over all we still felt the white needed boosted to get us the print we had in mind so the ink cost just went back up. We were also shown a different rip that we felt created more issues than it solved. We'd probably pass on using that and it did add cost. We did see some banding on both machines today and we found it to be a humidity issue. We haven't seen much banding on either machine after the first day of printing so this is a new one. It was cold as hell today and snowing no idea if that had any thing to do with it.  He did check our humidity level and it was super low. We may put in a humidifier to see if that helps any. To be fair today we used only the Brother pre-treat even when messing with the M&R.

Both companies care about the customer clearly. I remain happy with each machine but still would take the M&R over the Brother given the ink costs/up keep of the Brother compared to the M&R.  Id still recommend the Brother to anyone with a smaller budget or doing lower volume. 

We hope to start selling garments this week. So I think we will start seeing some real world use not just testing soon. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Crazy Mike on January 05, 2016, 10:07:54 AM
I see you have the Brother listed for sale. The Mlink wins! 8)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 05, 2016, 10:31:41 AM
I see you have the Brother listed for sale. The Mlink wins! 8)

Yes, figured id list it and see if there is any interest. If it sells it sells if it don't it don't.  The Mlink is the better package for us. The Brother remains very good machine though and some would suggest better for them. There are people making great living on them.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on January 05, 2016, 10:49:33 AM
so what happened yesterday with the brother folks in house to make you decide to list it today?

was it only related to the upkeep/ink costs?  Or was there more shortcomings on the Brother unit?

-- also, what did they say about the white ink issues on monday mornings that you've been having?  Is that just related to humidity?  (wondering if these units need to be kept in a truly temperature controlled environment, kinda like our screen rooms, but with an automatic humidifier to keep the room humidity at a certain level)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 05, 2016, 11:06:54 AM
so what happened yesterday with the brother folks in house to make you decide to list it today?

was it only related to the upkeep/ink costs?  Or was there more shortcomings on the Brother unit?

-- also, what did they say about the white ink issues on monday mornings that you've been having?  Is that just related to humidity?  (wondering if these units need to be kept in a truly temperature controlled environment, kinda like our screen rooms, but with an automatic humidifier to keep the room humidity at a certain level)

I listed visit details a couple posts up.

My choice is very basic. The M&R is ready to print in a couple of minutes each day vs the Brother just the weekly upkeep alone is a fair bit of time. The Ink costs are less and it is using less ink. I've detailed this over and over even covered the weighing the ink on shirt and so on. It was very clear for us on that front. There is nothing wrong with the Brother machine or any new short comings, it works great and many people are using them with big success and I believe we could as well no doubt about it.

Brother felt the banding we where getting was from humidity. But again we've not seen a banding issue prior to today other than the first couple of prints off each machine on install day for each. Not sure if it was from the shift from all the rain we've had lately to the super cold we had last few days. No idea on that but both machines did band yesterday. We were also out 4 days for the holiday and for all I know that played a part. The 2 White ink issues was somewhat our fault we were not capping the maintenance cart correctly on the Monday Morning deals and that did cause it to not take the ink all the way into the head. But of course it cleared up each time with a few prints. We will add a humidifier if we see this issue repeat.

I have been transparent and I still believe the Brother machine to be very good. I just believe the M&R is easier and cheaper to use.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 06, 2016, 03:55:31 PM
As we move forward now with the Mlink on its own. Id like to offer you all the ability to send in a garment(s) to be printed. Send your file/shirt to the address below.  Give me another few days before you start sending them but in a week say fire them over. No charge for your sample print at all.

Graphic Disorder
2210 Eddie Williams Rd.
Johnson City, TN 37601

UPS or USPS Label would be nice to cover your shipping back.


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: T Shirt Farmer on January 06, 2016, 04:19:57 PM
As we move forward now with the Mlink on its own. Id like to offer you all the ability to send in a garment(s) to be printed. Send your file/shirt to the address below.  Give me another few days before you start sending them but in a week say fire them over. No charge for your sample print at all.

Graphic Disorder
2210 Eddie Williams Rd.
Johnson City, TN 37601

UPS or USPS Label would be nice to cover your shipping back.

Very generous offer and I will take you up on it

Thanks
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 14, 2016, 09:16:32 AM
We have been selling garments off the machine for a few days and its been going super well.  Started production today. Here is one.

Full 14 inches wide somewhere around 16 inches tall I believe, $.80 print cost.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: kingscreen on January 14, 2016, 09:58:27 AM
Looks great! 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 14, 2016, 11:41:44 AM
Finally doing production and it's going well!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: DGP ConsultCo on January 14, 2016, 06:30:35 PM
Brandt,

Those look awesome. What resolution are you printing at....1200x900 or 1200x600. Also, how long did each print take?

Thanks
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 15, 2016, 06:25:14 AM
Brandt,

Those look awesome. What resolution are you printing at....1200x900 or 1200x600. Also, how long did each print take?

Thanks

1200x600.  Most large back prints we are seeing 2-4 minutes. We have seen a few shorter and a few longer than that, but the bulk falls in that 2-4 mins range for the size of print we are doing. That's a full back 14 inch wide normally 15-16-17 tall print.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 15, 2016, 06:26:20 AM
Yesterday we did a fair amount of prints on the machine I think 50 prints roughly. High print cost was $1.01, low was $.08.  Typical shirt (front and back print) ink cost was $.90-$1.10 range.  Still gotta work on what our pre-treat is costing but I suspect in the $.50 per print range.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: DGP ConsultCo on January 15, 2016, 12:29:52 PM
From all the DTG print testing I have done in the past 12yrs....pretreat cost per shirt averages out to $.50 per shirt full print. The total amount of PT fluid needed to obtain great whites is in the range of 18-22 grams depending on the fabric.
Your print times are great especially in consideration of cost per print.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 15, 2016, 12:31:25 PM
From all the DTG print testing I have done in the past 12yrs....pretreat cost per shirt averages out to $.50 per shirt full print. The total amount of PT fluid needed to obtain great whites is in the range of 18-22 grams depending on the fabric.
Your print times are great especially in consideration of cost per print.

M&R suggested it was $.25 - $.50 per print on the pre-treat and I suspect thats close. I just haven't done any testing to see how accurate that was.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on January 15, 2016, 03:10:17 PM
From all the DTG print testing I have done in the past 12yrs....pretreat cost per shirt averages out to $.50 per shirt full print. The total amount of PT fluid needed to obtain great whites is in the range of 18-22 grams depending on the fabric.
Your print times are great especially in consideration of cost per print.

M&R suggested it was $.25 - $.50 per print on the pre-treat and I suspect thats close. I just haven't done any testing to see how accurate that was.
we are the manufacturer of the pre-treatment and as such can keep the price low in comparison to some. Most tints we test are between .25 and .50. Mostly they run around .30.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 15, 2016, 03:12:20 PM
Thanks Rich.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 06:25:42 AM
This thing is still kicking.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GaryG on January 27, 2016, 09:41:34 AM
I sure hope it's still kicking.
Some nice prints! Always liked that style of art you are doing there.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 09:50:29 AM
Thanks!

Between this and our new Sprint 3000 it feels like Christmas!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on January 27, 2016, 09:57:11 AM
Brandt, I realize that you don't do any large areas of a single color, but... if you have...

did you notice any speckiling in those areas on either the M&R or the Brother?

I got our official TSB shirts that were printed on the Brother, on a black shirt, and the print is just not what I would have expected... I'm wondering if this is something that is 'normal' for DTG or not...
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on January 27, 2016, 09:59:07 AM
This thing is still kicking.

Are the amount of ink and pretreat spray dollar wise working out like it was on the test samples you did?
Very nice prints.
Shane
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 10:02:41 AM
Brandt, I realize that you don't do any large areas of a single color, but... if you have...

did you notice any speckiling in those areas on either the M&R or the Brother?

I got our official TSB shirts that were printed on the Brother, on a black shirt, and the print is just not what I would have expected... I'm wondering if this is something that is 'normal' for DTG or not...

In the beginning we seen specking on the Brother. We then started rolling the pre-treat flat after coating prior to heat press. Never saw much after that on either.  A lot of our artwork doesn't really have a large solid area of ink, so I haven't really tried to do that as I can't think of many scenarios where that would be "real world" for us.  Again anyone can send a sample artwork over and Ill print it off the Mlink and mail it back to you. Cost you  nothing but your garment/shipping back. 

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Maff on January 27, 2016, 10:10:24 AM
Really awesome artwork and prints!!

So are you starting to see situations now that you would pull a job from the Auto over to the M-Link?  from a production standpoint...

Or are expecting to only market this service and type of work just within DTG??

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 10:26:17 AM
This thing is still kicking.

Are the amount of ink and pretreat spray dollar wise working out like it was on the test samples you did?
Very nice prints.
Shane

If anything we seem to be stabilized at most shirts being about $.90-$1.10 in ink total for 2 location shirt.  Fronts are often left chest or center not SUPER big prints. 4.5-12 inches.  Backs are all pretty damn big around 13.5-14 wide and are very tall around 14-17 inches. Pre-Treat is costing nearly what the print is. Around $.25-50 per print.

As we do some lose maths we are very happy though. 

Gildan Shirt: $1.70
Rough High Ink costs for 2 sided print: $1.00
Average Pretreat: $.75
Hard costs: $3.45

Labor, we did 30pcs (60 prints) in 5hrs the other day at a fairly decent clip but not humping it. So let's say labor is $13 a hour. You have $65 in labor.

So on 30 shirts with 2 sided prints (most all different prints BTW, would be much faster just printing same print over and over), we retailed them for $20 plus ship.  Thats $600.

Sales: $600
Labor: $65
Garment/ink/pretreat: $103.50

So in 5hrs we put over $400 in the bank. If my shop can turn 30 shirts a day with that type of profit, 250 working days a year days, that is over 100k in profit for us per year running this thing part time. Also keep in mind this same employee will be running our Roland printer at the same time so his labor could really be divided between the two processes and neither should slow him down much from the other as the printer can print for hours at times without being bothered.

Ill take it. I think people running smaller designs or single sided designs would be even more pleasantly surprised at the profit/etc.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on January 27, 2016, 10:28:13 AM
Nice!
Shane

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 10:29:21 AM
Really awesome artwork and prints!!

So are you starting to see situations now that you would pull a job from the Auto over to the M-Link?  from a production standpoint...

Or are expecting to only market this service and type of work just within DTG??

We haven't decided that we'd pull a auto job for the Mlink yet, but I can see that we my should look at it in certain scenarios. Time will tell on that.  Right now with our DTG sales we wouldn't have a lot of open time for it.  But that may change.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Maff on January 27, 2016, 12:18:54 PM
Really awesome artwork and prints!!

So are you starting to see situations now that you would pull a job from the Auto over to the M-Link?  from a production standpoint...

Or are expecting to only market this service and type of work just within DTG??

We haven't decided that we'd pull a auto job for the Mlink yet, but I can see that we my should look at it in certain scenarios. Time will tell on that.  Right now with our DTG sales we wouldn't have a lot of open time for it.  But that may change.

Yeah i considered getting a DTG a while ago, just for the sake of pulling high color low quantity jobs over to it, but what your describing makes more sense using it for a DTG specific market... just in a profit sense with the a higher mark up. 
We pulled away from the idea to focus our efforts and finances on expanding our screen printing instead... but I can see DTG still being a good idea in the future if we market the service right.

It's really great to see all the math that you've been calculating... it makes the whole venture better understood.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 12:35:51 PM
Really awesome artwork and prints!!

So are you starting to see situations now that you would pull a job from the Auto over to the M-Link?  from a production standpoint...

Or are expecting to only market this service and type of work just within DTG??

We haven't decided that we'd pull a auto job for the Mlink yet, but I can see that we my should look at it in certain scenarios. Time will tell on that.  Right now with our DTG sales we wouldn't have a lot of open time for it.  But that may change.

Yeah i considered getting a DTG a while ago, just for the sake of pulling high color low quantity jobs over to it, but what your describing makes more sense using it for a DTG specific market... just in a profit sense with the a higher mark up. 
We pulled away from the idea to focus our efforts and finances on expanding our screen printing instead... but I can see DTG still being a good idea in the future if we market the service right.

It's really great to see all the math that you've been calculating... it makes the whole venture better understood.

I certainly get tired of seeing 8-12 screens for a 24pc job. Sure we are charging good for it but I think we could run them cheaper on the DTG. Not faster maybe, but cheaper. CTS makes any job go pretty quick even with a lot of screens so its hard to justify using dtg on some jobs in my shop.  But maybe ill start offering 12pc runs, do them DTG only, unlimited colors.  Might be a idea. 

I would never focus our finances on DTG, we basically upgraded our screen printing equipment to the point where we are VERY modern, CH3D/CTS/Starlight/Sprint 3000/etc. I wanted another revenue stream and start working on growing it. 
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Maff on January 27, 2016, 12:55:16 PM

[/quote]

I would never focus our finances on DTG, we basically upgraded our screen printing equipment to the point where we are VERY modern, CH3D/CTS/Starlight/Sprint 3000/etc. I wanted another revenue stream and start working on growing it.
[/quote]

Right, Open a new door to a new market, new revenue stream and more growth... right on man!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 02:05:23 PM
Couple Mlink Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SysVVMBzg3s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SysVVMBzg3s)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve36l5pOZOo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve36l5pOZOo)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Gilligan on January 27, 2016, 03:07:24 PM
So in 5hrs we put over $400 in the bank. If my shop can turn 30 shirts a day with that type of profit, 250 working days a year days, that is over 100k in profit for us per year running this thing part time.

Hey, that's six figures just in DTG... Can't beat that. ;) :D
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: jvanick on January 27, 2016, 03:10:02 PM
I certainly get tired of seeing 8-12 screens for a 24pc job. Sure we are charging good for it but I think we could run them cheaper on the DTG.

HOLY [email protected]

8-12 screens for a 24pc job, we'd be at $32 a shirt on the low side to $50 a shirt on the high side for retail to cover shop time, job staging, handling, etc.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 27, 2016, 03:16:26 PM
I certainly get tired of seeing 8-12 screens for a 24pc job. Sure we are charging good for it but I think we could run them cheaper on the DTG.

HOLY [email protected]

8-12 screens for a 24pc job, we'd be at $32 a shirt on the low side to $50 a shirt on the high side for retail to cover shop time, job staging, handling, etc.

We do a lot of jobs like that. Many seem to lead into bigger jobs later but people like to try it out I guess.  On top of that we get a ton of jobs like that with $200-500 in artwork fees before we even print the job.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mimosatexas on January 27, 2016, 04:03:31 PM
I've always been surprised how many people are willing to spend $25+ per piece on shirts.  Hell I have had people buy blanks at higher than that retail and bring them in and pay that on top of their already inflated shirt costs.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on January 27, 2016, 08:06:12 PM
In the beginning we seen specking on the Brother. We then started rolling the pre-treat flat after coating prior to heat press. Never saw much after that on either.  A lot of our artwork doesn't really have a large solid area of ink, so I haven't really tried to do that as I can't think of many scenarios where that would be "real world" for us.  Again anyone can send a sample artwork over and Ill print it off the Mlink and mail it back to you. Cost you  nothing but your garment/shipping back.

What are you using to roll it? Do you have a link?

When I was using that silicone parchment paper I would get specking, switched to brown kraft and that seemed to help.

Interested in the rolling thing though.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 28, 2016, 06:52:33 AM
In the beginning we seen specking on the Brother. We then started rolling the pre-treat flat after coating prior to heat press. Never saw much after that on either.  A lot of our artwork doesn't really have a large solid area of ink, so I haven't really tried to do that as I can't think of many scenarios where that would be "real world" for us.  Again anyone can send a sample artwork over and Ill print it off the Mlink and mail it back to you. Cost you  nothing but your garment/shipping back.

What are you using to roll it? Do you have a link?

When I was using that silicone parchment paper I would get specking, switched to brown kraft and that seemed to help.

Interested in the rolling thing though.

Just a 6 inch foam roller, home depot or lowes will have it.  Pretreat then roll the shirt fibers flat.  Then heat press.  We are using Teflon prior to print, then after print put down parchment paper with teflon over it.  Thats been our best results so far. Again we are infants so far in the DTG world but we are not seeing any specking since rolling garments.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: DGP ConsultCo on January 28, 2016, 12:48:37 PM
I use a 3" wide Wooster bristle hair paint brush rather than a foam roller. I thought the roller breaks down too quickly and small specks end up on the shirt. Also, never been that fond of the Teflon sheet for dtg....leaves the finished print too shiny and can cause glazing on the pretreatment curing....I am a big fan of the Stahls brown Kraft paper. Used it for both PT and finished prints. i can keep one sheet going for about a month or so before have to grab a new one.

I do agree that some form of "work in" is needed after apply the PT or you are very prone to seeing "pin holing" in the finished dark shirt prints.

Brandt, those prints you are producing on the Mlink look outrageous! Nice work!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on January 28, 2016, 01:30:30 PM
Brandt, those prints you are producing on the Mlink look outrageous! Nice work!

Thanks!  I will keep your pointers on the Stahls stuff in mind as well.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on February 18, 2016, 10:05:03 AM
Just a quick update, nothing new really to say other than the machine hasn't had the first issue and we are doing around 20-30 shirts a day 40-60 prints (most are double sided). Its not huge volume but working pretty good for us and our operator is also running our i-Image ST, the Mlink, and the Roland Pro 4 each day.

Again anyone that wants to fire a shirt over for a sample print, my info is in this thread, just send a shirt/file and your return shipping label.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: alan802 on March 01, 2016, 06:04:23 PM
Just a quick update, nothing new really to say other than the machine hasn't had the first issue and we are doing around 20-30 shirts a day 40-60 prints (most are double sided). Its not huge volume but working pretty good for us and our operator is also running our i-Image ST, the Mlink, and the Roland Pro 4 each day.

Again anyone that wants to fire a shirt over for a sample print, my info is in this thread, just send a shirt/file and your return shipping label.

That's more than most who buy them will do in a week.  The numbers I ran A LONG TIME AGO (literally 8 or so years ago) we needed to do approximately 40 shirts per week but that was based off the incredibly under-inflated ink cost/usage that was being touted by the sales people of the particular unit we were looking at.  I didn't think we would have done 1/4 of that per week since none of the sales people were going to make much of an effort to sell it.  Then I stumbled onto a forum where users were more than happy to share their experiences and this isn't hyperbole, I don't recall reading a single positive review out of 20-25 different people so we pulled the plug on that.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on May 20, 2016, 12:11:08 PM
Had to share this one, no filter. Sucker is awesome.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: DGP ConsultCo on May 20, 2016, 12:14:51 PM
very impressive.....
half-tone art work? or printing on heavy canvas?


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on May 23, 2016, 07:13:57 AM
very impressive.....
half-tone art work? or printing on heavy canvas?

The background is a combination of effects, the print is on a 100% cotton t.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: willy35 on May 23, 2016, 07:45:43 PM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

I asked a million questions just to make a usefull video for people that had not the chance to see it in action  ;D



I am impress with what graphicdisorder output with it, this machine rock, but competition is coming...



My main concern is how is support in Europe, any M-Link user in EU ? Is there spare parts in Europe, or do I have to order in the US ?


Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on May 23, 2016, 08:00:53 PM
Yeah if you guys watch that youtube video posted somewhere in this thread where the guy filming asks a million questions about the Mlink, they mention it's rebranded technology with M&R spending time and money on the RIP side to optimize the results.

I asked a million questions just to make a usefull video for people that had not the chance to see it in action  ;D



I am impress with what graphicdisorder output with it, this machine rock, but competition is coming...



My main concern is how is support in Europe, any M-Link user in EU ? Is there spare parts in Europe, or do I have to order in the US ?
parts and service for Europe come from our plant in Poland or our distributors in Germany at the moment. Yes there are multiple users in Europe. We are fully aware competition is coming and will stay at the head of the pack!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 13, 2016, 09:15:39 AM
Just a quick update, nothing new really to say other than the machine hasn't had the first issue and we are doing around 20-30 shirts a day 40-60 prints (most are double sided). Its not huge volume but working pretty good for us and our operator is also running our i-Image ST, the Mlink, and the Roland Pro 4 each day.

7 year DTG owner here looking into new equipment as my older machines are starting to give us issues and parts are tough to replace -- have you had to swap any parts yet?  Capping station, etc?

Since you're still low volume, I'm assuming the base M Link has been fine for you, but have you had any crazy print weeks where you wish you had bought the faster "X" model?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 13, 2016, 09:35:10 AM
Just a quick update, nothing new really to say other than the machine hasn't had the first issue and we are doing around 20-30 shirts a day 40-60 prints (most are double sided). Its not huge volume but working pretty good for us and our operator is also running our i-Image ST, the Mlink, and the Roland Pro 4 each day.

7 year DTG owner here looking into new equipment as my older machines are starting to give us issues and parts are tough to replace -- have you had to swap any parts yet?  Capping station, etc?

Since you're still low volume, I'm assuming the base M Link has been fine for you, but have you had any crazy print weeks where you wish you had bought the faster "X" model?

We had a operator error and killed a print head by hitting a garment, but that's not really the machines fault. Other than that it's been great.

Our club stores have leveled off and we are doing anywhere from 10-60 prints a day roughly. Some days zero but not often. We have a high request rate for contract DTG but I haven't went down that path yet. At that point maybe the X would have been more logical but also keep in mind we are running the machine part time basically. Our operator is also doing all the stickers in our building as well as helping with artwork and manning our i-Image at times.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 13, 2016, 09:41:53 AM
Heres a few recent prints.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: repogolfer on July 13, 2016, 05:11:27 PM
Brandt,

Super nice job!  If I had your talent I'd be loaded...

Jon
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 13, 2016, 05:29:15 PM
Brandt,

Super nice job!  If I had your talent I'd be loaded...

Jon

Wish I was loaded lol. Im just hoodrich.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 13, 2016, 07:33:24 PM
Awesome prints!  Contract DTG is something we do as fill-in work but it's really low margin.  We "fire" somewhere around 25-40 contract customers a month when their service burden goes into the red.  We wrote in-house software to calculate a customer's burden (phone calls, texts, emails, complaints, etc) and if they go into the red for more than 30 days, we send them a list of competitors to visit.  I've actually had competitors tell me to stop sending them shitty customers, lol.

What's the biggest platen that comes with the M-Link?  Our big issue is we NEED to be able to do 15x19 prints.  In our market, zero people support larger sized prints, and the ones that do outside of our market print really poorly and don't pay attention to the details, which ends up pushing more business our way when we get rave reviews from customers.  Now that our 16" printer has imploded probably permanently, we're back to 12.5" wide prints which has stunted our sales by almost 25% -- and our profits by almost 40% as we way overcharge for the large prints since no one else does them well.

I assume the M-Link RIP is based on Kothari?  I haven't seen screen caps or videos for it, so I'm curious whose RIP they use.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 13, 2016, 07:36:12 PM
Answered that last question with YouTube -- the MLink RIP is definitely Kothari, by far the best RIP in the industry.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on July 13, 2016, 07:55:26 PM
You are correct, it is Kothari.
MLink X uses Ricoh gen5 print heads.
DuPont ink
As you can tell by Brandt's prints the quality is very high!
The largest pallet is 16x20.
We have 24/7 service on all M&R product including the MLink series.
Please let me know if you have any other questions and I or our team will help answer them.
Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 13, 2016, 08:09:24 PM
You are correct, it is Kothari.

Thanks for confirming that.  I've been using the Kothari RIP for almost 3 years and it is absolutely the most cost effective and high quality print in DTG bar none.  I've had access to dozens of DTG printers across the spectrum and so far nothing beats Kothari in color rendering, ink savings and overall efficiency.  I'm currently using CADLink with my 13" DTG printers and the CADLink just wastes white ink.


Quote
MLink X uses Ricoh gen5 print heads.

Ah, good to know.  I do love those Ricoh print heads but have no actual experience with them.  Great to know that Dupont ink supports the Ricoh head -- that's definitely a printhead I'd like to put through the paces.


Quote
We have 24/7 service on all M&R product including the MLink series.
Please let me know if you have any other questions and I or our team will help answer them.

I sent an inquiry to Rich based on one of his long time customer's review of M&R.  One of my shops is probably 10 miles from you folks (literally one major road straight there) so that's been a big consideration for me since tech support in DTG is generally not known for being fast and efficient.  In the past 2 years, I've had machines fail on me on Monday with a 1500 print run scheduled and I didn't get parts or call backs for 3-4 days from some vendors.  Not a good place to be when you're sitting on $15,000 in client cash and a deadline.

Right now our big concern is support (#1) and overall recouping of capital layout.  The MSRP on the MLink and MLink X are both significantly higher than the competitors but if the service is 8/10 or better, it's worth it.  A great profitable DTG customer can cost me $1500 to close a lead on, and a $15,000 price difference for a DTG printer can be wiped away in just a few screw ups or major down time.

I'm still shopping around quite a bit since there are other Ricoh printers on the horizon and we don't finance machines, we pay cash, so I have to be meticulous about vetting machines from actual users versus just sales videos.  There's nothing worse than dropping the cost of a Tesla on a machine only to find out we would have been better off with 3 cheaper printers.

I do appreciate you folks are on here and local to me, and those are huge aspects of my acquisition decision-making process.

Do you keep an MLink (not X) on demo at the Illinois HQ?  How often do you do open houses?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on July 13, 2016, 09:04:28 PM
We always have both models running in Roselle and are open to anyone visiting anytime! No open house needed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 244 on July 13, 2016, 10:40:56 PM
You are correct, it is Kothari.

Thanks for confirming that.  I've been using the Kothari RIP for almost 3 years and it is absolutely the most cost effective and high quality print in DTG bar none.  I've had access to dozens of DTG printers across the spectrum and so far nothing beats Kothari in color rendering, ink savings and overall efficiency.  I'm currently using CADLink with my 13" DTG printers and the CADLink just wastes white ink.


Quote
MLink X uses Ricoh gen5 print heads.

Ah, good to know.  I do love those Ricoh print heads but have no actual experience with them.  Great to know that Dupont ink supports the Ricoh head -- that's definitely a printhead I'd like to put through the paces.


Quote
We have 24/7 service on all M&R product including the MLink series.
Please let me know if you have any other questions and I or our team will help answer them.

I sent an inquiry to Rich based on one of his long time customer's review of M&R.  One of my shops is probably 10 miles from you folks (literally one major road straight there) so that's been a big consideration for me since tech support in DTG is generally not known for being fast and efficient.  In the past 2 years, I've had machines fail on me on Monday with a 1500 print run scheduled and I didn't get parts or call backs for 3-4 days from some vendors.  Not a good place to be when you're sitting on $15,000 in client cash and a deadline.

Right now our big concern is support (#1) and overall recouping of capital layout.  The MSRP on the MLink and MLink X are both significantly higher than the competitors but if the service is 8/10 or better, it's worth it.  A great profitable DTG customer can cost me $1500 to close a lead on, and a $15,000 price difference for a DTG printer can be wiped away in just a few screw ups or major down time.

I'm still shopping around quite a bit since there are other Ricoh printers on the horizon and we don't finance machines, we pay cash, so I have to be meticulous about vetting machines from actual users versus just sales videos.  There's nothing worse than dropping the cost of a Tesla on a machine only to find out we would have been better off with 3 cheaper printers.

I do appreciate you folks are on here and local to me, and those are huge aspects of my acquisition decision-making process.

Do you keep an MLink (not X) on demo at the Illinois HQ?  How often do you do open houses?
If you plan on visiting us be sure to bring files for white as well as black shirts. Best to see your own files printed without manipulation.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 14, 2016, 06:46:31 AM

Right now our big concern is support (#1) and overall recouping of capital layout.  The MSRP on the MLink and MLink X are both significantly higher than the competitors but if the service is 8/10 or better, it's worth it.  A great profitable DTG customer can cost me $1500 to close a lead on, and a $15,000 price difference for a DTG printer can be wiped away in just a few screw ups or major down time.


I would remind you to look close at ink cost/ink use. Read through my thread. I suspect many DTG printers can't compete with the Mlink on ink cost/use. I know for a fact the Brother can't...not even close in fact. So when you look at a machine that costs less but the prints cost a lot more make sure you can stomach that 2-3 years later when you are still paying more per print.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 14, 2016, 06:48:02 AM
Also don't forget maintenance on the machine. The Brother was nearly 2hrs every Monday, the Mlink is like 2 minutes. So keep that in mind lost production time on some machines out there.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: kingscreen on July 14, 2016, 08:05:06 AM
Brandt, is that camo pattern the print?  It looks like the fabric!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 14, 2016, 08:09:24 AM
Brandt, is that camo pattern the print?  It looks like the fabric!

Yup, machine did great on the detail.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Nation03 on July 14, 2016, 08:45:12 AM
Just caught up on this thread. Awesome stuff. With print quality and ink costs like that, I might get one of these instead of an auto.

How has the learning curve been?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 14, 2016, 08:46:27 AM
Just caught up on this thread. Awesome stuff. With print quality and ink costs like that, I might get one of these instead of an auto.

How has the learning curve been?

Not really much of a learning curve to be honest. We were putting out sell-able shirts day 1.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: T Shirt Farmer on July 14, 2016, 12:58:38 PM
are you printing blended shirts or just 100% cotton?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 14, 2016, 01:25:42 PM
are you printing blended shirts or just 100% cotton?

We haven't tried many blends, I know we had some work ok, some not. But barely tried it. Our market really likes 100% cotton. We barely sell blends in our screen printing department either.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: dirkdiggler on July 15, 2016, 10:34:41 AM
are you printing blended shirts or just 100% cotton?

We haven't tried many blends, I know we had some work ok, some not. But barely tried it. Our market really likes 100% cotton. We barely sell blends in our screen printing department either.

Lucky you!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 29, 2016, 02:58:16 PM
We haven't tried many blends, I know we had some work ok, some not. But barely tried it. Our market really likes 100% cotton. We barely sell blends in our screen printing department either.

We have never seen blends work well -- white cotton/poly blends work acceptably with the Image Armor light pretreat, but even those aren't so great.

We are getting a step closer to deciding on our next DTG and the M Link is still in the top 3.  #1 reason is they're so local to us, which is a big deal when it comes time to servicing outages.

How has your printer held up?  Any major channel losses or issues with white ink?  Have you felt more confident in your estimates of white ink usage?

The Brother is definitely out.  We did some testing (thanks to a local competitor) and the white ink costs were insanely high.  I have no idea how he makes money with his printers.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 29, 2016, 03:26:17 PM
Machine has been great, I mentioned a few posts up we had a operator error and killed a print head, but other than that machine has been great. We are doing anywhere from 10 prints a day to 60 single operator part time. It's been a good revenue stream for us. Our ink use I believe is right in line with our original postings. Many prints as cheap as $.05 cents... not seen any really that I can remember over say $1.50. No channel loss that a couple head cleanings don't solve. Worst one we seen was we lost power over the weekend once, machine was off all weekend. Took a few prints to get it back up to good but again it was a fraction of the time involve as the Brother was. That would be full back fully detailed image area not just partial coverage. I would buy it again. No question in my mind I have made the right move. If anything I may only wish I had got the X.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 29, 2016, 03:38:06 PM
My budget for the next machine is $20-$25k.  But $40k isn't that much more to be honest, and I am seriously sick and tired of buying a machine and literally 4 weeks later no one answering the phone.  I've bought machines from 6 different vendors and all of them have been the same.  One machine I bought I personally wasted over 45 phone calls just to be able to buy a maintenance replacement gasket.  M&R has been around for almost 50 years or so, and they're local (I can ride my bike there practically) plus I do like the idea of switching to a Ricoh head machine instead of using these horrible Epson printheads.

Can I ask ballpark what that printhead cost was, and did you replace it or did a tech replace it?  Also, does your machine have a capping station for each channel, or one capping station for all 8 channels?

Capping station maintenance is the key to longevity, so it's always good to know what I'm getting into.  I wish M&R would post photos of the internals so I can get a good idea of what we need to maintain.

Good to hear that she's treating you well.  It's a pleasure to hear a newbie DTG owner isn't having issues.  I've been through so many printers in my time with DTG, and all of them have an EOL of 2 years.

I wish I could afford the MLink X because I know for a fact we could handle the volume, but honestly I think if we overrun the MLink, maybe I'll just buy a second one.  Two printers > 1 faster printer.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Prosperi-Tees on July 29, 2016, 03:51:30 PM
50 years? Lmao
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bimmridder on July 29, 2016, 03:58:43 PM
50 years, thirty years. It's about the same ::)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 29, 2016, 04:11:15 PM
My budget for the next machine is $20-$25k.  But $40k isn't that much more to be honest, and I am seriously sick and tired of buying a machine and literally 4 weeks later no one answering the phone.  I've bought machines from 6 different vendors and all of them have been the same.  One machine I bought I personally wasted over 45 phone calls just to be able to buy a maintenance replacement gasket.  M&R has been around for almost 50 years or so, and they're local (I can ride my bike there practically) plus I do like the idea of switching to a Ricoh head machine instead of using these horrible Epson printheads.

Can I ask ballpark what that printhead cost was, and did you replace it or did a tech replace it?  Also, does your machine have a capping station for each channel, or one capping station for all 8 channels?

Capping station maintenance is the key to longevity, so it's always good to know what I'm getting into.  I wish M&R would post photos of the internals so I can get a good idea of what we need to maintain.

Good to hear that she's treating you well.  It's a pleasure to hear a newbie DTG owner isn't having issues.  I've been through so many printers in my time with DTG, and all of them have an EOL of 2 years.

I wish I could afford the MLink X because I know for a fact we could handle the volume, but honestly I think if we overrun the MLink, maybe I'll just buy a second one.  Two printers > 1 faster printer.

M&R Covered the heads because we were printing for a potential customer who bought a machine as a result. They didn't have to but they did. In any other scenario like that we'd had to cover it I am sure. It was a unique situation. Their customer brought some none standard garments and we sort of were left with a go for it option as the guy drove 6hrs to see the machine. All heads are capped when the machine is not in use.

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 29, 2016, 04:27:29 PM
I've been there.  I run a DTG "school" at one of my shops where people can come and learn to print with a DTG printer.  Sometimes it's print shop owners, other times is people considering it, usually it's folks with their "garment lines" in mind.  I probably have sold 100 printers because of it and used to get a really good reimbursement from one manufacturer but they decided to stop supporting my unit so I kicked them out the door.  I can't wait to use the M Link in my classes, my fall classes are already filled up and I expect my winter ones to fill up before the end of August.

We always do non-standard garments, especially those damned baby onesies, but we make our own platens ourselves.  We have a laser cutter and just cut acrylic sheets to fit and it's worked well for most things.  I hate risking my printhead for a $5 print, that's for sure. 

Nice of M&R to cover it, but since you were doing a demo, it kinda makes sense to.  Those Ricoh heads are supposed to be pretty pricey, too.  With the Epson heads it's only $400-$600 but they're junk heads for DTG, I have no idea why I keep going to them when I know full well they're useless and inefficient.

I'm almost on the edge of waiting til Christmas just because I know there are new Ricoh printers coming out, but M&R being so close is almost 50% of the reason for considering the M Link. 

Next time you do maintenance, snag a photo of the capping station, I'm curious!
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 29, 2016, 04:31:14 PM
Looks like the Ricoh printhead is only $1560 from M&R: https://store.mrprint.com/mr_pls/oos_catalog_pkg.search_items?p_search_mode_c=ITEMS&p_search_string_c=printhead

That's honestly not bad at all!  Keep a spare or two around and you're ready for almost anything.

Also looks like individual capping gaskets, which means ink savings if you can do individual channel cleans:  https://store.mrprint.com/mr_pls/oos_catalog_pkg.search_items?p_search_mode_c=ITEMS&p_search_string_c=printhead

$12 for a gasket, I'd probably keep 8 of those around.  We already soak our wiper blade overnight and clean the gasket twice a day (or more) but those things can get gunked quickly.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on July 29, 2016, 04:39:42 PM

Next time you do maintenance, snag a photo of the capping station, I'm curious!

I will try to remember, to be honest I am never down there anymore. I see prints off it daily but rarely in the room with it, I do all the sales at my shop and thats a full time job alone.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on July 29, 2016, 04:47:01 PM
I'm horrible at production.  If you ever want a print crooked and off center, make sure I print it for you.  Also if you like upside artwork I'm the king of it.

I do handle maintenance a few times a week.  And I teach the classes because I interact with future customers.

90% of folks who take the class realize DTG isn't for them.  One guy  took the class 3 times in 6 months and couldn't get a shirt loaded once, haha.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: ABDada on August 10, 2016, 11:03:24 PM
Should follow up here -- I visited M&R's facility today and Geoff showed me the M Link rooms and let me spend an hour with their M Link specialist and the guy who handles printing their samples.

The M Link X is impressive.  I'm not sure if I can say it was the best DTG I've ever seen but it's likely a tie.  The build quality is stunning and I got to meet the gals who assemble them here in the States.  Every piece of the machine is over-engineered for good reason.  It was also my first time ever seeing the beauty of the Gen5 Ricoh heads in action.

The Kothari RIP and the Gen5s lay down the most beautiful gradient white underbase layer -- much much much smooter than any Epson DX5/7 printhead and I've demo'd and operated at least 12 of those.  The platen movement is easily the best in the industry, smooth as can be and no judder or shakiness.

I love love love the platen system.  I have a laser cutter so I can cut my own custom platens in 5 minutes and just 4 screws attaches them to the M&R platen arm (which they machine in-house in the US too).  Really adaptive.  The hoopless system makes me nervous because there's nothing to hold down the shirt edges, but it does give you more print space.

Print speed was stunning.  No reason to time it, every print with white ink in high res was 60-90 seconds.  The heat press is the slow part, so one MlLnk X needs 3 heat presses for maximum productivity.

I'd guess the operational profit on the machine with 2 shifts 5 days a week could be well over $15,000 a week -- if you have the volume, you WILL pay off the machine in a matter of months.

The maintenance doors are perfect for even dudes with big hands to work in (I don't have this problem).

Also, the system uses a post-RIP queue management system.  It seems the RIP exports a PRT file (printer data) and the management queue then lets you set quantities and adjust positioning.  Very very very cool.

Downside:  the Dupont high viscosity ink is still meh, but as a DTG owner and operator for many years, it's better than it was 3 years ago.  I really want to spend 8 hours alone with the machine and the RIP and see if I can get thicker whites out of it, but until I own one, I doubt I'll find someone who can loan me a machine for a full day!

Another downside: the printer really needs a 35.5" door.  I think my door is 35" and they said they can probably fit it but it's a limitation.  I guess Amica didn't consider how many shops still have 34" doorways!

I'm off to meet with my partners, big customers and some investors next week.  $80,000 is a lot to drop but we've been turning down $3000-$5000 jobs weekly because our current printers just can't handle it, and I made some wasteful purchases in the past 12 months (to the tune of probably $40,000) that aren't productive or profitable.  I have a feeling my workflow and marketing with an M Link X would cover the costs of ownership by month 4.

Glad for the review on this site, otherwise I never would have heard about this printer.  The fact is, people are profiting with it every day, but they're not sharing their secrets because most of us would rather our competitors be plagued with ink clogs and slow printing.

Thanks to Rich for setting it up, Geoff for welcoming me, and the guys and gals at M&R for hosting me for a short afternoon.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on August 11, 2016, 07:02:37 AM
Here is some more prints off it. Over all this machine performs very very well. To his point above occasionally a print will come off that I wish was a touch more vibrant or better white. But other prints come off so opaque you'd about swear they were screen printed. It really has to do with the artwork. My guess is certain types of designs may have the rip reacting in different ways. We've sold 1000's of prints off this machine so far. We've not had a single printing complaint. We've had a issue with random next levels the pretreat not washing out and we've had operator errors like placing a print to high/low/wrong print. I think that speaks to the quality of the printer we've not had a single print quality complaint and keep in mind most of my customers had never even seen DTG before.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on August 11, 2016, 07:03:17 AM
Some more.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on August 11, 2016, 07:51:12 AM
I hate to say it brandt, but inconsistency is the nature of these.  We were printing sport gray shirts years ago for a customer and the ones from the Dominican printed with a brighter blue than the ones from Haiti.  Strangest thing.  We get some shirts in a batch that will just not print as bright as the others, or some that will print s bright you'd think it was a cad-cut transfer.

It's better than the early days from what I gather, the chemistry has improved a lot.  We see it rarely, but it does happen.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on August 11, 2016, 08:09:26 AM
I hate to say it brandt, but inconsistency is the nature of these.  We were printing sport gray shirts years ago for a customer and the ones from the Dominican printed with a brighter blue than the ones from Haiti.  Strangest thing.  We get some shirts in a batch that will just not print as bright as the others, or some that will print s bright you'd think it was a cad-cut transfer.

It's better than the early days from what I gather, the chemistry has improved a lot.  We see it rarely, but it does happen.

We obvious differences from one garment to the next. That's to be expected. I have not noticed any difference within a garment though. Meaning same design/color of shirt seems to print the same every time. Where we are seeing differences is in design style. So one design it seems the rip does something different and the print wont be as vivid or opaque as you might have thought and its the same each time you print it. Other times something you think that might not print as amazing comes out like you said looking cad cut or super opaque. Its rare this is even remotely a issue just a observation. I need to see if I can get a specific example of it.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on August 11, 2016, 01:20:05 PM
I'm using a completely different rip and printer than both of you but I noticed my rip will print some colors differently if I select a white garment profile vs black garment profile.

For example, if I'm printing a hot pink on a black shirt I have to set it like I'm printing on a white shirt to get the right pink. If I set it for a black shirt it comes out purple.

I've seen this with some other colors too, like a gold.

And like mk162, I've had certain batches of shirts within even a size of the same color print like sh!t. (Like I mentioned to you with the XL charcoal, Brandt.)
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on August 11, 2016, 01:35:39 PM
Charcoal gives us the most trouble with pretreat.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on August 11, 2016, 01:40:14 PM
We have no problems with charcoal ask Homer.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on August 11, 2016, 03:09:13 PM
Only XL Charcoal right now is a problem and I can up the pretreat and usually get it pretty good. Used to be large that did it. All the other sizes are fine though. Don't even hardly get any pre-treat box with them. Only red and royal a little bit but some time over a humidifier seems to take care of that. Using FOTL HD shirts.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Racer Tees on August 11, 2016, 06:27:47 PM
Charcoal gives us the most trouble with pretreat.

Guy across the street from us has a Brother and I had him do a few Charcoals and the pre-treat destroyed the shirts.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on August 11, 2016, 08:05:22 PM
Quote
Guy across the street from us has a Brother and I had him do a few Charcoals and the pre-treat destroyed the shirts.

What brand?
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on August 12, 2016, 07:42:15 AM
We saw same issues on Charcoal on both the Brother and the Mlink. Its not every time either just sometimes with the pretreat.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: bulldog on August 12, 2016, 10:57:45 AM
I tried some Image Armour dark PT on Charcoal before and while the design looked fine on the outside and you didn't see much of a box, if you flipped the shirt inside out it was like the shirt was bleached only where the design was printed. Very crazy. I use the regular dupont pre-treat now.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Racer Tees on August 12, 2016, 11:47:59 AM
Quote
Guy across the street from us has a Brother and I had him do a few Charcoals and the pre-treat destroyed the shirts.

What brand?

Gildan 2000
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: 3Deep on August 12, 2016, 04:22:21 PM
Sounds like they still got a little work yet to do on the DTG or the pretreating....sounds like to me they need to come up with a ready to use pretreat sheet that you can lay on the shirt maybe do a warm heat press and your ready to print, that would give you great control and consistency on just about any garment.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Orion on August 12, 2016, 08:25:54 PM
Sounds like they still got a little work yet to do on the DTG or the pretreating....sounds like to me they need to come up with a ready to use pretreat sheet that you can lay on the shirt maybe do a warm heat press and your ready to print, that would give you great control and consistency on just about any garment.

That is a novel idea, D! Would like to see that developed.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: cbjamel on August 12, 2016, 09:03:39 PM
I am pretty sure brother does. When they demo'd me one they used sheets they said was available from them.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: mk162 on August 12, 2016, 10:16:16 PM
Or better yet develop an ink that doesn't need pretreat.  I know everyone is working on it.

The chemistry of spray on pretreats is improving all the time as well.
Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: Alex M on August 13, 2016, 05:02:17 AM
Sheets exist but are expensive to make and use which is why you don't see them prevalent.
Ink with no pretreat is far away...


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Title: Re: Mlink in the building.
Post by: GraphicDisorder on May 11, 2017, 08:10:14 AM
Quick update to this thread. This thread sure has some reach/legs to it. I get contacted a few times a week in reference to DTG and the Mlink/Brother machines in particular. We are still using the Mlink daily. We are doing anywhere from 10-60 prints a day. Most days around 18-24 shirts on it.  Some days its full day and we do in the 30-40 shirt range (almost all double sided shirts).

Enough time has passed that my stance is even more firm as to ink cost/use goes. Anyone in the market for a DTG you need to make that one of your most important factors when your buying. So be it a Mlink or Brother or some other brand, ink costs have to be right up there on the top of your check list when considering a machine. Cost of the machine will far be a memory and that ink cost/waste will be glaring you in the face daily.