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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by Homer on Yesterday at 01:49:17 PM »
Our Mutoh / STS printer finally died, almost 2 years to the day and 3 print heads later. We have a new one coming in from Printomize. Do not buy a printer that takes cartridges, ever. No mater what. We absolutely have to have it in house. If all goes well, in the next few years we will 100% transition away from screen printing.

This has my attention, in terms of transitioning away from screen printing all together. How will you handle large volume runs or are you shying away from that type of work all together?

We're slowly building a fleet of heat presses. I'd like to make a system where an off the street new hire can be producing in a matter of a few hours, unsupervised. I'm thinking of an overhead laser alignment system, reverse reg marks on the dtf sheets, set, align, press, done...as simple as I can make it. We don't run fast anyway because ultimately speed isn't our jam....I'm factoring in all aspects of making a screen for production time vs DTF so large jobs might technically print faster, but are they really going to be done faster and cheaper? I don't really know yet. I'm looking at everything from cleaning, coating, DTS, exposing, registration, test prints, changing out squeegies, angles, seps and adjustments- all those little things that require time. I'm not even factoring in the inks and chemicals used yet- I'm only looking at the human element of it. Plus a new hires wage isn't nearly as much as a knowledgeable press op... So a large run might take a little more time DTF, start to finish, but it may not cost more. I have to make sure the math is mathin'....We will still keep the screen equipment because it's all paid for, owes us nothing and probably isn't worth much anyway. I'm sure there will be a time we have to run a screen job, neons, special effects, whatever...

The past few years we have been somewhat actively searching for the right person to train to become a press op. All attempts have failed miserably. I have zero hope in finding a young person willing to learn so we have to depend on the employees we have now and I want to protect them as well, not let them "age out" of the job. Their quality of life is important, we're all getting older. Our newest hire has been with us 8 years, my longest I think is going on 15 years so that's one of my main driving factors into investigating this, we can not count on anyone but ourselves. The way I see it, the hard part is done, customer accounts have been established, now I just need to keep feeding the machine we created. This might be a lost cause, maybe not work like I plan but I have to at least try. The new printer should be here next week so we'll start to feed more low quantity jobs to it and see how she goes. The samples I received were actually decent, not like the STS prints, those felt like a cheap dollar store shower curtain. We never sold shirts with large dtf prints so we have to do some testing first.

 
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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by Nation03 on Yesterday at 12:33:41 PM »
Our Mutoh / STS printer finally died, almost 2 years to the day and 3 print heads later. We have a new one coming in from Printomize. Do not buy a printer that takes cartridges, ever. No mater what. We absolutely have to have it in house. If all goes well, in the next few years we will 100% transition away from screen printing.

This has my attention, in terms of transitioning away from screen printing all together. How will you handle large volume runs or are you shying away from that type of work all together?
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General Discussion and ??? / Re: Spam Calls
« Last post by blue moon on Yesterday at 11:57:56 AM »
Switch your phone to ring central and have the answer go to a menu. Press one for directory, 2 for sales, 3 for customer service. All the spam gets lost int eh directory.
We’ve gone from 20-30 calls a day to none since we switched.
Pierre
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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by brandon on March 01, 2024, 06:34:07 PM »
We, are buying about $700.00 in DTF a wk. Customers are coming in asking for it specifically. Oddly enough, it's not even only people (in the business of apparel). It's end users. Maybe 50/50. The general public is getting to be aware of it.


I am seeing a uptick of people saying "how do you print shirts, I don't want DTF or DTG" type thing.

But to be fair I am also seeing a uptick of people asking if we can DTF something.

This for sure
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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by CBCB on March 01, 2024, 03:44:30 PM »
What I think some will over look is if that customer doesn't like DTF because the shop doing it doesn't do it right or understand art that is best suited for it or the customer isn't understanding what its best for...then not only lose that customer for future DTF but maybe entirely. Not that your shop is one of those, not saying that at all.

I am seeing an uptick of people saying "how do you print shirts, I don't want DTF or DTG" type thing.

In my opinion, same as screen printing. People will print stuff that is not ideal for the process.
When I read here that you were going to press the DTF samples yourself, it made me a little sceptical. Because that is a huge part of the process, it’s as important to dial in as the print itself. can’t really dial in with two sheets.

People say the same stuff to me about screen printing. Doesn’t it crack? There will always be crabby shops to win business from no matter what the process. Always some shops making a great process look bad.
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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by Admiral on March 01, 2024, 03:10:08 PM »
We do a few thousand DTF a week.  We could go as high as 10K a week with current equipment.  If we did get that high and sustain it for several weeks, I would probably buy 2 of the M&R Quattro's though.

I think it's already taken over 30% of our "custom" level orders.  Screen printing will stay but those sub 100 piece orders are taken over for sure.
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I've learned over the years to tell my customers what you see on paper will not be exactly the same on the shirt but close, for one we are using two different styles of inks and printing process, so far they seem to understand that, without me going into a long explaining the process LOL
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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by 3Deep on March 01, 2024, 01:22:05 PM »
Just had one of our biggest contract clients ask us to do one shirt for a good client of there's, no problem got it ready for pick up in an hour....dang @Homer, I'm still dicking around with our old L1800 and it's still printing pretty good, just had to keep up maintenance all the time.  I don't see DTF fully taking over our screen printing but it's a big help to have around for the quick full color stuff and crazy print location crap etc.
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General Screen Printing / Re: DTF and the future of screen printing
« Last post by GraphicDisorder on March 01, 2024, 01:09:38 PM »
We, are buying about $700.00 in DTF a wk. Customers are coming in asking for it specifically. Oddly enough, it's not even only people (in the business of apparel). It's end users. Maybe 50/50. The general public is getting to be aware of it.

That isn't shocking.... When something is all the "buzz" people buy it. Even without knowing much about it.

What I think some will over look is if that customer doesn't like DTF because the shop doing it doesn't do it right or understand art that is best suited for it or the customer isn't understanding what its best for...then not only lose that customer for future DTF but maybe entirely. Not that your shop is one of those, not saying that at all.

I am seeing a uptick of people saying "how do you print shirts, I don't want DTF or DTG" type thing.

But to be fair I am also seeing a uptick of people asking if we can DTF something.




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Ink and Chemicals / Re: Pastels
« Last post by darkbosque_ on March 01, 2024, 12:37:27 PM »
 There are a couple of ways I usually handle this
-I'll mix it by eye and record what I'm adding to it till I reach the color. Small batches.
Then enter that recorded info into IMS and it should be able to calculate it for a bigger batch.
-You can also call Avient and tell them you need the formula for that; they can sometimes help.
-The last option is if they are a repeat client/design you can order a premixed batch from your ink supplier or Avient.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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