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By Dennis Everley | 09 January 2019 | 3 Comments

39 Questions about DTG Printers Answered

Real questions from our Live Online DTG Printer Demonstration at the past 2018.

Focus Inc. has sold thousands of direct to garment printers to people both starting a new custom t-shirt business and professionals that want to add faster, higher quality printed t-shirts to a screen printing business since 2010.
We now host lots of live online video demonstration of our focus digital dtg direct to garment printer very month to give our prospective customers as close to a hand on demonstration as possible. We take questions Live and answer all of them that come in either during the session or by email afterward. These are the results! People just like you getting the answers they need about the Focus Inc. dtg printers, printing t-shirts and getting into the custom apparel business in general.

How long will the pre-treatment last…   Can you pre-treat shirts in advance?
Absolutely, you can pretreat garments in advance. We recommend 3 weeks but have actually had shirts pretreated for months and still gotten good results. The hardest part is keeping pretreated shirts clean and dust free until you need them.

Can you print on 70/30 garments?
Yes, depending on the garment of course and if you’re asking about cotton/poly blends. You should avoid printing on any clothing with odor blockers or any kind of stain resistant technology though. We use water based inks and those are MADE to repel water!

What would happen if there is a wrinkle in the shirt when you printed?
It would end up just like when you put a wrinkled piece of paper through a regular printer – it comes out wrinkled!

What advantages does the Focus DTG printers have over cartridge-based printers?
The Focus DTG printers was made by CISS continus ink supply sysstem while it also called as bulk ink system, it has several advantages:
i.    The FOCUS WIPCS system circulates the white ink automatically, you can set the white ink shaking and circulation as 45s for each 20mins.cartridges systems they actually recommend you remove the cartridge several times a day and shake it up.
ii.    Less waste, particularly in comparison to some of the newest cartridge systems.
The Focus Athena-Jet  itself also has a CLEAR advantage; One pass printing, the newest focus Athena-jet t shirt printer can print white ink layer and color ink layer by one pass (same copies, same time) that means it can save double time for printing. also  the multiple plate system. All of the cartridge systems on the market will only let you print on 1 garment at a time, the Athena-Jet will print on up to small baby shirt as 20*30cm, middle shirt as 35*40cm and large size as 40*50CM

Does the print heads clog if no activity for a while?
If you never use the printer, the heads will eventually clog, you need to put cleaning for keep wet if not use over 1 week. But the Focus WICPS and auto cleaning software system and good maintenance make this very rare.

What is the process of pre-treat?
1. spray the pre treatment at the garment by a spray gun, 2. put the garment for heating press under 165 degree 1mins, you can refer to our focus dtg printer user manual and user's guide video at youtube. 

Do you have to use any software, or do any rip software’s communicate with the printer?
Use FocusRIP V9.09. It comes with the new DTG printers and is made specifically for them.

Would you ever need to pretreat a light color shirt?
We recommend that you do pretreat light garments. That way, you’ll get better color fastness, croc fastness and the image will wash better and last longer.

How many washings with you be able to get per garment? Does the ink crack over time?
How long your DTG printed shirt lasts depends on several things:
i.    The quality of the shirt
ii.    How well you pretreated it
iii.    How you wash it
Normally the print will last JUST AS LONG at the t-shirt itself.

Do you sell the pre-treatment solutions as well?
Yes, we are not only the dtg printer manufacturer, but also a dtg printing solution provider. we provide all items for support your dtg printing business, as pre treatment, inks, head cleaning solution, spray gun, heating press machine, shirt layer shelf....

How long can the machine sit without running?
If you want to leave it for more than a few days then we suggest a system flush according to our user manual and video. Then you can leave it for as long as you’d like.

Which model is suitble for me? Rainbow-Jet or Athena-Jet
Well, the Rainbow-Jet is for enter level, and Athena-jet is for industrial level, you can check this blog "How to choose a right printer for by own dtg printing business " to learn how to pick up a good model for your business. 

Do you have a problem with the print heads clogging?
Nope, we do our daily maintenance, so no issues.

What settings work best for underbase application on a black shirt? Mine is very light even on the strong setting.
There’s some artistry here and balancing the amount of ink you want to spend on each image. There are presets right in the RIP, but lots of adjustments you can play with too. different ink, machine, and rip require different settings. you can ask our focus engineer to know the best setting of our focus dtg printers.

Would this machine be good for large runs?
Yes, depending on what you mean by “large”. When you used DTG, there’s no setup cost, no screen storage costs, etc, but it will take several minutes to print a shirt. How much time do you have? At some pint, it makes more sense to partner with a screen printing shop. suggest prepare the artwork, pre treatment before printing, the time almost waste on the preparing job but not printing.

What material do you have to pretreat?
We pretreat everything except for some rigid products.

About how many full-color Shirts can you get before you have to refill?
The amount of ink you use depends on the image you’re printing, the size, the colors, the underbase settings, and more, so there’s no way to say definitively. BUT there is a specific image used for an example cost 15~20ml per square meter.

Can you print 4 different designs at once?
Yep, you can load different photo to rip, edit, setting and print in one time or saperately.

Can you dry the prints in a dryer or do you “have” to use an iron?
You need to use a professional heat press machine,  A dryer won’t cause the fibers in the shirt to lay down for the best quality print. the heating press machine will not cost you too much.

How long and cost for pre-treatment per shirt?
Pretreatment takes under a minute. Cost is negligible.

The ink doesn’t bleed to the back of the shirt?

Does the software give you an ink cost estimate?
Yes. When you set up the software you put in your ink costs and it will estimate how much each design will cost to print.

What’s shipping cost average? Is there any difficult assembly required?
Shipping cost is depend on your location and shipping method, by sea, by air or by express. You can ask our focus sales team to get the shipping cost. 
Nothing difficult in the assembly. It comes put together and crated up. plug in the power and ink, then you can enjoying your dtg printing.

How long will it take to print one shirts?
Depends on the design as color, underbase, layers, normally cost 1.5mins for light shirt and 2.5mins for dark shirt

Why the printing speed of Athena-jet is faster than others?
As we have our own printing system. electronic system, we invent the firmware and rip. so we can control the print droplet size, fire frequency and also for print as one pass printing, white layer and color layer print by the same pass.  but not like other dtg printers print as copies(print white layer first, then go back to print color ink layer on the top of white, it is cost too much time)

Can the rip resiz the image or is that something you need to do in Photoshop?
Yes, you can easily resize in the RIP, but you can also set a spot channel on  photoshop if you require a special printing result.

Can you print black and white shirts at the same time?

What training comes with your system?
You can visit us in Shanghai, Shandong, Hongkong and Shenzhen office for get the full professional trainning.
You can take our live online training.. which is awesome
You can go through self-paced training
All of the above for as long as you own the machine.

How many platen come with the machines?
You get 2 adult platens and 1 for baby platen.

What is the size for each patens?
Well, the adult platens size is 40*50cm/34*40cm, the baby shirt platens is 20*30cm

Do you have any maintenance training? Will you or do you have maintenance videos on the WEB?
Maintenance is covered well in your machine training.
We have about 1000+ videos on the web and the best support website in the industry, you can visit our youtube channel here:

What is the mean time to failure of your product?
That almost always depends on the user, the maintenance and the environment. Just like a car. if maintain well and follow the user guide, you can drive more than 10 years.

Would we need a humidifer in AZ?
Yes please. as the humidity and temperature will effect the viscosity of the ink to cause print nozzle lack of ink, so better keep the humidity over 45%

Does the software give a time estimate?
No, just ink cost, you can use all software for lifelong time.

If i can get the onsite support once i can not fix the problem by online?
Acutally 99% problems can be fixed by online, video call, teamviewer... but if problem still, we will provide onsite support, it may take cost.

How bad is the price on parts like dampers and heads? It seems parts will not be readily available around me?
Parts ship from our warehouse in Shanghai and we keep a great inventory on DTG parts. Normally, we can send them the same day and as long as DHL will deliver within 3 days to you, that’s how fast you can get them.

How long time warantee i can get?
PWe provide 13month guarantee since the shipping date, All parts except some consumable as ink, head, dampers can get full guarantee.

How long after order of machine does it take to get to your customer?
It depends on where you are, of course, but normally within 3 days if we have it in stock.

If something does happen major like a circuit board going out do you send out tech or teach me?
99% of the time either one of our techs can walk you through it or you can just reference one of our great videos or video call
Now that you’ve seen what others want to know about the DTG printers from Focus INc. what questions do YOU have? Call us now or chose one of the links at the top of the page to stay in the know about Focus Inc. and our DTG printers.

--Author:     Dennis Everley ( The Pre-sales enginner of Focus Inc. DTG dept. )

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