A DTF (Direct to Film) printer prints on a film and directly transfers the film onto a fabric. One of the most important qualities that have caused such an attraction to this printer is its flexibility with different materials. It works on a wide range of fabrics such as cotton, rayon, polyester, silk, or terrycloth. The DTF printer is popular equipment for people who want to start their businesses and for companies in digital printing. It uses simple operations and has a reasonable price.
There is a reason why in the past few years DTF printing has gained more popularity in the market and is used by many people to start small businesses. Some of the reasons for using a DTF printer are as follows;
- Can be applied to a wide variety of fabrics and materials
DTF printing can be applied to different fabrics and garments such as nylon, leather, cotton, polyester, synthetic and blended fabrics as well as different colored fabrics from light to dark. Other than just fabrics it can also be applied to other materials like glass, wood, metal even leathered shoes and bags.
DTF does not limit businesses from expanding to other areas rather than just focusing on one product.
- A DTF printer does not require pretreatment
Printers like the DTG require a pretreatment and drying process which takes a lot of time. With a DTF printer, this process is skipped because the hot melt powder is applied to the transfer films and directly printed on the fabric or material being used. This process saves a lot of time compared to using other printers in the market.
- It uses less white ink
Compared to other printers which require 200% of white ink as a layer, a DTF printer only uses about 40%. White ink is very ink and the fact that it is used less in DTF printers means that a lot of money will be saved during printing.
- DTF prints are more durable
Dtf prints are hard to touch compared to other prints but despite this, they are very durable. They don’t crack and peel in a short amount of time even after washing multiple washes. They are also flexible to use in different materials and can also be printed on heavy items.
- The transfer process is very easy
The transfer from the film to fabric or other material is very easy and can be done by the customer. The design can be applied easily because all it requires is heat to press on any surface a person wants. This is a huge advantage it has for many people because it saves them money on using operators and can be done by themselves.
- The production process is very fast
In DTF printing the pretreatment and drying process is eliminated hence, saving a lot of time in the printing process. This is good, especially for small businesses that get a few orders making them profitable.
- It is more versatile and has no size restrictions
Dtf printing allows large businesses with many orders to print several designs on garments in different sizes and colors and place them in storage requiring less space. That way when a customer wants a particular design it is already printed.
Apart from being versatile, it can also be used on materials of different sizes. All that is needed is a heat press which is pressed on the material needed. The heat press is firmly placed on the material to transfer the design to the material.
Cons of using a DTF printer
Despite all the pros that a DTF printer has over other printers in several aspects, there are also several cons or disadvantages of using this printer. Compared to using other printers, the DTF printer has the following disadvantages;
- Higher investment Cost
Even though the cost of a DTF printer can be justified because of its benefits it is still a little bit higher compared to other printers. Not only that, but it also comes with other costs such as buying a PET film, white ink, and a curing oven for a large setup (orders).
PET films are a bit expensive and using a DTF printer requires a large number of films n transferring process.
For a business with a large volume of orders, a DTF printer can be a bit time-consuming and it requires more operators to manhandle the heat press machine. even though it is a reassuring process, it still consumes a lot of time and manpower thus further increasing cost. Another part is the cool down process which requires the operator to wait for a few minutes and carefully peel off the film.
- It wastes a lot of resources
The DFT process does use a lot of resources that cannot be re-used. For instance, there is white ink first laid out, then a PET film is needed after that the transfer is done to the material desired. PET films are costly and when used cannot be re-used again hence, are thrown away.
This causes a lot of wastage of films and papers. It also means that each project no matter how small will require a new film this increasing costs. this becomes a loss for small projects with a low volume of orders.
- The print is not smooth
Compared to other printers which have a very smooth print almost do not feel the design. The DFT printer is very a little harder when touching even though it has a much higher quality and durability. Especially depending on the fabric used, a softer fabric will feel harder with the design on it.
Therefore, depending on the business and materials being used a person must choose the best printer which will produce the best results for their particular business or operation.