This is what anyone will need to get started with DTG.
For the most part DTG uses water-based inks. These used to be very expensive, but over time, manufacturers have developed their techniques and have been able to lower the price.
No, it does not mean the program died — RIP stands for Raster Image Processor. While this software is not necessary, it does help a great deal when approaching DTG in a professional level. RIPs allow you to simplify printing workflow, maximizes media, precisely match colors and control several printers from a single computer, among other things. Some of the most popular programs out there are: Onyx, Colorburst, Image Print, EFI, Wasatch, Caldera and Ergosoft.
Unlike Cad Cut Vinyl and Screen Printing where images have to be divided by layers, DTG works with the artwork as a whole. This is good news for people who prefer to work with Photoshop instead of Illustrator. DTG printers accept both pixels and vectors. Ideally an artwork for DTG should be saved as type of file that preserves the quality of the image such as TIFF or PDF.
There are two ways to approach pretreatment in DTG: One, there’s a machine that does it automatically. Or two, one can always go manually. Either way what’s necessary is:
- Pretreatment liquid
- Pretreatment spray (or machine)
- Heat press (or some other device to dry the garment)
Of course, in order to DTG you’ll need a DTG printer! Models, features and (not to mention) prices vary greatly so the model that’s ultimately used depends on the printer and her or his needs. Some of the most popular brands are Brother, ColDesi, Omniprint and Kornit. Most DTG printers can be divided into two types of categories:
- Based on existing printer engines
- Built from the ground up using existing print head technologies