JG Electronics launched its new Galaxy DTF Printer at the Sign Africa Expo, which took place from 15-16 March at the Durban ICC. The Galaxy is the latest innovation in DTF printing and is ideal for mass on-demand printing for a business. It supports both roll to roll and sheet printing and has white ink, giving users the ability to print vivid designs with white directly onto a special film that is then transferred to the final product.
The printer is compatible with CADlink software, which is more reliable in printing and precise in colour and ink drop control. The upgraded appearance and inside structure offers a more stable operation and convenient maintenance. DTF results give a strong washability; feels better to the touch and the durability is very high with cost efficient printing results. The DTF printer is ideal for printing on porous items.
The first DTF systems came out before Covid, but JG Electronics has waited until now to start selling them as the company wanted the technology to stabilise and was also waiting for a reputable supplier to enter the market with equipment that works reliably and not just while under warranty.
JG Electronics purchased a lot of different machines from different suppliers only to be disappointed every time. Luckily, a manufacturer the company have been in talks with since 2017 sent a sample of their system that worked perfectly out of the box and has worked perfectly ever since. They were the only supplier the company had spoken to which gave them statistics on failure rates, things to watch out for and best practices.
JG Electronics supplies clearly written manuals, training videos, a maintenance kit for the printer and extensive technical support. The company also stocks a wide range of spares including pumps, motors, logic boards, piping and printheads so that if there’s an issue, it can be resolved quickly.
DTF Printing technology is around more than 10 years old but has only recently made it to the mainstream market. It was originally developed by a company in Croatia and at that time used standard inkjet inks with a special paper and powder to make it stick to a porous surface like fabric, paper, some leathers and so on. At that time it only worked on light coloured surfaces. The powder is the glue that sticks the print to the material, without the powder, nothing will stick.
In recent years, this process has been further developed and white ink has been introduced into the mix. Today it is a technology where special fabric inks (CMYK + White) are used to print onto a film. Once printed, a powder is sprinkled on the back while the ink is wet. The powder sticks to the ink on the film and once heated it dries onto the film. Users can then transfer the print to almost any porous substrate and only the print transfers.
With the addition of white ink, a user can now transfer onto any colour substrate as long as it is porous, if it isn’t, the inks don’t stick. This means that this technology is not suitable for glass, metal, ceramics and stone. If you need to do these products too, then a white toner laser is more suitable, or you should use DTF combined with a sublimation printer.
Print costs on DTF are much lower than laser or inkjet transfers. The film is cheaper ,and so is the ink. In addition to the printer, powder, film and inks, RIP software is essential. Without a RIP, there is no way to tell the printer where to apply the white (if decorating a dark substrate and how much to apply). You also need the RIP for colour matching. JG Electronics only supplies systems with an original CADlink RIP.
DTF prints are the second most durable digital transfers after sublimation and the most durable on cotton. The combination of ink and film used determines the durability.
The event was sponsored by Platinum sponsors Roland DG South Africa and Stixo Signage Supplies.
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