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I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 10:12AM
I just ordered a shiny new NeoFlex DTG printer!! smiley-music039

After getting laid off (again) last February by the same company that did it to me once before, I've had enough. I'm going back into garment printing and bought a direct to garment printer.



Action/sales video here: [www.youtube.com]

I've seen it in action and actually printed some of my designs and it looks to be able to do what I need at the moment. Reviews are good and it wasn't $100k. I don't need what Cafe Press has and I'd be happy printing 2-4 dozen shirts a day.

After having had a big shop (30k sq ft) and big rent and payroll for 35 people, I'm now looking forward to running this from the house with only the dogs staring at me while I work.

In the past all my jobs were custom and usually time sensitive. This time around I will be focusing on my own designs although I'm sure I will be doing some custom work as well. I have a line of artwork that I have already developed aimed at pet owners with disposable cash to spend on wearables. There's a design for every dog breed with other critters coming soon. Initial testing shows the art is well liked and my price point is good.

So, I got the printer and art, now I need to get a website together (anybody??) and start selling. I was thinking of setting up at Etsy and maybe Amazon to start (not sure about eBay) until the website gets done.

There's going to be a learning curve and I won't actually have the printer in hand for another month or so but I'm pretty excited to be back doing something I love and only having to worry about the wife yelling at me. But that's OK because at least I know I won't get laid off again!



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 07, 2014 10:16AM
Congratulations!
I think doing Etsy in the interim is a great idea.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Wags
Date: October 07, 2014 10:26AM
MacResource tees for everyone!!
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 07, 2014 10:27AM
Cool!

So, uh, there's gonna be MRF coupon codes, right? grinning smiley



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: clay
Date: October 07, 2014 10:30AM
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 10:34AM
Quote
Paul F.
Cool!

So, uh, there's gonna be MRF coupon codes, right? grinning smiley

Oh sure...and credit and personal checks accepted too....



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: mstudio
Date: October 07, 2014 10:44AM
Very cool, what are the size limitations of the print area? Can you do tiling with it for larger pieces?
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Spiff
Date: October 07, 2014 10:56AM
Quote
clay

agree smiley Me want this!
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: October 07, 2014 11:00AM
Etsy will probably be a good option to get you going.

What's the quality like with this? I've had a few shirts that are direct to garment, and they always end up fading, peeling off... much faster than silkscreen does.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: steve...
Date: October 07, 2014 11:02AM
Wow, that printer is really something. Good luck with your new adventure!




Northern California Coast
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 07, 2014 11:10AM
Quote
mstudio
Very cool, what are the size limitations of the print area? Can you do tiling with it for larger pieces?

Yeah, Im already interested. I didnt watch the video -- It looks like its based on an Epson 4880(?) printer? Does it offer bulk CIS ink?

Whats the image area? can it do sleeves or the small spot on the back of a neck?

etsy, pinterest, facebook, mailchimp -- i guess it depends on how much work you want?



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2014 11:14AM by jdc.
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: October 07, 2014 11:31AM
I would also vote for Etsy but be very careful about eBay now. Their new returns policies have been working very badly for clothes sellers both used and new.

Good luck.

Paul



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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 07, 2014 11:36AM
Congrats !

FWIW.. I would definitely buy an MRF tee shirt, just to confused people. Heckfire, maybe include the DM ancestral linkage, with a sop to the AS evil twin...
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 07, 2014 11:38AM
16K and it doesn't do B/W proofs ??
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 07, 2014 11:41AM
Ok serious question. For the last few years retailers have been offering ever-thinner t-shirts, some very soft cotton. Can this machine handle that?
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2014 11:47AM
what about this printer? how does it compare to yours?

[www.anajet.com]
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: October 07, 2014 11:56AM
what is the unit price structure you anticipate per 10x, 100x, etc?

I am interested in this. seriously.
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 07, 2014 12:00PM
For the website, check out squarespace.com. You can be up and running, including the commerce piece, in an afternoon or less.
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 12:54PM
Quote
mstudio
Very cool, what are the size limitations of the print area? Can you do tiling with it for larger pieces?

It will print 17 X 42 image area and you can tile the art if you like.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 01:04PM
Quote
M A V I C
Etsy will probably be a good option to get you going.

What's the quality like with this? I've had a few shirts that are direct to garment, and they always end up fading, peeling off... much faster than silkscreen does.

Coming from a screen print background I was concerned about the longevity of the print too. It seems that there is a lot of voodoo that can happen unless you test your shirt brands. The type of weave and the weight of the shirt make a huge difference also.

Each shirt needs to be pre-treated and if you go too heavy or too light on the solution you will end up with fading and cracking. I also bought an automatic pre-treat station that allows for consistent repeatable coverage once you find the sweet spot.

At this point in the development of this printing technology I think that screen printing will be more durable BUT the image quality is far superior on DTG. I would be hard pressed to hold the level of detail through a run of even 100 shirts that DTG offers.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 01:09PM
Quote
deckeda
Ok serious question. For the last few years retailers have been offering ever-thinner t-shirts, some very soft cotton. Can this machine handle that?

Thinner shirts are just that...cheap and thin. It used to be that 20 singles yarn was an average Hanes quality shirt in the past. Now you can read a newspaper through the shirt.

Bottom line: you can't print on air. Your art will only look as good as the shirt you put it on.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 01:13PM
Quote
space-time
what about this printer? how does it compare to yours?

[www.anajet.com]

I was going to buy an Anajet before I found this one. The biggest factor was the ability to print three shirts or just one big az 17 X 42" image with the NeoFlex. Anajet is one at a time and a much smaller platen size.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: decay
Date: October 07, 2014 01:32PM
Etsy really changed the way they do business.

[www.entrepreneur.com]

Quote

Use manufacturers. Etsy sellers will be allowed to use outside manufacturers to produce the designs they create. They must submit an application to the Etsy team to make sure the manufacturer meets Etsy's ethical guidelines.

Which means you, as an American, are now competing with Chinese low-ballers. It's the Walmartization of Etsy.

[brooklynaccelerator.com]

[www.wired.com]



---
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: hal
Date: October 07, 2014 01:38PM
In your operation, how long will it take for that printer to pay for itself?

Looks spiffy!
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 01:39PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
what is the unit price structure you anticipate per 10x, 100x, etc?

I am interested in this. seriously.

I haven't worked out my pricing yet but the major factors are the type of shirt you print and the ink cost.

I'll be using Comfort Colors for my house brand. These are garment dyed, ringspun, 6.1oz heavyweight 100% cotton shirts. It's a nice shirt in both look and feel. Cost is around $3.50 each and up depending on size and color.

Ink cost is another issue. If you think they whack you for regular tiny inkjet carts you should sit down. I need 8 carts to fill this beast, 4 CMYK and 4 white. Factory DuPont carts are $96 each for CMYK and $220 each for the white! The video says I can plan on $2-$3 per shirt for ink but I've been told there are other brands out the that may be able to cut that number in half. Oh, one benefit of the software is it's ability to give you an exact ink cost per image. There's still a lot of work to be done on real world costs.

So what am I going to charge? Well on a non custom one off of my art I was thinking $18 for one or 2 for $30 plus shipping (of course with the MRF coupon codes I'm sure I can do better!).



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 01:44PM
Quote
decay
Etsy really changed the way they do business.

[www.entrepreneur.com]

Quote

Use manufacturers. Etsy sellers will be allowed to use outside manufacturers to produce the designs they create. They must submit an application to the Etsy team to make sure the manufacturer meets Etsy's ethical guidelines.

Which means you, as an American, are now competing with Chinese low-ballers. It's the Walmartization of Etsy.

[brooklynaccelerator.com]

[www.wired.com]

I realized going into this that I needed something no one else has. That's why the only way this will work for me is by selling my own art. There's thousands of guys like me with these printers but I'll be the only one selling my art. If the art fly's, then I got a winner, otherwise I might be putting this up for sale on our For Sale & Free Items side.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: billb
Date: October 07, 2014 01:57PM
45,000 cycles to a print head doesn't seem like a lot but I'm thinking "paper" and for all I know a new print head isn't terribly expensive relatively.
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 02:09PM
Quote
hal
In your operation, how long will it take for that printer to pay for itself?

Looks spiffy!

Hal, you get the gold star for that question. My plan says my total investment (there's more to buy) should be paid off in about 2.5-3 years, but you know how plans are... smiley-shocked003



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 07, 2014 02:10PM
I'm curious;
Is there Mac driver software for that beast?



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 02:14PM
Quote
billb
45,000 cycles to a print head doesn't seem like a lot but I'm thinking "paper" and for all I know a new print head isn't terribly expensive relatively.

Replacements are $500 I guess the ink and fuzz from the shirt really beats on the print head. Other printers with non teflon heads were only getting about 1/2 of that life.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 02:29PM
Quote
Paul F.
I'm curious;
Is there Mac driver software for that beast?

It's Winders only for the driver and RIP software. The shop I visited with this same printer is running it on an iMac with Parallels. All my graphics software is from the dark ages and I'm still running a combo of OS9/X on my QS G4 dual 1k. It's all old but it's paid for and does what I need. Unfortunately I'm probably going to have to pick up an older Win7 laptop because I don't think the QS will do Parallels. I have a "newish" Intel mini I suppose I could use but then the upgrade game starts a new.

Here's their website that shows off some of what they do with this printer and also some pricing for those that were interested [www.articulatecreation.com]



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: JoeM
Date: October 07, 2014 03:04PM
$16K for just a printer and not an all-in one??? Jeez, it can't even do a butt scan!

Seriously - good luck, it's very exciting!



JoeM
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: October 07, 2014 03:28PM
Let us know when you're ready to accept orders! Plus I'm curious what the answers are to jdc's questions.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 07, 2014 03:41PM
that's a lot of k.



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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 03:58PM
Quote
jdc
Quote
mstudio
Very cool, what are the size limitations of the print area? Can you do tiling with it for larger pieces?

Yeah, Im already interested. I didnt watch the video -- It looks like its based on an Epson 4880(?) printer? Does it offer bulk CIS ink?

Whats the image area? can it do sleeves or the small spot on the back of a neck?

etsy, pinterest, facebook, mailchimp -- i guess it depends on how much work you want?

Guess I missed this one.

Yes, it's a modified Epson 4880 and as yet I haven't found a CIS for it. I have found bulk ink but I don't know if a standard inkjet CIS would be able to pump this stuff. As I understand it there is a vacuum system required because of the ink viscosity.

The image area is 17x42. It will print anything I can place in the image area. The platens are just placed on the bed and printed, there is no locking mechanism. If you want to print sleeves you would only need a sleeve platen and be able to locate it under the print head. The included software allows you to make precise art templates so you know where the image will print.



- Jack D.




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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 07, 2014 04:41PM
Congrats on being an entrepreneur and working for slave wages.

BTW, counting all the ink, I paid about that much for my old Epson 740.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: fauch
Date: October 07, 2014 06:54PM
Quote
deckeda
16K and it doesn't do B/W proofs ??
This...
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Re: I just spent $16k on a printer...
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: October 07, 2014 07:14PM
Quote
fauch
Quote
deckeda
16K and it doesn't do B/W proofs ??
This...

No really...I'm pretty sure it does...



- Jack D.




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