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Direct to Film (DTF) Compared to White Toner Laser Printers

Comparing White Toner Laser Printers and Direct to Film Printers.

DTF printers

One of the benefits of offering so many choices for product customization is that ColDesi ends up with a unique edge compared to other sellers.  

ColDesi, Inc. offers BOTH white toner printers and direct to film (DTF systems).  That means we know the ins and outs of both systems very well.  Each system has its own advantages. 

ColDesi, Inc. sells the OKI pro9541WT [Now branded the “Crio” 9541WTD white toner printer], and the OKI pro8432WT [Now branded the “Crio” 8432WTD white toner printer] under the DigitalHeat FX brand.  

This also includes the DigitalHeat FX i560. And then, in addition, we sell the DTF  24H2 which is a professional and commercial level DTF Printer.

One of the original companies to bring technologies like DTG to the market, ColDesi, Inc expands their product line by also offering the new DTF technologies.

Other offerings include Mutoh and Compress brand UV printers, the ProSpangle and CAMS bling transfer machines, as well as supplies and Graphtec Cutters.

The ColDesi Edge is that we can have a frank conversation about your business and recommend WHICHEVER solution might be the absolute best fit for what you’re trying to do.  We don’t try to pigeonhole you into one system or another because it’s the only thing we offer.

You can visit https://digitalheatfx.com if you end up feeling white toner printers are the best fit.

Below are the typical questions we have learned you may have regarding both technologies.

Let’s start with the question on most people’s mind… What’s the price for each?

There is typically an inverse relationship between the cost of equipment and the cost of the product it produces.  This is a rule of thumb that fits the DTF vs White Toner Printers comparison.

The DigitalHeat FX systems, starting with the i560 white toner machine and going up to the largest model, the OKI 9541, range from about $5,000 to $15,000 once you include start up supplies, possibly a heat press, etc. Financing payments average $250-$300/month.

The DTF 24H2 system has a much higher Raw Machine Output (RMO).  The number of transfers that can print on the DTF system is better suited for larger production runs.  When producing large orders, you are often making less profit per garment, but you are selling A LOT more of them.  Thus, the DTF 24H2 will run you around $25,000  Plus a couple thousand in start up costs and supplies.  That puts your payment each month at around $550. 

DTF printers
DTF printers

Can one printer be used for both light and dark garments?

As the name suggests, a direct-to-film printer allows you to print a design on a film and transfer it directly to the intended surface, such as fabric. The key reason why the printer DTF is gaining prominence is the freedom it gives you to choose almost any surface for printing.

The DTF printer technology can allow you to print easily on cotton, polyester, synthetic, or silk of any color without any trouble. Plus, DTF printers can work on both dark and white fabric without any need to press on expensive A & B paper.

How long does it take each machine to do a t-shirt or other garment ?

White Toner Transfers:

3 Minutes Total

The OKI8432WT [Now branded the “Crio” 8432WTD white toner printer]takes about 15 seconds to print each transfer sheet. Plus *75 seconds to “marry” the transfer and 45 seconds to heat press the transfer onto the garment.

You’ll also typically want to trim the transfer a little and spend a few seconds positioning it correctly on the shirt.

So, if you’re just doing 1 shirt, we can call that about 3 minutes.

Transfers can be printed and stacked immediately but it’s best if you marry them first if you’re going to store them.

*Temperature, pressure, and time recommendations change – please consult instructions IN THE BOX of paper you are using for specifics.

DTF Transfers:

There is a good DTF printer case study involving some Girl Scout t-shirts we did which breaks down the entire process and costs needed for direct to film.  You can find out more details at the link above. 

However, the short answer is:

About 2 Minutes per shirt.

The DTF printer uses PET transfer film which is translucent so you can see the design underneath the film when you later heat-press it onto the garment.  The PET film has a thickness of around 0.75mm which allows for better transfer characteristics.  The films used with the DTF-24H2 are both roll-fed and designed for a cold peel.

Using PET transfer films, which are transparent, the DTF printer allows you to see the design underneath the film when you heat press it onto the garment.  This is a particular advantage that also saves some time. 

However, those films are roll-fed on the DTF  24H2, so while it might take longer to print an individual transfer, if you have a dozen or more to do, each shirt you print with DTF will end up saving you more and more time on the job.

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