Direct to film printing (basic steps) –
Step 1 - print on film
Insert PET film instead of plain paper into the printer tray. First, print the whole image in white on PET film. Then, the desired image is printed on the white image layer using the appropriate color settings in the printer. It is important to remember that printing on film must be a mirror image of the actual image that needs to appear on the fabric.
Step 2 - powder
This step is to apply hot-melt powder to the film with printed image. When the printed matter is wet, the powder is evenly applied, and the excess powder needs to be carefully removed. It is important to ensure that the powder is evenly distributed on the printed surface of the film. A very common way to ensure this is to keep the film on its short side so that its long side is parallel to the floor (transverse direction), and pour the film in the middle of the film from top to bottom to form a pile about 1 inch thick in the center from top to bottom. Pick up the film and powder together and gently bend it inward to form a slight U-shape with the concave side facing itself. Now gently shake the film from left to right to spread the powder slowly and evenly on the surface of the film. Alternatively, an automatic vibrating screen that can be used in commercial settings can also be used.
3. Molten powder
In this step, the powder is melted as shown in the name. This can be achieved in many ways. The most common method is to heat the film with printed image and powder in the curing furnace. If the curing oven is not available, place the film in the hot press so that the top of the hot press is very close to the film, but do not touch it. There should be a gap of about 4 to 7 mm between the film and the hot pressed top plate. A wire can be used to fix the top of the pressure so that it does not completely close the film and leave the necessary clearance. For best results, it is strongly recommended to follow the manufacturer's powder smelting specifications. Depending on the powder and equipment, the heating time is generally 2 to 5 minutes and the temperature is about 160 to 170 degrees Celsius.
This step includes preloading the fabric before the film transmits the image. The fabric is held in a hot press and pressurized under heat for about 2 to 5 seconds. This is done to flatten the fabric and ensure that the fabric is dewatered. Preloading helps to transfer the image from the film to the fabric correctly.
Step 5 - transfer
This is the core of DTF printing process. The PET film with image and molten powder is placed on the pre pressed fabric in a hot press, so that there is a strong adhesion between the film and the fabric. This process is also known as "curing". Cure in the temperature range of 160 to 170 degrees Celsius, about 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. The film is now firmly attached to the fabric.
Step 6 - cold stripping
It is important that the fabric and the film now attached to the fabric must be cooled to room temperature before the film is torn off. Because the property of hot melt adhesive is similar to amide, when it cools, it acts as an adhesive to firmly bond the colored pigment in the ink with the fiber of the fabric. After the film cools, it must be stripped from the fabric to leave the required ink pattern on the fabric.
Step 7 - back pressure
This is an optional step, but it is strongly recommended to use it for best results and high performance parameters such as washing fastness and rubbing fastness. In this step, the final fabric with transfer design is pressed in a hot press for about 10 to 15 seconds.
Reprint please indicate fromDTF printer center，Article title：《Introduce the process of DTF printing step by step》
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- What are the benefits of owning a DTF printer?The benefits of having a DTF printer include faster printing time, the ability to print on a variety of different fabrics, permanent ink that does not fade over time, and low cost per print. In addition, these printers are usually small in size and light in weight, making it easy to move from one location to another.Is the DTF printer expensive?The cost of DTF printers varies by manufacturer and model, but typically ranges from $3500 to $7000. Is the DTF printer worth it? I think so! You have saved enough time for me to recommend these machines.Is it difficult to use DTF printer?The DTF printer is actually very easy to use! Simply insert it (or turn on the battery powered unit), load the fabric into the specified tray, use the knob on the side or top of each machine to adjust the width guide, and then select the image to be printed on a specific material type before clicking print.
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