Discussion & Video of Neoflex DTG Garment PrinterPosted by John Cooper on January 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm
The following Pictures are of shirts printed using my recently purchased Neoflex DTG Direct to Garment Printer.
I welcome any questions, comments based on them….
MemberJanuary 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm
MemberJanuary 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm
Thought you’d been a bit quiet lately John, those look fantastic. Was it a big learning curve?
MemberJanuary 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm
They look awesome John.
MemberJanuary 19, 2011 at 11:18 am
Amazing prints But….
I hope you dont mind me asking about how you are getting on with your DTG printer. Mine turned out to be dead. I had it on loan with the option to buy if I liked it. Problem was that the owner had left it standing for about 6 months and hadnt cleaned out the white ink. Now the whole ink supply system , head included, has to be replaced at the cost of around $2,000. Not willing to do that as its not my machine.
But I have seen your printer in action and yesterday the sales rep rang with a tempting offer. Whats your opinion? Is the machine worth buying or could I produce the same/similar prints using vinyl or a Roland ecosol printer/cutter with printable vinyl (SP300i, cheaper and no problem with the white ink) ? The prints you have shown here come from NEOFLEX´s own catalogue. They are beautiful prints but how many customers want this type of design??
Until now I work on my own. Is this DTG printer manageable by one man working alone and running a busy and expanding embroidery business? I will be employing a part timer this year for the embroidery machines so that might ease the pressure on me to work a DTG .
Probing questions , but what are your thoughts?
MemberJanuary 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm
looks excellent john, great work mate.
are you restricted in the type of fabric you can print too?
how does the inks hold up in the wash, have you been testing any?
thanks for posting updates on your work. very interesting…
MemberJanuary 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm
These look stunning, I’m interested in hearing your response to the questions above
MemberJanuary 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm
Thanks for the comments guys.
yes, I’ve been very quiet due to the workload of my day job and it’s certainly not going to get easier in the short term – unless I’m a victim of public sector redundancies!!
Yes, the learning curve is huge and the cost of failures quite high too, but I anticipated that so not complaining.
Learning the software is quite a major part of the learning curve despite the software is fairly basic. Just when I thought I was making good progress, All American released a much more powerful RIP. The software retails for £1500! At first, they offered an upgrade for £500 but they decided to send it to me FOC – I can’t argue with that 😀 The new software has a much more daunting array of features (a new learning curve for me) BUT, it’s much more able to take an image file and automatically RIP and produce great-looking shirts. The flaming guitar shirts were produced from an image without any manual intervention. This feature is very important if you wish to churn out shirts quickly while the customer waits.
Of course, I don’t mind you asking anything about my experiences with the Neoflex – if I can help, I’m only too pleased to.
I do recall you saying in another post that you were borrowing a DTG printer. Sorry to hear your experience hasn’t been good. Clogging of the printhead and delivery lines has been the bug-bear of DTG printers for as long as I remember. More recently there have been significant progress in DTG ink development and the way it’s delivered to the printhead. Many DTG printers use ‘open’ bulk ink delivery systems and I’m guessing this is the type you have? One of the famous brands introduced a white ink stirrer, this has been described by many seasoned DTG’ers as a very expensive ineffectual whisk. I have to say that reading many of the posts on another forum, certainly reinforces this thought! When I was considering the purchase of a DTG printer, I looked long and hard at this particular brand and very nearly parted with my hard-earned cash – in hindsight, I’m so glad I didn’t.
White ink clogging of the printhead is the only thing that worries me, in fact, I also purchased a ‘Jet Genie’ to get me out of trouble and perhaps offer the service to others. This is a video of the Jet Genie in action.
Am I pleased with the Neoflex? I’m very pleased with it. I’ve often left my Neoflex for several weeks without any maintenance and when I return to use it, it prints perfectly following a head clean. Perhaps I should qualify my statement ‘without any maintenance’ as the Neoflex can be programmed to carry out its own maintenance. My Neoflex cycles through this automatic procedure 3 times each day.
DTG compared to printed vinyl applied to garments is like comparing chalk & cheese. We can do both and while the printed vinyl option has its uses e.g. MX & heavy wear sports clothing it’s no good for fashion or casual clothing – it’s to rubbery.
Is this DTG printer manageable by one man working alone? Most definitely yes. Dark garments can be prepared for printing in bulk days before they’re required. A quick press followed by printing and curing and that’s that.
The Neoflex is great, you can print 3 shirts with the same design at a time or, 3 shirts, each with different designs at a time and, because the bed remains stationary and it’s the printer that moves, as soon as one shirt is finished, you can remove it, cure/press it and load the next while the printer continues to print.
I restrict myself to printing on 100% cotton garments/fabrics, I do know that it’s possible to print to poly/cotton mixes and, there are inks available to print to 100% poly fabrics but of course, swapping inks requires flushing the lines.
After the first wash, there’s always a slight loss but most people wouldn’t notice. I’m able to notice it because I’ll print 2 identical shirts, wash one and compare. The washing instructions are to turn the shirt inside out, wash in cold water and don’t tumble dry – who takes notice of that! I chuck the shirts in the general wash as I’m sure most do.
Am I making money? No, but this is due to the demand of my day job taking up all my time. I’m confident that if I did have the time, I’d make it work, still the plan when things cool down in my day job.
Finally, and this isn’t an advert for AA but I have to say, they’ve been fantastic. It was a BIG risk buying such an expensive bit of kit without any local support. Of course, if I’d been able to attend some training, the learning curve would have been less strenuous but as I said, I knew what I was taking on.
Hope that helps answer some of the questions – excuse the spelling mistakes and sorry it took so long to reply, I wanted to answer and address all the questions.
MemberJanuary 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm
Amazing reply, thank you John.
You´ve sold me on the machine but what about customers and their wants? The designs and prints Ive seen on the other forum are fantastic but how many customers want a design that is not able to be printed using two or three layers of vinyl? Chalk and cheese I agree but what is the demand? I know that this machine is more like starting a screen printing business so I should look at it from that point of view.
I am very tempted to go for it as the offer is very good and I would only need to sell about 50 t-shirts a month to pay for it. The Neoflex people seem very professional too.
Incidentally the agent here has said that the new software has the ability for them to "see" the machine and software so they can sort out problems via the phone and internet. And he also said that the maximum ink costs per shirt is around 55cents. Is that true??
MemberJanuary 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm
I guess that if the marketplace for printed T-shirts was 100% guaranteed to pay for a DTG printer and make some on the side, everyone would do it.
I read a lot Earl and if I believe what I read, some DTG printers are flat out 24/7 and making a profit. I’m sure there are many who are not so profitable. Much is down to your marketing skills, effort, contacts etc etc. It’s the same with signage, some contributors on this forum struggle to meet demands while others are ‘packing up shop’.
A couple of years back, I spent out on a Gerber Edge FX, GS15Plus plotter and expensive software, it was a risk. Looking back, it was one of the best investments I’ve made 😀 Whilst I haven’t made a fortune with it, it’s paid for itself many times over. I started with no market at all and my first customer was Peter Normington (thanks Peter 😀 ) Peter also gave me some very useful support as have many on this forum.
I’m hoping to meet the German dealer at the forthcoming FESPA show in Hamburg – May 2011, this year I’m coming with my partner Angie to make a bit of a holiday of it. I’m not sure what is meant when you say the dealer will be able to ‘see’ the printer but if I take that literally, it’s not hard to stick a webcam on a headband and use Skype to send/receive pictures & audio, I’ve set my printer room up so I can do that. It’s also very easy to hand over control of ones computer – I take control of remote PCs everyday and use them just as if I was sat at the screen, great for getting instructions across some distance like the Atlantic.
There is quite a difference between DTG & screen printing as I’m sure you know. DTG opens up the short run demand while screen printing would be uneconomical for such quantities.
I’d question the 55cents statement – what size of print? On white shirts? No white underbase? So many factors to qualify that statement. I’ve printed shirts where the ink cost has been more like $2. The software allows you to enter the cost per litre of the ink and the cost calculation is done from that.
MemberJanuary 21, 2011 at 11:40 am
I must admit, Ive been looking at the DTG as a replacement for the cut vinyl printed t-shirt. Where in fact it is more like starting up a small run screen print business. and for that I do have plenty of potential customers. I started two and half years ago with a shop and zero customers for my embroidery business and now I am struggling to get the jobs done. The same could happen with DTG.
The average ink cost of 55cents on dark shirts came from the salesman ( Christian) and what his software tells him. I would still calculate more like 2€ per shirt on average as well. Even their sales video states the cost is between 2 and 3 dollars.
The dealer told me he could see not just my computer software but also the machines internal software as well. Logical really.
I will probably see you at FESPA textile as well, Hamburg is only 4 hours drive from home. But what is amazing is that the embroidery fair is on in Frankfurt at the same time.
Thanks for your advice John, I really appreciate it.
MemberFebruary 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm
I have just ordered one of these machines are they any good?
MemberFebruary 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm
everything i have bought as been an impulse buy time will tell
has anyone ever heared of this printer
no horrors stories please just need know how many £1000,s per month it is going to make me
MemberFebruary 2, 2011 at 9:32 am
As you probably gathered, its not me with the printer, its John. From all the investigating I have done on these printers the Neo seems to get the most positive reviews but, whichever printer you go for it will need a lot of time and TLC. The NEO team are certainly helpful and enthusiastic which is more than I have seen from other brands.
I will be buying one, I hope, later this year. First though I need someone to help me with my Embroidery business so I can dedicate time to DTG.
Good luck with the new machine Simon , Im sure its a good business to get into.
MemberFebruary 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Which DTG printer you buying Simon?
MemberFebruary 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm
If you can make it to the UK for the Printwear & Promotions show – 27th Feb to 1st March, I’ve had a rush of adrenalin – I’m having a booth/stall
I’m shipping another NeoFlex system over from the States so will have 2 on display. I’ll probably only have the textile actually printing as I don’t have the staff 😀
Be good to see you there – and of course anyone else from UKSB.
MemberFebruary 6, 2011 at 9:42 am
do you sell dtg or anajet, i didnt buy that tshirt printer had a lucky escape found out it was a cheap chinese cpy but the guy was advertising them as dtg
MemberFebruary 6, 2011 at 10:18 am
I saw that you volunteered to do the stand. Good luck with it, Ive worked fairs before and they are very tiring , hope you have some help.
I wont be coming over to the UK as I am seeing my local man here. Shame as it would be interesting to meet someone with experience. But I will see you in Hamburg…
They have an incredible offer for this printer but I want to see it in action before I commit.
I do have another question for you. How long does it take you to make a design for a shirt(s)? Does their supplied software have any sample designs or clipart? Not just the test prints they supply.
I do everything in house. It would be interesting to get an average time to do a normal design. ( a car club for example).
MemberFebruary 6, 2011 at 10:50 am
The original plan was for staff from the USA to join me but, they have a big show on in the USA at the same time – so I’ve been left ‘holding the baby’ so as to speak.
When I worked at FESPA I was completely shattered at the end of each day – hardly a moment to sit down.
The new RIP makes processing images a breeze Earl. If you look back at the picture of the flaming guitar, that image was taken straight from the internet, branded and RIPped – there was no additional processing.
Be sure to get the NeoRip Pro software.
MemberMarch 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm
Just wanted to make a quick reply to thank John Cooper for taking the time to…
(a) take pictures & make the initial post based on his recent purchase.
(b) for taking the time to answer every ones questions.
(c) to take actual video footage of the machine in action.
I personally think threads like this are exactly what the end user needs to read up on. ask questions etc… completely unbiased views and opinions from someone that has made the same choice they are considering doing.
cheers mate! 😀
MemberMarch 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm
MemberApril 1, 2011 at 11:54 am
The main thing that would concern me with buying one of these printers is what kind of support could you get in the uk? As the company who supplies them do not seem to have any body based here.
So i was wondering what happens if it breaks down etc? How could you get help.
This is a genuine question, not a critisicm of the machine.
MemberApril 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm
MemberApril 1, 2011 at 1:58 pmquote Liam Pattison:
Liam, those were exactly my concerns when deciding which DTG printer to purchase. I’ve been interested for years, researched solidly for 4 months and visited all the mainstream brands. The difference between the NeoFlex SYSTEM and the other offerings was so great, I took the risk.
I have required technical support in the use of the machine and its software and in that respect the support has been nothing less than superb. We use webcam, skype & remote control and it’s just like having a one-to-one with a tech present. When they gave me an hour software training, I recorded the lot so can refer to my video at any time 🙂
Hardware backup is something I’ve not required but, I needed to know how this would be dealt with and I’m quite satisfied & confident in the support I’d get.quote Liam Pattison:
Watch this space.
MemberApril 1, 2011 at 2:58 pmquote John Cooper:
I have read a lot of what you have posted on this forum and others and really appreciate your feedback on this printer. I am moving more and more into t-shirts and am seriously considering purchasing one of these machines. If you look on the t-shirt forum at any dtg printer all of the threads belonging to the other brands are riddled with people having problems. This is one of the main reasons i am attracted to the neoflex.
So i will continue researching like you did, and think about my finances, should have gone to the printwear and promotion show but i was ill.
MemberApril 3, 2011 at 2:57 am
Errrr… I have a question… Copyright?
Do you own those images? Are they yours?
I would love one of those, I could print my artwork all day, but if I saw someone printing my designs I would be on them like a ton of bricks!
MemberApril 3, 2011 at 7:51 am
No, not my images! I’m still in learning mode with this machine and discovering it’s capabilities. None of these shirts are for sale and neither are they used for promotion, I simply used them to show people how far DTG printing had progresses in recent years.
The only shirts I’ve actually sold are those with artwork designed and supplied by the purchaser.
MemberDecember 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm
I spent some time over the summer period looking into DTG printers, and just in the nick of time Oki introduced the 711wt and I grabbed one of the first.
1. New machine cost (fraction of a DTG printer)
2. 3 year warranty
3. No tlc required
4. can print more than was originally thought
5. If you are leaving it for a while no flushing and cleaning required.
6. No expensive printhead to worry about.
7. No precoating of dark garments required
On the downside the printer is only A4 (an A3 model is available but is more than double the cost), transfer costs are high for garments. Transfer paper costs would not come down without higher volumes of paper sales, and you won’t get higher volume of sales until paper costs come down.
Only time will tell wether I have made the right decision or not.
Will try to update you when I have had more time with it, I also have a day job which takes up valuable time, also a factor in my decision.
regards to all
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