DTF printer

Technological innovation has always been the driving force of evolution in the world of printing. Today we are witnessing a revolution thanks to DTF (Direct To Film) printers. These machines, both sophisticated and accessible, redefine the standards of textile printing, offering unrivaled quality and unprecedented flexibility. Whether you're a printing professional looking to modernize your shop or a novice curious about the latest advances, this guide will take you deep into DTF technology. Find out how these printers work, the different models available on the market, and how to make the right choice based on your needs and budget. Embark with us in this fascinating world of DTF printing!

Imprimante DTF

How does a DTF printer work?

DTF printing, or Direct To Film, is an innovative textile printing technique that stands out for its simplicity and efficiency. But how do these printers manage to produce such impressive results? Let’s dive into the mechanism of these machines.

The basic principle

The basic idea behind DTF printing is simple: instead of printing directly on the fabric, the image is first printed on a special film, which is then transferred to the textile. This method allows for high precision, a wide color palette and optimal adhesion to various types of fabrics.

The printing process:

1 - Printing on film

Unlike traditional methods that use paper, the DTF printer uses a specific PET film. The image is first printed in mirror, with a layer of white added on top of the colors to ensure optimal opacity and shine.

2 - Application of powder

After the image is printed on the film, hot melt adhesive powder is applied. This powder plays a crucial role in binding the colored pigments of the print to the fibers of the fabric during transfer.

3 - Melting the powder

The film is then heated, allowing the powder to melt and bond with the ink. This process prepares the film for final transfer to the textile.

Special inks

DTF printers use pigmented inks specifically designed for this technique. These inks, available in cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white, are essential for achieving vivid, long-lasting prints. White ink, in particular, is crucial as it serves as the base on which the colorful design is printed, ensuring faithful color reproduction on textiles.

RIP software

An often underestimated but essential part of the DTF printing process is RIP software. This specialized software manages colors, optimizes print quality and ensures that CMYK and white inks are used efficiently. It plays a key role in color accuracy, detail sharpness, and overall print quality.

In summary, DTF printers combine advanced technologies, specialty inks and sophisticated software to deliver a revolutionary textile printing solution. They enable unrivaled flexibility, precision and quality, making DTF printing a technique of choice for professionals and discerning amateurs.

Types of DTF printers

The world of DTF printers is vast, with a range of machines to suit different needs and budgets. Understanding the different types of printers available is essential to making an informed choice. Here is an overview of the main categories of DTF printers.

Sheet DTF printers:

DTF sheet printers are designed to print on individual sheets of film. They are generally more compact and are ideal for small productions or projects requiring reduced print sizes.

Imprimante planche DTF
Imprimante planche DTF
Imprimante planche DTF

1- Common sizes

These printers are available in different print widths including A4, A3 and A2. Each size is tailored to specific needs, whether for personal projects or small-scale professional orders.

2 - Popular brands

Brands like Epson, with models such as the Epson L1800 converted for DTF, are often cited as favorites in the field of DTF sheet printers.

3 - Price

Flatbed DTF printers can vary in price depending on brand, features, and size. In general, prices can start from 1,000 euros for entry-level models and can go up to 25,000 euros for high-end models with advanced features.

4 - Advantages

Compactness : These printers are generally smaller and lighter, making them ideal for limited spaces.

Flexibility : They are perfect for small productions or projects requiring reduced print sizes.

Initial cost : Sheet printers are often less expensive than their roll counterparts, making them more accessible for small businesses or individuals.

5 - Disadvantages

Print volume : These printers are not designed for large productions or mass print runs.

Speed : Sheet printers can be slower than roll models, especially for large orders.

Changing sheets : The user must manually change sheets of film, which can be tedious for large quantities.

Roll DTF printers:

These printers are designed to print directly onto rolls of transfer film. They are ideal for large projects or mass production, offering greater flexibility and capacity.

1- Common widths (printing width)

These printers are available in several widths, generally 30cm, 60cm and 120cm. These machines are perfect for businesses that process large quantities of transfers or have tight deadlines.

2 - Popular brands

Renowned brands like Roland, Mimaki and Mutoh are often mentioned in the DTF roll printer market. Each of these brands offers a range of models to suit different needs and budgets.

3 - Price

Roll DTF printers tend to be more expensive than sheet models due to their capacity and advanced technology. Prices can start from 10,000 euros for entry-level models and can reach up to 30,000 euros or more for high-end models.

4 - Advantages

Print Volumes : Designed for large-scale productions, these printers can handle large quantities of transfers in one go.

Speeds : Roll printers are generally faster, which is ideal for rush orders or large productions.

Automation : Less manual intervention is required, as printing occurs continuously on rollers.

5 - Disadvantages

Initial cost : The initial investment for a roll printer is generally higher than for a sheet printer.

Space : These printers require a larger workspace due to their size and roll handling.

Maintenance : Roll printers may require more regular or specialized maintenance due to their complexity.

Investment and choice of DTF printer

Needs assessment:

Print volume

If you plan to process large orders or mass production on a regular basis, a roll printer might be more suitable. For smaller or occasional projects, a board printer might be sufficient.

Available space

Roll printers require more space than sheet printers. Make sure you have enough space in your workshop or office to accommodate your chosen equipment.


Set a clear budget. Remember that, in addition to the initial cost of the printer, there will be operating costs, such as ink, films and maintenance.

Understand the total cost

When investing in a DTF printer, it is essential to look beyond the initial cost of the machine. Operating costs, such as consumables (ink, films, hot melt powder) and possibly software licenses, are added to the purchase price. In addition, regular maintenance, although guaranteeing the longevity and performance of the printer, can also result in additional costs. Some suppliers offer maintenance contracts, while others charge for one-off interventions. It is therefore crucial to take into account all of these costs to have a complete vision of the investment.c

Search and selection

Brand and reviews

Research popular brands and read user reviews to get an idea of ​​printer reliability and performance.

Demos and trade shows

If possible, attend live demonstrations or trade shows to see printers in action and ask questions directly to suppliers.

Support and Warranty

Make sure the supplier offers good after-sales support and a solid warranty. Good technical support can make all the difference in the event of a problem or breakdown.

In conclusion, choosing the right DTF printer requires careful consideration and careful assessment of your needs and budget. Take the time to research, ask questions and consult with experts to ensure a wise and profitable investment.

Ovens: essential tools for DTF printing

Convection ovens are essential to the DTF printing process, as they allow the adhesive powder to dry and attach to the printed film. You can find a range of convection ovens to suit different needs and budgets:

Four DTF

Convection ovens are essential to the DTF printing process, as they allow the adhesive powder to dry and attach to the printed film. You can find a range of convection ovens to suit different needs and budgets:

  • Tabletop convection ovens : These compact models are ideal for small businesses or workshops with limited space. They provide adequate drying performance for small to medium-sized projects.
  • Industrial convection ovens : Designed for larger businesses and projects requiring high production capacity, these ovens offer greater energy efficiency, precise temperature control and faster drying capacity.

Convection oven prices typically range from $500 to $2,000, depending on size, features, and brand. They are available from printing equipment suppliers and specialist stores online or in physical stores.

It is also worth mentioning that some DTF printer models come with a built-in convection oven, which allows for a continuous and faster printing and drying process. These all-in-one printers may be more expensive, but they offer time and efficiency savings for businesses needing a more integrated and compact solution.

Arrangement of space to accommodate a DTF machine

Installing a DTF machine in your workshop requires careful planning and attention to space layout. Here are some key elements to consider to ensure optimal operation of your DTF equipment:

Clutter : DTF machines and associated equipment take up considerable space. Make sure you have enough workspace to accommodate the printer, supplies, accessories, and related work areas. For example, for a 60cm wide roll printer, allow 30m2 minimum.

Temperature and humidity control : DTF machines work best in environments where temperature and humidity are controlled. Maintain a constant ambient temperature (18 - 23°C) and monitor the humidity (30 - 60%) to avoid problems linked to climatic fluctuations, which could affect the quality of your prints and the durability of your equipment.

    • Ventilation and filtration : DTF machines generate potentially toxic fumes and fumes during printing and drying. It is crucial to install an effective ventilation system with adequate filtration to evacuate these fumes and guarantee a healthy and safe working environment.
    • UV protection : DTF inks are sensitive to UV rays and may be affected by direct exposure to sunlight. Avoid placing your DTF machine near windows or in areas where it may be exposed to sunlight. You can also install blinds, curtains or protective films to preserve the quality of your prints and extend the life of your equipment.

By taking these elements into account when setting up your workspace, you will ensure optimal operation of your DTF machine and preserve the quality of your prints.