This article is to accompany our official introduction video of the Polyprint Texjet Echo2 DTG. In the video I cover the main points of the printer and my favorite features of both the machine and the company Polyprint. In this article, I’d like to uncover some additional information and touch a little more in depth on some of those features.
For an overview of the Echo2 and it’s top performing features I encourage you watch the video and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments or feedback.
One of the top questions asked to myself and Ryonet is why we chose to work with Polyprint. The answer is very simple, we share a massive amount of alignment. Ryonet’s top core value is to Serve. We do so through our education, support and overall willingness to do whatever it takes to best help printers. Polyprint also shares this key core value. I’ve personally experienced it by visiting their factory in Greece and through talking with their support staff well after hours their time. Polyprint also originally started as a screen printing manufacturer and supplier known for their quality products and support...just like Ryonet.
Of course, we also had to make sure their printer was a stellar option the fit the needs of printers. This has also been knocked out of the park by Polyprint with their Texjet Echo and is continuing to do so with their new Echo2 model. The print quality, ink costs, rip solution and advanced RIP included are a few of the main features that really stood out to us when evaluating the Echo2 as a DTG solution.
Screen Printed White?
In the video I mention how well this printer can print white. As a screen printer, I drool over great prints and find that there’s just something awesome about a bright, pearly white design screen printed on a shirt. With DTG this has always been something I’ve strived for. While it’s been possible to get close and definitely provide an acceptable white print on a dark shirts with a DTG, it would commonly take a excessive amount of ink and time to do so. The first thing that struck me about this printer was that it provided a white ink print that could go up to bat next to a white water base screen printed design. And it does so regularly without any additional steps or special treatment. As I’ve used the printer, this has been such a great thing and when I print samples on it, the white quality is the main reason why we have the logos printed only in white.
Color Creation and Replication
The true test of a DTG is how well it can replicate or create color. Printing simple designs will actually tell you a lot about a direct to garment printer and sometimes more than a high detail graphic. In other models that focus on speed, you sacrifice some detail and color replication because of the large droplet of ink they put down. With the Polyprint, we’re putting down a much smaller dot of ink and this gives us great color replication with very little to no “grainy look” you can see on other printers.
*TIP: Take your simple two or three color text design and print it on a DTG to see how well it really does with color creation and replication. Printing a simple design also shows you how well the printer stays in alignment (registration in screen printing terms) and how well the RIP handles underbase choking.
What’s all the fuss with the RIP?
One way you can improve your printing on any DTG is by upgrading your RIP. A couple years ago I upgraded from Garment Creator to CADlink Digital Factory with my Epson F2000. While Garment Creator is not a bad RIP, CADlink really improved our quality, color recreation and we found that we used less ink by utilizing this RIP over Garment Creator. It turned out that Digital Factory was also Polyprint’s RIP of choice. Included with the Echo2 is a CADlink’s Polyprint version of Digital Factory. This RIP is honestly a beast with so many customization options that it can fit great in any shop. One of my favorite things about the RIP is the option to control each pass and that you can basically create an unlimited amount of Queues. Queues are “standard settings” you create for different sizes, styles and fabric of garments. In my wife’s business, Trendy Cactus, we have thirteen different queues depending on what the artwork is printed on. Setting the RIP up this way allows us to drop the file into the specific RIP and go. No further work or worry is needed. Another great feature of this RIP is that you can print using the RAW image file such as .Ai, .PSD and .CDR to name a few. No more do we need to save our images in a specific type of JPEG or PNG and risk losing information. While this RIP is very powerful and can look overwhelming, it comes setup to make great prints easily right out of the box.
*Foreshadowing: As we dial in specific settings for printing on certain garment types and sizes, we can publish these queues for you to simply import and use with your Polyprint. This is another example on how we can constantly evolve and grow with this solution.
Inks and Pretreatment are OEKO-TEX Certified
A key thing all printers should be concerned about is the certification of any ink or chemical they use on apparel. Our industry has been historically plagued with harsh chemical use, but over the past couple of years companies have started to really pay attention and make things better. CPSIA is a government regulation and certification that chemical companies now have to pass in order to have that specific line of chemicals certified to be printed on youth and baby apparel. This has been a hot topic since it’s insurgence into our industry a couple of years ago. You can be at ease to know that the inks and pretreatment used with the Echo2 not only meet the criteria provided by CPSIA, but they are also OEKO-TEX Certified. This is an international certification similar to CPSIA, but used as a worldwide consistent measure for the presence of harmful chemicals.
Daily and Weekly Maintenance
I mention in the video that the majority of your daily and weekly maintenance will be nozzle checks and head cleanings. This is definitely the case from both a manufacturer’s recommendation and my personal findings having the printer in our shop for a couple of months now. When I turn on the printer for the day, I will perform a nozzle check. Typically it comes out clear and I start printing. If it’s been a couple of days since I’ve printed, sometimes I’ll have to do a head cleaning. This pulls a couple milliliters through the print head nozzles to clear any surface clogs. Typically, this is not needed though. On Mondays I will do my weekly maintenance. I like to do this because the printer will have been printing for five days straight and then sat over the weekend. Some shops like to do this on Friday, but it’s really what works best for you. For a weekly maintenance I will clean around the printhead and wipe off any excess ink on the wiper blade and capping station. Cleaning around the printhead will remove fibers picked up from printing on garments. Wiping excess ink off the wiper blade and capping station makes sure that we get a good seal when the print head caps and that the wiper is removing the most excess ink it can when the print head goes to be capped. This daily and weekly maintenance procedure is really what you stick to in order to maintain your printer. There’s no need to do regular tube flushes and replace maintenance parts regularly like is required with other models. I’ve found that I’m also saving lots of ink that was wasted with other models.
How much does a print head cost?
Let’s start with a solid fact. You will have to replace a print head eventually with any DTG. Knowing this is important because you can properly plan for when this is needed. When I had the printer sent to my shop, we had all the common parts you may need to replace over the lifetime of a DTG sent as well. I replaced just about everything to confirm realistically how hard it was to do and if I could talk someone through it over the phone. Happily I can say that we will definitely be able to troubleshoot and work through anything needed via phone or something like facetime if needed, including a print head replacement if you’re comfortable with doing that. The cost of a replacement print head is about $900 and can be done with common tools like an allen wrench and a phillips head screwdriver.
*TIP: If you’re looking into a DTG you should always ask what the costs are to replace a print head. You will have to replace a print head with any DTG eventually.
Support...Kindof a Big Deal
I actually started as a customer of Ryonet’s years ago. My family and I decided we wanted to get into printing shirts so we purchased a kit from Ryonet and the rest is history. What originally drew me to the company is also one of the reasons I’ve been proud to have worked with them for so long. Ryonet has always been known for a higher standard of support and quest to provide as much education as possible. I’ve experienced this on both sides of the coin as a customer and as a team member. DTG, like screen printing is a bunch of simple steps taken to provide a great print. While there are less steps needed with DTG, the machinery can be a bit more involved than typical manual screen printing. Learning to print on a DTG printer can be very straight forward and I’m confident we can teach anyone to print outstanding designs with the Echo2. But, what happens when you have a question or murphy’s law comes knocking and you need help. This is where we can really step in to help. Luckily, we have years worth of similar support provided by Polyprint and their team on our side as well. We don’t want to just “coach you through the problem” we want to jump in the ring and help you win! This is why I wanted to confirm the processes with troubleshooting, fixing and replacing common parts you will experience a need for support when dealing with. With the functionality of the Echo2 and Polyprint’s desire for top customer service backing us, we’re confident we can support this printer like you’ve seen us do time and time again with our manual and automatic presses.
If you have any questions regarding DTG, the Echo2 or would like to talk through any printing issues you may have, please never hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re built to serve and excited to help you move forward as printer and business.
Thank you for taking the time to reach through this article and introduction to the Echo2. Keep printing and keep learning!