DTF printers are taking over the market as digital textile printing becomes more and more accessible to small businesses and individual hobbyists. We have compiled a list of the Best Epson DTF Printers that give you the most bang for your buck and help you scale your small DTF printing business and get the most out of your purchase.
What is DTF Printing?
DTF printing is printing a design on a film and transferring it onto almost any fabric of your choice through the heat transfer method, with few exceptions. Polyester-based fabrics work best but you can also use cotton as long as the fabric is composed of at least 70 percent polyester. The most important thing about the DTF printing process is that you do not need a large team in order to produce excellent quality prints as even a single person can easily print designs on fabric using this process.
What do you need for DTF Printing?
Here is the list of all the equipment you will need in order to create products using the DTF process.
There are two types of DTF Printers that are available for you to purchase, dedicated DTF printers or converted ink tank printers that have been repurposed to be used as DTF printers. Dedicated DTF printers are very expensive and are not really practical for a small business but you can achieve similar results by repurposing a reliable ink tank printer into a DTF printer. Epson ink tank printers are a preferred choice for this because of their reliable track record.
PET films are used to transfer the print from the printer over to a piece of fabric. The DTF printer can not be used to print directly on the fabric, you need to first print the design on a film and transfer the design onto the fabric surface using the heat transfer method.
DTF printing inks are made using a specially developed pigment used specifically for DTF printing. These inks are available in Black, White, Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta colors. You can not use regular ink for DTF printing as it is not suited to go through the extreme temperatures of the heat press.
Dedicated software is needed in order to tell the printer the correct composition of the DTF ink that has to be used by the printer. The ink used in DTF printers is different from the regular ink, hence you will need to use different dedicated software for DTF printing.
The adhesive powder melts under the heat press and binds the design from the film onto the surface of the fabric.
A heat press machine is used to apply heat evenly on the fabric and the film which helps transfer the print from the film to any fabric of your choice.
Best Epson DTF Printers List 2023
Here is the list of the best Epson Direct-to-Film printers available for you to buy for your small business or yourself. Each printer has its own set of pros and cons which you can go through in order to select the one that is the best fit for you or your DTF business.
Epson SureColor P600 DTF Printer
Epson SureColor P600 is one of the most popular ink tank printers for repurposing into a DTF printer. It is also very affordable with all the features that you would need in an ideal DTF printer without having to spend too much on a single printer. Epson L1800 also supports the larger A3+ printing format which is much larger than the standard A4 size that you get with most cheap ink tank printers.
The conversion process for Epson SureColor P600 hardly takes 30 minutes and you will be able to start printing on DTF film right away. Epson SureColor P600 is easy to maintain but has been known to have only average build quality. Coupled with the high cost of spare parts, the cost of repairs goes up significantly which is a cause of concern for people who are new to DTF printing and something to keep in mind.
Epson EcoTank L805
Epson L805 is a great choice for people looking to get into the DTF printing business. The printer has a very low printing cost because it is very economical as it uses little ink to recreate the designs on DTF films. The process of repurposing it from a regular ink tank printer into a DTF printer is also fairly straightforward. There are a number of connectivity options in this printer including WiFi and mobile printing which you can access through an app on your smartphone.
You can also access the WiFi connectivity option through your PC. The printer is known to require regular maintenance though and the user will need to keep it away from dusty conditions as it might interfere with the internal components of the printer. Even though the printer has many connectivity options, the range is limited and you must make sure the printer can receive the signals for Wifi or Bluetooth when you are using it.
Epson Stylus P5000
If you want to print detailed designs with amazing details then Epson P5000 is the best printer for you as it has high-precision printing. The printer can create some amazing detailed prints that can then be transferred over to the fabric through heat transfer. Epson P5000 also has wireless connectivity which allows you to print without having to connect it directly to a computer or a laptop, you can even print using your smartphone and a wireless printing app.
Epson P5000 supports a wide format paper that you can use to print large designs. The large printing format comes in handy when you are working with an oversized fabric and the design can be printed as one large continuous print. The detailed print comes at a cost as Epson P5000 uses significantly more ink to create those details in the image and thus pushing the price per print much higher.
Epson ET 8500 EcoTank
Epson ET 8500 is one of the most economical printers out there with a very low cost per print and a number of great features that make it an ideal choice for small DTF businesses. The printer supports large format prints up to 8.5” x 11” borderless and has a large printing tray to accommodate DTF films of this size. Epson ET 8500 is an ink tank printer which means you can easily repurpose its ink tanks to hold specialised DTF ink by emptying out the old one.
The printer uses very little ink per print keeping the overall cost of the print down making it one of the best printers if the cost per print is your main concern. However, the initial cost of the printer is not cheap as it costs over $600. The less amount of ink used by the printer is also known to produce less than desirable results which might not be up to the mark for your brand.
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
Epson XP-1500 is a small-sized durable ink tank printer that can be a great addition to your DTF business. Don’t let the smaller size of the Epson XP-1500 fool you, it has a large-sized paper tray to accommodate the number of prints it can deliver in a relatively short time. The printer can print double sided which means you can also print two fabric surfaces at once by sandwiching the DTF film in between.
The printer does not have many connectivity options and you will most likely need to connect the printer to a laptop in order to print. The initial price tag of Epson XP-1500 is not that expensive but the cost per print is relatively high as it uses more ink while printing in order to create highly detailed designs on DTF films. The print speed is 15 ppm which is very fast considering the small size of the printer. It also uses less electricity to operate but make sure the printer does not receive a lot of dust because it might interfere with the sensitive internal components.
This was our complete list of the available Best Epson DTF Printers for small businesses and individuals. The pros and cons of each printer will help you choose the right printer depending on the type of use you are looking to get out of the printer. We hope this guide helps you decide which printer is the right one for you or your business. If you have any questions about one of the printers mentioned here then leave your questions in the comment section below, we will be happy to help.