Mimaki’s TxF150-75 DTF printer.
Mimaki USA, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, is set to revolutionize the textile and apparel printing industry with its groundbreaking innovations. The company has introduced its inaugural direct-to-film (DTF) printer, the “TxF150-75,” accompanied by the cutting-edge heat transfer pigment ink, “PHT50,” specifically designed for DTF applications. Anticipated to hit the market in the summer of 2023, these products aim to cater to the growing demands of textile and apparel printing applications.
DTF printing has gained widespread popularity in the textile and apparel sector, particularly in wearable printing, such as T-shirt production. This innovative method involves printing the design directly onto a specialized transfer film. Subsequently, the printed film undergoes a process where it is coated with hot-melt powder, followed by heating and drying to create a transferable ink layer on the film. The formed ink layer is then transferred to the fabric using a heat press, resulting in a finished product.
The TxF150-75, an inkjet printer boasting a maximum printing width of 31.5 inches, is designed for the production of DTF print transfer sheets. The accompanying PHT50 heat transfer pigment ink, tailored for DTF applications, comprises five colors (CMYK and white) and is on track to obtain ECO PASSPORT certification by the end of March 2023. This certification is crucial for meeting international safety standards, such as the “OEKO-TEX” standard for textile products.
To address previous challenges faced by DTF printers, including ink ejection defects and white ink clogging, Mimaki has implemented a degassing ink design featuring aluminum packs to encase the ink. Additionally, the printer incorporates a white ink circulation function known as MCT (Mimaki Circulation Technology). The innovative printer also integrates Mimaki’s NCU (Nozzle Check Unit) and NRS (Nozzle Recovery System) technologies to ensure stable operation, allowing for continuous printing and increased production efficiency.
Traditionally, silk screen printing has dominated the wearables print market, but its labor-intensive nature and unsuitability for small-lot production have posed challenges. DTF printing emerges as a viable alternative, eliminating the need for plate preparation and the manual labor-intensive process of weeding. Mimaki’s TxF150-75 is poised to be a game-changer in the industry, offering a solution that reduces labor time and costs significantly.
In contrast to other methods like vinyl sheet-based heat transfer and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, DTF printing stands out by streamlining the printing process, making it more efficient and cost-effective. The TxF150-75, scheduled for release in the summer of 2023, will encompass printers, inks, and RIP software, providing a comprehensive solution for businesses in the textile and apparel printing sector.