Direct-to-garment printing (DTG) is the process of printing on textiles like standard inkjet printers. DTG’s digital printing process is crisper and has a higher resolution. The initial investment is much higher depending on the DTG printer you choose. The ink is not cheap either, and additional extras like pre-treating chemicals and heat pressing the garment to cure the ink add extra cost and labor expenses.
DTG printers are only available in High-end industrial types and lower-end variations. Here are 10 of the top DTG printers on the market:
1. Kornit Avalanche HD6 DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $250,000
The Kornit Avalanche is a high-volume industrial t-shirt and garment printer that can print up to 220 outfits per hour. The ink channels consist of six colors (CMYKRG + white) with a maximum print resolution of 1,200 dpi. The Kornit Avalance has a printing area of 23.5 x 35 inches. When Spring (previously known as Teespring) upgraded 20 printers in their production line at the end of 2020, they upgraded to the HD6 model.
Furthermore, the Kornit Avalanche DTG dimensions are 138 X 91 X 67 inches and weigh approximately 4850 lb.
The Kornit Avalanche has an ink recirculation technology and therefore delivers a higher uptime and ink savings. Use Kornit Neopigment™ Eco-rapid 1-gallon ink for all types of material. Around $400 per bottle. Created explicitly for polyester types of materials, use Kornit Neopigment™ Olympia ink.
2. Aeoon Kyo DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $160,000
The KYO Series provides unrivaled print quality, unrivaled print speed, and the highest-grade industrial components. More than 30 standard pallets with a maximum print size of 36.22 x 38.58 inches for extra flexibility. The open architecture of Aeoon makes workflow process installation simple, resulting in the industry’s lowest cost per print. The Aeoon printer can also print on wood, metal, leather, and glass materials.
The native resolution of the Aeoon Flatbed DTG printer is 600 DPI, with a maximum print resolution of 2400 × 2400 DPI. Depending on the design and substrate, the Aeoon Flatbed DTG printer can print 4305.56 ft2 (that will give you about 180 pieces) per hour. The Aeoon Kyo DTG printer line is highly adaptable and upgradeable. It may be tailored to your company’s needs and scaled up as you expand.
The modular design of this series’ printers allows you to add features like printheads, custom pellets, and laser systems and upgrade them as needed. The Aeoon Kyo printer has a high-performance production in shift operation and can run 24/7 to maximize productivity.
Aeoon water-based printing ink is biodegradable and tested on various materials. Expanding on the standard color gamut, Aeoon offers green and red ink to replicate RGB image colors more closely.
3. M&R Maverick DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $70,000
It has RIP software for complete print control and image costing, and it can print up to 350,000 impressions per year, maximizing productivity and decreasing ownership costs. The M&R Maverick printer has a maximum resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi and can print consistently at that level. The M&R Maverick DTG printer dimensions are 75 x 120 x 90 inches in size.
The M&R Maverick also contains dual-printhead IR (Infra-Red) heaters, which aid in the printing and curing processes. The white ink flash time gets sped up with quartz heaters on both sides of the print carriage. At the same time, two digitally controlled onboard heat presses compress fibers while also introducing residual heat into the clothing to speed up the white ink flash time.
It has a printing area of 15 x 19 inches. It has 12 industrial printheads that supply the ink channels, with six heads for each of the colors CMYKRG (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Red, and Green) and six dedicated print heads for white ink. M&R M-link DTG ink is available in 2l or 10l container sizes, costing around $445 to $2400 per color. The M&R frost pretreatment for 5 gallons amounts to $294, and 55 gallons $2900.
4. Epson SureColor F3070 Industrial DTGPrinter
Estimated Price: $50,000
The F3070 is the first printer of its kind to create professional-quality, one-pass prints at industrial speeds to meet the demanding needs of high-volume print shops. Its Dual 2.6-inch PrecisionCore miroTFP printheads have 8,000 white and 6400 color ink nozzles. It produces quality prints with output at 1200×1200 dpi resolution at incredible rates.
It has an Ink supply volume of 1500ml per color printing on a maximum print area of 16 x 20 inches.
The UltraChrome DG printer ink cost around $230 – $250 per color.
5. Sertec Eagle TX Series DTG Printers
Estimated Price: $45,000.00
The Sertec Eagle TX series has three unique models for printing high-quality designs to meet industrial demands without compromising output volumes. As a result, these printer has numerous print heads customization features. The Sertec Eagle TX S model with two, three, or four print heads customization allows this model to print up to 120 t-shirts on black or colorful textiles per hour.
The Sertec Eagle printer recognizes the object’s height and adjusts all print parameters accordingly for the best print quality. The under-pressure ink mechanism prevents air bubbles from forming in the circuit and ensures that the white ink is constantly recirculated. It decreases printhead cleaning, lowering overall expenses and downtime.
Print on an extensive range of materials with Eagle’s dedicated ink line. The average cost is $80 per quart.
6. DTGTEX X5 DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $30,000
DTGTEX printers are built with the best features to help you increase your productivity, quality, and consistency on every task. The ability to print with two heads simultaneously raises the bar on performance and speed. The DTGTEX has a four-color channel (CMYK + white).
The DTGTEX printer has a print area of about 31.5 x 19.54 inches in size. A newly built White ink circulation mechanism prevents ink stagnation and ensures printhead longevity. So the DTGTEX uses less ink. The printer’s size is 62.59 x 54.4 x 50.39 inches and weighs 573lb.
The popular Dupond Artistri P1510 ink range is compatible with this printer costing around $310 per gallon.
7. Anajet Ricoh Ri 6000 DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $25,000 to $30,000
The RICOH Ri 6000 can print in speed print mode, full-color 12-inch x 10-inch designs on light clothing in under 27 seconds, while in fine print mode, it takes about 53 seconds. CMYK-plus-white technology uses a white base behind full-color graphics to help images pop off dark clothes, resulting in vibrant and lifelike color output. There are 192 nozzles in each channel, and the RICOH Ri 6000 has 12 of them. 600 x 600 dpi is the print resolution.
You can print shirts, canvas, socks, grocery bags, and other clothes on the Anajet Ricoh. The DTG printer comes with a one-of-a-kind RIP software package (AnaRIP), letting you alter graphics. You may edit the form, add text, and remove colors with a single click with AnaRIP and Spark. AnaRIP estimates how much ink you’ll use and how much it will cost so you can price your shirts accordingly. Ricoh’s patented foil application will increase the retail value of your garments.
It uses PowerBrite water-based pigmented CMYK and white inks for printing.
8. Brother GTX DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $22,500.00 to $27,000
The Brother GTX printer has cutting-edge technology, and you can print a wide range of colors and fine details with incredible clarity. The Brother GTX can print a t-shirt in 45 seconds while maintaining 1200 dpi x 1200 dpi print quality. It is simple to operate and maintain. The GTXpro uses Innobella Textile inks, which are water-based pigment inks. Buying ink in bulk will save you some money.
On the Brother GTX printer, clogged nozzles are minimized, and the system is kept clean and ready to use at all times in a conventional wet capping station. It contains two CMYK and white print heads with a maximum platen size of 16 x 21 inches, as well as Innobella Textile inks and a broad substrate that lets you print across zippers, pockets, and other irregular surfaces for better image quality. The adjustable platen height system makes working with extra thick garments a breeze.
9. Epson SureColor F2100 DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $18,000
One of the best-selling direct-to-garment printers, the Epson SureColor F2100, prints a t-shirt in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Because of the considerable gap between the printhead and the substrate, you can print pictures on regions that would be difficult to access, including over seams, across zippers, and on pockets.
Variable drop technology improves image quality and enables gradient-colored images. You can pick between two print resolutions. The resolutions for white ink are 1440 x 1440 dpi and 1440 x 720 dpi for color ink. Exclusive in the F2100, this function allows you to print white and color inks simultaneously on a single color pass, boosting image quality, speed, and efficiency.
The Epson SureColor F2100 uses the Epson UltraChrome DG Inks available in 600ml, costing around $200 – $250 per color.
Available fluids for use with direct-to-garment printing as a pretreatment, for cotton 5.28 gallons (20 liters) at $620, and polyester fabrics blend 4.75 gallons (18 liters) at $276.
10. Azon Tex Pro DTG Printer
Estimated Price: $12,000 to $15,000
The Azon Tex Pro DTG printer has exceptional ink adhesion and can print beautiful full-color prints on light and dark-colored fabrics such as t-shirts, towels, jeans, aprons, bags, and more. A maximum printing size of 15.75 x 23.62 inches is offered, with a resolution of 1440 dpi. Azon’s water-based white ink was explicitly created for printing on dark clothes by first producing a solid surface on which the CMYK inks could be applied.
This white layer is digitally placed onto the specified area on the garment, allowing the CMYK colors to be used instantaneously. It has four CMYK inks, four white ones, and laser beam printhead protection. It’s a lower-cost, simple-to-operate DTG printer that can print up to 70 light color and 15 dark color shirts per hour.
Ink For DTG Printing
Water-based ink is gaining popularity in the DTG printing industry due to its combination of quality, affordability, and environmental friendliness. These water-based inks are biodegradable pigments suspended in water, making them safer for the environment.
DTG Image Armor comes in light, ultra, and dark for pretreatment of garments to brighten up your printed images. The pretreatment 1-gallon bottles cost around $40 – $60
General DTG ink package on Amazon includes:
- 4 x 200ml (6.7 oz) textile ink (C M Y K)
- 1L (33.8 oz textile white ink fixing agent
- 500ml (16.9 oz) white ink
Heat Press To Cure The Ink
You’ll need a machine to cure the pre-treat fluid or ink once you’ve used your DTG printer to pre-treat or print. Heat aids in the removal of the carrier fluid, allowing the chemicals in the pre-treat and ink to connect with the garment’s fibers properly. Curing the garment with the heat press improves the printed design’s durability to natural wear and washing, and it’s an essential part of direct-to-garment printing.
Here are 5 Heat Presses with their prices:
Vevor Heat Press: The non-stick surface prevents transfers from scorching, and it doesn’t require a separate silicone or Teflon sheet. The Vevor heat press also allows you to vary the pressure according to the thickness of the material you’re transferring onto.
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Price: Around $370
Goldoro pro heat press:It is equipped with variable temperature functions and automatic shut-off functionality to prevent overheating your garments. Adjusting the pressure needed for specific material can easily be achieved.
Size: 15 x 15 inches
Price: around $230
Angoo Heat Press: The swing-away design with full 360-degree rotation allows the heating element to be safely moved to the side to protect your hands, decreasing the risk of accidental contact. The heater plate has an enormous surface area that can transfer custom T-shirts. The Angoo heat press has multiple functions. You just need to swap the cap, mug, and plate attachments to use them.
Size: 12 x 15 inches
Price: around $186
Dollate Heat Press: The built-in heating tube on the Industrial level maximizes the heating area, resulting in a more consistent surface temperature and even heating of the picture. The Dollate heat press machine has a 360 degrees rotation. Using the pressure knob, you can adjust the pressure according to the thickness of the item.
Size: 12 x 10 inches
Price: around $130
Seeutek Heat Press:T-shirts, clothes, purses, jigsaw puzzles, plates, and other flat-covered goods can all be heat pressed. Perfect for transferring photos, words, and other images to cotton, fiber, metal, porcelain, glass, and other surfaces, making gifts, advertisements, and other items. The heat press machine from Seeutek can rotate 360 degrees.
Size: 12 x 10 inches
Price: around $130
Buy a DTG printer based on your budget and business needs by considering the initial investment, ink, and other equipment costs needed at startup. Ongoing expenses like maintenance, power consumption, pretreatment solutions, and extra ink should also feature in your planning process. It isn’t easy to plan for the future at a startup, but also consider expanding possibilities with the printer you buy.
Bryan E. Robinson is the former owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has over 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.