What do shops need to know and have when adding D2 to their current shop offerings?
When considering adding D2 to an existing business, the first thing to determine is if you have a workspace that can accommodate D2 printing. D2 printers need a relatively dust-free environment in which you can maintain a consistent temperature of 60–90 degrees and a relative humidity of 45–80 percent. This is crucial to prevent nozzles from clogging and keep ink running smoothly in the machine. It also minimizes the need for head cleanings.
Keep an electronic hygrometer, or humidity gauge, near the printer to monitor your humidity level and invest in a high-powered non-misting humidifier to maintain relative humidity if it tends to fall below 45 percent.
The most critical piece of equipment you will need is, of course, a D2 printer. When choosing the right printer for your business, do your research and learn as much as you can about direct-to-garment printing. Thoroughly review your business model and have a firm understanding of your budget, garment pricing, and how many orders you will need to fill to see a return on your investment. This will help you choose a printer that is affordable and can profitably accommodate your business' needs.
To get your D2 setup going, you will need a reliable computer with photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP Photo Editor. You also need additional equipment for pretreating and finishing garments. When it comes to pretreatment, start with the one recommended by the printer manufacturer. It has already been tested with the ink that you are using, so it's likely going to yield good results. A handheld power sprayer is a popular choice for applying pretreatment to garments, while some users opt for a dedicated, enclosed pretreatment machine.
Finally, to finish your garment, you will need a heat press. Consider what you will be printing and the size of your print room when choosing a heat press. The heat press should be large enough to use on any extra-large jobs and also be able to fit in your print room at a minimum distance of 6 to 10 feet away from your printer.