What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first bought your digital direct-to-garment machine?
The true cost of maintenance. If taken care of properly, these machines can have a good “up time.” However, the technology is new and fragile enough that you need to be ready to get your hands dirty and open your wallet at a moment’s notice.
Some of the machine parts wear—the print head, capping station, etc. So it makes sense to stock these parts in advance of a breakdown. Heads aren’t cheap, but a machine that breaks Friday afternoon right before you were going to print 50 shirts due on Saturday is a lot more expensive.
Also, significant ink is wasted in routine maintenance, and even more is wasted when troubleshooting print problems. Be sure to budget for this, and make sure these costs are included in your pricing somehow, or you’ll find yourself running your shop as a non-profit.