Compatible Printers to Convert for DTF Printing

Compatible Printers:

Garment printing continues to evolve, with new printers and techniques offering unique advantages. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of DTF printer conversion!

Are you ready to explore DTF printing? Let’s dive into the world of DTF printer conversion, focusing on compatible printers and the necessary supplies to get you started.

Can You Convert a Printer For DTF Printing?

YES! Certain compatible printers can be converted for DTF (Direct-to-Film) printing, which is versatile and capable of producing high-quality prints on various fabrics, including cotton, polyester blends, and darker garments.

DTF printing offers an alternative to traditional garment printing, such as screen printing and DTG.

Here’s a breakdown of the DTF process:

  1. Printing:
    A modified inkjet printer with DTF ink prints the design onto a specially coated PET film.
  2. Powdering:
    The printed Film is then dusted with a hot melt powder, which adheres to the ink.
  3. Heat Pressing:
    The powdered Film is placed on the garment and heat-pressed. During this process, the powder melts, fusing the ink into the fabric for a durable and vibrant print.

    Discover the world of DTF Printing: A Beginner’s Guide! Start unleashing your creativity on garments today.

DTF printing offers several advantages:

  • Versatility:
    Prints on a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, polyester blends, and even dark garments.
  • Wash Durability:
    DTF prints boast excellent wash resistance when applied correctly.
  • Vibrant Colors: 
    DTF inks produce exceptional color vibrancy for eye-catching designs.
  • No Minimums:
    DTF printing allows for single-item creation. This is ideal for small businesses and personalized products.

Choosing the Right Compatible Printers: Factors to Consider

While DTF offers its benefits, the success of your project hinges on selecting the right printer for conversion. Here are some crucial factors to keep in mind:

  • Inkjet Technology:
    Piezoelectric inkjet printers are compatible printers generally preferred for DTF conversions. They offer superior print head control and accuracy, especially compared to thermal inkjet printers.
  • Ink Compatibility:
    The printer needs to be compatible with DTF inks, which have a different viscosity and chemical composition than traditional inkjet inks. Using incompatible inks can damage the printer and lead to poor print quality.
  • Print Resolution:
    A higher print resolution (measured in dots per inch or DPI) produces sharper and more detailed prints. For optimal DTF results, aim for a printer with a minimum resolution of 1440 DPI.
  • White Ink Capability:
    For printing on dark garments, a printer that can accommodate white ink is essential. White ink forms an opaque base for colored inks, ensuring vibrant colors on dark fabrics.
  • Maintenance:
    DTF printing requires using specific inks and cleaning procedures to prevent clogging. Choose compatible printers with easily accessible print heads and readily available replacement parts.

Popular Compatible Printers for DTF Conversion

Several inkjet printer models from reputable brands have become staples for many. Epson, Canon, and Brother are popular choices for DTF conversion, to name a few.

Here are a few examples:

1- Epson EcoTank Series (ET-2720, ET-4750, etc.):

These EcoTank compatible printers offer a continuous ink supply system. Hence, making them cost-effective for high-volume DTF printing. They typically have good print quality and white ink compatibility.

2- Epson SureColor Series (P400, P600):

Renowned for their exceptional print quality and durability, these SureColor printers are ideal! Especially when it comes to producing professional-grade DTF transfers.

3- Epson SureColor SC-P600

These high-end photo printers deliver outstanding image quality. These printers are also suitable for intricate DTF designs requiring sharp detail.

4- Canon PIXMA Pro Series (Pro-100):

These high-end photo printers deliver outstanding image quality. These printers are also suitable for intricate DTF designs requiring sharp detail.

Go for Brother inkjet models, particularly those with pigment-based inks and good white ink compatibility, which can be suitable for DTF conversion.

Important Note:

These are some popular choices. It’s crucial to research specific printer models thoroughly before conversion. Before buying, make sure that the printer is compatible with DTF inks. Keep in mind the white ink capability (if needed) and positive user reviews regarding DTF conversions.

Compatible Printers Conversion Process

1- Conversion Kit Acquisition:

Buy a DTF conversion kit that is specially designed for your chosen printer model. These kits typically include essential components. These components are:

  • Bulk ink supply system (CISS),
  • Capping station
  • A white ink cartridge

2- Printer Preparation:

This stage involves carefully disassembling the printer following the conversion kit’s instructions. Be meticulous and ensure you have a clean workspace to minimize dust contamination.

3- Capping Station Replacement:

The original capping station is responsible for cleaning the print head. It is often replaced with a DTF-compatible version. This version is designed for use with DTF inks.

4- Bulk Ink System Installation:

The conversion kit’s CISS replaces the original ink cartridges. This allows for refillable ink tanks, reducing printing costs in the long run.

5- White Ink Integration (if needed):

If printing on dark garments, install the white ink cartridge or bulk ink system. Depending on the chosen kit and printer model, you may need to install another model.

6- Cleaning and Reassembly:

Carefully clean and reassemble any components you disassemble. Follow the conversion kit’s instructions in the manual. Double-check all connections and ensure everything is secure.

7- Driver Installation:

Some conversion kits may require installing specific DTF printing drivers for your computer. This is to recognize the modified printer.

Important Note: Converting a printer for DTF printing can be technical. If you’re not comfortable disassembling and reassembling electronic equipment, consider seeking assistance from a qualified technician. Purchasing a pre-converted DTF printer from a reputable supplier is also a good idea.

Learn about Bulk Order Smackdown: DTF Printing vs.The Rest! Discover which printing method reigns supreme for your large-scale projects.

Essential Supplies for DTF Printing

Compatible Printers:

Once you convert your printer by following our guide, you’ll need some more supplies:

  • DTF Inks:
    These are formulated inks designed for adhesion to PET film and heat transfer to fabric. Choose high-quality inks for optimal results.
  • DTF Film:
    This heat-resistant PET film serves as the canvas for your DTF designs. It comes in various sizes to accommodate different print sizes.
  • Hot Melt Powder:
    This fine powder adheres to the DTF ink during the heat-pressing process. Hence creating a durable bond between the ink and the fabric.
  • Heat Press:
    A commercial-grade heat press is crucial for curing the DTF transfer onto the garment. Choose a press size suitable for your typical print size.
  • Flon Heat Transfer Sheet (Optional):
    For added wash durability, consider using a heat transfer sheet between the DTF transfer and the garment.
  • Cleaning Supplies:
    Cleaning solutions are essential for your printer. These solutions are designed for DTF printing. They are also essential for maintaining your printer. By cleaning your printer, you’ll prevent clogging and ensure quality prints each time.

Read this helpful guide on How to Clean a Printer Head

Resources and Next Steps

Starting your DTF printing journey involves research, preparation, and acquiring equipment and supplies. Here are some additional resources to help you:

  • Become a part of Online DTF printing communities and forums. This can provide valuable insights and troubleshooting tips from experienced users.
  • DTF ink and equipment suppliers are also very helpful. They often offer comprehensive guides and video tutorials on setting up and using your DTF printer.
  • Attend DTF printing workshops or online courses. You’ll surprise yourself with how much practical knowledge you can gain, which can help refine your skills further.

Advanced Considerations for DTF Printing

As we have established the core principles of DTF printing, you can now confidently start your DTF journey. A little consideration of some advanced factors can be a game changer for your business. By doing this, you’ll optimize your workflow and achieve professional-grade results.

Here’s a deeper dive into some key areas:

Ink Selection and Optimization:

  • Ink Quality Matters:

    DTF inks play a huge role in print quality. They can greatly impact the final print quality, wash durability, and overall success of your project. Opt for reputable brands known for high-quality, DTF-specific inks.
  • Ink Color Profiles: 
    Business owners always want consistent and accurate color reproduction. To ensure this, you need to create ICC color profiles for your chosen DTF ink and film combination. This ensures the colors printed on the Film translate accurately to the fabric. Software tools and profiling services are available to aid in this process.
  • White Ink Management:

    White ink is crucial for printing on dark garments. However, it’s prone to clogging more frequently than colored inks. You need to implement a regular cleaning routine! Specifically for the white ink system to minimize downtime. Some advanced conversion kits offer features like white ink circulation to prevent clogging.

Heat Pressing Techniques:

  • Heat Press Settings:

    Pressure, temperature, and dwell time (pressing duration) during heat pressing are crucial factors. Keep them in mind for successful DTF transfers. Experiment with different settings! Don’t be afraid to try them on scrap fabric! By doing this, you’ll be able to find the optimal combination for your specific ink, Film, and fabric type.
  • Pre-Pressing:

    Try pre-pressing the garment for a few seconds! This can help remove wrinkles. It will also ensure even heat distribution during the actual transfer process.
  • Peeling Techniques:

    The ideal time to peel the DTF transfer film depends on the ink and film combination. Typically, a warm peel (immediately after heat pressing) is recommended for optimal adhesion. However, some materials may require a cold peel (after the garment cools down). Experiment to determine the best approach for your specific setup.

Maintaining Your DTF Setup with Compatible Printers:

  • Regular Cleaning:

    Consistent cleaning is crucial for maintaining your converted printer. It ensures optimal print quality. Don’t look beyond DTF-specific cleaning solutions! These solutions are made to remove ink buildup from the print head and capping station. Refer to your conversion kit’s instructions for a recommended cleaning schedule.
  • Capping Station Maintenance:

    The capping station plays a vital role in keeping the print head moist and preventing clogs. Regularly clean the capping station. By doing this, you’ll ensure proper contact with the print head for optimal performance.
  • Ink Levels and Refilling: Monitor ink levels in your bulk ink system and refill them before they run dry. Air entering the ink lines can cause printing issues. Use proper refilling techniques to avoid air bubbles and ensure smooth ink flow.

Additional Considerations:

  • Ventilation: DTF printing involves using inks and powders. Set up your workspace with proper ventilation to minimize exposure to fumes and dust.
  • Safety Precautions: Safety first! Wear gloves, safety glasses, and masks while you’re at work. Handle inks and powders while wearing safety equipment. This will minimize skin contact and steer clear of potential inhalation.
  • Software and Design: Invest in design software suitable for creating high-quality artwork for DTF printing. When designing your prints, consider factors like DPI requirements and color profiles.


You can now unlock the exciting world of DTF printing! Choose the correct printer for conversion, follow a careful conversion process, and acquire the essential supplies.

With dedication and practice, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning and vibrant designs on various fabrics. Unleash your creativity with DTF printing!

Explore a world of vibrant designs on diverse fabrics. Remember! Choose a compatible printer, follow the conversion steps, and stock up on essential supplies.

Continuous learning and experimentation are the keys to achieving professional-grade results. Practice and dig into advanced techniques to master the DTF process.

Happy printing, and may your garments stand out!


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