Galaxy DTF Overview

DTF - Direct to Film Printing technology is a modern version of a technology that has been around for over a decade but has only recently made it to the mainstream market. It was originally developed by a company in Croatia. At that time they used standard inkjet inks with special paper and powder to make it stick to a porous surface like fabric, paper, some leather and so on. Working only on light-coloured surfaces as there was no white ink.

Print durability was good but the print was very hard on the shirt. More recent developments include a special ink for fabric (a type of plastisol ink), printing the ink onto a film instead of paper and white ink amongst others.

Once the print is done, a powder is sprinkled onto the wet print. This powder is the glue that sticks the ink to the substrate. Without the powder nothing will stick. Due to the print being on film and not paper, when the powder and ink mixture is heated in a heat press only the ink sticks to the substrate. This technology is NOT suitable for glass, metal, ceramics, or stone. If you need to do these products too, then a white toner laser system is better.

With the addition of white ink, you can now transfer onto any colour substrate as long as it’s porous else the inks don’t stick. This means that this technology is NOT suitable for glass, metal, ceramics, or stone. If you need to print on these products, then a white toner laser is more suitable or the Galaxy DTF combined with a sublimation printer. The print costs on the Galaxy DTF are much lower than Laser or Inkjet transfers. The film is cheaper and so is the ink.

DTF Results

High Durability

Galaxy DTF prints are the 2nd most durable digital transfers after sublimation and the most durable on cotton. The combination of ink and film used determines the durability. The results provide strong washability, it feels better to the touch and the durability is very high with cost effective printing results.

There will be companies selling dirt-cheap inks/ films.  Unfortunately, people will buy them and then have issues along the line where their customers will return their jobs and want refunds. We have tested our film and inks to 50 wash and tumble dry cycles. The most popular systems use a modified Epson A3 printer. There are A4 units out there, but the nature of the print head they use means that they are fraught with issues.

Galaxy DTF washability

Original RIP software

In addition to the printer, powder, film and inks, RIP software is essential. Without the RIP there’s no way to tell the printer where to apply the white (if decorating a dark substrate and how much to apply). You also need the RIP for colour matching. Most low-end systems are supplied with a pirate copy of Acrorip which sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t it gives errors in Chinese which is hardly helpful. JG Electronics ONLY supplies systems with an original CADLINK RIP.

Advanced Printing and Baking

Early DTF systems gave you just the powder and a tray. You would have to put powder on the print, put it in the tray and shake it by hand to spread the powder. Then either bake the powder until it fused with the inks under your heat press or more recently with an infrared oven. Now more advanced systems gives you the option of buying an automatic unit.  Meaning the film comes out of the printer and straight into a unit which shakes the powder onto the print, rolls it into the curing oven and when it comes out it goes onto a take-up spooler. This is the process our amazing Galaxy DTF system uses. This unit is perfect for production runs because you can start your prints and carry on with other things and tasks for your business.

DTF Results
Amazing Support

The first Galaxy DTF systems came out before Covid.  JG Electronics has waited until now to start selling them. We have been waiting for the technology to stabilise and for a reputable supplier to enter the market with equipment that works reliably and not just while under warranty. We tested a lot of different machines from different suppliers yet only to be disappointed every time. We were ready to throw in the towel until a manufacturer we have been talking to since 2017 sent us a sample of their system that worked perfectly straight out of the box and has worked perfectly ever since. They were the only supplier we had spoken to who even gave us stats on failure rates, things to watch out for and the best practices, providing long term support as well.

Often you get suppliers providing manuals written in bad English or no manual at all and if your machine breaks there are no spares or technical know-how to repair the issue. At JG Electronics we supply you with detailed manuals, helpful training videos, a maintenance kit for your printer and extensive tech support. We’ve been in the business of selling systems for over 32 years.

JG Electronics stocks a wide range of spares including pumps, motors, logic boards, piping, and print heads so that if there’s an issue it can be resolved quickly.

DTF Results
For MORE INFORMATION on the Galaxy DTF A3 Printer, DTF Shaker Oven or our DTF Printing System, please refer to the following pages: