Star product: Resolute R-Jet Pro DTF
Monday, August 23, 2021
An innovative garment printing system with high-end results.
What does it do?
Claimed to be a “game-changer” by its developer, the Resolute R-Jet Pro DTF is a digital inkjet system that prints heat transfers onto special film, intended mainly for decorating textile garments. It’s suited to cotton, polyester, high-viz, workwear and sportswear. It can also be used to decorate hard substrates, packaging and promotional items – where a product can be placed under a heat press.
When was it launched and what’s the target market?
It was officially launched in February this year after field testing during 2020. It’s being promoted as an alternative to existing DTG technologies. Resolute founder Colin Marsh says: “The system outperforms conventional DTG printing, sublimation, white toner and print-and-cut methods in both speed and costs. It is also very popular with screen printers as there is no pre-treatment required. It has a smaller footprint than an automatic carousel and requires only one person to run it.”
The first user was Identity Printing in Manchester, which already had three Ricoh DTG inkjets from Resolute. Zar Ali, production manager, says: “The film transfer gives a really nice clean finish, unlike DTG where if the fibres are rough they spoil the quality and you have to keep cleaning the printheads.
“There’s no pre-treatment. It just takes 15 minutes to warm up in the morning. We do gym-wear polyesters with it too and there’s no stretching or cracking even at maximum.”
How does it work?
The system comprises a roll-fed A3 format inkjet with twin Epson OEM printheads that print dual CMYK plus dual white onto special film. After printing the film and semi-cured ink is fed to an inline finishing unit that applies a heat-activated adhesive powder to the ink, which is then finally heat cured.
The film images are then transferred to the substrate using a standard heat press, usually taking 15 seconds at 130-165°C. No pre-treatment or weeding is needed. Small images can be ganged and cut for individual application.
Marsh says: “The Resolute Premium DTF ink is a water-based hybrid ink, pigmented but with the characteristics of latex for durability and softness.” These produce vibrant prints with excellent stretch and durability in the wash, he says. “The key to the product’s success is the combination of high-quality film coating that reacts with the ink and adhesive during curing. With a gamut range twice that of traditional DTG inks the colours produced are not only vibrant but also accurate.”
Resolute’s own film is recommended as it “is profiled and is unique to its durability in the wash,” Marsh says. “Other films can be used but the performance will be affected.”
The printer is supplied with the Resolute RIP Pro software, offering automatic image nesting, variable data, barcode job creation and job costing as well as driving the printer.
Does it replace an earlier product?
No, this is the only Resolute DTG printer to use the film transfer process.
What’s the USP?
“The R-Jet Pro DTF’s USP is the combination of exclusive own-brand consumables coupled with my 40 years’ experience in the printing industry,” says Marsh. “A lot of hard work and investment has gone into making sure the R-Jet Pro DTF outperforms other systems whilst retaining a very competitive price.”
How fast/productive is it?
Marsh says: “It can produce in excess of 1,000 chest prints per hour of 100x90mm when running in full production mode. Two operators and two heat presses can produce around 900 finished garments per hour, including loading and unloading. In a five hour print run this equates to 4,500 finished garments.”
What training and support is available?
“The system requires only an afternoon’s training as it is a very easy automated process,” says Marsh. “Remote support and on-site support is included by Resolute’s own technicians.”
What does it cost and how is it sold?
The R-Jet Pro DTG system costs £14,950. Ink is available in 1,000ml and 500ml bottles, priced at £75 per litre. Marsh says that an average A4 sheet produced with DTF costs around 30p.
Products can be ordered from Resolute, but the firm also has a sales arrangement with The Magic Touch, a Dunstable-based specialist in transfers for textiles and other substrates.
How many are in use?
“The UK installation base has already exceeded 50 and is set to hit 100 before the end of this year,” says Marsh. “We are currently in talks with a large US-based firm as an exclusive partner for the R-Jet Pro DTF system.”
Printable width 580mm
Output 16m/hour at 1,800dpi
Colours Five (dual CMYK plus dual white)
Ink type Water-based pigmented ink
Ink system Bulk feed
Printheads Two eight-channel Epson OEM
Software Resolute RIP Pro
Marsh believes there is no direct alternative in terms of capability. However there are several established alternative processes, even if they are not direct equivalents. All use heat presses to transfer and fix the image to the textile.
OKI Pro8432wt with Space Control
A package of an OKI toner printer that offers CMY plus white options together with The Magic Touch’s Space Control software for transfer creation and colour ordering. It’s suitable for most fabric types as well as solids such as mugs, etc.
Colours CMY plus white or CMYK
Software Internal PostScript 3 Rip
Contact The Magic Touch 01582 671444 www.themagictouch.com
The GT361 inkjet offers CMYK plus dual white on a platen printer with interchangeable shapes for different garments. Pre-treatment is needed for coloured garments.
Max printing area 35x40cm
Colours CMYK plus dual white
Software Windows printer driver
Contact MHM Direct 0115 944 2285 www.mhmdirect.co.uk
The entry level Epson DTG printer uses pigment inks and provides interchangeable platens to support garments up to t-shirt size. Pre-treatment is needed for dark fabrics.
Process Inkjet with aqueous pigment inks
Colours CMYK plus white
Software Mac and Windows printer drivers
Contact Epson UK 01442 261144 www.epson.co.uk