How To Customize DirectRIP Environments

Why customize Environments?

As you develop experience printing a wide variety of images on your FreeJet 330TX-series printer, you will eventually come across fabrics or designs that require modifying the default parameters provided by the built-in DirectRIP Environments.

Some of the easily adjustable parameters that get set to specific default values based on your Environment selection for a particular shirt color and type of fabric (for the 330TX Plus) include:

  • Underbase
  • Highlight
  • Fuzziness
  • Color Strength

These and other settings can be quickly adjusted on the fly from the DirectRIP toolbar after loading your selected Environment (with its presets), and that’s the best way to make a fast, one-off adjustment.

In the below video and the following text, we’ll show you how to create and save a modified Environment, customized to your parameter preferences, which can improve your workflow & efficiency if you frequently use fabrics or designs that look best with modified settings.

Video Example

DirectRIP Environment Groups

Before we create a custom Environment, it will be helpful to understand how DirectRIP’s Environment Groups feature helps us keep Environments organized and easy to locate.

Environment Groups are like folders used to organize a set of Environments under a common category or theme. Whenever you click on DirectRIP’s Environment dropdown list to select an Environment, the bolded labels that are expanded to show Environments nested under them are the Environment Group names. For example, “Freejet 330 TX Production Mode” and “FreeJet 330TX Plus TX Quality mode” are a couple of Environment Groups found in DirectRIP for those respective FreeJet models.

DirectRIP Environments & Environment Groups

Creating an Environment Group

We recommend creating new Environment Groups to organize any custom Environments you create. You may want Group names based on a client name or a particular brand & model of shirt — whatever makes sense to you when you’re later looking for a particular customized Environment (or set of custom Environments) is fine.

Here’s how to create an Environment Group.

  1. Click on the folder icon to the right of the DirectRIP toolbar’s Environment dropdown list.
    Environment Group icon on toolbar
    The Manage Environment Group window will appear.
  2. Click on the Add Environment group icon, as shown below.
    Add Environment Group
    A new Group will appear at the bottom of the Environment list with an initial name of “Group 1“.
    New 'Group 1'
  3. Click on the ‘Group 1‘ new group name, type whatever name you want to call the group, then press the Enter key. For this example, we use the name ‘Customized Envs‘.
    The new group name
    The new Group name appears at the bottom of both lists.
  4. Click the green checkmark near the bottom right corner of the Manage Environment Group window to save the new Group and close the window. The new Group now appears in the Environment tool’s dropdown list.
    New Environment dropdown list

Saving a New Environment

Whenever we change the Underbase, Highlight, Fuzziness, Color Strength, or Color Booster values on the toolbar, we temporarily replace the selected Environment’s default settings.

Here’s how to save a set of modified values to a new Environment.

  1. Select the appropriate Environment for your printer model, fabric color, and (for the FreeJet 330TX Plus) fabric type. This will provide the basis or starting point for your new Environment.

    For this example, we use the FreeJet 330TX Plus TX Quality mode Environment Group’s Dark Cotton QM Environment. Its presets appear on the toolbar shown below.
    Dark Cotton QM presets
  2. Use the DirectRIP toolbar to adjust the Underbase, Highlight, Fuzziness, Color Strength, or Color Booster values as desired. For this example, we will change the Highlight from 60% to 65%, the Fuzziness from 0 to 15, and the Color Strength from 45% to 55%.
    Modified Dark Cotton QM Environment

    We’ve so far created an Environment Group and made some changes to a set of default Environment parameters to create some context for what comes next.

    The following steps will result in these parameter changes being saved to a new Environment which we’ll later be able to recall from the DirectRIP toolbar’s Environment dropdown.
  3. Click the Print Setup icon at the bottom of the Q Rip window or near the left end of the DirectRIP toolbar. (Both icons do the same thing.)
    Print Setup - Q Rip and toolbar
    The Print Setup window appears.
  4. Click the Save Environment button (see below), the last icon to the right of the Print Setup window’s Environment dropdown list.
    Print Setup window, Print Environment tab - Save Env button

    A Save As dialog window appears with the default name of “New Environment.env” in the File name text box.
  5. Replace the default name with a name of your choice for the new Environment in the File name text box, then click the Save button.
    Save new environment

    We’re using “Modified Dark Cotton QM” in our example.
  6. When the Save As dialog box closes, click the Print Setup window’s ‘OK’ button to close that window, too.
  7. Click the globe & wrench icon next to the DirectRIP main toolbar’s Environment dropdown list.
    Environments management icon

    The Manage Environment window appears.

    Scroll to the bottom of the Manage Environment window’s list where you will find an entry with no Environment Name and no Environment Group. This is the Environment that you created.
  8. Click on the empty Environment Name field and type in a name for the new Environment.
    New Environment name

    The name you create here will appear when you use the toolbar’s Environment dropdown list in the future, so name your new Environment in a way that will be meaningful to you next time you want to use the same set of parameters. We’re using “Modified Dark Cotton QM” again for our example, but you’ll want to use something more specific to why you’re creating a custom Environment.
  9. Click on the empty Environment Group field, then click on the dropdown box and select the new group name you previously created, or whatever Group you want the new Environment to be organized under.

    Select Environment Group

  10. Click the green checkmark to save your selections.

You’re finished with the process and your new Environment is now available from the DirectRIP toolbar’s Environment dropdown list, located under the heading of your selected Environment Group.

New Environment and Group in the Environments dropdown list

Installing the Windows Printer Driver for FreeJet 330-Series

The printer driver for FreeJet printers is installed during the pre-training setup session for new FreeJet customers. Use the following step-by-step instructions if a new or different PC will be used with our FreeJet printer then the driver will need to be installed.

Download the Driver Installer

  1. Go to https://bit.ly/driver-FJ330 for access to Epson Stylus Photo R2400 downloads.
  2. Select your Windows version from the Operating System drop-down list.
    NOTE: If you use Windows 11, select the Windows 10 64-bit version of the driver. No driver useful for FreeJets is available under the Windows 11 selection but the Windows 10 driver works perfectly well.
  3. Click the ‘GO’ button to display the available downloads.
    R2400 driver download page
  4. Click the ‘Download’ button for Printer Driver v6.56.
    • If prompted by your browser, select a download location for the file. Otherwise, the file will be downloaded to your browser’s default Downloads folder.

Install the Driver

  1. Connect the printer’s USB cable to the provided USB hub on your PC, and connect the other end to the printer.
    • If you are installing the driver to a new printer, be sure to remove both yellow carriage lock brackets at the rear of the printer before turning the printer on.
  2. Toggle the printer’s main power switch to the ON position
    FreeJet power controls
  3. Turn on the FreeJet’s “print engine” using the control pad’s red Power button.
  4. Run the downloaded installer program (“epson15171.exe”).
    R2400 driver installer
  5. Allow the installer to automatically configure the port. It will then complete the installation.
    • If the installation software can’t find the printer, double-check that the printer is turned completely on, with the control pad’s green Power light lit, and the USB cable is connected to your PC and the printer. Then retry the installation.

Confirming Success

When the installation is completed, you will see an image of 8 multicolored columns (representing ink bottles) under the heading of Ink Levels on the “Main” tab of the EPSON Stylus Photo R2400 driver’s Printing Preferences window.
Printing Preferences

If you find more than one R2400 device in the Control Panel (or Settings) list of printers, use the one with a solid, normal-looking printer icon. Any extra copies that appear greyed out (semi-translucent) will not be needed and can be safely deleted or ignored.

How to Manually Change DirectRIP’s Resolution Setting (video)

We normally print at the default resolution of the DirectRIP Environment selected for a given print job. For example, the FreeJet 330 TX and the FreeJet 330TX Plus TX Quality mode Environments both print at a high resolution of 1440 x 1440, while the Production modes for both printers use the 1440 x 720 resolution for higher speed printing.

The below video explains how to manually bump up the print resolution to 2880 x 1440, which can be helpful to lay down a higher density of ink when printing on thicker, more absorbent garments such as denim, canvas, and hoodies.

Installing & Configuring DirectRIP for the Freejet 330-Series

Plastic container with USB thumbdrive and security dongle.

Plastic case with a USB thumb drive containing a copy of DirectRIP and a security key “dongle”

In order to operate your FreeJet Printer, you will need a working installation of DirectRIP on your Windows PC. You may be a first-time user, or possibly have recently acquired a new PC and are looking to migrate your installation, but in any case, the below video and the following step-by-step instructions will show you how to install DirectRIP.

Verify your Equipment

Before we start your installation, ensure that you gather the following components, which are included with your printer purchase:

  • USB hub
  • USB thumb drive containing installation files & folders
  • USB security key “dongle” (Sentinel HASP key)
  • DirectRIP plastic case which the USB thumbdrive & security key came in

USB thumb drive and security key dongle

USB hub

Insert the two DirectRIP USB devices from the plastic case into the USB hub as shown above, and connect the hub to a USB port on your PC. If applicable for your hub, ensure the buttons on those USB slots are enabled (depressed).

Installation

With all components connected to your PC, if Windows didn’t automatically open its File Browser to display the contents of the USB thumb drive when it was connected, run File Browser and navigate to the USB thumb drive.

Run ‘Setup’ from the thumb drive to initiate the installation of DirectRIP.

The installation program will prompt you to enter the CD Key from the plastic case. Enter the full key (including the dash!), along with your name and company name, then continue. (You can use anything you like for the name and company name.)

The DirectRIP CD Key is always “776-3691394”.

You will then be asked for the serial number. Enter the serial number from your USB device packaging (it starts with ‘RPQL’, as pictured above).

Your DirectRIP Serial Number will be “RPQL####WVK”, but replace #### with just the numbers on your thumb drive and security key dongle labels. For example, the serial number for the USB devices pictured above is “RPQL2242WVK”.

Select the installation location and options as desired to proceed with the installation of the DirectRIP Software. Using the suggested defaults is fine.

Once the installation of DirectRIP is complete, a small window will appear asking “Install HASP Driver?” Select ‘Yes’ to begin the installation of the Sentinel encryption key software. This install will typically hang for a few moments when its status bar reads around 75%, but after a delay, it should rapidly climb to 100% and complete the installation. 

If you don’t see the “Install HASP Driver” prompt, minimize all other programs because this prompt may have launched behind other windows on your Desktop, hiding it from your immediate view.

At this point, you can check the installation by opening DirectRIP from the shortcut that the installation program placed on your Desktop. If DirectRIP and the Sentinel key driver are installed correctly, the program will load & run.

Once you’ve confirmed that DirectRIP loads you can store the thumb drive in a safe place because it is only needed during the installation process. On the other hand, the security key dongle must always be plugged into the USB hub in order to run DirectRIP.

Configuring Environments

Once DirectRIP is installed, you’ll want to do some initial configuration on the program to reduce clutter and improve ease of use. 

First, let’s configure the DirectRIP Environments. You can think of the Environments as macros or as a set of presets that simplify selecting settings for printing on a particular type of shirt.

Start by clicking on the icon of a globe & wrench that is to the immediate right of the Environment selection drop-down box in the DirectRIP toolbar.

This will open the ‘Manage Environment’ window.

The next step is to select an Environment row labeled “OmniPrint FreeJet 320 TX” in its ‘Environment Group’ column, then tap your keyboard’s delete key or click the ‘Delete Environment’ icon (a globe over a sheet of paper with a red ‘x’) to delete the selected Environment row.

Repeat the deletion for each ‘OmniPrint FreeJet 320 TX’ entry.

If using a standard FreeJet 330TX (not the Plus model):
Also delete any environments with the “FreeJet 330 TX Plus” in the Environment Group Column.

If using the FreeJet 330TX Plus:
Also delete any environments with “Omniprint FreeJet 330 TX” in the Environment Group column, with the exception of the “FreeJet 330TX Photo” Environments, which have value for both the Freejet 330TX and the 330TX Plus.

Click the green checkmark icon at the lower-right corner of the ‘Manage Environment’ subwindow to accept changes and close the window.

All DirectRIP Environments are organized into Environment Groups, which you can think of as folders in which Environments are stored. The next step is to remove the Environment Groups that are now empty.

To edit Environment Groups, click the folder icon next to the Environment dropdown box to open the ‘Manage Environment Group’ subwindow.

Then, highlight an Environment Group for which all Environments were deleted in the previous step, and click the ‘Delete Environment Group’ button to delete the group. Repeat until you have deleted all of those now-empty groups.

Configuring Ink Costs

At the top of the DirectRIP window, click the Options menu, then click the ‘Ink Cost’ menu item.

In the ‘Ink Cost’ window, enter the per-liter cost of each color of ink, and leave “Other” at 0.00.

Click the green checkmark to save your changes and close the subwindow.

Configuring the Workspace

The first time that you run DirectRIP after installing it, a ‘Page Layout’ subwindow will be open. This feature isn’t needed and isn’t used with Freejet printers, so you’ll want to close it. To do this, note the two X’s near the top-right corner of the DirectRIP window (see below) and click the inner or lower one.

After closing the Layout subwindow, the next step is to open the ‘Q Rip’ window, which is very instrumental for setting up prints. To do this, select the ‘View’ menu at the top of DirectRIP, then select the ‘Show QRip’ option…

……and then re-enter the ‘View’ menu and select ‘Channel Pallete’, then ‘Show’.

Finally, arrange the ‘Q Rip’ and ‘Channel Palette’ subwindows to your preference. I like to align them at the right edge of the DirectRIP window, so DirectRIP looks like this when the program loads in full-screen mode:

Now you’re all set! DirectRIP is now ready to start running print jobs with all the features that you need at your fingertips.

Freejet 330-series: Setting Up a Print in DirectRIP

DirectRIP provides a wealth of options for how you’d like to print your image, to allow you maximum control over your products. This article will discuss how to select, import, and set up an image for Freejet 330-series printing in DirectRIP.

Format Considerations

No matter how high-quality the shirt, and how perfect the pretreatment job, there’s no amount of technical tweaking that can turn a bad image into a good print. Before you get started with setting up the print, you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with a properly formatted image that will yield satisfactory results! If you need guidance on how to create and format a proper print image, please follow the guidelines contained in this knowledgebase article.

Importing Your Image

DirectRIP makes importing your image a snap! You can either use the ‘File’ menu option on the top-left corner of DirectRIP , or simply click and drag any compatible image from Windows’ File Explorer into the gray space in the center of DirectRIP!

File import (open image file in DirectRIP)

To make sure your images print at your expected size, there should be very little “negative” or dead space (transparent content) along the borders of your image, to give a more precise projection of the artwork’s dimensions. Otherwise, the printed image itself will be reduced in size by the amount of transparency at the edges of the image. This would typically be handled during image creation in a tool like Photoshop or Corel Draw, but DirectRIP can be used for simple, rectangular cropping, too.

Steps to crop an image in DirectRIP

To crop the image in DirectRIP:

  1. Click the Selection tool. It is the dashed box near the top-left of the image window.
  2. Click & drag to draw a selection box around the parts of the image that you want to keep.
  3. Right-click the image and select Crop from the pop-up menu to make the crop.
Using DirectRIP’s crop feature does not edit your original image file. It creates a new, temporary file of the cropped area to be used just for the current print job. To create a permanent crop to your image, edit it in your image creation software.

Configuring Your Print

Now that your image has been loaded and properly cropped to size, you can begin your setup process. The first step of any print configuration is to choose your Environment. Your choice of Environment will depend on two or three factors, depending on your printer model:

  • Expected (based on artwork) or desired print quality
  • Color of fabric being printed on
  • Type of fabric (Freejet 330TX PLUS model only)

In the Environment drop-down box, select the Environment Group and Environment which corresponds with the desired type or quality of your printed image.

Environment selection

Once you have selected an Environment, most of the heavy lifting of setting up the print is already complete and all that’s left is for you to size and place your image! Next, turn your attention to the QRip subwindow:

Q Rip subwindow

  1. In the Size section of the Q Rip subwindow, select the third radio button from the top, to enable resizing of the image.
  2. Make sure the checkbox to the left of the padlock icon is checked to lock in the original aspect ratio of the image (preventing distortion of the horizontal & vertical proportions), then resize as desired.
When resizing images, remember that if you upscale the image to print at a size larger than the design then your image quality will be degraded. The larger the percentage of upscaling, the more the quality will be reduced. Creating artwork designs at or larger than the dimensions to be printed is recommended.
  1. Select the desired positioning of your image on the garment. This should be Top Center unless you’re doing something specific which requires some other print positioning.
  2. Note the Mirror and Invert image options, which are typically not used. Mirror Image will print the design backwards, which is useful for Direct-to-Transfer (DTF) printing, or anytime you want to reverse the horizontal axis of your image. Invert Image will print your image’s photonegative — a dramatic effect seldom needed, but available.
  3. Locate the two printer icons on the bottom right corner of the QRip subwindow. The icon on the left is the Print Setup icon. Click it to open the Print Setup window.

Print Setup

Note that the Platen placement on printing bed setting should never be changed. It has a completely different purpose than the Position setting in the Q Rip window, even though both settings are presented with the same 3×3 grid.

In the Print Setup window, select “Epson Stylus Photo R2400” from the Selected port dropdown box, then click the Properties button to pull up the Properties window.

Print Setup — Properties window

In the Properties window’s Margins section, set each desired margin. These margins set print position offsets from the justification setting previously selected in the QRip window. Each of the four arrows point to the side from which the margin can be set. For example, the 3rd box with the upward-pointing arrow indicates setting a margin from the top.

It’s a common practice in DTG printing (and garment printing, in general) to leave a 2″ margin down from the collar before printing the design.

Note that the dimensions of any margins selected are added to the dimensions of the print, as previously configured in the Q Rip windows, and the total must not exceed the dimensions of the print area — 12.5″ x 18″ on the Standard Adult platen. So, if you will be adding a 2″ top margin then the height of your design must be 16″ or less, as configured in the Q Rip window.

Click ‘OK’ to finalize the Properties settings and close that window, then click ‘OK’ again on the Print Setup window to close it and save the settings.

Final Preparations

If you’re using the Dark or Black environments on a 330TX Plus, or the Color or Black environments on the 330TX, DirectRIP will generate a White Underbase. Since white ink may slightly expand when it lands on a garment, we will need to slightly restrict the edges of the underbase to compensate and ensure that there won’t be an unintended white “halo” around the edges of the printed design. To do this, select the Image menu near the top left corner of DirectRIP, then select ‘Add WhiteUnderbase Choke’ from the menu — the second-to-last option on the list.

Add white underbase choke

Click ‘OK’ on the dialogue box that appears to accept the default of 2 pixels for the white underbase choke, then confirm that “UnderbaseChoke 1” has appeared in your Channels Palette.

Channels, with white underbase choke

At this point, the design is technically ready to print. But, you always want to be careful and make sure it has been formatted correctly! To check your work, right-click your image and select Print Preview.

Print Preview

The image displayed in Print Preview is proportionally accurate to the way your design will look when printed on the 12.5″ x 18″ Standard Adult Platen. You can reasonably expect the design to appear on the print surface the same as it appears on this screen. To make sure you get the most accurate comparison, select the fill bucket icon (3rd from the right among the icons at the top of the screen) to change the background color to match your garment or print surface.

If everything in the preview looks solid, tap the Esc key on your keyboard to exit Print Preview mode.

DirectRIP print job setup speedrun

Starting the Print

Once your print job is completely configured, you’re ready to print! Run through the following checklist to make sure everything else is properly set up:

  • Is the platen properly mounted on the printer and flush against the alignment rails?
  • Is a pretreated garment mounted smoothly and securely on the platen?
  • Have you properly adjusted the platen height?
  • Is the gantry in the Print Ready (fore) position?

If you can answer “Yes” to all of these questions, you’re good to go!

As you can see, there are a few steps to configuring prints in DirectRIP, but the process is not complex and can be completed within a minute if your graphic is ready to go. Once you’ve performed a few prints, you’re sure to get it down to muscle memory in no time.

Happy Printing!

FreeJet DTF Environments Installation

DTF printing comes with its own unique set of advantages so many DTG printer operations are running some of their print jobs using the DTF technique!

Freejet printers are fully capable of printing vibrant, durable, and profitable transfers. Best of all, expanding your Freejet operation to include film transfer printing is easy, requiring just a few modifications to your software and workflow!

This guide will take you through the process of importing the latest DTF Environments for the Freejet 330TX or 330TX Plus into DirectRIP, so you can try out this exciting kind of garment printing yourself!

Loading the DTF environments into DirectRIP

Download links for the Freejet 330TX and 330TX Plus DTF Environments (.kie files) are listed at the bottom of this article.
Make sure that the file that you download matches your printer model as the different inks in the 330TX and the 330TX Plus require different Environments. Using the incorrect environment can result in ink bleeding or poor adhesion.

In DirectRIP, next to your “Environment” drop-down box, there is an icon that looks like a globe with a wrench for ‘Manage Environment’.

Click this ‘Manage Environment’ icon.

The ‘Manage Environment’ window will open. Click the leftmost icon at the bottom of this window to open the ‘Import Environment Package’ window.

In the window that appears, navigate to where you saved the downloaded .kie file, select it, and click the ‘Open’ button.

The below screenshot examples are for a previous version of Environments for the Freejet 330TX Plus. There will be differences in file & Environment names for later versions, but the process is the same.

You should arrive at this window:

Click the ‘Import Package’ icon. This will import the new environments and the ‘Import environment package’ window will automatically close.

Next, click the green checkmark on the ‘Manage Environment’ window to save the update and close the menu.

That’s it! The environments are now fully installed! You can now use them to print transfers!

Environment Download Links

Setting Up a Freejet Print Job: The Basics

This brief article is for those who just need a reminder of the high-level steps to confirm that they aren’t missing anything. For the details of each step, see the link at the bottom of this article for step-by-step instructions.
DirectRIP
  1. Load the image to be printed
  2. Select the appropriate Environment for your garment
  3. Set the desired size of your print
  4. Set the position of your print (typically top-center)
  5. Select the port that your printer is on
  6. Set a margin, if desired
  7. Set the white underbase choke (unless printing on a white shirt)
Remember that the total size of your print design plus any margins must be within your platen’s dimensions (12.5” x 18” on the standard adult platen).