Print Pro Queue Manager Deep Dive (video)

In the below video and the following step-by-step instructions, we demonstrate how to rip an image or Layout to get the ink cost without printing. We’ll also show you how to save the ripped Layout to a file, including all sizing and configuration settings, and also how to load a previously saved rip for immediate printing.

Rip Without Printing

Once you have images and Layouts fully configured and ready to print, it’s simple to rip them without printing. Features of Print Pro’s Queue Manager can then be used to do things like determine the cost of ink needed to print the rip or to save the fully configured rip and quickly load and print it in the future.

For a refresher on how to set up images and Layouts see the Setting Up a Print knowledge base article.

Here’s how to rip an image or Layout in Print Pro.

  1. First complete your image(s) and Layout setup, including sizing and creating the white underbase choke for the images.
  2. Place the image(s) onto a Layout if you want to rip the full Layout.
  3. Select the image or Layout you want to rip by clicking on it.
  4. Click on the Add Job icon in the Queue Manager toolbar — the 2nd icon from the left.
    Add Job icon in Queue Manager
  5. Right-click on the new item added under the Queue Manager’s Job Info heading, then click on Rip. You may instead select the new line, then click the Rip Job icon on the Queue Manager toolbar — the 8th icon from the left.
    Rip icon in Queue Manager
  6. Queue Manager’s Status column will display “Ripping…” as it begins ripping the job. This message will change to “RipDone” when the rip is finished.

Viewing Ink Costs of a Ripped Job

  1. Click on the ‘+’ symbol to the left of the ripped job’s name in Queue Manager’s Job Info column.
    Ink costs in Queue Manager
  2. Scroll down the expanded view in the Job Info column to find the amount and cost of each ink color used in the design, as well as the total ink cost.

Saving a Ripped Job

Saving a ripped job is a two-step process. We first tell the software where we want the file to be saved, then we save it.

  1. Review the Save Location for the ripped file in the far right column of Queue Manager. If you want to save the rip to the currently designated location, skip to step 5.
  2. Under the Save Location heading, click on the line of the ripped job that you want to save.
    Save Location in Queue Manager
  3. Click on the ellipses (“…”) that appear at the right end of the line that you clicked on.
  4. In the “Save As” window that appears, navigate to the folder where you want the rip to be saved, and click on the Save button. This does not save the rip. It simply lets you edit the filename to be used and saves the location where the rip will be saved when you do save the rip in the next step.
    Save As... Rip location
  5. Click on the Queue Manager’s Save Job button (a disc icon) to save the rip to your designated location.
    Save Job icon in Queue Manager

Loading a Saved Rip

Loading a saved rip is quick and easy. Since all image and Layout parameters were included when the ripped file was saved, once the rip is loaded it can be immediately printed.

  1. Click on Queue Manager’s Load Job icon. The first icon from the left, with the appearance of an open folder.
    Load Job icon in Queue Manager
  2. In the File Open window that appears, navigate to the folder where the rip file you want to print was stored, then select the rip file and click Open.
    Open a saved rip file in Queue Manager
  3. When the saved rip appears in Queue Manager’s Job Info column, right-click on it and select Print or click on the Print Job icon in Queue Manager’s toolbar.
    Print saved rip in Queue Manager
    • If the print options are grayed out, ensure your printer is selected in Queue Manager’s Printer Name column.
      Printer Name in Queue Manager

Updating Print Pro DTF Environments for the OmniDTF

About Environments

Print Pro DTF Environments are collections of preset options used to select the printing resolution and other parameters when setting up a print job for the OmniDTF.

Here is the current set of Environments, as shown in Print Pro DTF by selecting the Layout tab, then clicking on New and hovering over Omni DTF.

Details on how to set up a Layout and recommended usage of the various OmniDTF Environments installed with these instructions are available from knowledge base article links at the bottom of this page.

To update the Environments in Print Pro for your OmniDTF printer, download the file at the bottom of this article and follow the instructions in the below video or the following written steps.

Video Demonstration

Installing the Environments

The installation process of the Environments is quick and easy.

  1. Download the Environments file to the PC on which you’ve installed Print Pro.
    • See the download link at the bottom of this article.
  2. Extract the .kiee file from the downloaded zip file.
    • Placing the file on the Windows Desktop is recommended to easily find the file. It can be deleted after this installation process.
  3. Run Print Pro.
  4. Select the Home tab, then click the Import button.
    Print Pro Home tab and Import button

  5. Select the .kiee file that was unzipped from the download, then click the Open button.
  6. If prompted with a message of “Already ‘Omni DTF-720×3600’ environment exist.” (The actual environment name will vary), click the Yes button.
    • If prompted to Select environment settings to use, select ‘Use new environment settings only’ and click OK.
  7. Click OK on the “Media packages imported successfully” window.
    Import successful message

  8. Exit out of the Print Pro program, then restart it.

The OmniDTF Environments have now been updated and are ready for use.

Print Pro Environments download links

DTF for Freejet Instructions

Please note that the number of Environments available for the Freejet 330TX and 330TX Plus has been expanded significantly since this manual was published.

See the DTF Environment Guidelines & Troubleshooting Tips document linked in the Attachments section below for details on the use of those Environments.

The updated Environments are available from the Installing Freejet DTF Environments in the Related Articles section below.

Download the DTF for Freejet Manual from the below link.

Installing Freejet DTF Environments

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 the Freejet 330TX Plus. There will be slight differences in naming of the file & Environments for the Freejet 330TX 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!

The Freejet Ink Delivery System Explained

It’s important to have a basic understanding of how the ink delivery system works and the parts that are involved. Knowledge is power, and understanding the basics of how ink gets from the bottles to the print head empowers us to use deductive reasoning to quickly troubleshoot and resolve most ink flow issues.

Here’s a full list of the components of the ink delivery system:

  • Ink bottles (8)
  • Ink lines (8)
  • Ink tubes (8)
    • Ink clips (8)
  • Dampers (8)
    • Damper fixation nut (8)
    • O-rings (8)
  • Print head
  • Pump with capping station

Since we have eight ink channels (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and four whites), there are eight of each part in the ink path until we get to the print head.

Let’s first define the purpose of each component, and then we’ll briefly go over how they all work together to get ink from the bottles and onto the garments when we print.

Component Functions

Ink bottles: The ink bottles provide a reservoir of ink for each channel. These are the beginning of the ink path for each of the eight ink channels. Each bottle has a metal fitting, through which an ink line will pass as it moves out of the bottle.

On the Freejet 330TX Plus model, there will be a second fitting on each white ink bottle. This is where white ink returns to the bottle when the circulation pumps are running. However, this white ink circulation circuit isn’t functionally part of the ink delivery system so won’t be detailed further here.
Freejet rear with bottles and ink lines

Ink lines: The translucent, plastic ink lines provide the majority (roughly 90%) of the path between the ink bottles and the print head. In combination, they’re an 8-lane ink expressway with no stops and no lane changes allowed.

One end of each ink line passes through a fitting on its ink bottle and extends down to about 1/4″ to 1/2″ from the bottom of the bottle. The other end of each ink line terminates inside the gantry, where it connects to an ink tube.

Ink tubes: The short (about 3″), softer plastic ink tubes are the “last mile” of the ink path, providing a flexible interconnection between the ink bottles and the dampers. If the ink lines are an ink expressway then the ink tubes are the off-ramp where the ink has almost reached its destination.

The Ink Tube connects the ink line to the damper.

The larger end of the ink tube tightly slips around the ink line, while the small end is attached to the damper with an o-ring and copper-colored nut.

Ink clips and ink tubes

Ink clips: The purpose of the ink clips is to crimp the ink tubes and shut off ink flow when desired (such as when the printer is idle.)

Dampers: Dampers provide the final “Quality Assurance” for ink with their mesh filter, which serves to trap bubbles and any dried ink or foreign material that doesn’t belong in the ink supply. (Better to replace a clogged damper than to have to replace a clogged print head.)

Damper fixation nuts & O-rings: These two parts complete the air-tight, mechanical connection between the ink tube and the damper. The o-ring goes around the smaller end of the ink tube and presses against the inside of the fixation nut to ensure an air-tight connection when the nut is attached to the damper.

The dampers and their associated o-rings and fixation nuts are the last components in the printing ink path before the print head.

Print head: The print head is where it all comes together — literally. All eight of the ink channels feed into the eight posts on top of the print head, to which the dampers directly connect.

Print head, top with damper posts

Print head top, with damper posts.

The purpose of the print head is, of course, to deliver the ink to the garment that we’re printing onto through the over 1,400 tiny nozzles of the print head plate, on the bottom of the print head.

All of the components listed above except the print head itself are completely passive while the printing. That is, they are simply a conduit for the ink to travel through.

Pump with capping station: Ink doesn’t actually flow through the pump when we’re printing, but it’s included here because it is instrumental for priming and for running head cleans before or between print jobs.

The purpose of the pump, with regards to ink delivery, is to pull ink through the print head nozzles when priming and running head cleans, but not when printing.

Ink Flow Dynamics

When printing, ink is jetted out of the print head nozzles by micro-piezo electronics within the print head. This creates pulses that push drops of ink out of nozzles as the carriage moves back & forth. This happens very quickly and very precisely in order to produce high-quality prints at high resolution.

You may wonder, if it’s only the print head that actively does anything to make ink flow while printing, what causes the ink to flow into the print head while printing? Essentially, it is gravity — but more specifically, the ink delivery system is a type of siphon. As the print head expels drops of ink, the siphon effect causes more ink to be drawn into the print head from the bottles, through the ink lines, tubes, and dampers.

In order for ink to flow properly through a siphon system, every component and connection in the system must be air-tight. So while this isn’t a troubleshooting guide, if one of your ink channels starts dropping out while printing after getting a perfect nozzle check, you may want to verify the following:

  • Ink bottles filled to their proper level
  • No air gaps in the visible sections of the ink line
  • No air gaps in the ink tubes
  • All ink clips open (yes, we all forget that occasionally)
  • Ink tubes round (not collapsed from repeated clipping at the same location)

Contact tech support for more in-depth troubleshooting if you’re experiencing unresolved ink flow issues.

How to Save DirectRIP Print Job Settings

While configuring an image for a print job becomes practically muscle memory for operators after a modest amount of practice, it can, nonetheless, become a bottleneck in your production process. You may wish to save the configuration settings of some print jobs for efficient recall at a later time. We’re happy to tell you this is absolutely possible, with just a few details to keep in mind.

The process is essentially the same for Freejet printers using DirectRip and for the OmniDTF using Print Pro DTF. The program’s internal windows are styled a bit differently but the toolbar icon locations & functions in the Queue Manager of both rip software versions are identical. The still images shown are from DirectRip while the videos are from Print Pro DTF.
One More Time

Before saving print job configurations, you may want to create a folder on your PC for your saved configurations. Sub-folders divided up by image, client, and/or job type would be a wise choice as well. You’ll see why in just a moment.

The next step is to configure your print job in DirectRip or Print Pro as usual. When the print is completely configured and ready, it’s time to Rip the image. You can do that by simply printing the design, which always involves first creating a Rip. Or if you just want to save these settings to print later, you can create a Rip without printing.

Ripping a Print Job without Printing

To create a Rip without printing, with your print job fully configured, we will be using features of the ‘Queue Manager’ subwindow at the bottom of the rip software as demonstrated in the below video and the following instructions.

In Queue Manager, click the “Add the Active Document” icon, which looks like a sheet of paper with a ‘+’ sign in its lower-right corner.

The image’s filename will then appear in Queue Manager’s Job Status column. Right-click the filename, then select ‘Rip’ from the options that appear in the pop-up menu .

When the Rip has been completed, the Status column in Queue Manager will read “RipDone”.

Saving the Ripped Print Job

Whether you ran a print or used Queue Manager to Rip without printing, once the job has been Ripped, it will be ready to save using the process demonstrated in the below video or the following instructions.

On the far right of the Queue Manager frame, find the column labeled “Save Location”.

Click anywhere in the cell or box displaying the file system path of the current Save location.

The ellipses (“…”) at the end of the path will then turn into a button.

Click the ellipses button that appears to edit the location and filename to be used when saving your Rip file. This will open your file browser. At this point, navigate to the folder in which you want to store the Rip.

After picking the folder, it is recommended that you give the job a new file name. Keep in mind that when selecting a saved print job to load in the future, you will not have a thumbnail or preview of the image. So, not only will the image in the file need to be identifiable from its name, but also the Environment, sizing, placement, and any other variables you may have adjusted when setting up the print job which makes it distinct from other, similar prints. (The file extension of all saved Rips will be .kprn.)

I recommend using something like: “<Image>_<Environment>_<Size>_<Date>”. For example: “TestImage_Dark_10x6_28Jan2022.kprn”. This will be instrumental to finding the file that you want to load for future printing sessions, to ensure that you have the correct version of any Rip file for the shirt you intend to print. 

Once you’ve selected the Save Location and entered the filename to use, click the ‘Save’ button. Note that this action only saves the desired file name and location. You haven’t yet saved the actual Rip of the print job.

Next, click the ‘Save job’ disk icon in the Queue Manager toolbar to save the settings to a file.

Once you have clicked the ‘Save Job’ icon, the Rip is saved to the designated folder and filename, and it is safe to close DirectRip.

Recalling a Saved Print Job

To recall the file for later use, open DirectRip but don’t load an image file. Next, instead of loading an image file, we will load a previously saved print job using the Queue Manager.

The leftmost icon at the top of the Queue Manager subwindow, the open folder icon, is the “Load Job” option. Click this icon to open a file browser.

Next, navigate to the folder where your custom job is saved, select the appropriate file, and click “Open”.

The job will populate in the Queue Manager, ready to go!

DirectRip’s top-level menus and the Print buttons in the top toolbar and Q-Rip subwindow will all be greyed out since we haven’t loaded an image file. That’s fine because you will use the Print button in Queue Manager’s toolbar to run your print. As an alterative to the Print button, you can also right-click the filename in the Job Info column and select ‘Print’ from the pop-up menu.

This pop-up menu appears after right-clicking the filename in the Job Info column

Notice, as mentioned above, the image to be printed isn’t displayed in DirectRip. However, you’ve already confirmed the configuration of this print job before saving it, so as long as you have the printer started up and in the Print Ready position with a shirt pretreated and loaded on the platen, you are ready to print.

Click the Print icon or right-click the filename in the Job Info column and select ‘Print’ to run the print job.

Enjoy the increase in efficiency for designs that you will be using for multiple print jobs!

Installing Freejet Support Kit Parts

The Freejet Support Kit consists of the following items:

  • Pump
  • Pump Soak Pad
  • Waste Ink Pad (for spit tray)
  • Dampers (8)
  • FreeJet Clips (8)
  • Ink Tubes (8)
  • O-rings (8)

…all of which are consumable parts for the Freejet. Most of these parts will need to be replaced on a regular basis — some within the first year. Having a Support Kit on-hand will minimize downtime, allowing you to usually get your printer back up in minutes, rather than waiting for the parts to be ordered and delivered. As an added benefit, the Support Kit provides $700 worth of parts for only $575 — a discount of almost 20%!

This article will discuss each part in the Support Kit, and serve as a brief How-To Guide for replacing those parts. We recommend reading this entire article before doing any disassembly. You may also wish to review the following video before replacing dampers.

Damper Replacement Video

Dampers, Ink Tubes, Clips, and O-Rings

Tools needed: small or medium needle nose pliers, #2 Phillips head screwdriver

On the top of the print head, locate the staircase-shaped metal plate. This is the Damper Panel.

Two screws hold the damper panel in place.

Use your #2 Phillips head screwdriver to remove the two screws holding the damper panel in place. Slide the damper panel off, then set it and the screws carefully aside.

Damper Removal

It is important to take care to avoid ink spills inside the print head carriage, so note that the dampers have a disc-shaped valve that will release ink from the bottom of the damper if the valve is squeezed from the sides of the diaphragm.

If any ink should spill inside the Print Head Carriage, clean it out immediately. If allowed to remain in the carriage, the ink can drain onto electronics and cause severe and costly damage to the machine.

Using your needle nose pliers, grasp the brass nut at the front of each damper and gently lift straight up to pull the dampers out of their positions. It may be helpful to slightly rock the damper from front to back to release its seal on the top of the print head nozzles, but avoid rocking side to side.

Only grasp dampers by the brass nut at the front of the damper or by the front and rear outer edge of the rigid frame (not by the wide, thin sides) to avoid accidentally puncturing the thin plastic diaphragm.

Demonstration of proper damper handling, using only the front & back of its frame or the brass nut.

Once dampers have been lifted up, allow them to hang in front of the Print Carriage, for now. Ink may drip from the dampers so it’s recommended to put a scrap shirt, shop rag, or paper towel directly under the dampers.

Unscrew the nut from each of the dampers and slide it up the ink tube a bit to expose the o-ring (to ensure that it doesn’t fall off), then pull the end of the ink tube off of the damper.

Evaluation & Replacement of Ink Tubes, Clips, and O-Rings

At this point we want to evaluate the condition of the printer’s ink tubes, clips, and o-ring. If any of those parts are showing signs of significant wear then this would be a great time to replace them.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Ink tubes – Replace when out of round with severe crimping which may restrict ink flow
  • Clips – Replace with any sign of brittleness or cracking
  • O-rings – Replace if no longer supple or with any sign of cracking, brittleness, or distortion of perfectly round shape

Regardless of their condition, some customers prefer to proactively replace these parts on a regular schedule, all at once, before they impact print quality to minimize future production interruptions.

If replacing only the damper, skip to that section below.

If you are replacing the ink tube, clip, or o-ring, first slide (or roll) the o-ring off of the ink tube, then slide off the brass nut. If replacing the clip, slide that off next.

If you are replacing the ink tube itself, observe where this short ink tube connects to the main ink line as an overlapping, air-tight sleeve.

It is best to push the ink tube off of the main ink line using a thumbnail or a thin, stiff tool (with no sharp edge.) You can also try rotating the ink tube while pulling it off of the main ink line, though pulling may cause the ink tube to stretch and become tighter.

Be careful, and place a drop cloth underneath the ink lines and tubes as you do this, or you’ll risk spilling in the Print Head Carriage!

If replacing more than one ink tube, complete each ink tube (plus clip and o-ring reinstallation or replacement, as needed) before moving on to the next set. Doing them one at a time minimizes the risk posed by spills.

The order of installation for this set of parts is:

  1. Ink tube
  2. Clip
  3. Brass nut (with open end facing the end of the ink tube
  4. O-ring

Damper Replacement

To attach your new damper, push the open end of the ink tube onto the ink intake port on the front of the damper, and screw the brass nut in place to secure it, making sure the o-ring is on the ink tube and inside the brass nut’s opening. Tighten the nut so it is snug, but be careful to make it only hand tight since the damper’s plastic threads can be easily stripped if overtightened.

After all desired parts have been swapped, gently grasp the first damper by the brass nut, and position it so the open, circular port on the bottom of the damper is pointing straight-down over its matched nozzle post on the print head.

Print head damper posts, which dampers are mounted onto.

Lower the damper straight down and into position, ensuring that the plastic “U-shaped” alignment slot at the front of the damper wraps around the metal tab of the Damper Alignment Bracket.

A U-shaped slot at the front of each damper is aligned with the upright tab on the alignment plate.

Press straight down to the top of the damper, near its rear (immediately above the print head’s associated damper post) to secure it into position. You will feel a slight bit of resistance as the damper mates to the print head post, followed by firm resistance once the damper is fully seated onto the post.

Repeat for any other dampers, ink tubes, o-rings, and/or clips to be replaced.

When complete, with all 8 dampers evenly spaced and at equal height, replace the damper panel and screw it back into place.

Waste Ink Pad

The Waste Ink Pad is located inside the Waste Ink Spit Tray, inside the carriage assembly, at the far left end — opposite the print head carriage’s home position over the pump.

Waste ink tank or spit tray

The Waste Ink Tank (or “Spit Tray”) contains the Waste Ink Pad

Using your syringe, suction out the waste ink inside the Waste Ink Pad compartment, and dispose of it with the rest of your waste ink. Once the ink is removed, use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull out the old, soaked pad. Insert the new pad in its place.

Cleaning out the waste ink reservoir and replacing the soak pads

Pump and Pump Soak Pad

The Pump has a more involved replacement procedure which should only be done with the live assistance of an OmniPrint Technician, at least while the printer is under warranty. Also, replacing the pump sometimes requires access to a circuit board that can be damaged if mishandled.

Please contact our Technical Support team to request assistance if you believe the pump needs to be replaced, to avoid potentially damaging your printer and voiding its warranty.

During the pump replacement process, we also replace the Pump Soak Pad, which is placed underneath the pump.

Doubling Up the White Underbase

What's the Deal with Double White Underbases meme

One of the first skills that we get asked about after people fully grasp the concepts of printing on their Freejet printers is how to achieve more vibrant color on their prints – the way that the image appears on the screen might just not translate to colors that really “pop” when they get onto the T-shirts themselves.

While our typical first concern is to double-check the pretreating process (it simply cannot be overstated that the majority of print issues stem from improper pretreatment), sometimes even on an impeccably pretreated, 100% ringspun, combed cotton, black T-shirt, we just can’t get the image to print the colors that are meant to have high-impact on the eye. It happens, right?

Luckily, there is a convenient, if slightly more expensive, solution to this problem. The Freejet is capable of doubling the resolution of the white underbase layer, laying down nearly twice the amount of ink on the base, ensuring that the top, color layer comes out looking super-vibrant! Best of all, it’s a trick that only takes a few extra steps!

If you’d like to try it, pretreat a dark or black t-shirt, mount it onto a platen, and follow along with the below steps.

First, set up your image as usual. Environment, Sizing, Placement, Margins, White Underbase Choke… all of it, exactly as you would for any other print job. Once you’ve gotten all the way ready to print, make the following changes:

  1. Access the ‘Print Setup’ window by clicking on the leftmost of the two printer icons near the bottom right corner of the QRip window
  2. In the ‘Print Setup’ window, click ‘Properties’
  3. On the ‘Properties’ window, click over to the ‘Device Options’ tab, and verify the current layer displayed in the drop down box is the ‘White Underbase’
  4. Find the field labeled ‘Resolution’, and change it from the default of ‘1440×1400‘ to ‘2880×1440‘. Then click ‘OK’ to save and exit the Properties window, then click ‘OK’ again to get out of Print Setup.
  5. Next, find the ‘Underbase(%)’ field, in the toolbar typically near the top left of your DirectRip window. Reduce the value from 100% to 92%. This will keep the Freejet from flooding the shirt. We’re trying to increase the ink flow, but not drown the shirt!
  6. Put your Freejet into Layer Setting ‘A’. This will cause the printer to pause and wait for our input after printing the white underbase. We do this because want to give the underbase time to set before we print colors on the second layer. Otherwise, we risk bleeding white ink into the color layer.
  7. Finally, hit Print! The printer will take much longer to print the White Underbase Layer, and use nearly twice the amount of white ink as normal. (When the print job is complete, check ‘Job Info’ in the Queue Manager for the complete details of ink usage.)
  8. Once printing of the underbase is complete, give the print a while to rest. You don’t want to print the top layer until the underbase has lost most of the shiny liquid lustre. It will appear a bit flatter once it has sufficiently settled. Next, tap ‘Stand-by’ to reset the gantry to the Print Ready position and begin printing the color layer.
  9. Once the print is complete, gently remove it from the printer, and place it on your heat press. However, before you press it (2 times for 90 seconds at low pressure — pressur setting ‘1’ on a Stahl’s heat press), hover the top of the heat press over the garment for 30 seconds to give the ink a little time to start the curing process.
  10. Lastly, press the garment in accordance with normal Ink Curing standards for your shirt. 

Check out the results! With the right artwork, Double White Underbases can create a dramatic effect, to impress your clients at only a slight increase in cost!

Alternative Platens

Your FreeJet printer package includes one Standard Adult platen, providing printing surface dimensions of 12.5” x 18”. The Standard Adult platen meets the needs of the vast majority of t-shirt print jobs. However, as your clientele and business expand, you may want to extend your offerings for different sizes and types of garments.

Let’s take a look at the types of platens available from OmniPrint to help you address other types of printing.

NOTE: All of OmniPrint’s platens are available for purchase through your OmniPrint sales rep and directly from our online store.

Threadable Adult & Youth Platens

The Threadable Adult platen is the same size as the Standard Adult platen and is very helpful when printing on both sides of a garment, by isolating the front of a garment from the back – for example, to create a full back print on a t-shirt with a pocket on the front, or on a polo shirt with buttons on the front.

OmniPrint Threadable Adult Platen

If a threadable platen is not used in such cases, we’re creating the risk of getting a head strike due to the raised areas. Even if we do set the height appropriately for the highest spot on the garment (where it is lifted a bit by the pocket, seams, or buttons on the front), then our print will not be quite as sharp as it could be, due to the print head being a bit further away from the main body of the garment.

Threadable platens are the solution to this type of otherwise risky situation. OmniPrint offers threadable platens in both the Adult and Youth sizes.

Alternative Sizes and Shapes

When expanding product offerings to include options for much smaller and larger sizes, or to create custom prints on select areas, we want to take advantage of some other types of platens. Using the proper platen size helps greatly to ensure that we’re always creating a perfectly flat print surface by avoiding the presence of seams, stitching, etc., which creates the risk of head strikes or head rubs if printing smaller garments on a platen designed for adult shirts.

It is important to manually set the height of your platen when setting up a print using any platen smaller than the Adult platen. This includes all platens listed below except for the XL Adult platen, along with all of the dual platens. Do not use the automatic height setting feature (‘Function’ + ‘Rear’) when using these smaller platens.

Here’s a brief summary of these alternative platens and their dimensions.

Chest6″ x 6.5″OmniPrint Chest Platen
Toddler7.5″ x 10″OmniPrint Toddler Platen
Youth10.5″ x 13″OmniPrint Youth Platen
XL Adult12.625″ x 22.6″Extra Large Adult Platen
Sleeve4.25″ x 16.5″OmniPrint Sleeve Platen
Note: All platens have a 13.25″ x 17.312″ base for a perfect fit and alignment on your FreeJet’s platen table

Positioning the Platen

All platens are always positioned with the end of the platen where the top is flush with the base towards the front of the printer, or to the left when facing the FreeJet control pad. As always, make sure the platen’s base is pressed against the two alignment rails.

Setting Up a Print with Single Platens

The process for setting up a print in DirectRip using one of the above-listed platens is the same as for a Standard Adult platen with one caveat — the print alignment must always be set to Top Center in the Q-Rip window.

Remember that the dimensions of your graphic plus any top margin you may add must fit within the dimensions of the platen. For example, since the sleeve platen is 16.5″ long, if we want a 2″ top margin then the image height must be no longer than 14.5″.

Dual Platens

When doing a significant volume of smaller garment printing, we want to consider using a Dual Platen, so that we can print two items at the same time. As the name suggests, Dual Platens have two top pieces mounted onto a single base. Of course, this means there can be dual platens only for the sizes of platen tops which are no larger than half the size of the base.

OmniPrint offers dual platens in the Sleeve, Toddler, Youth, and Chest sizes.

OmniPrint Dual Toddler Platen

Setting Up a Print with Dual Platens

We need to use OmniPrint-provided .psd templates (Photoshop files) to duplicate and position (using guide layers) our existing artwork so the images will be perfectly aligned to print in the exact positions of the dual platen tops.

Example of a dual platen template.

In an actual Photoshop template, the above example is a layer that is turned off (so it won’t be printed) after the design images are positioned and before the file is exported for loading into the RIP software.

The Dual Platen template files, in Photoshop format, are available for download at the bottom of this article. The zip file contains templates for the dual sleeve, toddler, youth, and chest platens.

Zipper Hoodie Platen

Printing on zip-up hoodies presents a challenge due to the full-length front zipper and associated seams. The Zipper Hoodie platen takes a unique approach by providing a lowered channel in the center where the zipper of a hoodie can be positioned. This allows us to get a better quality print while reducing the risk of having a head strike on the zipper. It’s still very important to manually set the height very diligently to avoid head strikes and head rubs.

The Zipper Hoodie platen is oriented at a 90-degree angle compared to our other platens, so the hoodie is positioned as what we might consider sideways on the printer. To work with this arrangement, we need to make sure our artwork is also rotated 90-degrees.

OmniPrint’s Hoodie platen

Alternative Platens Summary

We offer a variety of platens to make sure you have the right tools available to print on a wide variety of garments. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by making sure you’re using the right tool for the job.

Beyond this support for various garment sizes, OmniPrint also offers platens for printing on hats, shoes, and facemasks.