OmniDTF: Hardware Controls Brief

The OmniDTF has a robust set of hardware controls, making it simple and convenient to operate most routine functions directly from the printer itself. Here’s a brief rundown on the position and function of each of these controls.

Printer Controls

Control Pad

This is the set of pressure-sensitive buttons on the front of the printer, to the right of the platen.

Feed Adjustment: Adjust vertical feed between print passes (use only as directed by Omniprint staff.)

Printhead Cleaning: Run a Light printhead cleaning on both printheads.

Nozzle Check: Print a test pattern to confirm that ink flow is optimal and ready to deliver quality prints.

Cancel Print: Stop printing and remove the remaining print job from the printer’s memory.

Pause: Temporarily stop printing. Pushing Pause a second time will prompt you to continue printing.

Margin Reset: Change the right margin from the default of 10mm (use only as directed by Omniprint staff.)

Carriage Left / Carriage Right: Move the printhead carriage to the left or to the right of its current position. Hold the button for continual movement.

Reverse Feed / Forward Feed: Feed film forward (toward the front of the printer) or backward.

Enter: Submit responses to prompts on the display panel or move the printhead carriage to the Home position (above the capping stations) if there is no prompt

Front Panel Switches

There are three switches positioned directly below the Control Pad. Two of these can generally be thought of as set it and forget it, and the third is essentially an emergency kill-switch. Here are the details.

White Ink Circulation: When toggled to the ON (1) position, white ink is circulated for 1-3 minutes.

Vacuum: This rotary switch turns on and adjusts the suction of the platen’s vacuum. We recommend turning it on and adjusting it to its lowest level for optimal film feeding and platen temperature stability.

Emergency: This red “kill” switch immediately shuts off power to the printer’s electronics when depressed. Once depressed this latching switch will remain engaged and prevent the printer from operating until it is rotated clockwise about ¼ of a turn. It will then pop out and normal operation will be restored.

Heater Controller

The Heater Controller is used to adjust and provide status of the OmniDTF printer’s two film heaters. One heater sits behind the platen, to preheat the film as it enters the printer chassis. The second one is under the platen, to keep the film warm as it is being printed on. Heating the film helps the ink set quickly, so the white layer can be applied just seconds after the color layer.

Exceeding the preset temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius for the Front Heater and 50 degrees Celsius for the Back Heater may result in damage to the printheads and/or printer. Damage due to misuse voids the warranty.

Front Heater & Back Heater: The Front Heater and Back Heater numeric displays report each heater’s current temperature in Celsius. When changing the temperature setting, the displays show the changes being selected.

Power: The Power button turns both heaters ON or OFF, toggling their current status. The heaters automatically turn off when the printer is switched off. If the heaters were on when the printer was switched off then they will automatically turn back on when the printer’s power is turned on.

Select: To change a temperature setting for a heater, that heater must first be selected by pushing the Select button, after which the numeric display of the currently selected heater will flash. The first press of the Select button selects the Front Heater. A second press selects the Back Heater. A third press of the Select button exits the temperature adjustment mode.

Temp:  The Temp (+) and Temp (-) buttons are used to raise or lower the temperature setting of the currently selected heater.

Dust-Curing Machine Controls

The Dust-Curing Machine has its own power cord and switch, so is plugged into a separate outlet from the printer. While the two pieces of equipment are powered and controlled independently, they form a single, complementary system.

Most of the controls on the Dust-Curing Machine are found on a single control panel on the right side of the equipment. We’ll detail each of those first and then move on to the exceptions.

Control Panel

Here you’ll find switches for Power, Dusting, Shaking, Curing, and an Emergency off switch. In addition to these switches, there are also granular controls for setting the dusting speed, shaking speed, and curing oven temperature.

Power Switch

The Power switch in the lower-left corner of the Control Panel is the master power for all other switches and functions of the Dust-Curing Machine. When this switch is OFF, all other switches and controls of the Dust-Curing Machine are inoperable because there is no power being supplied to any part of the unit.

Emergency Switch

The round, red Emergency button above the Power switch will immediately shut off power to the Dust-Curing Machine when depressed.

This is a “latching” switch which, once depressed, will prevent the Dust-Curing Machine from operating until the switch is released. If you ever find that the Dust-Curing Machine won’t turn on from it’s power switch, make sure this switch is not depressed.

To release the switch, rotate the handle clockwise for approximately ¼ turn. Once the switch is rotated clockwise, a spring will push it back out and power will then be restored to the Dust-Curing Machine if, or as soon as the Power switch is in the ON position.

Dusting Switch & Speed control

There are two Dusting controls used to add DTF Powder onto the film as it passes through the powder application chamber.

Dusting switch: This switch toggles the power to the rotating Dusting blades in the DTF Powder Feeder to sweep powder into position to cascade onto the film through narrow slits in the bottom of the powder feeder.

Dusting Speed dial: This dial is used to adjust the rotational speed of the DTF Powder Feeder. The further it is turned clockwise the faster the feeder will rotate and sweep DTF Powder into position to be dusted onto the film.

Shaking Switch & Speed control

There are two Shaking controls used to remove excess DTF Powder from the film after it has been applied by the Dusting feature.

Shaking switch: This switch toggles power to the rotating Shaking spindle with short plastic straps that shake the film as they rotate, shaking any excess DTF Powder back onto wet ink or into the Powder Recycle Bin.

Shaking Speed dial: This dial is used to adjust the rotational speed of the Shaking spindle. The further it is turned clockwise the faster the straps will shake the firm to knock excess DTF Powder loose.

Curing Oven Temperature

There are two controls for the Curing Oven. Remember that using a temperature that will effectively cure the ink and melt the DTF Powder is an important part of the DTF production process. We recommend starting with a setting of 120 Celsius and adjusting from there as needed.

Curing switch: The curing switch turns power for the Curing Oven and the Curing Temp Controller ON and OFF.

Curing Temp Controller: The Curing Temp Controller is used to set and monitor the oven temperature, using four buttons and two numeric displays.

When the Curing power is switched on, the upper display shows the current oven temperature, and the lower display shows the temperature setting.

Changing the temp setting

Set button: Push and hold the Set button until the lower numeric display begins to flash.

button: When in the temperature setting mode (having been activated by the Set button), the temperature setting display shows a cursor in the rightmost column of the setting number.

We recommend making temperature adjustment in 5-degree increments, so for most temperature changes you’ll want to adjust from this rightmost position. To change the setting in increments of 10’s, use this button to move the cursor one digit to the left – to the 10’s position.

button: Use this button to reduce the temperature setting at the cursor position.

button: Use this button to increase the temperature setting at the cursor position.

Take-up Roll Motor Switch

This 3-position switch is set to the down position to enable the motor to rotate the take-up roll counter-clockwise (from the perspective of the side of the Dust-Curing Machine controls.) The center position turns the motor off, and the top position is for reverse feeding film backwards, toward the oven and printer.

Remember that the Power switch on the Dust-Curing Machine turns on & off the power to all features of that equipment. If you prefer you can leave the other switches on and just use the main Power switch.

Transferring a DTF Print

Transferring a finished print to a garment is simple and can be done immediately after DTF printing and curing, or up to a month later. Longer storage times may be possible if carefully stored in an air-tight container and in a climate-controlled environment.

  1. Prepare your heat press for a DTF image transfer.
  1. Cut out the image that you want to transfer to a garment from the film roll or sheet.
  2. Place the garment to receive the image transfer onto the heat press.
An initial pre-press of the garment prior to the transfer press can be helpful to remove any wrinkles and slight moisture in higher humidity environments.
Verify that the collar, shoulders, and any seams are draped off the side of the heat press to ensure proper pressure at the transfer location
  1. Place the DTF print on the garment, with the ink & glue side of the film directly against the fabric, positioned exactly where you want it transferred.
  2. Press the transfer onto the fabric using the above temperature, pressure, and duration.
  3. Remove the garment from the heat press, lay it on a clean, flat, hard surface, and carefully peel the film away from the garment at a moderate rate.
When using cold peel film, delay the next step for a minute or so, until the inked area of the garment has cooled down to room temperature.
  1. Place the shirt back on the heat press with a sheet of parchment or Kraft paper between the shirt and the top of the heat press, then perform a final “finish” press for an additional 20 seconds at the same temperature and pressure as the transfer. This further cures the surface of the print and creates a smoother transition between ink & fabric.

The transfer process is now complete!

Ethernet Configuration for OmniDTF

The OmniDTF printer uses the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) over an Ethernet connection to communicate with your PC. This requires a one-time configuration in Windows, which OmniPrint Training sets up for you during your initial training session.

The following information will help you to perform that same configuration if you should ever need to update your PC’s Ethernet adapter or if you’ve installed the OmniDTF UI and Print Pro software onto a new PC.

Your OmniDTF printer and its software implementation are not designed to communicate over the Internet or any other network. We use a simple point-to-point connection between one PC and the printer, directly connected with a single Ethernet (“RJ45”) cable.

There are two pieces of software where we configure TCP/IP parameters: Microsoft Windows (Control Panel) and Print Pro. We’ll cover both in that order.

Microsoft Windows

Windows Control Panel’s Network and Sharing Center is where any Ethernet adapters to be used in a Windows PC are configured, using the following steps.

  1. Run Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
    Windows Control Panel - Network and Sharing Center
If you don’t see Network and Sharing Center in Windows Control Panel, it is because Control Panel is in the Category View mode. In that case, first click on Network and Internet, then click on Network and Sharing Center.
  1. Select Change adapter settings
    Change adapter settings
  2. Double-click on the Ethernet adapter to be used (or right-click on the adapter and select Properties).
    Control Panel - Network Adapters
Your Ethernet adapter may have a different description than the Ethernet 4 pictured above. Don’t be concerned if there is a red ‘x’ on the adapter, which simply means that it isn’t currently connected to anything.
The ExpressVPN TAP Adapter does not represent a physical (actual) Ethernet hardware port and is not usable. This is strictly a “virtual” adapter built into Windows for creating VPN connections and has no purpose for the OmniDTF.
  1. Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) (or single-click on it and then click the Properties button).
    Ethernet Properties
  2. Click the Use the following IP address radio-button (if it isn’t already selected) and enter the following, then click ‘OK‘.
    IP address: 192.168.127.12
    Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
    IPv4 Properties (IP address)

The Windows Control Panel Ethernet configuration is now complete!

Print Pro

Print Pro needs to know the IP address that it will be using for its communication with the OmniDTF printer, and there are just a few more steps to set that up.

  1. Run the Print Pro program.
  2. From the Home tab, click on Printer Name Mapping.
    Printer Name Mapping button on Home menu toolbar.
  3. Double-click on the first cell space under the Physical Printer Port heading.
  4. Click on the drop-down lists’s down-carat symbol (downward pointing triangle) at the right end of the cell/box.
  5. Select “127.0.0.1,9100 (TCP/IP ,RAW)”.
  6. Double-click on the first cell space under the Printer Model heading.
  7. Click on the drop-down list’s down-carat symbol.
  8. Select “Omni DTF”
  9. Double-click on the first cell space under the Printer Name heading.
  10. Type “OmniDTF” into the cell (or your preferred name for the printer).
  11. Confirm that your settings look like the image below, then click on the green checkmark icon to save the settings.
    Map Printer Name dialog

The Print Pro Ethernet configuration is now complete!

OmniDTF Printhead Alignment

You will occasionally want to adjust the printhead alignment of your OmniDTF printer, to maintain ideal horizontal & vertical registration between the color and white layers of your prints. This adjustment does not involve manually repositioning the printheads. Instead, it is done using the OmniDTF UI software.

Print Speeds

There are three Print Speed settings for the OmniDTF: Production, Normal, and High Quality. All printhead alignment adjustments are made for a given Print Speed, so alignments should be made with the Print Speed being used when printing selected as the Print Speed for the alignment. The Print Speed currently selected for printing is shown (and may be changed) on the Settings tab.

OmniDTF UI: Production Print Speed setting
Without getting into details of the relationship between the Print Speed settings and the print resolutions & ink volume available in the RIP software (we’ll save that for another article), suffice it to say that the use of Production speed is recommended as it delivers the fastest output at any resolution & ink volume selected from the RIP software’s Environment options.

Alignment Types

There are four types of alignments that can be done. We’ll explain and detail the process for each following the list of types below:

  1. Head Vertical Distance Adjustment
  2. Head Horizontal Distance – Left Adjustment
  3. Head Horizontal Distance – Right Adjustment
  4. Bidirectional Adjustment

To get started, all printhead alignment adjustment types are found under the Align tab of OmniDTF UI program.

Align tab of OmniDTF UI program

Head Vertical Distance

This adjustment, labeled Head Vert Distance Adjust in the software, aligns the white printhead with the CMYK printhead as the film moves forward while printing. (This “vertical” movement of the film is considered the Y axis, while the carriage’s left & right motion is considered the X axis.)

If you know that your printer’s vertical registration is off, be sure to first check the tension of the feed roller knobs on the back of the printer and make sure the left and right sides are at their minimum tension/friction settings before making a vertical printhead alignment adjustment. This mechanical adjustment is critical and may cause random vertical registration issues that cannot be resolved by this software alignment of the printheads.
  1. Select your Print Speed to match that on your Settings tab (or the speed you want to now align for if you’re running alignments for multiple speeds.)
  2. Select the Head Distance option on the left side of the Align screen.

    OmniDTF UI - Align Heads, Vertical Distance
  3. Click the N Check button under the Head Vert Distance Adjust heading when you’re ready to print the test pattern.

The test pattern prints a series of black & white horizontal line segments above numbered labels. The numbers range from -14 to +14, in increments of 2 and with zero in the center position.

Vertical alignment test print example
Vertical Alignment test print example (partial)

Yes, it’s a bit of an eye test, but our task is to identify the column number whose line segments show the black & white portions in best alignment with each other, resulting in a single straight horizontal line. In the above example, the best column is ‘+4’.

In the ‘+2’ column the white segments are slightly below the black segments, and in the ‘+6’ column the white segments are slightly above the black segments. As you look to the left of the ‘+2’ column you can see that the white segments keep getting further below the black segments and to the right of the ‘+6’ column the white segments keep getting further above the black segments.

So, our takeaway from the evaluation of the test print is that the column with the best alignment is ‘+4’.

  1. Now let’s return to the OmniDTF UI software’s Head Vert Distance Adjust section and note the current value of H2. In our screenshot from step #2 above, the value of H2 is “1453” and the number we got from evaluating the test print in step #3 was ‘+4’, so we add ‘4’ to ‘1453’ and enter the result of 1457 into the H2 field.

    If the column number from step #3 had been a negative number (‘-4’, for example), we would have subtracted ‘4’ from ‘1453’ and entered ‘1449’ into H2.
  2. Click the Save button in the top right corner of the OmniDTF UI window to make the alignment adjustment.

    OmniDTF UI: Save button
  3. Repeat step #3 above to print another test pattern. This should result in the best-aligned column sitting in the ‘0’ position. If this is the case, the vertical distance adjustment is now completed. If not, repeat steps 3 – 5 to ensure that the best alignment is in the ‘0’ position

Left Horizontal Distance

There are two horizontal distance adjustments under the Head Horz Distance Adjust heading. This is because your OmniDTF prints bidirectionally, so the white and CMYK printheads need to be aligned in both printing directions. The Left Adjust is used for the horizontal alignment when the carriage is moving from right to left, and the Right Adjust for when the carriage moves from left to right.

The process and test patterns for both the Left and Right printhead horizontal distance alignment adjustments are identical, so we will detail the process just once. The instructions will call out the Left Adjust button and H2 field, and you will follow these same steps modified for the Right Adjust button and H2 field for the Right Horizontal Distance Adjustment.
  1. Click the Left Adjust button to run a test print.
    OmniDTF UI: Horiz Left Adjust button

    The test pattern prints a series of black & white vertical bars above numbered labels. The numbers range from -12 to +12 with zero in the center position.

    OmniDTF UI: Horizontal alignment test print

    The goal is to have the best-aligned set of black & white bars in the 0 (zero) position. So, our takeaway from the evaluation of the test print is that the column with the best alignment is ‘-11’.
  2. Now let’s return to the OmniDTF UI software’s Head Horz Distance Adjust section and note the current value of H2. In our screenshot from step #1 above, the value of H2 (for the Left Adjust line) is “9”. The number we got from evaluating the test print was ‘-11’, so we sum together ‘9’ (or ‘+9’, to be exact) with ‘-11’ and enter the result of ‘-2’ into the H2 field…

    H2 field set to -2

    …then click the Save button.

    OmniDTF UI: Save button
  3. Repeat step #1 above to print another test pattern. This should result in the best-aligned column sitting in the ‘0’ position.

    OmniDTF UI: Horiz alignment test zeroed out

With the 0 (zero) position of the test print showing the black & white segments in perfect alignment, the Printhead Horizontal Distance Adjustment (for the leftward motion, in this example) is now complete.

Right Horizontal Distance

The exact same process as the Left Horizontal Distance Adjustment is used to check and adjust the rightward motion alignment.

Follow the instructions from the above Left Horizontal Distance Adjustment section, substituting the Right Adjust button to run test prints and the Right Adjust H2 field to enter updates to that value, as needed.

Bidirectional

Our final task is to align the printheads during bidirectional printing (both left and right.)

  1. Select Bidirec Adjust from the options on the left side of the OmniDTF UI program.

    OmniDTF UI: Bidirectional Adjustment

  2. Click on the N Check button to print a test pattern.

    OmniDTF UI: Bidirectional test print


    The Printhead Bidirectional Alignment Adjustment test pattern will print.

    OmniDTF UI: Bidirectional alignment test pattern example

    The vertical bar test pattern has top & bottom black segments and a grey middle segment.

    Our task now is to identify the number under the test bar where the middle segment is best aligned with the top & bottom segments, creating a straight vertical bar with the right & left edges of each of the three vertical segments perfectly aligned.

    In our example test print image above, the ‘+3’ column is vertically aligned.

    Bidirect test pattern aligned at +3

  3. Returning to the OmniDTF UI program, we take that value (‘+3’) and sum it with the number in the direct Value field (‘12.00’ in the above screenshot example.) 12+3=15, so we will replace the value of ‘12.00’ with ’15’.

    OmniDTF UI: Bidirect value set to 15


    …and then click the Save button in the upper right corner.

    OmniDTF UI: Save button

  4. Click the N Check button again to print another test pattern and confirm that the vertical segments are perfectly aligned at the 0 (zero) position.

    OmniDTF: Bidirect test print aligned at zero position


    With the 0 (zero) position of the test print showing the black & gray segments in perfect alignment, the Printhead Bidirectional Adjustment is now complete.

Wrap Up

Congratulations! If you’ve been following along on your OmniDTF printer while reading this article you have now completed all four printhead alignment processes: the Vertical Distance, Left Horizontal Distance, Right Horizontal Distance, and Bidirectional Adjustments.

Remember that these adjustments are each made with a specific Print Speed setting, so if you print using different speed selections at different times then you’ll need to repeat this process for each speed that you use.

OmniDTF: Setting Up a Print

Print Pro provides a rich set of features to set up a print job layout using one or more images. This article is intended to supplement your Omniprint training as a handy reference to refresh your memory and use as a checklist of the process steps.

Loading Your Images

Print Pro makes loading your image a snap! You can either use the ‘File Browser’ to select & load image files or simply click and drag any compatible image from the Windows File Explorer into the Print Pro workspace! (If using the drag & drop feature, you can drop the image file anywhere on the workspace except the Queue Manager at the bottom of the window.)

Setting the Image Parameters

  1. Size the image in the Q Rip window
    • Use the bottom Size option to rescale the image as needed, ensuring that the width does not exceed 14.25″
      • When resizing, be sure the padlock icon option is checked to lock the aspect ratio and prevent distorting the image (see red box in the below image)

        Q Rip window Size and Position settings
  2. Confirm the Position of the image
    • The default settings of ‘Left’ and ‘Top’ are always used in the Q Rip window (see green box in the above image.) This allows the software to maximize the efficiency of linear film use when creating print jobs with multiple images.
  3. Create a White Underbase Choke
    1. Click anywhere on the opened image
    2. Click on the Image menu
      Image menu with White Underbase Choke option
    3. Click on White Underbase Choke
    4. Accept the default Choke Width value of 2.0 then click OK.
      Create Choke dialog

The image is now configured and ready to be loaded onto a Layout.

If you want to print a Layout with a combination of various images on it, repeat the above steps to open and set parameters for each image that you want to add to the Layout before proceeding.

Creating the Layout

Now that any images that we want to print have been loaded and their parameters have been set, we’re ready to create the Layout that the images will be placed onto, using the following steps.

  1. If the Page Layout window isn’t already open, select Open Layout from the Home toolbar
    Open Layout
  2. Create a New Layout
    1. Click on the Layout menu, then select New, then New Layout…
      New Layout creation

      The Print Setup window for a New Layout will appear.
      New Layout Setup
      1. Select an Environment from the Environment > Name dropdown list
        • Omni DTF-720×3600 HQ is recommended for best quality & saturation, as shown above
      2. Confirm that the Settings box shows your OmniDTF printer for both the Model and the Select printer dropdown list options
        • Note that the name that appears in the Select printer option will be whatever the printer was called when this software was initially set up, typically Omni DTF
      3. Confirm that the Page / Platen Size is set to Film (14.50 x 19.69 inch)
  3. Load Opened Image(s) to the Layout
    • Any images loaded and configured in the Set the Image Parameters section above will appear under the Page Layout window’s Opened Image(s) header
      Opened Images list in Page Layout
    • Double-click on any item in the Opened Image(s) list to add it to the Layout
    • Once an image is on the Layout, you can create additional copies of that image on the Layout by clicking the Ups option in the toolbar…
      Ups button for image copies

      …then enter the number of additional copies you want to add to the Layout into the dialog box that pops up and click the green checkmark

      Ups copies dialog

      The additional copies of the image will now appear on the Layout
      Ups copies on Layout
      Note: You can scroll down in the Layout window if you want to confirm the number of copies if they don’t all fit in the window’s view.
    • Repeat the above steps for any other image you want to load onto the Layout
We recommend a maximum of 350 linear (vertical) inches of printing per Layout, to support running a head clean after every 25-30 large prints (approximately 12” x 12”).

That’s how to load images, set their properties, and place them on a new Layout in Print Pro!

To print the Layout, click the Print menu item, then select Print Layout from the toolbar.
Print Layout menu selection

OmniDTF Hardware – Assembly Manual

This document (download link below) is provided with each OmniDTF system and delivered as a link in the shipment notification email.

Please note that this is not an operating manual but instructions for the assembly of the equipment.

OmniPrint is currently delivering pre-assembled stands. Along with stand assembly instructions, this document also covers attaching the OmniDTF printer and Dust-Curing Machine to their respective stands, attaching the two bridge pieces that connect the OmniDTF printer and Dust-Curing Machine, and mounting the film roll mechanisms.

OmniDTF: Print Pro Environments

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

There’s no need to update your Print Pro Environments unless OmniPrint staff have advised doing so.

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.
    1. Extract the .kiee file from the downloaded zip file.
      1. Placing the file on the Windows Desktop is recommended to easily find the file. It can be deleted after this installation process.
  2. Run Print Pro.
  3. Select the Home tab, then click the Import button.
    Print Pro Home tab and Import button
  4. Select the .kiee file that was unzipped from the download, then click the Open button.
    File selection for Import
  5. If prompted with a message of “Already ‘Omni DTF-720×3600’ environment exist.” (The actual environment name will vary), click the Yes button.
    1. If prompted to Select environment settings to use, select ‘Use new environment settings only’ and click OK.
  6. Click OK on the window message of “Media packages imported successfully.”
    Import successful message
  7. Exit out of the Print Pro program, then restart it.

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

OmniDTF Shutdown Maintenance and Wet Capping

Properly shutting down your OmniDTF printer is very important to ensure that it will be ready to print the next time you start it up. Fortunately, the process is very easy!

Take about 10 minutes to go through these simple steps when you’re finished with your print jobs.

Curing Oven Shutdown

If you haven’t already done so, start by turning off the Curing Oven’s main power switch. This is a master switch that will cut power to the Duster, Shaker, and Oven — so shutting off any other switches is optional.

Printer Shutdown Maintenance

  1. Press the Printhead Cleaning button on the printer’s control pad to flush any pooled ink out of the capping stations.

    Carriage Left and Printhead Cleaning buttons
  2. Empty the waste ink bottle.
  3. Press and hold the Carriage Left button until the printhead carriage is in the center of its range of motion to ease access to the ink clips and expose the capping stations and wiper blade.

    Wiper blade and capping stations
  4. Reposition all 8 ink line clips slightly up or down on the ink lines, then clamp them all shut.

    Ink clips shut
  5. Use the Carriage Left button again to move the printhead carriage to its full-left position.
  6. Wet an anti-static foam swab or a clean, lint-free cloth with Super Cleaner to thoroughly clean:
    • The full length of the wiper blade
    • The rubber seals surrounding both capping stations

      Swabbing capping station seal and wiper blade
  7. Remove any bits of dried ink on the capping station sponges or seals with tweezers.

    The remainder of the steps before wet capping the printhead are all about keeping the printhead mounting plate and the side edges of the printhead nozzle plates clean. If these areas are allowed to accumulate ink then eventually the dried ink will hang down below the printhead and leave streaks on the film.

    Before continuing this maintenance process, please note the following images of the shape and relationship of these parts to each other, and examples of how they may appear before and after cleaning.

    Area of printhead mounting plate and nozzle plate edges to be cleaned.
    OmniDTF printhead mounting plate and nozzle plates
    Bottom of printhead mounting plate with printheads installed. Red arrows point to areas of the mounting plate; blue arrows point to the nozzle plate side edges

    Areas of the printhead nozzle plate cleaned by the wiper blade, not manually
    Printhead nozzle plate faces (don't clean manually)
    Red X’s mark the face of the nozzle plates, an area that we don’t clean manually.

    Before & After examples of dirty and clean mounting plates and nozzle plate edges
    OmniDTF printhead plate before and after cleaning
    Cleaning the mounting plate and nozzle plate edges daily prevents ink buildup.

    Now that you’re familiar with the area we’ll be working with, let’s proceed with cleaning the mounting plate and the side edges of the printhead nozzle plate.
  8. Remove the left-side window to access the chassis interior’s left side.
    Left side of OmniDTF printer with left window panel removed.
    Left side of OmniDTF printer with the window panel removed.
  9. Place a mirror or smartphone camera in selfie-mode inside the front-left corner of the printer chassis, tilted at an angle to provide you with a view of the printhead plates and their mounting plate, which face downward on the bottom of the printhead carriage, to orient yourself and get your hand into position to begin cleaning the area.

    Placement of smartphone inside chassis
    Top-down view of a smartphone in selfie-mode tilted at an angle to display the printhead mounting plate and the printhead nozzle plates.
  10. Use a clean, lint-free cloth dampened with Super Cleaner to reach under the printhead carriage and wipe any ink from the mounting plate and the side edges (only) of the printhead nozzle plates.
    1. A foam swab can be used to clean the area at the front of the white ink printhead if a cleaning cloth wrapped around a finger won’t fit in the space.
    2. If contact with the printhead’s nozzle plate is made accidentally, dab the contacted area with Super Cleaner on a clean, lint-free cloth before wet capping.

Wet Capping the Printhead

  1. Fill both capping stations to the brim with Super Cleaner.

    Clean wiper blade and capping stations

    The wiper blade and capping station seals should now be free of any ink build-up and the capping station sponges completely submerged in Super Cleaner, up to the top of their seals.
  2. Click the WetCap button under the Settings tab in the OmniDTF Windows program.
    OmniDTG app menu bar with Wetcap selected

    This will send the printhead carriage to its docked position and raise the capping station seals to press against the bottom of the printhead plate, bathing it in Super Cleaner within an air-tight seal.

The printer can now be turned off from the power switch on the right side, near the back of the printer.

Power and Ethernet ports

That’s all there is to it.

Congratulations! The printhead maintenance components have now been cleaned and the printhead is wet capped.

OmniDTF Daily Startup & Production Notes

The daily startup routine for the OmniDTF system is very straightforward and can be made even simpler by following a few tips that we’ll include in this brief overview of the process.

Preliminary Steps

Before starting up the printer you’ll want to first run the OmniDTF program on your PC, to establish a connection between the PC and printer, in order to automatically load configuration data when the printer is turned on.

Note that the connection icon in the lower-left corner of the window will flash red until the printer is turned on.

Also, empty the waste ink bottle at the right-rear corner of the printer (left if viewing from the back) if it contains any ink before turning on the printer.

Waste ink bottle

Always check your ink levels before printing and fill the bottles up to the top of the bracket holding the bottles. Be careful not to overfill the bottles because if the ink level reaches the bottle’s fitting where the ink tube enters the bottle as this can cause leakage. Also, check your ink levels throughout the day if you’re doing a lot of printing, and refill as needed.

It’s important to never let the ink level in the bottles get too low, as this can impact ink flow and also risks introducing air into the ink lines.
If the printer has been idle for longer than two days or if the white ink is not opaque, shake the white ink bottles vigorously (while covering the holes in their lids) for 15-20 seconds. Then wait for 15 minutes to allow the white ink to settle, followed by circulating the white ink for 3 minutes.

The final step before turning on the printer is to confirm that the white ink lines are clipped shut. This should definitely be the case since that is an important step of the shutdown procedure, but it’s advisable to double-check now.

Starting up the OmniDTF printer

  1. Turn on the printer using the power switch on the right side, near the back.

    Power and Ethernet ports

  2. Circulate the white ink by turning on the White Ink Circulation switch on the front of the printer if it isn’t already on. You will hear it running for 1-3 minutes when switched on, and will then automatically turn off.

    white ink circulation switch

  3. Confirm that the rotary Vacuum switch, shown above, is on (not fully counter-clockwise.) It’s recommended to keep this at its minimum strength, which provides plenty of vacuum power to keep the film against the platen without cooling the platen heaters.
The White Ink Circulation and Vacuum switches can be left in their ON positions at all times. Then they will automatically engage when the printer is turned on.
  1. After the white ink circulation pump has stopped running, open all eight of the ink clips
  2. Press the Printhead Cleaning button on the printer’s control pad to run a head clean.
    Printhead Cleaning button
  3. Once the control pad display indicates that the head clean is finished, press the Printhead Cleaning button once more to run a second head clean.
  4. Press the Nozzle Check button on the printer’s control pad to print a nozzle check test pattern.
    Nozzle check button on control pad
    • If the nozzle check isn’t at least 90% complete on all 8 channels, additional Printhead Cleaning should be done to achieve that standard.
    • Be careful to keep an eye on the fluid level in the waste ink bottle if running multiple head cleans, and be sure to empty it before it gets beyond 2/3 full.
  5. Confirm that there is an appropriate amount of DTF Powder at the bottom of the U-shaped loop of film in the dusting chamber and add more as needed.
  6. Turn on the curing oven assembly’s main Power switch, along with the Curing switch to begin heating the oven.
The previous oven settings will be retained so typically won’t need to be adjusted as part of the daily startup process.
Once the oven’s temperature is near the targeted curing temperature, it is important to either begin printing and keep the film moving through the oven or lift the oven’s lid open to avoid excessively heating & warping the section of film that is inside the oven.

The printer is now ready and you can proceed with production work!

Production Notes

Monitor the status of the following items periodically when printing to ensure trouble-free operation and optimal print quality:

  • Film Alignment: To avoid a possible head strike, ensure that the film running through the printer, across the bridge, and through the oven assembly is now skewed. Pause printing and adjust as needed to correct any skewing.
  • Powder dusting: activate as needed to maintain sufficient powder on the film.
  • Powder shaking: activate as needed to remove excess powder from the film.
  • Oven temperature: maintain a temperature of 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit, or the temperature that you have discovered to work best in your environment.
    • If printing is paused for more than a few seconds, temporarily lift the oven lid to avoid potentially warping the film that is stopped inside the oven.
  • Waste ink bottle: monitor the fluid level whenever considering running a head clean and empty the bottle before it exceeds 2/3 full.
  • Ink bottles: Refill before the level drops to 1/2 full to maintain optimal ink flow and prevent air from entering the ink lines.
  • Head cleaning: For optimal print quality, run a head clean every 25-30 full-size prints (approximately 12″x 12″), or any time you note a color losing strength.
  • Powder: If the powder dispenser supply is depleted, briefly pause printing and refill the supply.