OmniDTF System Shutdown (video)

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.

Wet capping the printheads after completing the shutdown maintenance steps is critical to prevent ink from drying in the printhead nozzles, potentially clogging them permanently.

Click the Related Articles link at the bottom of this page if you are experiencing a power outage, printer hardware issue, or PC connectivity problem preventing you from following the instructions below.

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 & Wet Capping

See the below video demonstrating the OmniDTF printer shutdown maintenance and wet capping processes, or read the following description.

Demonstration video

Please also see the Prepare for Success section below after viewing the video for tips on minimizing your startup time and keeping your white ink in top shape.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. 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.
    Carriage Left button

    Wiper blade and capping stations
  2. Clamp all 8 of the ink line clips shut.

    Ink clips shut
  3. Use the Carriage Left button again to move the printhead carriage to its full-left position.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

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

Prepare for Success

We recommend two more steps to wrap up your shutdown process by preparing your printer in advance for the next day of printing.

  1. Empty the waste ink bottle for a fresh start next time the printer is used.
  2. Agitate the white ink to mix any separating pigment and prevent sediment from collecting in the bottom of the white ink bottles.
    • Press a clean cloth or finger against the ink bottles’ breather hole to avoid spillage.
    • Shake the bottle aggressively for 15-30 seconds to thoroughly mix the ink.
    • When finished, use a clean cloth to wipe away any ink that appears to be blocking the breathing holes in the center of the bottle caps.

We can also shake the white ink during the startup process, and will want to do that if the printer has been idle for several days. However, shaking the white ink will result in small bubbles forming so we need to wait at least 15-30 minutes after shaking before circulating the white ink or printing.

If using the OmniDTF nearly every day, shaking the white ink at the end of a printing day, rather than at the beginning, helps to keep the pigment mixed while not delaying the startup process next time we want to use the printer.

That’s all there is to it. Your printer is now well-maintained and ready for your next day of printing.

OmniDTF Daily Startup & Production Notes (video)

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, first start up the OmniDTF UI program on your PC, 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.

Always check your ink levels before printing and fill the bottles to the level shown above. 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.

It’s important to never let the ink level in the bottles get below the refill level shown above to maintain good ink flow and avoid getting 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 at least 15 to 30 minutes to allow the white ink to settle before starting up the printer and running the routine white ink circulation.

When finished, use a clean cloth to wipe away any ink that appears to be blocking the breathing holes in the center of the bottle caps.

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

Starting up the OmniDTF printer

Start-up video demonstration

Step-by-step instructions

  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 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.
If the film in the oven is being heated excessively and warping, keep the film moving through the oven by continuing to print, or lift the oven’s lid open when the printer is idle.

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: Confirm that the film runs straight through the printer, across the bridge, and through the oven assembly. Center it with the yellow stickers’ alignment lines and at the opening to the Dust-Curing Machine where the bridge rests. Pause printing and adjust as needed to correct any skewing.
  • Powder dusting: Activate as needed to maintain sufficient powder on the film.
  • Powder shaking: Adjust as needed to effectively remove excess powder.
  • Waste ink bottle: Monitor the level before 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.
  • Powder: If the powder dispenser supply is depleted, briefly pause printing and refill the supply.