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.
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.
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.
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
- Turn on the printer using the power switch on the right side, near the back.
- Circulate the white ink by turning on the White Ink Circulation switch on the front of the printer if it isn’t already on. It will run for 1-minute when switched on.
- 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.
- Open all eight of the ink clips
- Press the Printhead Cleaning button on the printer’s control pad to run a head clean.
- 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.
- Press the Nozzle Check button on the printer’s control pad to print a nozzle check test pattern.
- 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.
- Turn on the curing oven assembly’s main Power switch, along with the Curing switch to begin heating the oven.
- Confirm that there is an appropriate amount of powder resting on the film loop and add more as needed.
The printer is now ready and you can proceed with production work!
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
- Lean towards the higher end of the range for lower quality prints when the film is moving more quickly through the oven due to the higher print speed
- Waste ink bottle: monitor the fluid level and empty 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 10 full-size (approximately 12″x12″) prints, or a roughly equivalent amount of printing
- Powder: If the powder dispenser supply is depleted, turn off the applicator rotation and recycle powder from the catch tray to the dispenser.