At All American Print Supply we are pretty loyal to the Epson line of direct to garment printers - and for good reason! America’s number one selling direct to garment printer did not earn that title by mistake. Besides the industry leading warranty and service program, these printers deliver the best prints on the market. And if you know anything about direct to garment, you should already know there is going to be maintenance involved. Thankfully, in addition to the no daily maintenance and clear cleaning schedule provided to the owner, this machine does not require a lot of hands on maintenance attention.
That does not happen to be the case with the Brother GTX Pro B direct to garment printer. While still a popular choice in the market, I can see why users the world over are running Epson DTG. Here at All American, we offer products and supplies to work with all sorts of printers - including ink for the Brother line of direct to garment printers. We wanted to take a deep dive into how these printers perform with our ink and also if that entails any sort of additional maintenance. Thankfully the prints with our ink have been shown to OUTPERFORM OEM Brother dtg ink with no additional cleanings but I was a little surprised to learn what was involved in keeping the Brother DTG printer clean and running properly.
Firstly, Brother advises leaving the machine powered always and forever whether you are printing that day or not. Had not really come across that before. In my studies on the printer, I had read the Brother line of direct to garment are the only machines that cost the same to maintain whether the printer is used or not( Interesting). On a daily basis things seem pretty normal: agitate the whites (which on the GTX Pro calls for 200 back and forth motions of the ink bag). Print your nozzle check and address any clogged channels via on head cleanings and start printing! But what about weekly, monthly, maintenance? That’s another story..
Aside from the daily actions mentioned above, Brother does not have any sort of actual maintenance schedule. In the 30+ pages of maintenance instructions with the Brother GTX Pro B, all steps are advised on a “as needed basis” or when prompted with no direction as to when any of these in depth manual steps are to be performed. I still find it very strange that there is no indication as to when any of the cleanings should occur - aside from the unstoppable automatic cleanings the Brother will perform every 24 prints no matter what. That last part of this pause in production should be factored into the Brother’s projected output speed..
These machines are subject to ink splashing from: the wiper blade, ink mist in the actual printer and backsplash from flash firing over the flushing foams - and if this carriage plate on the side of the print head is not cleaned we are looking at literal ink and debris falling from your machine onto your garments being printed. This part of the maintenance also does not have any schedule but it does require special patented swabs for touching around the print head area.
The moral of the story is even with the book of manual maintenance steps the Brother requires for operation, our ink will not involve any additional load to the library of hands on cleaning that awaits Brother printer owners and has been shown to increase boldness and vibrancy when compared to OEM Brother ink. I am sure we will find even more uses for the Brother DTG printer as time goes on!