D-Gen Heracle direct textile printer.
Dual printhead carriage gantries are popular on mid-range to high end machines. When I visited the A-tex factory (Honghua, China) I saw their manufacturing of dual-gantry textile printer systems. The DuPont Artistri is probably the best known double-gantry textile printing system.
Unfortuately the DuPont Artistri printer was not successful. Plus it often took two assistants to handle it (one at each end). Even DuPont finally realized the design concept was not going to work out, and DuPont evaporated from the market of wide-format inkjet printers.
Moving transport belts are popular on Italian-made textile printers as well. FLAAR has been covering these systems since 2008.
There are many companies that make or distribute textile printers. One that we know for many many years is DigiFab.
Another textile company that has let us do evaluations on their printers is ATPColor. We have evaluated their printers and here are the results.
The d-gen Teleios is based on a Roland printer so comes in widths of 74-inches and 102-inches. Like most d-gen printers it is a combination of a Roland-made print engine with a d-gen made roll-to-roll fabric handling and a d-gen made heat fixation system.
d-gen Teleios is an entry level printer, the smallest of the d-gen family of textile printers. It is an economical solution if you don't want to invest on a larger printer such as the Teleios GT or the Artrix GT, industrial models. The Teleios can be used with a heat fixation unit if used with dye sublimation or disperse inks, or with a steamer if used with acid or reactive inks.
Honghua is another factory that produces a double-gantry Atex printer and several other textile printers. However I doubt that most double-gantry printers function adequately outside a factory demo room.
Our reviews are increasingly based on inspecting the factory of the manufacturer. When possible we also like to inspect the ink factory too. A-tex kindly opened their entire headquarters and factory on a Saturday, as this was the only day during my visit to Shanghai that I had free; I appreciate the Honghua and Xaar printhead staff for arranging this visit.
As soon as a visit can be arranged to the d-gen factory in Korea it will be possible to upgrade our comments on the d-gen Heracle and d-gen Teleios textile printers. Unfortunately, in Autumn 2012 Roland allegedly removed its distributorship for Korea away from d-gen. The result was that Roland printers, and potentially also spare parts, were no longer available to d-gen.
During SGIA expo 2012 most people in the industry said that “D-gen was bankrupt” but since then one individual said a friend visited the factory after SGIA and the company was not bankrupt. Since the d-gen Korea web site has almost no up to date news or other information whatsoever, it is not easy to know what the situation is. But no d-gen printer was in the booth of their distributor at Sign Middle East, January 2013 in Dubai, and the key person of d-gen Italy was not at the expo either.
Until it is possible for us to visit the d-gen factory in Korea and see a fully functional company at USA and European expos, we are reserving out judgement. But colleagues said that d-gen is indeed not bankrupt (that may have been an inaccurate rumor). So it is important that we clearly state that what was being said was a tad over-stated. We look forward to seeing a rejuvenated d-gen, keeping in mind that dozens and dozens of Chinese competitors now exist, none of whom were available in the years that d-gen was the leader in the entry-level and mid-range dye sublimation world.
Other textile systems: from Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland, Yuhan-Kimberly, etc.
The Mimaki TextileJet Tx400-1800D and TX3-1600 TextileJet textile printer, Mutoh Viper TX, Yuhan-Kimberly UJET MC2-P Digital Textile Printer (this model does not longer exist), and various versions of the Roland VersaArt RS-640, SolJet Pro III XJ-640, and FP-740 textile printers both with ATPColor system are alternatives.
It is also rumored that Agfa has stopped production on their Aquajet printer. Plus Durst has not been exhibiting their textile printer for almost two years.
What can be learned from this is that if your company makes a good solvent or UV-cured printer, this is no guarantee that you can produce an acceptable textile printer.
We wary of buying a used textile printer of a brand which had issues
Lots of used DuPont and other used textile printers are available when a manufacturer stops making them. Just realize that spare parts may become tough to obtain. Tech support may be offered but after a year that technical may no longer have a job at the manufacturer or distributor, etc.
Most recently updated March. 11, 2013.
Previously updated Jan. 21, 2013, Aug. 26, 2011.