This is the first post in a series of how to make the most of your stock Epson F2000 platens.
We know the Epson is the most reliable, user friendly, and consistent T-shirt printer on the market but what else can it print on?
Epson says UltraChrome Ink is designed for superior printing on cellulose/organic materials; this includes, cotton, hemp, and bamboo including blends. UltraChrome Ink works on a variety of synthetic compounds such as polyester, whereas white ink does not bond with synthetics, regardless of pretreat application. So this doesn’t mean we can’t print on alternate forms of media, it just means we have to be creative.
If you can lay it flat enough, it just might work; paper, canvas, tote bags, socks, patches, shoes, golf balls, koozies, phone cases, lanyards, wallets, onesies, pillow cases, and the list goes on. In some of these cases you might have to modify your platen. There are some custom platens available on the market for the F2000 already. Melco sells only the best and most trusted accessories at shopmelco.com.
How to use your clear platen to print patches, socks, etc.
Your clear platen is extremely versatile. You can print directly on the platen and easily wipe away the ink. We print directly on the platen for nozzle checks, why not print directly on the platen for zeroing in placement on small or off-centered pieces like patches?
- Input your image into Garment Creator to fit the platen space you are using. For example if you are printing on the 14×16 platen and you are going to do 2×3 patches. Create a 14×16 workspace in Photoshop, place the amount of pieces you can fit on a platen within your workspace (for this example I am printing only 2 pieces) and save the file as a transparent background .tiff. I created an exact replica Garment Creator grid for Photoshop. Email me if you want the file. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Drag your art (without the grid) saved as a transparent background .tiff into Garment Creator, set your print parameters, and print directly on the platen.
- Now, place your patch under the transparent platen and draw a basic outline with a Sharpie highlighter. This is the best marker for easily removing your marks. If you are doing full bleed, use a regular sharpie, you can remove the marks with a standard spray cleanser.
- Clean off your printed image without removing your highlighter marks. Lay a small strip of double sided tape in the middle of your marks, and place the patch in the center and print again. Your alignment will be perfect and repeatable.
This process works amazing for patches, socks, koozies, etc. We have done this with full bleed, within specific parameters and small areas. The opportunities are endless.
Keep Experimenting and Happy Printing,
John LeDrew • DTG Director • Melco International