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Introduction to Direct to Film Printing and How it Fits into Your Silhouette Business

If you've heard the term DTF or Direct to Film printing but you're not sure what it is - or how it could fit into your Silhouette CAMEO world or your small business - you've come to the right spot. 

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Read on to learn more about DTF printing and how a desktop DTF printer like the Prestige A3+ can help you make, print, and sell cut-less, weed-less full color transfers from designs you already own! 

What is DTF Printing? 

DTF printing stands for Direct to Film printing. The process of DTF involves printing a full color design - including white - directly to film, applying a powder adhesive and curing that adhesive to create a ready-to-press transfer that can then be applied to another surface like a shirt. 

DTF printing does not require any cutting, weeding, or marrying. 

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The newly released desktop DTF printer, the Prestige A3+, has opened up the possibilities for at home t shirt makers who are looking for DTF solutions in a small space. 

How will a DTF Printer help me grow my Silhouette or T shirt Business? 

The Prestige A3+ DTF printer can print full color transfers with white ink and as I mentioned does not require any cutting or weeding. That means you simply print, apply the powder, cure it and you're ready to press.  This is a huge benefit and time saver over cutting multiple colors of heat transfer vinyl, weeding and applying.  

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There is minimal file preparation and, other than the DTF software that's included free with the Precision A3+ printer, no other software is needed.  The DTF software prefers PNG files. Unlike White Toner printing you do not need to rasterize the design before printing. 

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That means, if you are creating your own designs and are comfortable in Silhouette Studio OR you need to convert files you can use Silhouette Studio to export PNG files you can do everything in Silhouette Studio. 

Because the DTF printers print full color and apply a layer of white ink over the back of the transfer, DTF transfers can be applied to light and dark surfaces and all different types of textiles. 

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If you are currently using a sublimation printer and turning down orders because your customers want dark or cotton shirts, DTF can solve that issue and allow you to expand your business with a larger product offering. 

The hand is very thin and the washability is ideal with no cracking or peeling if cured and applied correctly.

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What is the Best Desktop DTF Printer 

Like many of the other specialty printers that Silhouette small business owners find themselves considering as they're expanding - there is a desktop DTF printer that not only offers a smaller footprint, but also comes with a relatively smaller price tag. Do not mistake this for a hobby machine. It's still a business investment that will set you back a few thousand dollars. 

The Prestige A3+ DTF printer is a great desktop DTF printer that can print transfers or gang sheets up to 11" x 17" (A3).

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Because of its small footprint it's ideal for small spaces and the home user who's getting their t shirt business off the ground or expanding their vinyl or sublimation business. 

In addition to the desktop DTF printer there is also a compact curing oven and portable air filter. Both are optional but highly recommended and you can get the full DTF printer setup as a bundle.

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What Do I Need to Get Started DTF Printing? 

To get started with DTF printing you likely have some of what you already need like a heat press and designs, but you will need the following at a minimum: 
  • DTF Printer 
  • DTF Ink
  • DTF Rip Software (PC only Compatible)
  • Windows Computer - I am a MAC girl but use this PC laptop with my Roland BN20 Ecosolvent Printer, DTF Printer and White Toner printer
  • DTF Transfer Sheets
  • DTF Powder 
Optional But Recommended Items to Get Started with Direct to Film Printing
  • DTF Curing Oven 
  • Air Filter for Curing Oven
*You can use a heat press instead of a curing oven but it takes about 3x as long per transfer 

The Prestige A3+ DTF Printer includes the free rip software but does not include ink, powder or inks so of course I would recommend you get a DTF printer bundle that includes all of that. 

And of course you can find bundles that include the full DTF setup with the curing oven and air filter. All in that will cost you about $4,500 to get started with DTF. 

If you decide to get a Prestige A3+ DTF Bundle, I have a special offer for you that will get you 200 sheets of extra DTF Film - free!  Just click the image to reveal the code and follow the steps.

How Can I Learn How to Use a DTF Printer? 

Right here!  As I encourage you to grow your creative passion I have added the Prestige A3+ DTF printer and have a growing library of DTF videos and tutorials on how to use the Prestige A3+ printer including everything from unboxing to your first DTF transfer. 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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