this post has been adapted from the Image Armor post “Keep Your DTG Printer Warm and Happy this Winter” at www.imagearmorpt.com . . . .
Most parts of Australia have experienced some extreme heat over the past month or two. Nothing nicer than hanging out in blissfully cool air-conditioning when you just can’t get to the beach. You need to take that same stance with your DTG printer but keeping it cool (but not too cool!) is just one part of the successful equation.
When we turn on the a/c, humidity levels tend to drop as most air-conditioning not only cools the air but sucks the moisture out of it too. It doesn’t take long for the humidity levels to quickly drop and humidity levels below 35% can really start to cause problems with your DTG machine. Get into the 20% and lower and you’re asking for serious printer issues.
It really doesn’t take much to help keep you and your DTG printer happy during these hot summer months. First you will want to pick up a temperature/humidity gauge similar to the one in the picture in this article. They are relatively inexpensive and help give you the tools to know what is going on with your DTG printing room. They typically show the temperature and humidity levels.
If you are not sure what humidity level you should keep in your printing room, ask your DTG manufacturer. Most will give a level range of say 35%-80% humidity. Typically, you can help ensure a safe humidity level if you try to keep it around 50% humidity.
Unless you have a humidifier function in your air-conditioning (not a common option in Australia), you’ll have to utilize a whole room stand alone humidifier. You can find these at your local small appliance stores (think Good Guys, Harvey Norman etc.) .
The temperature should also be stabilized. Don’t let the temperature in your print room creep up overnight / over the weekend – if it gets too hot, the inks can start to evaporate – and this change in the inks when this happens can cause all sorts of problems in printability. But don’t go too hard with the air-conditioning – set it for the early to mid 20’s (degrees celcius). Both your inks and your wallet will thank you. If you set the thermostat too low, the inks will be less likely to flow as nicely as warm ink and can result in lost nozzles and bad prints – plus you’ll be running the a/c harder than you need to resulting in higher energy bills. The best thing is to try to maintain a constant temperature when you know you’ll be printing or a range of comfortable room temperatures over the summer. Use common sense – if you keep it a constant temperature, you know you’ll always be ready to print.
Keeping an eye on the temperature and humidity levels and making sure they are within recommended levels will take one variable out of the printing mix this summer – allowing you to focus on printing some awesome summer tees!