15 common DTF printing problems and their solutions

dtf printing problems


For numerous reasons, the DTF (direct-to-film) printing technology has gained the limelight. It provides a low-cost method of printing on a number of surfaces, notably polyester and cotton fabrics, along with wooden goods, mugs, and even skating boards. However, as DTF printing gets more popular, several DTF printing problems develop. Fortunately, the answers to these common issues in dtf printing are often simple and obvious. 

15 common DTF printing problems:

 Following are some of the common issues in the DTF printing with their solution: 

1. Colour/Ink is not coming out

If you’re experiencing a lack of color in your DTF printer, it could be due to two common issues. Firstly, during the initial setup, ensure you’ve properly filled each ink tank with the correct color and initiated the ink charging process, which may take up to 20 minutes. If the initial charging doesn’t complete correctly, you can use the Resetter software to reset it. Secondly, check if the transportation lock is engaged, as this can disrupt the ink supply from the tank to the print head. Be sure to unlock it before printing to prevent ink flow issues.

2. White color ink is not printing

Another one of DTF ink problems is when your DTF printer isn’t printing white color. It is probably due to white ink sedimentation, which is a regular problem. To address it, begin by shaking the ink tanks before printing or performing maintenance. To guarantee correct color flow, run a print head cleaning through your printer settings, followed by a nozzle check. If the issue continues, cleanse the wiring and dampers with a power cleaning. Stir the dampers once every fifteen days to avoid silt accumulation and, if required, reinstall them. You can also rinse the print head with a solution for cleaning, regardless of whether you’re removing the head.

3. Paper stains or smudged results 

Ink smudges are also one of the common DTF printing problems. To avoid ink smudges and maintain appropriate ink adherence when using transparency film in a DTF printer, double-check that you’re printing on the correct side of the film. If ink mixes or does not adhere, wipe the film, turn it, and print on the correct side. Second, ensure that the output tray is properly positioned to avoid the printhead rubbing on the design. Finally, to address dried ink concerns, use a flat screwdriver, tweezers, and a cleaning stick immersed in a cleaning solution to clean the wiper blade and capping station, as well as the previously described process for cleaning the print head’s edges.

4. Film feeding issues

Film feeding is one of the most typical DTF printing issues. Because the printer either fails to capture it or spits it out. To stiffen the film, one of the most effective solutions is to insert a board or a few sheets of paper into the paper support. This will assist the printer in properly loading the film. There could also be dirt on the sheets of paper feed rollers on the right side of the printer, towards the front. To clean them, use moistened kitchen paper in alcohol. If no other method worked, apply masking tape to the backside of the transparency film to keep it from slipping when feeding.

5 .Control panel lighting issue

The front panel of the printer can indicate two types of DTF printing problems. First, when the Paper and ink light flash alternatively, it signifies a false warning relating to the alleged filling of the waste ink pad. To rectify this, disable your antivirus program, launch the Resetter software, navigate to ‘Particular adjustment mode,’ select ‘Waste ink pad counter,’ and click ‘OK.’ To display the counters, click ‘Check,’ then check both boxes and click ‘Initialize.’ Turn the printer on and off again to reset the counters and resolve the problem. Second, when both the paper and ink lights blink at the same time, it indicates a more serious problem. To solve this, use an eye cleaning wipe or a small bit of alcohol to clean the encoder strip, which is positioned immediately above the metal guide.

6. Software complications

Some problems are caused by misconfigurations in the Digital Factory software. It is critical to keep software and drivers up to date by checking for updates under ‘Help’ and ‘Check for updates’ in the CADlink software. Adjust the print modes in the software’s color options to increase the white ink percentage and the amount printed under black if you’re encountering insufficient white ink printing. In addition, if you encounter improper port settings while printing, right-click the file and select ‘Delete Error.’ Access ‘Manage Print Queues,’ select the relevant port for your printer from the drop-down option, and print.

7. Ink Adhesion Problems

Poor ink adherence may happen if the ink is unable to adequately integrate the material. As a result, the ink may flake off on the material or fade quickly. To resolve this issue, consider modifying the ink settings to maximize ink absorption. To prepare the fabric for printing, you can also use the pre-treatment liquid. Also make sure you are using high quality ink to avoid any DTF ink issues. 

8. Discrepancies in color

Color discrepancies might occur if the ink is not properly blended or the printer is not appropriately adjusted. To resolve this issue, carefully mix the ink and change the printer measurement setting to guarantee that the colors are uniform.

9. Double Printing or ghosting 

Another common cause of DTF printing problems is ghosting or double printing. It is caused by defective fabric locking or insufficient ink curing within layers, which results in fuzzy or duplicated images. Consider using a higher tension fabric gripper for increased stability, or modify printer settings to extend the time interval between printing layers, allowing the ink to cure completely before adding the next layer. 

10. Wrinkling

Wrinkling in the printing procedure is caused by two primary variables: insufficient fabric pretreatment and high strain during printing. To resolve this, make sure your fabric has been cleaned, dried, and is free of flaws, and think about applying a pre-treatment solution to improve fabric quality. Adjust your printer’s pressure settings to achieve the best mix of stability and fabric stress, reducing wrinkles and enhancing overall printing performance.

11. Uneven or irregular prints

Uneven prints are frequently caused by insufficient fabric tension or misaligned printer heads, resulting in variances in ink dispersion across the print surface. To address this problem, consider modifying your printer’s pressure settings to guarantee constant fabric tension. Check and reposition the printer head to obtain uniform ink coverage and fix the inconsistent printing issue.

12. Substrate incompatibility 

Substrate compatibility difficulties might arise if the fabric is incompatible with DTF printing or if the printer is incompatible with the fabric. As a consequence, the ink may not adhere to the fabric or the fabric may be harmed while printing. For fix this issue, try another material or printer that is suited to the material you wish to print on. For identify and address the root cause of DTF printer difficulties, a methodical approach is required. To avoid difficulties, it is also critical to perform regular checks on your printer, such as cleansing the ink tanks and nozzles.

13. Nozzle Clogging

The functioning of the printhead, as the most significant component of the DTF printer, directly influences the DTF printing outcome. The most common causes of nozzle clogging are ink being dried, ink contaminants, problems with maintenance, and printhead misuse.

14. Low image quality 

Poor picture quality can occur for a variety of reasons, including the use of low-resolution photos, low-quality ink, or improper curing. Use high-resolution photos and high-quality ink to overcome this problem. Also, make certain that the curing time and temperature parameters are correct. There are various Gang sheet creation apps that work as a custom DTF gang sheet builder, assisting you with customizing your gang sheets, and also notifying you in case of low DPI to make sure you have high-quality prints only. 

15. Ink and paper loading light issue 

The ink light and the paper loading light blink alternately. When the ink light as well as the paper loading light of the printer alternately flashes, you will be unable to print your image. It acts as an indicator that the waste ink pad has reached the end of its functional lifespan and must be replaced. We only require installing software to reset it, and then the printing machine can be used again.

Quick tips for DTF printing beginners:

When replacing ink, clean the ink pipes with clean water in order to avoid nozzle blockages. Avoid using water from the tap since it may include salt, which can cause ink precipitation.

Assure that there is an accurate fit for the ink cartridge connector. 

Keep the printer’s printhead and ink tubes cleaned on an ongoing basis, and replace ink cartridges after a couple of months.

To reduce dust and variations in the environment, provide a controlled workstation with a temperature of roughly 70°F and 60% moisture. 

Always perform a test print to check the printhead is working properly.

Always use compatible DTF printing tools.


Why isn’t my DTF printer printing any of the colors or ink?

This problem can arise during initial setup or while the transportation lock is enabled. Check that you have successfully filled each ink tank and started the ink recharging process. If this fails, try the Resetter software. Also, while the printing process, make sure you’ve unlocked the transportation lock.

How can I avoid ink smudges on my DTF files?

Ink smearing can be prevented by printing on the right side of the film, setting the output tray appropriately to prevent printhead contact with one another, maintaining the wiper blade, capping station, and printhead edges frequently.

How can I avoid the DTF printer’s nozzle clogging?

Nozzle clogging can be avoided by doing regular printer maintenance, using the correct ink, and not misusing the printhead.

Why is my DTF printer bleeding excessively?

This happens when the ink is not evenly distributed throughout the material to cause inconsistent textures and colors. To fix this issue, use greater quality ink as well as make sure the printer settings have been optimized for the fabric

How can I tell if my DTF printer is running low on ink?

A solid green light should be seen. If you observe yellow lights flashing, your waste ink tank may be full, and you should investigate further.