Roland DG has entered the direct to film (DtF) textile printing market with the launch of the VersaStudio BN-20D, a desktop printer aimed at small to medium-sized print shops, apparel businesses and start-ups.

Based on the same chassis as the print-and-cut BN-20A launched in late 2021, the ‘affordable’ unit is about 1m wide and prints in CMYK plus white pigment inks onto film for thermal transfer onto a wide range of garment and fabric types. 

Equipped with ‘high-definition’ print heads (no addressable resolution figure is given but for reference, the BN-20A operates at up to 1440dpi), the BN-20D can transfer onto an array of light and dark fabrics to produce a variety of garments. The printer’s automated cutting function makes it possible to produce designs using heat transfer vinyl, stretch, flock, holographic, glitter and metallic colour vinyl, which is difficult with standard inkjet printing. The pigment inks are currently undergoing Oeko-Tex testing and are expected to gain approval by the end of February 2023. This will make items decorated via the BN-20D suitable for children’s apparel and pet clothing.

‘Our compact, easy-to-use and affordable desktop products enable anyone to easily achieve high-quality outputs without needing specialist skills and know-how,’ said Paul Willems, Product Management & Business Development director at Roland DG EMEA.

‘Direct-to-Film transfer is a new solution that has only been around a few years but has the potential to revolutionise the apparel business. By introducing this solution under the VersaStudio brand, we hope that more customers will easily realise new creative and profitable business opportunities. Besides working as a Direct-To-Film printer, BN-20D can also be used as a cutting plotter for sign and heat transfer vinyl, which makes the solution highly versatile,’ he added.