Mimaki has announced its first direct-to-film (DtF) inkjet printer, the TxF150-75, which it says is ideal for creating premium customised merchandising, sportswear and various other promotional textile applications. This latest entry from Mimaki for the decorated apparel segment  will be making its EMEA show debut at Printwear & Promotion Live! in the UK.

Based on Mimaki’s popular 150 Series, the new TxF150-75 is said to have been introduced to meet ‘the need for a reliable, stable DtF technology’. A built-in ink circulation system and degassed ink pack design are claimed to help prevent common DtF issues, and by thanks to various proprietary Mimaki technologies, including a nozzle check unit and nozzle recovery system, the printing process is carried out with minimal user intervention, allowing unattended printing.

The printer offers CMYK plus a double white ink channel, delivered via a single printhead with 1440 nozzles. The white ink has a recirculation system in the supply and damper to prevent blockages. A new material is used for the pinch rollers to reflect the different film type used in DtF in order to prevent marking on the film. Print speed range from a over 3sqm/hr in draft mode at 720 x 720dpi with eight passes, dropping to 1.5sqm/hr at 16-pass high quality 720 x 1440dpi. Typical ‘large’ T-shirt transfers are only a fraction of square metre and application such as breast pocket logos are considerably smaller; Mimaki estimates around 26 sheets per hour for the former, based on an image area of 360 x 280mm  and 235 for the latter, assuming a sqaure logo are of around 10cm on a side.

Mark Sollman, senior product manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe commented, ‘Apparel decoration is a hugely popular and dynamic sector, one which we are already operating in with our other textile technologies. However, we could see the impact DtF technology has had on the industry in recent years, with its significant advantages over existing technologies. Namely, DtF avoids the time intensive process of plate creation in screen printing and the required weeding in traditional vinyl heat transfer. The technology can also create vibrant designs with its full-colour printing capabilities. We’re excited to bring a solution to the market that is designed for those already active in the decorated apparel sector and those looking to enter it, which excels in usability, reliability and quality.’

As the company’s first foray into the segment, Mimaki has created its own range of water-based pigment inks (PHT50). As of March 2023, these inks are expected Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certified, guaranteeing that safety and environmental standards are met. Unlike sublimation heat transfer printing, DtF is much more versatile in the range of supported materials, being able to work with more than just polyester and polyester blended materials, and on light or dark coloured fabrics.

The printer is supplied with Mimaki’s RasterLink7 Rip software, allowing users to have full oversight and the ability to streamline the process from the design to the final product. Distributed in the UK and Ireland by Hybrid Services, the TxF150-75 will be commercially available from April 2023.