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Johnny Shell

9 Cool Things We Saw At the 2024 Impressions Expo Long Beach

The most advanced decorated apparel tradeshow did not disappoint

Jan 24, 2024 7:00:00 PM


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In mid-January every year, apparel decorators flock to Impressions Expo in Long Beach, California, to see and experience the latest and greatest technologies to help grow their business. This year’s event—held January 19-21 at the Long Beach Convention Center—didn’t disappoint with nearly 300 exhibitors, loads of new equipment, and plenty of soft goods vendors.


Direct-to-Film (DTF)

DTF continues to gain momentum and that was clear during the Long Beach show, with DTF printers on view at every turn. Resellers are capitalizing on the growth by launching their own brands of DTF printers including All American, Axiom America, CalComp, Equipment Zone, Ricoma, and SPSI. In addition, manufacturers also showed new devices.


Printomize America showed its new Hyper XIN 8, with a 46.5" (118cm) print width that can reach 600 ft2/hr (55.7 m2/hr) using eight Epson i3200-A1 printheads.


Printomize America had its HYPER XIN 8 DTF printer
on display at Impressions Expo Long Beach.


The company also showed its Nebula 15.5" (39cm) and Peregrine X2 23" (58cm) DTF printers. Omniprint showed two new DTF printers, one with a print width of 14.5" (37cm) and another with 18" (46cm).


Omniprint’s 14.5" (37cm) DTF printer (left) and the 18"
(46cm) variety were also shown during the event.


M&R showed its new QUATRO DTF printer that uses four Epson i3200 printheads that can print up to 240 ft2 (22 m2)per hour in 4-pass mode.


The M&R Quatro DTF printer (24"/61cm)
can print up to 240 ft2 per hour.


Mimaki showed its new TxF300-75 DTF printer, which increases productivity by 300% compared to the existing TxF150-75 model. The printer has a maximum print width of 31.5" (80cm). Features include degassed ink packs, white ink circulation, 3-way intelligent heaters for blur-free images, a nozzle check unit that detects clogged nozzles and cleans them to recovery, and a nozzle recovery system that automatically substitutes defective nozzles with working ones.


The Mimaki TxF300-75 DTF printer.


Roland showed its brand new VersaSTUDIO BY-20 DTF printer with an 18" (46cm) print width. My colleague, David Sweetnam, got the opportunity to test the device in Japan before it officially launched, and the Roland VersaSTUDIO BY-20 received a BLI Pick during Keypoint Intelligence’s inaugural round of DTF Awards.


Roland DGA President Amado Lara (left) receives a BLI
2024 Pick Award for the VersaSTUDIO BY-20 from David
Sweetnam, Director of EMEA/Asia Research & Lab Services.


Direct-to-Garment (DTG)

Brother showed its DL2200 inline production system that included a pair of GTX600 DTG printers. The DL2200 is a fully automated system that pretreats garments, cures the pretreatment, prints the blanks using up to four GTX600 DTG devices, and then cures the print before offloading.


The Brother DL2200 inline automatic DTG production
system impressed with its automation capabilities.


M&R drew attendees’ attention with their Polaris DTG system, a fully automated, inline printer that pretreats the blank garments, cures and presses the pretreatment, and prints images with separate white and color print engines.


The M&R Polaris fully automated inline DTG system.


Ricoh showed its new Ri4000 DTG printer designed for 100% polyester shirts. The printer features built-in pretreatment for polyester fibers that jets simultaneously with the white ink.


Ricoh’s Ri4000 DTG printer is designed for polyester fabrics.


Epson introduced its new SureColor F1070 DTG printer that can also print sheets of PET film for DTF transfers. The device will sell for under $7,000 and has a maximum print area of 10"x12" (25x30cm).


Epson’s SureColor F1070 is
an entry-level DTG/DTF printer.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

As I reflect on this event, it’s important to note that DTF is still growing and taking its place among decorating platforms for apparel. The printers are branching out from the standard 24" (60 cm) print widths, with wider and faster machines, which indicates the technology is moving into high-volume applications. We are also seeing signs of increased momentum in the industrial segment of DTG with faster, more sophisticated systems. At the low end, commercial entry-level DTG segments are losing market share to DTF, and the industrial DTG segments are aiming their sights on screen printing. Nonetheless, screen printing vendors are introducing more automation to their make-ready processes to remain competitive in the exciting world of apparel decoration!


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