How to Choose the Correct Tubing for your DTF Printers

I recently had to fix a DTF printer, so I thought I’d review that process in case you have a similar problem. The specific part of the printer we’ll be looking at resembles two Ts. There are also two Y connections. I’ll need to make a 180-degree turn with the tubing.

The specific printer that I was working on was very interesting to me. It used one type of tube for the white ink, and the material it was made out of was strangely stretchy. After playing with it for only a minute or two, I found that it kinks easily. This can be a problem as it may lead to clogs in the future. This kind of tube is bad for your DTF printer.

Instead of using that tube for the white ink, I decided to replace it with my own tube. If you watch along with my YouTube video accompanying this article, you’ll see that I could bend the new tube all I wanted, and it took quite a bit without forming a kink. Therefore, this tube would work perfectly for that 180-degree turn I’d need to make.

Alternatively, I could have used a 1.8-millimeter tube on hand that was softer than the printer’s default tube. Both can bend easily without kinking, making them perfect for this type of printer. I still prefer the 2.5-millimeter one because it’s larger than the other one in terms of diameter and, therefore, can allow more white ink to pass through with less risk of clogging.

Get the Right Tubing

If you need a new tube for this process, the one I use in the video can be purchased from my website, You can find it under the tubing category of the accessories tab. You’ll want the one labeled “Premium grade 2 FT 2.5 MM ID single strand tubing- widely used for waste ink or DTF white or color ink tubing”. The other one I showed you that you could use is labeled “3FT 1.8 MM ID single strand solvent ink tubing for CIS CISS tubing”.

As I said before, I prefer to use the 2.5 MM tubing for the white ink, but sometimes I’ll choose to use the 1.8 MM tubing for the colored inks. The reason is that I typically want to use the tubing with the largest diameter possible that will still fit so that the white ink can flow smoothly.

Check the Bend Radius

In the listing for this tubing, you can see that the minimum bend radius will be around 9.5 mm, which is perfect for what I’m going to use it for. While it says minimum bend radius, it should say diameter because after testing, I found that I can bend it at around a 5.5-millimeter radius without getting it to kink.

I like this tube because it is much softer than the default tubing, making it less likely to kink, and it’s also stronger, which means that it’s less likely to break. The 1.8-millimeter tubing can theoretically bend to an even smaller radius. By my measure, it’s got around a 3.8-millimeter bend radius.

The tube that came default in the printer has virtually no bend radius. You can only bend it at about 18 millimeters before it kinks. I hope this article (and the corresponding video) help you find the right ink tubes for your DTF printer. If you’re interested, I also have hundreds of other helpful printer-related videos on my YouTube channel, Kevin at BCH.

Jan 26th 2023

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