The Lazy Person's Guide to DTF DTG Sublimation Printer Daily Maintenance

Did you spend thousands of dollars on a DTF printer only to realize that an insane amount of daily maintenance would need to be put in? If you don't put in enough daily care, the white ink -- which might as well be cement -- is all but guaranteed to clog. Once that white ink is hardened, you'll have to send it in for repairs, and soon my office will be filled with DTF sublimation printers. To avoid sending your DTF printer in for repairs, maintain it daily and ensure the cement-like white ink remains moist.

This blog (and the accompanying video) is intended for the less dedicated and maybe even lazy people. This blog is about maintaining a DTF sublimation printer with minimal effort.

Printer Anatomy

This printer has a white ink mixer and a pump for the damper. The pump forces white ink into a collection tank. To the right of that, you'll see the ink being returned to the external tank. The circulation stops when the ink reaches the damper, meaning you have to print something to get it moving again or run Epson's built-in cleaning function.

Underneath the printhead's resting position is a capping station that connects to a pump. The pump sucks at the capping station and then dumps the ink at the back of the printer. This cycle happens when you run the built-in cleaning function, so you can see that the white ink is no longer stationary in the damper.

Epson Adjustment Program

If you have an Epson Adjustment Program installed on your computer, go to select and select your USB port, then you can go to the particular adjustment mode>maintenance>head cleaning. You will then see a drop-down list with four levels of cleaning (weak, middle, strong, and power cleaning). I suggest running a weak cleaning hourly, so select "CL1 (weak)" and then click cleaning.

Alternatively, you can set this process up to run automatically, but you'll need a dedicated PC. I usually get a cheap laptop dedicated explicitly to running maintenance. You can generally find one for a reasonable price by searching "Windows laptop" on eBay.

Macro Program Download

Next, we'll need a Windows macro program. I recommend, where you'll find a mini mouse macro. I like this one because they have a simplified version that you can download for free to achieve most of the stuff we'll be doing today. You can get a free copy of the pro version, too, if you make a YouTube video showing people how to use it and send the link to the email on the website.

After installing and launching the macro program, you first want to figure out how to start and stop the program using your keyboard. Click the question mark button toward the top of the window and go to hotkeys. You need to know the stop playback function (ctrl+F6 by default) and the master kill option, which is not enabled by default.

Setting up a Script

There are three red buttons toward the top of the window. The one to the left is the record button, the one in the middle is the stop recording button, and the one to the right is to clear the window. There's also a checkbox with the word "mouse" next to it. The program will track your mouse movements and what you click on if you check the box.

To the right, there are three more buttons for when you have a script. The one to the left is to stop running the script, the one in the middle is to play it, and the one to the right is to pause it. There's also a checkbox option to loop the script.

The big blank box in the center of the window works as the macro's diary. If you right-click in that area, you'll get a drop-down list with an "add entry" option, adding a script to the macro program.

For first-time users, though, it's best to have the program record the process rather than trying to devise a script on your own. For the demonstration, I'll click the record button to track my mouse movements and show you how the script works. I will double-click to open a folder on my desktop and click the X to close it. When the program is recording, the record button will get smaller and start blinking.

Anatomy of a Script

Now let's dissect what the lines in the script mean. The first set of numbers in a line will be my mouse's X coordinate when the action was recorded, and the second set of numbers will be the mouse's Y coordinate.

The X coordinate indicates the horizontal location, and the Y coordinate indicates the horizontal one. If you want to see where each of these coordinates is, you can right-click on the line and find the "go to [x,y]" option. From there, you can either select go to or paint path.

The third set of numbers on the line indicates the time delay in microseconds, and the last thing on the line will be a record of what action was performed (i.e., whether I clicked or released the mouse). The last two lines of the program will be the program registering when I clicked on the stop recording button, so I don't need them, and I can delete them.

If I then click play on the program, it will wait that amount of time it recorded, move the mouse to the recorded coordinates, and replicate the given function. You can then save the program as a file on your computer.

Pre-Made Script

If you don't want to make your own program, that's fine. I have a pre-made one available for download on my website ( You can then insert this pre-made script into your macro and adjust it to fit your computer.

To get the microprogram to run the printer's cleaning function for you every hour:

  1. Open both the mini mouse macro window and the Epson Adjustment Program window.
  2. Make sure that the Epson Adjustment Program window is in its natural opening position so that the mini mouse macro can get the correct coordinates.
  3. Open to the "particular adjustments" screen in the Epson Adjustments Program window, as I showed you earlier.
  4. Click the home button in the mini mouse macro window and find the load script option. Select the script you want to use.

Pre-Made Script Anatomy and Adjustments

Let's take a closer look at my pre-made script, though. There are two level loops that you'll see. The outside loop is to loop the entire process so that it repeats forever, which you can activate by clicking the loop checkbox I mentioned previously. The other loop is located within the script itself.

The first and second lines in the program are there to define something. The third line counts from one to the end of the loop and tells the program how many times you want it to loop. I have it set to "max run," which the first line of the script defines as twelve. To change this, you can double-click the line and replace 12 with another number.

The fourth and fifth lines in this script are to close out of an error message that almost always pops up during execution. It happens even more when there's a problem with your USB connection. For these lines, we'll have to figure out the correct coordinates for the program to click on to close out the pop-up because it will be different for every computer. My X and Y coordinates will not be identical to your X and Y coordinates.

To find the correct coordinates for your specific computer, hover over the pop-up window's "ok" button with your mouse and the mini mouse macro will display the coordinates in the bottom right. To force the error message to pop up so that you can find these coordinates, simply unplug your printer's USB and click "cleaning" in the Epson Adjustment Program window.

To replace the numbers in the script with the correct ones for your computer, double-click on the line you want to change and erase the preexisting numbers and replace them with the right ones. Make sure not to mix up your X and Y coordinates. X should always be the first set of numbers, and Y should always be the second set.

The sixth and seventh lines will select the strength of the program's cleaning. It must first have the correct coordinates for the arrow that opens the drop-down menu in the Epson Adjustment Program window. For me, the coordinates were X = 863 and Y = 486. As you did for the error message lines, double-click the ones you need to change and replace the preexisting numbers with the right ones.

The eighth line gets a little more complicated -- using what is essentially an If/Else command. I have it set to function as a selector by determining whether or not this is the first time running the program. If it is, then the program should run a strong cleaning. Otherwise, it should run a weak cleaning if it's any number other than the first.

If it's the first time running the loop, the program will jump from line 8 to lines 12 and 13, which are the coordinates for it to click on the strong cleaning. You'll have to change these ones to fit your own computer, too, so hover over the "CL3 (strong)" option. Set those coordinates as you did with all the other ones. Do the same in lines 9 and 10 for the coordinates to "CL1 (weak)".

You can ignore line 11. It's only there to tell the program that lines 12 and 13 don't need to run if lines 9 and 10 already did.

Lines 14 and 15 are to click the "cleaning" button, so you'll need to get and input the correct coordinates for those, too. The cleaning function can take 10-15 minutes to complete depending on the strength of the cleaning, with the time getting longer the stronger it is.

After the cleaning, your computer will give you a pop-up screen letting you know it's done. Instead of immediately doing another cleaning, we want the program to wait an hour to close the window. To make it wait an hour, the time delay (the third set of numbers on the line) on line 16 must be set to 3,600,000 microseconds. You need to input it without the commas, though. I just included them to make it easier to tell how many zeros to put.

When all of the adjustments have been made, the program should now be set to run in a twelve-hour cycle, twice a day. Every day, it will make your printer run a strong cleaning twice and a weak cleaning 22 times.

To find the final set of coordinates needed -- the ones for the completion pop-up -- you'll need to run one cleaning cycle manually and wait for it to finish. Then hover the mouse over the OK button and switch the coordinates in the associated line(s) just like you did for the others.

Post-Script Adjustment

After making any adjustments to a script, always click on the home button in the mini mouse macro window and click on the "save to macro" option before running the script. It's common for the program to freeze, which then resets any unsaved progress.

You'll have to change your computer's power plan from settings because most computers (especially laptops) are set by default to fall asleep or turn off after they haven't been used for a certain amount of time. If the computer is off, it can't tell your printer to clean itself, so set it up so that it never does that.

That's it! I hope this blog helped. Follow me on YouTube at Kevin at BCH for more helpful printer advice.

0:55- Printer Anatomy

2:22- Epson Adjustment Program

3:15- Automatic Cleaning

5:39- Script Anatomy

9:37- Pre-made Script

10:13- Tweaking the Script

21:37- Running

Nov 24th 2022

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