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RIP (Raster Image Processor) Software

A raster image processor (RIP) is a software that rasterizes design vector files from Design software like Gimp,Illustrator, Photoshop to a raster image made of a matrix of dots that the printer can understand and print. The raster image kind of like pixels on the computer screen. This software processes multiple content types for a specific print environment and translates  that processed data to the printer for final output.
RIP software helps the handling different design file types. The RIP Software is important  in the printing process since it dictates the color, screen pattern and resolution of the final printed product. RIP software is important in the  the quality of the print. RIP ensures reliable color reproduction, and lays out the design where you want it. It is the necessary interface with the printer and the moving platen.

Compatibility : Windows Only  ( Windows 7/8/10)

ACRORIP is OEM SOFTWARE that is bundled with many UV, DTG and other specialty type printers. Usually a Security Dongle is required to run the software, unless you have a multi-user license version from your printer manufacturer.
Without RIP software, you will not be able to print to Tshirts, Garments or substrates that require color channel settings and layout of precise area, like on a Platen.
Most RIP software costs between $300 and $1,500. Some Software, like KOTHARI DTG PRO is considered very difficult to use by many users, who prefer the ease and low-cost of ACRO RIP. There are various versions of ACRORIP/PARTNER RIP, like version 8.2 and 9.03. Both work very well for Epson-based printheads.
A new version is scheduled for 2020.

  • Simple Software you will need to print white ink ( On Black Tshirts)
  • Easy to use interface, and functions specifically for DTG and UV printers  with Epson printer heads;
  • Control and enhance vivid color expression for normal colors and white ink application;
  • Percentage and color adjustment of each ink channel; 

How it works

ACRO RIP  basically has 4 tabs that run the entire program.

The first steps, before even going into the tabs,  are to setup the program for inches or metric, then you can set up your template, usually a Tshirt template is a default.

Most Platens in DTG are 12 x 17 inches, since the printers are the A3 Format.
The A3 size print measures 11.69 x 16.53 inches (29.7 x 42.0cm) - Basically 12 x 17 inches

The Printer tab must be set with the printer "ENGINE TYPE" for Example Epson 1390/1400
or Stylus photo R3000/P600. This will then determine the "CHANNEL", which means the Ink tubes  and cartridge or bottle sequence of color and white inks. This is very critical. 
For example Epson Stylus photo R3000 engine will be the same as Epson P600 engine and will determine the following channels :

Sometimes these settings need to be input, whenever a new file ( artwork/design) is added. Be sure you check ALL your settings, before you hit the print button.

 A good RIP software does not mean good prints.
The single most important factor in a successful printed image is the quality of the original source image. In fact, a good quality source image will look good on many DTG printers because it is has several optimal features such as:
• High contrast
• Strong primary and secondary colors
• Sharp, clear lines and text
• Small or narrow blocks of solid color; larger areas filled with gradients
• Minimal ink coverage
The single most important factor in a successful printed image is the quality of the starting  image. DPI and other factors like RGB and CMYK saved files are factors to note.

Although ACRO RIP will print from a .JPG source, .TIF and .PNG file formats work best.

                            Credit : Josh Wink

DTG Printers use very specific types of INK, as do UV printers. It's important to note this difference. 

Direct to garment printing (DTG) is a process of printing on textiles using specialized aqueous ink jet technology.
DTG printers typically have a platen designed to hold the garment in a fixed position, and the printer inks are jetted or sprayed onto the textile by the print head. DTG typically requires that the garment be pre-treated with a PTM or Pre-treatment machine allowing for the following:
Stronger bond between garment fibers and the pigmented inks
Lays down loose fibers to provide for a smoother substrate
Chemically reacts with the inks to promote drying and curing

Since this is a digital process the print is sharper and has a higher resolution, or DPI, than traditional printing methods such as screen printing. However, unlike screen printing, there is no long setup or clean-up process, and DTG has the ability to print just one single shirt for minimal cost.
Printing process

DTG printers use aqueous textile inks (water-based chemistry) that require a unique curing process. Since DTG inks are water-based, they work best for printing on natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, hemp, and linen. In addition, pre-treatment is typically applied to the garment before printing. The pre-treatment is heat-pressed into the custom t-shirt causing the fibers of the shirt to lay down. The pre-treatment also allows the water-based inks to bond more fully to the garment. This is especially important when using white ink on dark garments.

Once the custom t-shirt has been properly pre-treated, the shirt (or garment) is then positioned onto a platen system designed to hold the shirt in place. The shirt is then digitally printed according to the design in the printer queue.

The top PRETREATMENT brands include DTGPRO, KODAK, and DUPONT