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How to Prepare Your Files to Print

DTF printers require RIP software because they are modified printers that use special, high-quality inks.

DTF printing has changed the printing game, and while creating high-quality designs has never been easier, it’s essential to know a couple of things before printing a design. First, the foundation of any good design comes back to the files they were created with and how they were prepared.

When creating a DTF design for printing, the files must be “ripped” first. Ripped files aren’t strong or muscle-bound graphic files; instead, ripped refers to the type of file conversion used in the DTF printing process.

Get Those Files Ripped

Ripped is a reference to Raster Image Processor (RIP). This process converts RGB color profiles (typical of .png and .pdf files) into CMYK color profiles, which a DTF printer needs to get the job done correctly.

While this sounds easy enough to do, the process of this conversion is more complex than many people think. Often customers think they can save directly from Photoshop, but unfortunately, RIP software isn’t included in Photoshop. This is a problem for DTF printers as they can’t use those files.

How Do I RIP My Files?

Start by importing your files. Once the files have been imported, you may play around with the sizing to maximize your film. Then, once the Gang Sheet is complete and you’ve adjusted the settings and color saturations (including the white under base settings), you’ll be well on your way to creating eye-popping work with DTF printing.

Before finishing this stage, it’s crucial to choke the white under base, even just slightly. It’s recommended that you visit this setting every time you do a DTF project, even when you are familiar with your printer’s settings. This way, the white won’t peek out during the printing process, thereby spoiling the colors.

I’ve Ripped My Files. Now What Do I Do?

You’re ready to send the file to print! The printing process varies depending on how the job spools and the printer you are using. Most DTF printers export a file to that specific printer that should have been previously loaded into the printer’s control software.

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