DTG Viper 2 Garment Printer Review

Dean ArmandoJuly 23, 2018

DTG Viper 2 Garment Printer

The DTG Viper 2 is designed from the ground up to offer higher speed prints with acute accuracy, utilising precise engineering solutions that are unrivalled in the industry, and most importantly white ink reliability. You can count on this printer to grow your short-run apparel decoration business.

The original Viper has been around for many years and is a very good machine, delivering outstanding quality and solid reliability. Its best features have always been the HUGE print size, quality prints (using Dupont or Genuine DTG Inks) and the multi-platen system that all of the DTG digital garment printers have. The original Viper also is a large device and looks like a professional piece of equipment. You’ll see the measurements on the chart below, but let’s just say that it’s big enough, heavy enough, and awkward enough to make you want a lot of help to move it... and leave it where you put it! All the DTG line up so far also will not fit through a standard doorway – no fun if you want to run your business from home or a small office.

The Viper 2 - Small, Yet Powerful

The new Viper 2 is a BIG change. Or a smaller one when you think about it. The first thing you’ll notice that’s different about the new Viper 2 is the size and footprint. The Viper 2 is actually under 36” wide, so can fit through a standard doorway – AND it’s light enough for 2 people to carry comfortably. Most of us in the custom t shirt biz start from home or a small office so not only is space is at a premium, but double doors aren’t necessarily installed. There’s no loading dock either, so getting the 37” wide Viper inside is a real construction project. So the first big change between the Viper and Viper 2 is the width – going from a 37” door buster down to a comfy 31.3”.

viper2 dimensions

Next is transportability. The Viper2 weighs in at about 183lbs vs. the Viper’s 230. Being 50lbs lighter and much more narrow too makes the Viper2 easier to transport. That doesn’t mean just lower freight costs and easier installation in your home or office, but also that it’s reasonable to take on the road with you! You and a partner can move the Viper2 into the back of an SUV easily and put it into a mall kiosk, take it to a fair or big event, etc.

Of course there is a drawback to the smaller size. Even though the Viper2 DTG printer keeps the 4-2-1 platen system that all the other DTG brand machines have, your largest print area is smaller on the Viper2. The Viper could print up to 16.5” x 29”, the new one can only do 24”x 16”.

So far we've seen the difference in size between the original Viper and the Viper 2, but what else is different?

Print Engine

This is the part of the DTG printer that makes it run, and the Viper, as I mentioned at the top of this article, uses the Epson 4880. The Viper 2 uses the new Epson 3880, which Epson developed in part to use in its own SureColor F2000 model t shirt printing machine.

Print Head

Just to get a little more technical, the Print Head is different as well. The Viper, like many other printers, uses the Epson DX 5 while the Viper 2 uses a TFP print head like the SureColor.

While both the print engine and the print head do make a difference, if you thought about them both as just an upgraded technology that improves printer performance you would not be wrong. The best thing about these 2 mechanical changes is that they combine to give you a great quality printer. You also get the knowledge that since these items are both newly developed as compared to the prior models that you’re at the start of the parts availability cycle.

Price

It’s cheaper! You can expect it to be $2,000 or $3000 less expensive than the Viper. This puts it much more in the reasonable range for someone just starting in the digital garment printing / custom t shirt business.

Conclusion

The Viper2 US version looks like a great machine, and offers some real advantages over not only the old Viper, but also its biggest anticipated competition, the Epson SureColor F2000. This isn’t a comparison article, but I can at least tell you that the single platen of the Epson makes it far less attractive than the multi platen arrangement of DTG brand – printing more than one shirt at a time is a MUST!

 

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