FAQs for GT Cap Platen

Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the GT Cap Platen. We have posted these questions and answers in an attempt to help provide you additional information. Periodically, we will be adding additional questions and answers to this page. So please check back often to see what new ones have been added.

GT Cap Platen
Which model of GT Printers will the GT Cap Platen work with?

The GT Cap Platen will work on the GT-541, GT-782 and GT-3 model of direct-to-garment printers. All three models use the same five pin setup to mount on the GT platen system.

GT Cap Platen Pin Setup - GT-541, GT-782, GT-3 dtg Printers

What items are included in the box when I purchase a GT Cap Platen?

So what do you get when you purchase the GT Cap Platen? Everything you need to be successful in digitally printing on most types of caps. The GT Cap Platen comes with the following items:

GT Cap Platen Base
Large Riser
Small Riser (w/ Center Groove)
GT Cap Platen Base for GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 Printers
Large Top Riser for GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 Printers
Small Riser for GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 Printers
 
   
Height Spacer
Spring Loaded Bill Holders
Accessories Kit
 
Spacer for GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
Bill Holders GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 Printers
Accessories Kit for GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
 
What are the Instructions for Loading a Cap Platen.

As mentioned above, one of the core principals we had from the beginning was to make it as easy as possible to get a curved crown as flat as possible to print on. After 10 months of development and more than 10 different designs, we believe we came up with the best solution. Below is the basic instructions for loading a cap on the GT Cap Platen.

1. Flip down the sweat band on the inside of the cap. Flip Sweatband GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
2. Slide the front of the bill under the spring loaded bill holders. Slide Under Bill Holders GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
3. Pull the crown of the cap back to the riser till the sweat band catches under the lip of the riser. Lay Crown Flat Riser GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
4. Use the black clips to lay the crown of the cap as flat as possible across the riser. Black Clips GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers

What is the GT Cap Platen made out of?

The GT Cap Platen base is made out of powder coated steel and stainless steel pins. The two Risers, Spacer and spring loaded bill holders are made out of plastic.

Why are the bill holders spring loaded?

To make it easier to load and unload the caps, we connected the bill holders usings springs on the bottom side of the GT Cap Platen base. These springs allow for the bill holders to flex some to make it easier to load and remove the bill of the cap. In cases where the artwork is printed too clese the bill holders, the GT user can simply pull up on the bill holders and rotate them until the bill of the cap can be removed.

Bill Holders GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers

Can the GT Cap Platen print on both structured and unstructured caps?

Similar to decorating caps with embroidery, some caps are easier to do compared to others. Unstructured caps (commonly known as relaxed or floppy front caps) are easier to get them to lay flat across the

Unstructured Cap on GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers

Because structured caps have rigid backing material designed to make the crown of the cap stand straight up, it can be more challenging to get the crown of the cap to lay flat. In some cases, it will be necessary to lower the GT Cap Platen down more and print using Unidirectional print mode. By printing in Unidirectional print mode, the platen can be lower than usually and still get a detailed print.

Structured Cap on GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers

How many caps do I need to sell to pay for the GT Cap Platen?

Digitally printing on caps only makes senses if you are able to make back the cost of the platen - which is called the Return on Investment (ROI). Some GT users have markets that will pay more than $20.00 per a decorated cap. Others might have to sell caps for $12.00 each. Our goal was to make a cap platen that a majority of GT users could invest in and get a quick ROI back on it. Below you find a quick ROI analysis that will show that even with a $20.00 hour employee, the ROI on the GT Cap Platen can be as low as 40 caps.

Costs of the Cap   $2.00 to $4.00 (depending on style)
Cost of Ink   $0.10 to $0.25 (depending on size and coverage of artwork)
Cost of Labor   $0.50 to $1.00 (printing 20 to 40 caps an hour)
Total Costs
  $3.10 to $5.25 (per a cap)
Sales Price   $12.00 to $15.00 (on the low side)
Total Revenues
  $12.00 to $15.00 (per a cap)
Total Profit   $8.90 to $9.75
Cost of Platen   $350.00
ROI on GT Cap Platen
Less than 40 Caps!

Where can I download the artwork templates for the GT Cap Platen?
You can download the artwork templates by completing the form on the Instructions page of the website. An email will be sent to the email address that you provided that will contain a unique link to download the artwork templates.
 

What platen height setting should I set the GT Cap Platen on?
The answer to this question varies depending on whether you are using the Spacer, the thickness of the cap being used and how smooth you were able to get the crown of the cap to lay across the riser. A good starting point would be Letter C on the platen height adjustment lever. We recommend that you test the height of the platen by pressing the Platen In/Out Feed button on the Control Panel to see if the cap will help the obstruction bar.

GT Cap Platen for GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 Printers

 
What if the bill on the cap I want to print is larger or smaller than a typical cap? Will it work on the GT Cap Platen?
We designed the bill holders so that you can adjust the position of them into three locations. Simple unscrew the wing nut to move the bill holder from one location to another. Be careful when removing the wing nut so you don't lose the washer or spring. You will need to put both of these one the threaded post of the bill holder once it is placed in the desired location.
 
Why would I want to use the Spacer in conjunction with one of the Risers?
In some cases, the GT User might want to raise up the printable area on the crown of the cap. In other cases, the GT User may want to make it easier to load the cap to be GT Cap Platen by raising up the front lip on the Riser. We suggest to GT Users to try it with and without the Spacer to see which works best for them based on the caps being printed on.
 
What Riser do you recommend for printing on structured caps?
We recommend you use the Small Riser when printing on structured caps. Because of the additional material used to keep the crown of the cap sticking up with structured caps, it is easier to use the Small Riser.
 
Why does the Small Riser have a center groove in it?
We cut out a center groove on the Small Riser to help keep the center seam on a 6-panel structured cap as flat as possible.
 

How do you prevent the silver handles on the black clips from hitting the obstruction bar on the GT printer?
The black clips are attached to the back of the Cap Platen Base. This area is below the printable area of the riser to prevent the silver handles on the clips from hitting the obstruction bar. We recommend you test the height of the Cap Platen by pressing the platen feed button to make sure the cap does not hit the obstruction bar, there will be no head strikes on the cap and that you are not too far down from the bottom of the print head depending on which print direction mode (Bi-direcitonal or Uni-directional) you are using.

Black Clip Location on GT Cap Platen Black Clips Securing Pink Unstructured Cap on GT Cap Platen

 
Do I need to pretreat dark colored caps when printing with white ink?
Yes, anytime you print white ink on a cap it must be pretreated. Manually pretreating caps either with a hand-held sprayer or roller takes some practice to ensure you are applying the proper amount of pretreat. Please allow yourself ample practice to get use to applying the pretreatment.
 
What should I do if I am printing on a cap made with a high percentage of polyester content?
We recommend that use the DTG Pretreat fluid that is designed printing on to polyester. This special light garment pretreat fluid is designed for printing CMYK inks (not white ink) on to polyester and blend garments. It can be applied using a simple hand-held spray bottle and is easier to apply compared to the white ink pretreatment. The pretreat fluid will need to cured using a cap press, conveyor dryer or heat gun. Below is a picture of a 100% polyester cap printed without and with the DTG Pretreat.

Polyester Caps DTG Pretreat GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
Non-Pretreated Polyester Cap (Left)
DTG Pretreat Polyester Cap (Right)
 

 
How do I cure a printed cap once it is printed?
We recommend that you use a cap press or a forced air tunnel dryer to cure a printed cap. When curing the crown of the cap using a cap press, use 356 degrees F for 35 seconds with light to medium pressure. Be careful when pressing the bill of the cap with a heat press as they are typically made out of plastic and can becomed warped. We recommend curing the bill of a cap using three separate 10 second presses at 356 degrees F to prevent the warping of the plastic material in the bill.

When using a forced air dryer, make sure that all the plastic coverings and hang tags are removed to prevent them from melting while in the chamber. Also make sure that heating element in the conveyor dryer is raised up to allow for enough clearance for the cap to pass under without heating it or getting to close to cause scorching. Testing should be done to determine the optimal dwell time and temperature for curing the GT inks on a cap using your forced air conveyor dryer.

Users can also cure the caps using a heat gun when certain precautions are used. First, read all the safety instructions before using a heat gun. Make sure never to hold the printed cap in your hand when the heat gun is on and pointed at the cap. Be careful what temperature the heat gun is set to to prevent scorching or melting of the fabric and inside parts (i.e. plastic in the bill, backing on the crown of the cap, the size adjustment feature, elastic,..). The heat gun will need to constantly be moved over the printed areas of the cap (do not let it stay in one spot too long) for approximately 1-2 minutes. Due to the lack of controls (i.e. time and temperature) when using a heat gun, a wash test should be performed.

Heat Gun Curing GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers
Heat Gun Curing GT Cap Platen - GT-541, GT-782 & GT-3 dtg Printers


 
Need Additional Information?

If you would like additional information on the GT Cap Platen, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions and Gallery pages of our website. You can also find the installation instructions and artwork templates from the Instructions page.

BUY A CAP PLATEN NOW!
If the GT user is located in the United States, a cap platen can be purchased by clicking on the PayPal link to the right. For those GT users outside of the United States, click here and complete the form to provide us your shipping address to get a quote on shipping. We process all payments through PayPal to ensure a secured payment system and to protect your credit card information (which is not provided to us). GT Users do not need to have a PayPal account to complete the payment process.