DTF Transfer Cost Calculator

Use this calculator to find the true cost of printing DTF transfers. You can use this to determine when it makes financial sense to purchase an in-house printer vs purchasing finished, ready to press transfers from us. See additional Pros and Cons at the bottom of this page.

Fill in each field with the information that matches your equipment, supplies, and sales volume. To keep things simple, the calculator is setup for a 12" x 12" square foot transfer. Change the amounts to what best fits your costs. If you believe your printer will last for 10 years with no maintenane cost, go ahead and change the lifespan to 520 weeks and the weekly maintenance to 0. You should also purchase a Lottery ticket.
See Notes Below Calculator On Usage.
Weekly Sales Volume
Number of Jobs Per Week
Average Quantity Per Job
Transfer Quantity Per Week 50

Equipment Cost
Air Filter/Ducting
Total Equipment Cost $6,450.00
Weekly Maintenance
Equipment Lifespan In Weeks
Supply Cost for Each 12" x 12" Transfer
Waste %
Total Supply Cost 0.98


Cost Per Transfer

Usage Notes

If you do not plan on using an automatic powder/shaker/dryer you can change this to 0. However, you should increase your powder usage and your labor. If you plan on using the toaster oven in your kitchen to cure you transfers (please don't do this!) you should figure your waste and labor will be higher.

Air Filter/Ducting
If you don't filter or duct the smoke from curing outside, you can set this value to 0. It is highly recommended that you do not do this.

Printer Lifespan & Maintenance
If you make the printer lifespan longer, you should increase the amount spent on maintenance. Maintenance should include the cost of cleaning solutions, swabs, and most of all the labor cost ($50.00 is on the low side).
Higher cost printers should last longer than low end printers. However, I would assume their usage will be higher which will shorten their lifespan. One year on a converted printed will be about average. Some will last much longer but others will go quickly.
If you plan on replacing printheads, dampers, and other parts to extend the life of your printer, you can add an estimate of these costs into the weekly maintenance.

Supply Cost
Supply costs for ink and powder will vary with how solid your designs are. A design with 10% ink coverage will take much less ink and powder than a design with 90% coverage. Enter an average for your usage.
Shipping cost for supplies are not included here. If you are paying $100.00 for 100 sheets of film and it cost you $10.00 to ship it, your cost is $1.10 each.

Labor Cost
Even if you are doing all the work yourself to print the transfers, you should include a cost for your time. You may say that the printer runs by itself but does it really? If you don't include some labor, you will not really be looking at the true cost.
We only put in $2.25 per transfer, which is low and should be closer to double or triple that amount.


Other Pros & Cons
In-House Printing vs Buying Transfers

In-House Pros
1) Instant turnaround. Your transfers are ready as fast as your system can print, powder, and cure them.

In-House Cons
1) Number of transfers is limited to how fast you can make them. Some converted printers can take 20 minutes or more for one transfer.
2) Quality of transfers. Some in-house systems may produce great quality but most will not be as good. For instance, we use a fine grind powder which will give your final prints a softer feel. In-House systems will have trouble using this powder and most opt for a medium grind. The industrial equipment will also cure the powder more evenly.
3) It takes up more of your time to make the transfers. Time is money...
4) Large upfront investment in equipment and supplies.
5) Space for the equipment in your office.
6) Health issues from curing transfers.

Buying Transfers Pros
1) Only takes a minute or two to upload your design and place your order.
2) Ready to print when you receive them.
3) No upfront equipment or supply cost.
4) No limit on how many transfers per day you can have made.

Buying Transfers Cons
1) We ship orders fast but it will take a day for you to get them.
2) You will not know what to do with your extra time.


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