ED Magedson – Founder
Mesa Distributors3134 Marquita Drive Internet United States of America
I have had my DTG Viper for three months now and it has been a nightmare since day 1. It arrived with many problems. It was wired incorrectly resulting in loading in the reverse direction. Ink extraction fan was broken upon arrival and made a very loud sound. Menu control board arrived broken. Aquarium fish pump needed to be installed. My training time was used for fixing the machine and its problems. The small synchroflex belt that drives the platen has broken twice. The epson main boss board broke. The machine continues to load in reverse occasionally. The color sometimes lines up on top of the white layer and sometimes does not. Certain colors bleed real bad, especially red. I was told the vipers are being manufactured at a Singapore plant which has poor quality control and is cutting corners. Also, the machines have a long trip coming to the U.S. in a hard wooden crate and can be damaged during shipping. Currently I have not been able to print white ink for two weeks now because the white ink keeps clogging. I have replaced the 10 micron wims filter every couple days and it still clogs up, the Y connector to the waste tank constantly clogs up as well. I have done numerous power cleans as well. I have been very carefull to follow all proper cleaning procedures and maintenance operations. I have ordered ink numerous times since owning the machine. Today I was filling the white ink and was using a paint strainer when pouring my new bottle of $165.00 white ink in, and a large two inch piece of cotton fiber material came out of the new bottle of white ink! I couldn't believe it. Maybe this has been the cause of my clogging problems. Everyone that owns a viper should be made aware of this. I don't know exactly what this material was that was in white ink, but maybe it was something used as a strainer for the ink in the manufacturing process that broke and went into the white ink. My Viper has been a nightmare and hopefully a rare instance of a lemon.
I purchased my Viper from Mesa Distributers, SWF MESA. I am tired of calling them and having to wait in line for usually a day or two to get a response. I know there has to be other people out there that are having all of the same issues I am having. I purchased the machine to produce shirts and make money. I have a stack of orders sitting on my desk and it is frustrating that everytime I start to make shirts and get a couple orders done, the machine craps out. I know about agitating the white ink, and there is even a specific kind of roll that you do with the bottle to agitate it the best. I do this morning and night, and of course the white ink in the WIMS is agitating at the proper rate & speed according to the techs. I use the machine every day. I do a nozzle check and clean on it every morning, and a thorough cleaning of the print head, capping station, wiper blade, etc. in the evening. Over the past few months I have learned a lot about the machine and almost feel I could be a tech for the company since I have had to take it apart so many times and replace things. I have a manual, and have read through it numerous times. I have had the error codes as well, and most of the problems everyone else on here has had. I had a bad feeling about it when it arrived with so many problems. Nothing like spending $25,000 on something that arrives with 3 or 4 critical problems. I can't imagine how this machine will be a year from now, 3 years from now, etc. It has been just 3 months and it is a constant problem. I am starting to research direct to garment printers again because I have given up on the Viper. It makes me mad just looking at the thing. I need a direct to garment printer that can print white ink, quickly, efficiently, and most of all without breaking down and having problems. I appreciate any comments or suggestions. Let me know your thoughts.
I have had the Viper since August. It has been a Nightmare. Here is the list of problems that we have had or are having with the Viper and Rip-Pro software:
1. Viper arrived broken. Needed new ink extraction fan. Drive belt wired in reverse. Aquarium pump needed to be added. Boss board re-sodered. No JRC button.
2. Print Head and (8) dampers replaced 3 times each. After each time they are replaced, the Viper prints from all ink channels for half a day and eventually stops printing white from one or more of the four channels and other colors have problems printing.
3. Small synchroflex drive belt broken twice resulting in the main board blowing a fuse and having to be replaced.
4. Loads in reverse occasionally. During a full day of printing, the machine will load in reverse 2 or 3 time throughout the day. When this happens, the computer and printer have to be shut down and restarted in order to load in the proper direction again. Media sensor was replaced and I have two on hand, however they did not correct the problem.
5. Occasionally loads past the media sensor by 1/2 inch", which if doing a black shirt, will cause the two layers to not align properly. Have to check that the platten is just barely touching the sensor before printing each time.
6. Belt tension too tight and belt would not align properly.
7. Viper alerts that the dummy maintenance tank is full, I reprogram/reset the dummy maintenance tank and reinsert in the slot however viper does not recognize that the dummy maintenance tank has been reset and is loaded back in. Have to turn off Viper to correct problem.
8. Print head release latch would lower itself striking the platten during a routine nozzle check. (since fixed by new main board) but previous two mainboards had this problem.
9. Wims motor connection faulty. Motor would turn on/off by touching the Wims motor wire.
1. White ink clogs constantly. Will flow from new printhead/damper/power cleaning for short period then clog again. 1st of the the 4 white channels is always 100% clogged. (white channel that boarders the color)
2. White ink filters faulty. Needed to seal edges of filters.
3. Viper has always printed double lines, small detailed line work you can see double if you look at it closely. Creates a blurry appearance of the image.
4. Choke/Feed adjustment. Images on dark shirts always vary and the alignment varies as well. I was told by tech to input different numbers in the choke/feed adjustment options so that the color lines up on top of the white images. They did from those numbers, however they restrict detail and different aspects of the image that you are printing. I believe it (chokes) different print nozzles, resulting in parts of the image not being printed. Techs may not know this. Choke/feed has to be kept at -1 for all options and only adjust the viper adjustment at the bottom of screen to 19 or 20. Despite this research, the viper at times will just not print the color layer on top of the white layer, even when you are in production mode.
5. 360 mode, 360 enhanced, 720 modes are completely unacceptable. Images look awful and are very dull and washed out. Even at 1440x1440 which is the ONLY mode I would consider printing from, the images appear faded and washed out. This is what our customers say. Not told by any techs that you could run something through for a second pass. Two passes at 1440x1440 on a white shirt will print nicely, however the time it takes to do that is ridiculous. Maybe 2-4 shirts per hour at most.
6. White shirts fade. ink washes out drastically each time they are washed. I wash them inside out and in cold water. Cured at 330 degrees for 50 seconds twice.
7. Ink washes off of black shirts. Properly pretreat the shirt. Not too much, not too little pretreatment, evenly sprayed. Cure the shirt at 330 degrees for 50 seconds three times, letting the steam evaporate in between each heating. Shirts look awful after one or two washings.
8. In order to print an acceptable image, takes a great deal of time for an average size print. Sometimes 2 shirts and hour for dark shirts 4-6 an hour for light shirts. Far from advertised claim of 70.
9. Defective white ink bottle received with piece of material inside, like a dense cotton/fiber.
10. Ghosting on images, where the ink leaves a mist, even when the platten has not moved away from the printhead. Especially on red colors. 11. Power cleans are needed everyday to make the printer print properly. I don't do them every day as a result of ink prices, but do many basic cleanings throughout the day to try and keep the Viper printing.
Rip Pro Software
1. Jobs disappear out of queue by themselves. During printing, job vanishes. If it is while you are printing a shirt the viper stops while printing and ruins a shirt. If it is not while you are printing then you have to resubmit the job which is time consuming.
2. Rip program stops working by itself and windows feels that it needs to be closed. Locks up, on its own, at any given time, and closes.
3. Submit a job, and while finsihing rendering the job never show up and you have to resubmit the job and hope that it renders and shows up in queue.
4. Rip program does not work. Can't do anything after being opened. Have to uninstall and reinstall, and use the word "exception" to reinstall so it doesn't use up one of the three allowed installs. This happens frequently, as I have been told that the Rip Pro does not always agree with windows updates and thus needs to be reinstalled. As a result of the problems listed above, there have been numerous jobs lost, customers disappointed and damage to our company's reputation. I purchased this viper from mesa distributors out of Fort Worth, Texas. I cannot stress enough to anyone out there that may be thinking about purchasing a DTG Viper to reconsider and look elsewhere. Read the forums and do plenty of research first.
Here are some quotes from other people that have purchased the Viper from Mesa Distributors from popular t-shirt forum sites:
"Has anyone had problems with head alignment? Our bi-directional printing is off by about 1mm, and we have tried everything we know, including the manual adjustments to align." -dmfelder, T-shirt Forums
"Hello, I have the same problem; the message is "RELOAD PAPER" and the machine do not respond..., anybody come tell me any solution for this problem ??" -viper22, T-shirt Forums
"Our supplier is completely lost, and we're (they're) considering sending it back because no one can get it to work bi-directionally." "As I mentioned in the previous post, we are not 100% satisfied with the brightness of the colors" -dmfelder, T-Shirt Forums
"Hi everyone, Viper I bought in may, the biggest nightmare, since the machine came I had problems with it, I had numerous technicians to fix it no result. Finally my husband got upset and called them, they send another one, problems arise one after another. I had new motherbord replaced (on a New machine) head replaced, belt borken shortly after. Print quality horrible. Its been down now for month and a half, due to white ink not putting down. Lost customers due to not being able to print. Requested refund that have not happend, just refusals. Even local attorney can not get through to them, I am ready to file suit in Texas maybe then something get rolling. I know there is more then just me with those problems. Please pm if you have problems and can not get your money back for a lemon like mine NOT ONE BUT TWO." -rbeason, T-shirt Forums
"I have just spent a month and a half getting to know the DTG Viper. In my opinion this machine is not a production machine nor something for a novice to use. I was hired as a consultant to come in and get this machine running for cuda apparel in Spokane WA. First off the company almost ruined the machine by letting it sit for three weeks with out doing daily head cleanings. The WIMS pump was running though. After several head cleans and a couple of power cleans I was able to get the machine running. MESA Supplies whom the machine was bought from sent it with 1st generation ink not the current V02 that Coleman company is selling. There is also a lack of documentation if other brands of inks will work in the system. I would like to see downloadable templates for Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign etc. How hard would this be for the company to have on there website? Maybe some very detailed videos on cleaning and maintenance. This is the digital age and if there is no transparency from a company you must ask yourself "What are they hiding?" There is a lack of documentation as to the positioning and how to set up for the platen size. The platen width is 16.5" the bed width is 17.5" Why is there no documentation as to where and how to set up for this? Another problem why when I am using PowerRIP pro V04 does the manual say V03 and have none of the features described that are in the new version? When contacting support from MESA I found I usually knew more about the workflow between photoshop and the RIP than they did. On a few occasions I was told by the technician "I don't know what to tell you" Again proving there inexperience with the machine software interface that they have created. Images in the documentation did not match what I saw on the DTG Viper in the facility either. Basically missing the Flushing pump yet they say to flush it every 7 to 10 days. In closing I will say this is a machine for someone with a high level of technical and machine experience. If you're looking for something that can produce a large quantity of garments I would say that this is not it. It took 5 hours to produce 16 shirts on dark blue cotton. 1 hr for pretreat and file setup and 4 hours for printing. During the printing process the cyan nozzles became clogged and a shirt was ruined. Yet another unanticipated event. You will also need to do several strike offs to make sure color, alignment, and other unforseen variables are all in place. Several different sized plattens will be needed to print varying size shirts the one that comes with the machine is not a one size fits all. This machine is very expensive and the lack of documentation is in my opinion quite frightening. If I personaly paid $19,000 for this product I would be very, very, pissed off. I would point directly to the documentation that a car comes with as an example of proper documentaion. This device is comprabable in price and comes with the kind of documentation that is comprable to what you get with how to put a bookcase together. I've seen better documentation with freeware and shareware. I apoligize for the scathing review but I feel that these guys need to be called out. In the machines defense when the moons and the stars are in the proper planetary alignment this machine produces beautiful prints." - tmasingale, T-Shirt Forums
"Hi There, I bought a DTG Viper a month ago and have had nothing but problems with it so far.It was shipped with a damaged Platten(it has been replaced now) When my Tech showed up to set up the Viper it took him 3 days just to work the bugs out of it(sent with no JRC button,a bad color tank(they had to overnight them for us) and it took him 2 days to a line the choke on it) after 3 days the white filter clogged and had to replace($25.00) and waisted about $400.00 in ink getting this thing up and running(power cleaning, head cleaning, power cleaning, etc.)and the rip software crashes every 3rd job or so. About 2 weeks ago(have not even printed a hundred shirts yet) my white started fading while 1/2 way through a print.more power cleanings, head cleanings,ECT.every time a call the techs at mesa I have to leave my name and number for a call back. A day or so later(while my customers are waiting on there prints) I get a call back (I have made many calls) They ended up sending me a new head and dampers that I had to learn to install myself. The white worked for about 20 dark shirts and now it has quit again. more power cleans with no avail. My business and DTG Viper have been down more then up. I am going under because of this machine. So Im sitting here waiting for a tech to give me a call so we can see what the next step is? Good luck with your Vipers!" - Homegrown, T-Shirt Forums
"Hi, You just described most of the problems I had with my viper. It's been down for more then two months, lost few customers. Now I have over 20,000 piece of junk sitting in my store. How can some distributers treat customer like a trash. As soon you pay for (not cheap) equipment you are treated like trash afterwords. Customer service realy blows; there it goes you have production going, something goes wrong and you have to wait forever for somebody to call you back. Anybody have problems with Viper pleas pm" -rbeason, T-shirt Forums
"Day 1: I received my Viper on June 16 and the was never told that the machine needed air conditioning for the white ink. So we decided to put it in the dining room, original plan was in the garage. The tech who brought it had just suffered a hernia so could not lift the machine off the truck. So I called my brother in-law to come help. We finally get the machine into the dining room ready to set up. Day 2: The tech arrives to set up the machine and do some test prints. No yellow ink. He determines the print head is bad and proceeds to use the extra print head that was provided as a free promotion, and has another one over nighted. All seems to go well for the remainder of the day. Day 3: We fire the machine up start doing test prints and the white ink stops flowing. After multiple power cleanings, standard cleanings, manual cleanings, & charging through the waste tank, we have some success. Ink and another print head over nighted. Day 4: All seems working fine and tech leaves. One week later no white ink. Call support and wait. Get a call back and do more power cleanings. Seems to be fixed. A week later, no white ink. Call support. Get a call back, troubleshoot and they believe the capping station is clogged. They send a capping station which they warrantied but I had to pay shipping. Worked for 2 weeks then the print head clogged again. Warrantied a print head and I paid shipping. All in all, we have changed 5 print heads, a capping station, the mother board, the boss board, and the gear assembly box. Finally, I have more knowledge about this machine than the techs (jk, close tho), because I was the one replacing all these parts. Finally they replace the machine. It worked great until the printer head drive belt slipped out of place and the smooth part of the belt was on the toothed wheel on the side with the control panel. It took a week to diagnose that problem. I remove the entire print head assembly and placed the belt in the proper position. Print head was damaged due to it being bounced all over the place. I did not receive the promotional print head and ink started kit that I received with the faulty machine, when I got the new machine. They declined to give me those items even though they were exhausted on the faulty machine. I explained that to them, they offered to sell me all at 50% off. And that's where I am today. Frustrated and disgusted after paying nearly $20,000 and boxes full of messed up shirts that are going to the Good Will. I have spent over $3000 in ink, tee shirts, and shipping on parts that never resolved the issues with the previous machine." -rcloud, t-shirt forums "they don't call it a Viper for nothing .....the next model should be the Vampire" -mrance, t-shirtforums
"Heya all, I bought a viper and it arrived last friday. I was happy with the purchase. Everything was ok. No clogging or print head blockage....until...today (not even one week). When I came back home this afternoon (I installed the printer at home because Im still learning), I did all the routine such as Nozzle check. white all gone. It's a bit late to call the supplier. Do head cleaning but no result. If possible, I dont want to do any power cleaning. I havent even print one tshirt using this machine so finger crossed....I will post again after I managed to contact my supplier... again, hopefully nothing wrong with it. It will be my sleepless night." - Willkho, T-Shirt Forums
"Hi there, I'm still having trouble with my Viper.3rd print head in the 3 months that I have owned it. Ink clogging all the time.some times I cant even make it threw a day of printing. I have installed a bigger pump for the colors like the techs instructed me to do (I had to Buy it at my local pet store) and still the ink is clogging(mostly yellow and magenta). the software crashes all the time(about every 3rd print). job button does not work most of the time. Does DTG not care about the people that buy these machines? Someone please help me get my machine to be reliable. Thanks, Don" -Homegrown, T-Shirt Forums
"Is there a trick to getting colours on white shirts to be as bright as on dark shirts ?If only i can master the art i will enjoy it sooooo much more." -gnmagee, T-shirt Forums
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/23/2010 11:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Mesa-Distributors/internet/Mesa-Distributors-SWF-MESA-DTG-Viper-Diretc-To-Garment-Printer-Rip-Off-Unreliable-Broke-559147. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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