What is RIP Software?

Picture of Iguana

There are two types of images. They are called raster and vector. A raster image is one that is created from tiny dots called pixels. A vector image is one that is created using mathematical principles. When a DTG printer prints it does so by placing a tiny dot on the garment in the same spot as the image would be. RIP software translates a vector image into something that the printer can read. Because vector images don’t have dots, the printer won’t be able to read them. 

What does RIP Software Do?

Raster Image Processor or RIP software allows different file types and files to be printed. They translate images into pages that a printer can print. The software also manages the colors. Printers read colors differently than what you see on the screen. So the two need a way to communicate with each other. The software comes with a color profiler called ICC (International Color Consortium). ICC manages the colors. The color gamut of the inks can be maximized. 

One other added feature of the RIP software is that it enables enlargement of images. You will not lose the fine details in your images. The RIP software will increase the file resolution.

Do I need RIP software?

The short answer is yes. Even if you are only printing raster images and not vector images you will still want the other features of the software. You will want the printer and the file to communicate about color. If the colors don’t match up then it can create unhappy customers. They want their images to be as bright and colorful as possible. If the print is not done correctly then it will not have the truest most vibrant color. You need to match their expectations. 

RIP software gives you control over the color, white layer, media type and more. There is a lot that you can control with raster image processor software. The software will help you get soft yet durable results. 

Not to mention the fact that you will probably have to enlarge images quite a bit, and you don’t want to lose image quality.

Does my DTG Printer Have RIP Software built in?

The answer is maybe. Some printers have the software included with them and some do not. You will need to check with the manufacturer or a dealer to see if it is included. 

Can I Get By Without RIP Software?

It is possible to print without RIP software, but you may need a different set of inks to do it. The overall recommendation would be to use RIP software so that you aren’t limited to just a few ink manufacturers

The Final Word on RIP Software

RIP software is important to the DTG printing process. No. It is not necessary to the overall process. Just remember, your work will speak for itself. Do you want your garments to lack vibrancy. You are the one who has to make that decision. We recommend RIP software and a high quality one at that to get the best results.

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