Printful shares insights on using artificial intelligence in print-on-demand

Printful shares insights on using artificial intelligence in print-on-demand

Nov 11, 2020

Charlotte, North Carolina—Printful, the print-on-demand drop shipping company, shares insights on how artificial intelligence (AI), especially machine learning (ML), is helping the company identify illegal content, and making sure thousands of customers don't order products with poor quality designs.

Printful was founded by people with a strong IT background, that's why the company approaches the on-demand printing business with the knowledge of automation, technology innovation, and process optimization. 

One of the ways the company uses machine learning is for detecting customer-uploaded image transparency. When printed, images that have high transparency often look different from what was previewed on a screen. To make sure customers can fix their images before moving to fulfillment, Printful's algorithm warns the customer about possible color differences in the print file.

A Printful employee can manually check up to 10,000 files per month whereas an ML tool can process the same amount of files in 2 to 4.5 minutes.

“We have to make sure our customers get quality products, and with the help of machine learning, we can help thousands of customers by improving their experience every day. We wouldn't be able to do that just by ourselves,” says Janis Akmentins, Head of Engineering at Printful.

Printful also uses their Smart Image Tool—an ML tool that's trained to recognize the DPI (dots per inch) of images uploaded in Printful's Mockup Generator. If an image has a low DPI and risks yielding poor print results after being resized or otherwise adjusted in the Generator, the tool doubles the DPI. As a result, the customer can make their image larger without compromising quality. 

Amazon Rekognition is an ML tool that Printful specialists use to detect copyright violations and avoid printing fraudulent or illegal content. This tool can identify texts and labels, and recognize politicians and other celebrities. In cases where Rekognition is unsure whether the file content violates copyright, Printful's Content Team reviews them manually.

About Printful:
Printful is an on-demand printing and warehousing company that helps people turn their ideas into brands and products. The company fulfills and ships custom clothing, accessories, and home & living items for online businesses. Since its founding in 2013, Printful has been trusted to deliver 24M+ items, and in 2019 the company hit a revenue milestone of $116 million. Printful has scaled to a team of 1,400+ people across eight fulfillment centers around the world.