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need advise/help on screen printing set-up

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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
bbrand bbrand is offline
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Default need advise/help on screen printing set-up

hello, all
i have recently started a little t-shirt project and am looking for advice/help in setting up shop at home. i do graphic design work, that's a plus. i've worked in litho & linocut printing (more fine art type of work) so i have an idea of what to expect in silkscreening.

i am looking for advise on the equipmant i'd need for a decent home shop. my work is very much "vector art-based." Logos, sharp edged artwork and drawings. Mostly one-color, a few 2-color.

Since I am just starting off with the tshirts I am looking for an affordable option, although I have always been interested in silkscreen and may get into it as a hobby as well (for more fine-art type of work). Therefore I am looking at all the options out there.

I m not sure if this is enough info to go bym but I am looking for some tips and advice. Thanks a lot, guys!
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
Greg hamrick Greg hamrick is offline
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Default Re: need advise/help on screen printing set-up

You have a good start with knowledge of lithography and graphic art. Your going to be printing in your home, so I would look on this site for something like a printa 770. It is a compact set up for when space just aint there. Sometimes a one color printer shows up, mostly they are four to six color printers. That's something to think about if you want to expand into multi-color prints later on. Get it now and save.
Your also going to need an exposure unit and a flash dryer. A drying rack for screens, a dark room to store them in and a place to wash them out.
E-bay has been selling alot of one color printers and flash dryers pretty cheap, but, that might be what they are, cheap. So be careful there.
Do you have a separation printer for your artwork? A good laser printer is Gcc Technologies 40/600. It prints 13 X 18 and one half inches. Thats a big enough image to do what ever you want. You mentioned sharp edged artwork...this is the printer for that, plus half-tones that will fool the best of eyes. All you need with it is clear polyester film.
Epson also makes a couple of ink-jet printers that will print large format as well. Only you will need special ink and transparency film. Also a "Rip" program to go with it.
You can use a regular sized printer to do your artwork on, but you will need to cut and piece large pieces of artwork. Just make sure the cuts are black so light can't get through.

Hope this little bit of info helps...any more questions can be answered as well. Just be specific on what you want, and someone will help as best they can. Broad questions can only be answered in a broad way. That would take, quite a while.

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Old April 24th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
bbrand bbrand is offline
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Default Re: need advise/help on screen printing set-up

Greg,
Thaks a lot for your input.
I think I will keep an eye out for a 4-color press. (You're right, it's best to get something with more capoability now). Does the PRINTA 770 you mentioned come in 4-Color?

I was looking at a coveyor dryer on eBay, but I wasn't able to get it. Is that what you refered to as the "flash dryer."
Someone I know told me I'd need a press, the conveyor dryer, and a "spot dryer."
I will probably look to build my own exposure unit. There is a place in the city that has made their own and I will ask them for the info on how to make my own (Trying to cut some costs, as I am just starting up).

I will post questions as needed
Frankly, I don't know enough about all of this to even know what to ask yet!
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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
JuBilee JuBilee is offline
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Default Re: need advise/help on screen printing set-up

A conveyor dryer and a flash dryer are not the same. There are some shops out there that use a flash for the final product but I do not recommend it. A flash is merely designed to dry the ink enough so that you can print a second color or a second coat if you are printing a white or light color on dark shirts.

I know this is your money and not mine but I recommend going with a 6 color press instead of a 4 color press. The footprint will be the same so it dosen't need more space but it will be a more versatile machine in the long run. It will allow you to set up multiple jobs at once and not spend half your life cleaning screens so you can get the arms back. We have 3 6-color presses in our shop and it comes in handy.

Hope some of this helps.
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