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Is it possible to use a cutter/plotter to make stencils?

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magpie

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:45 am

Is it possible to use a cutter/plotter to make stencils?

Is it possible to use a cutter/plotter to make up the masks for silkscreens?
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Adrian Howard

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:54 am

We use rubylith to make silk screen masters on our plotters
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Lorraine Buchan

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:59 am

As Adrian says you can use Ruby film to make positives on your cutter, but you will still need to 'expose' the screen to be able to print.

If your doing only a short run print, you might be able to get away with a mask cut from vinyl/paint mask. I've never done this myself but have heard of others who have
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magpie

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:48 pm

Thanks you two, I don't suppose anyone knows of a demo or is able to recommend
any books etc for making up silk screens? I'd really like to learn much more about
the process.
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john6512

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:22 pm

Hi

We used to produce "real" silk screens for latex balloon printing. The process is to coat a screen with a photographic goo (Forex - we used), let it dry, expose scren and wahs out. Is this the process you need further information on ?

You also need the ability to create bromide output from a laser or Linotron or other printer which will give a black image. Most laser printers are not really suited to this but you can "fluke" it into working with some sprays.

We sed to produce 20-30 screen a day so there are a few teqnuiqes you can use.

What is your application ?

All the best

John
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Kevin.Beck

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:52 pm

if the image is too small to be cut from ruby film, just print it of on a transpericy fim, using the highest dpi (1400)
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magpie

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:05 pm

Hi John,

I was thinking of avoiding bromides by cutting the mask from
the 'rubylith' stuff which Adrian and Lorraine suggested.

I'm guessing that I then apply this to made up screen frames
paint on photo sensative gloop
expose to light source (is this a uv lamp or something else)
once cured, remove rubylith and wash screen

The application is to make up bold iconic fine art prints - typically
three colour onto primed canvass - I'm a hobby artist and looking
for another application for a plotter/cutter.

Becky, thanks for your input but I'll probably avoid going so small
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john6512

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:42 pm

Hi

from your comments and looking at the other guy's comments this film would probably negate the need for the photographic coating and the exposing - as I expect the film would be in place preparing, exposing and washing - but I dont know much about this material - I am talking about in-direct screen preperation.


We would run these for print runs of up to 100,000. By ujsing the masking material the only other requirement would be to use masking tape before inking up the screen and ensure you are using the correct squeegee for the substrate. Is the screen printer an audo / semi-auto or manual unit ?

If you are looking at high quality screen with halftones, I would have though you'd need to use a photographic plate as I cannot see how a plotter would give you the ability to use half tones (try weeding that!). We were using high quality corporate branding on screen of 150mesh.

All the best
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Chris Wool

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:12 pm

HI

SPANDEX DID a film that was cut on a plotter then stuck to your screen
only suited to bolder low run stuff cos if a corner lifted you could not dry to stick it back down also cant remember supplier but it was a ink screen supplier simular film but was cured on to the mesh by a special glue apparently blasted clean when finnished

sorry cant add names to stuff

chris mrsticker
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Lorraine Buchan

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:47 pm

Hi Magpie,

Ruby film is just an alternative to a laser or imagesetter produced image on film transparency and is called a possitive, You do need a fairly dense toner for laser print but i have succesfully producted them from a Brother 1030 laser machine for a long time. Ruby is ideal for large simple images, as you will have to weed it much like vinyl. Positives used to be produced from bromides using a camera, not many cameras around now since technology allowed the used of laser printers and imagesetters came about.

Advice: Cut ruby film in reverse
Reason: If you cut it the correct way, the ruby will come into contact with the emulsion, although the emulsion will be dry some times the ruby film can stick to it when you pull it away. Not a problem if you only want to use it once, but you'll have to cut it again if you want to make a second screen.

As per vinyl cutting you will need to cut each colour seperately, so if your image is 3 colours you'll need to cut each colour seperately and 3 screens.

For Fabric printing choose a mesh between 43 and 90 depending on the detail you need see here for more info:
https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=768

There are two main types of emulsion, liquid and capillary. Liquid divides down again to pre mixed and ones you need to mix yourself.
Capillary is a transparent carrier with the emulsion applied you wet it apply to your screen squeegee the water out and allow to dry. Once dry remove the transparent carrier an dyour ready to expose.

Advantages:
Liquid, Lasts quite a while compare to capillary, even longer if you refigerate. Not much waste as any you don't use you can put back.
Capillary, emulsion is even all over.

Disadvantages:
Liquid, can be messy and very frustrating to get a good even coverage.
Capillary, Doesn't have a very long shelf life and can be very wasteful.

If you go for Liquid emulsion i reccomend (for fabric printing) a 2:1 coat
that is coat first on the inside of the screen, second on the outside (the suface that comes in contact with the substrate) third on the inside again.
Capillary film goes on the out side only.

All emulsions are light sensitive so you will need to do the coating and drying in a darkroom. Once the emulsion is dry you stick the positive to the outside making sure it's the right way for printing.

Officially the next step is to put the screen in an exposure unit or print down frame and expose to UV light.

A print down frame is a piece of glass with a rubber blanket on it and a seperate light source. An exposure unit is a self contained unit including the light source. Both these have a vacuum to pull the rubber blanket down tight over the screen. The black area of the positive (red of ruby film) stops the UV light getting to emulsion and curing it. The tight rubber blanket makes sure no light gets into the inside of the screen and exposes from there.

If you don't have access to a exposure unit, you can use the sun (not this time of year though). Extra care needs to be taken here to make sure the possitive is stuck tight to the screen, and that you use a tight fitting piece of black foam to do the job of the rubber blanket. then sit out in the sun with the outside in direct sun light.

Once exposed it's a case of washing out to reveal your image.

A quick whistle stop tour of screen making, any questions please ask.

Have a read of this too should make things clearer:
http://www.spauk.co.uk/TechnicalPages/Screen%20TP.pdf

Some useful contacts for screen supplies and inks:
http://www.apollocolours.co.uk/
http://www.sericol.co.uk/sericol.htm
http://www.flexi-print.co.uk/
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Richard

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:33 pm

Looks like Spandex are still carrying the plotter cuttable stencil film Autocut Amber http://www.spandex.co.uk/prod_mats_3.asp?MatTypeID=130

Have look here at the manufacturers site http://www.autotype.com/website/WebSite.nsf/produnids/A780073F4B8EF59D8025698800736174?OpenDocument&Area=Europe for more information, I don't think the navigation is the best I've seen, but there's probably more information about stencil making here than most people would need in an entire lifetime.
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magpie

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Post Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:32 am

Thanks all, for taking the time to reply, your knowledge
and insight are much appreciated.

It looks like I have quite a bit to read up on before I can
post anymore questions. Which is exactly what I wanted.

cheers
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magpie

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Post Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:47 am

Thanks all, for taking the time to reply, your knowledge
and insight are much appreciated.

It looks like I have quite a bit to read up on before I can
post anymore questions. Which is exactly what I wanted.

cheers
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michelle morrison

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Post Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:54 pm

:lol1:hi to every one i have just found this site last week and I'm checking it out every day since i found it :oops: its great to see so many people with the same interest (signs) Does any body know if it is at all possible to screen print onto balloons???? if so what ink ? thank you in advance
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Marekdlux

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Post Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:59 pm

michelle morrison wrote::lol1:hi to every one i have just found this site last week and I'm checking it out every day since i found it :oops: its great to see so many people with the same interest (signs) Does any body know if it is at all possible to screen print onto balloons???? if so what ink ? thank you in advance


Not sure if this answers your question but here is some info:
https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=107177&highlight=balloon#107177
-Marek
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David Rowland

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Post Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:09 pm

i would say no.. never keep em still enough.. pad printing might be better
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michelle morrison

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Post Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:17 pm

Wow i`m impressed. Quick response!!! Thanks alot Maredlux and Dave. I`ll have to pass on that job then, i only flatbed screen print. I think I'm going to like this site, having people at the touch of a key to ask questions. It seems really friendly
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Robert Berwick

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Post Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:49 pm

Richard wrote:Looks like Spandex are still carrying the plotter cuttable stencil film Autocut Amber http://www.spandex.co.uk/prod_mats_3.asp?MatTypeID=130

Have look here at the manufacturers site http://www.autotype.com/website/WebSite.nsf/produnids/A780073F4B8EF59D8025698800736174?OpenDocument&Area=Europe for more information, I don't think the navigation is the best I've seen, but there's probably more information about stencil making here than most people would need in an entire lifetime.


Yes - Spandex do sell it. Its a water soluble film with a clear backing which adheres to the screen with a capilliary action. We buy it for short runs (up to about 150 prints). As with anything it does take a little bit of practice to apply it well, but all you need is water

Again this stuff is more suited to big, bold stuff as finer details will break down in the screen after only a few prints.

Robert
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Robert Lambie

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Post Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:49 pm

hi michelle
good to have you here....
we are seriously opening the screen forum in a big way. watch out for newS on the DSPA & UKSG.

Good to have ytou and look forward to seeing more of you :D
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Rafael

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Post Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:40 pm

Hi Magpie

to make mask film:
- cut the mask on black cheep signmaking film
- buy transparency montage poliester film (for offset montages) exmpl astralon
- move black foil on the poliester film using transport foil
- and to copyframe :)
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Rafael

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Post Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:42 pm

cheep =>CHEAP :)

sorry my english....

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