Author Topic: UV printing  (Read 718 times)

stevie1556

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UV printing
« on: May 23, 2018, 08:04:20 AM »
Has anyone had any experience with this? I've been looking at having some pedals screen printed but it seems that catalysed 2 part ink is needed, which gives off nasty fumes and is a pain to clean up, (and most places don't do this) so I've been looking at UV printing. I know PPP do it but with being in the UK it's completely uneconomical to use them for more then a few enclosures.

I've found one company locally that can do it and I'm currently waiting on a quote from them for it, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with a home set up for it?

drog_trog

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Re: UV printing
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2018, 02:25:13 AM »
Any luck finding anyone reasonable, im in the uk and interested in uv too if its not to expensive

stevie1556

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Re: UV printing
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2018, 02:53:48 AM »
Any luck finding anyone reasonable, im in the uk and interested in uv too if its not to expensive
No such luck yet. Found a company in Hertford but their minimum quantanty is 100, any less then that and they will need to out source it and it's horrendously expensive. I found a lot of places with spot UV, but all that  does is put the shiny finish on top of letters to make things like business cards look fancy. I'm going to keep looking today, but I think it's more of a specialised thing so most places don't have them, and the ones that do can only do paper and card and not enclosures.

You can buy a UV printer from China for just under £1,200, plus the cost of ink which isn't cheap. But then you need to clean the printer after every use unless you're using it every day from what I've read.

I think I'll be reverting back to my original plan at this rate which is screen printing. I bought a height adjustable screen printing press. I've spoken to several companies and they are all saying that I'll need to use a 2 part epoxy ink. On the plus side I've also found a company that will expose the screens for me so they are ready to use straight away. I've also got a lot of scrap boxes that are power coated that I can use to test the screen printing on.


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drog_trog

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Re: UV printing
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2018, 04:56:12 AM »
mmm...thats the problem with the UK, lack of specialist services.

stevie1556

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Re: UV printing
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 06:49:47 AM »
Well there are companies that do it, and I can see why the costs for it are high. Lack of local competition means they can charge more, the print heads and tubes need a fair amount of cleaning, and the cost of the branded machines is absolutely rediculous! Cheapest I've found for one litre of ink is £109!!!!!

I do think the cost of it will come down eventually when it becomes more common, but that doesn't help with the cost of it now.

I've now found another company that sells a different screen printing ink that works well on powder coating, I'm just waiting on a call back from them to answer a few questions before I purchase some to try out.

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« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 06:52:06 AM by stevie1556 »

machfrequency

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Re: UV printing
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2018, 02:42:38 AM »
Any updates everyone?


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Leevibe

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Re: UV printing
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 07:43:43 AM »
I used to screen print pedals when I was doing small production runs but I finally gave up on it. It was such a finicky process. I wouldnít mess with it personally unless you are wanting to do pretty large production runs.

Iím not sure about the catalyzed ink. I just used a one part enamel ink and it worked fine when everything was dialed in. I got really pro results.

I was fortunate enough to have Ryonet screen printing supply based locally so I could get screens, chemicals, ink, squeegees, etc. I used overhead transparencies, a piece of glass, and a halogen work light to expose my images and then I just used a handheld shower head to blow them out. Then I had a jig I built to hold my screens while printing.

I had massive headaches learning how to get the right exposure for my images, and lots of pain reclaiming screens, starting over etc. Then lots of fails getting the ink the right consistency with thinning. (They told me I would have to thin the ink to get it to go through the mesh. I had horrible results and was ready to give up before I finally just decided to use it full thickness and then it worked.) Then getting the off contact height set right takes fiddling. You kind of have to blaze your own trail. All of the videos and advice I could find were geared toward printing t shirts, which is a lot easier to do.

I will say that when I had it working right, I couldnít believe the detail I could get and how nice it looked. And I could print a bunch of pedals in a few minutes. But then I would go back months later to print more and have a hard time repeating the good results. I finally decided making pedals as art is more fun. If I got into doing production batches again I would probabaly just pay PPP to UV print them and factor in that cost to what I charge. And then I could do multiple colors. The stuff I was doing was all single colors.

Not meaning to scare you away from it. Itís definitely something you can do at home, but itís expensive to get into and I found the learning curve steep and frustrating.