Author Topic: Athletic printing, struggling getting a good (acceptable even) UB white down.  (Read 2273 times)

Offline Stinkhorn Press

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... then work on printing the base as fast as possible.  That will increase your opacity more than any other factor if the other parts of the system are solid.  If you're using standard mesh counts then do yourself a favor and throw them away, for this type of printing it's especially important to print fast and thin thread allows you to do that. ...

(with everything setup right) faster print speed = more opacity

If I wasn't trying to push the limits with print speed we'd never double stroke or PFP a base unless the top color was a neon or flouro with opacity issues.

so why is your extra-super-fast resulting in a need for you to double stroke the UB?

Not trying to be an ass, but just not clear. I agree (more in theory for us) that (with everything setup right) faster print speed = more opacity.

I'm heartened to hear that there are shops that wouldn't stoop to PFP unless it's a very specific set of conditions.
It's also nice to know that most shops our speed are also stooping to PFP until we can improve our game. (it's more ok being poor if all your acquaintances are also poor heh)


Offline alan802

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... then work on printing the base as fast as possible.  That will increase your opacity more than any other factor if the other parts of the system are solid.  If you're using standard mesh counts then do yourself a favor and throw them away, for this type of printing it's especially important to print fast and thin thread allows you to do that. ...

(with everything setup right) faster print speed = more opacity

If I wasn't trying to push the limits with print speed we'd never double stroke or PFP a base unless the top color was a neon or flouro with opacity issues.

so why is your extra-super-fast resulting in a need for you to double stroke the UB?

Not trying to be an ass, but just not clear. I agree (more in theory for us) that (with everything setup right) faster print speed = more opacity.

I'm heartened to hear that there are shops that wouldn't stoop to PFP unless it's a very specific set of conditions.
It's also nice to know that most shops our speed are also stooping to PFP until we can improve our game. (it's more ok being poor if all your acquaintances are also poor heh)

Essentially I'm just doing what I always do and experimenting, documenting the results, comparing techniques.  What I'm doing now is maxing the print stroke speed which seems to be around 40-45"/sec but rarely have I been able to get the ink to shear fully with a single stroke at that speed.  The ink will fully shear/clear the stencil on the second stroke.  Even though it's technically a double stroke, I've measured the ink deposit and in most instances it is virtually the same as a single stroke at slower speeds.  The opacity is greater however, since more ink is on top of the garment.  I'm able to lower the pressure a little bit and speed the print up a lot and both of those factors increase opacity.  If I were on a press that couldn't run as fast then I'd never be messing around with this technique.  At the end of the day we need to be efficient/fast and our results with single stroking were fantastic, but when I have an opportunity to increase print quality and maintain efficiency, I will at least explore the methods.

Whenever I get on these new techniques I implement them for weeks at a time, at the very least.  I don't think you can fully understand or get enough info on whether something works just trying it once or twice (unless it's just a disaster of an idea/technique).  A few weeks from now I may come to the conclusion that even double stroking at 40"/sec isn't doing as well for us as a single stroke at 30"/sec, or 20"/sec, that's what I'm trying to figure out and I don't mind sharing that with my buddies.  It might make me look bad in some instances if I share an idea that is a total failure, but I don't mind.  For every 10 bad ideas or techniques I try a few of them turn out great and boost our efficiency. 

Double stroking here and there, running revolver mode once or twice a week probably won't negatively affect most shops, but I know if we had to do those things regularly then it would hurt us badly.  I've shared some of our numbers in the past and I always hate doing it because it looks like bragging, but I don't know how else to share how the things we talk about here impact a shop's performance, so flame away behind the scenes if it pleases you.  We do embroidery for other screen printing shops and I speak with those shops frequently and they like to come over and look around occasionally, so I get to know what our local competitors are struggling with because they'll ask me what or how we do something.  I know a shop that has very similar shop setup to ours but they were struggling to do 15 setups a day on both presses combined, and they have 7-8 production employees.  They've since gone CTS and should at least double that 15 and be doing 15 per press soon.  But guess what?  They are one of the most successful shops in the area because they print for some REALLY well known people and he ain't shy about charging for his work.  They do roughly 25% more volume than we do, but we're still a film shop, with virtually identical presses and only 3 production employees (myself included in that "3").  We do things way differently across the entire spectrum and an example of that would be that only recently have they ditched canned spray tack.  They were using several cases of spray tack per month and it took him 4 to 5 tries over 5 years to get his production staff to use the waterbased pallet tack.  They do things the old school way for the most part.  Thin thread mesh?  No way.  Fancy squeegee blades?  Nope.  But they end up doing some really good work, lots of spot process stuff.  I think they are one of the most respected shops in the area but production efficiency isn't in the same ballpark as ours.  I only say these things to try and compare/contrast two shops with identical equipment, almost identical customers, in the same region, but vastly different production efficiency.  I think now that they are CTS, they should take a giant leap forward and should see the types of setups per day as we have, but they still have dozens of things they could improve on.
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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it -T.P.

Offline Stinkhorn Press

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thanks alan. peering into your mind is always an adventure.

what are you doing with your flood? is a hard fill a goal/approachable/worth it in your opinion?
or have you left the flood to mostly just scooting the ink to the front of the print?

Offline alan802

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thanks alan. peering into your mind is always an adventure.

what are you doing with your flood? is a hard fill a goal/approachable/worth it in your opinion?
or have you left the flood to mostly just scooting the ink to the front of the print?

HARD flood, essentially a fill stroke where I'm attempting to fill the "tunnels" with ink so that shearing becomes easier (less pressure, faster print speeds).  I had to stop using a fill stroke on the RPM on a bunch of heads a year or so ago due to the flood chopper coming down crooked and busting screens, and we definitely had to increase the print pressure and slow things down on those heads that had the biggest issues.  If I had to put a number on it I'd say we use 20-25% more pressure with a light flood stroke and our print speeds are slower by 30-40%, depending on the mesh count. 

You've got the perfect press to experiment with some of these techniques and I beg you to get a fairly open design with a good bit of ink deposit, then adjust your settings so that you print white at 4"/sec with light pressure, then do a half-dozen test prints.  Then bump up the print speed to 20"/sec while adding enough pressure (you might go from 20psi at 4"/sec to 35psi at 20"/sec, but don't worry about it) and do another set of test prints, then put the prints side by side.  I've done this numerous times over the last few years to show new employees and workshop attendees how important speed was, and the differences are VERY noticeable.  If someone can't see the opacity changes then they didn't do it right, because it's very drastic.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it -T.J.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it -T.P.

Offline heray11

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 Is it true that the dia of the mesh threads matter. Less thread dis more in desposited. If possible put a stand alone flash, and if yourt press is programable to start printing on the last head and load and un load on the next to laast head, you could speed up the amt per hr. Most arms can be simplly removed, it depends on how many pcs to print.
  also, a penny or paint stick munder the first screen for a little more off contact might help with the fuzzies.
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