I did a screen printing
demo class at Milwaukee Makerspace, so that other members can make use of the awesome equipment we have available…
I grabbed this fine piece of art titled ground tracking station from OpenClipArt a while back, and figured it would come in handy…
After a number of edits to make it “cut-friendly” and adding my own text, I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut some vinyl to use for the mask…
Since we’re going to stick the vinyl on the back side of the screen, make sure to reverse your image before you cut it! (You can do it right in the Silhouette software.)
The vinyl gets attached to the back of the screen. I don’t have a photo of the transfer paper, but yes, I needed to use transfer paper. Getting the vinyl to stick to the screen can be tricky! Go slow, very slow, and make sure it transfers ok. It may not stick very good (yet) but it will work.
Once the vinyl it in place, tape it good on at all four sides, and then add more tape. (It’s clear packing tape, hard to see in the photo.)
Flip the screen over, and press down on the screen, so it will stick to the vinyl better. Add more tape. Really, preparing screens involves a lot of tape. (The white thing on the screen is just the backing of the vinyl, which I used to save a bit of tape… It’s taped in place. Yes, more tape!)
It was the first time screen printing for everyone who attended. Usually at least one or two people have had some experience (usually in high school) but this time no one had done it before. Here’s the shirt Asim printed. It turned out good!
While I only talked about printing light ink on dark shirts, Andrea brought a black shirt, which we printed with dark red ink. She said she wanted to do a bleach treatment on the shirt, which should lighten up the fabric but not the ink. Hopefully I can get a photo of that when it’s done.
I did a print on paper as well so I could add it to the “Wall of Stuff” at the Makerspace.
After I cleaned everything up I had a member ask when I’d be doing another demo/class. As usual, I don’t know the answer yet! Usually when enough people ask about it I do it. So, yeah, I’ll do it again, at some point.
(Here’s a blog post about a previous printing that I did.)
2 replies on “Screen Printing Demo”
Excellent idea! And a good excuse to buy a vinyl cutter ;)
What would be the max number of prints you could get out of a vinyl stencil?
Depending on the detail of the artwork, and how well printing goes, you could probably do hundreds or more. If things go wrong (vinyl comes off due to need to clean screen because of accident/mess) that would shorten the run. I’ve seen people save their vinyl screens and re-use them over and over again though.