posts tagged with the keyword ‘screenprinting’

2015.12.23

ground tracking station

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…

Krambo Industries

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…

Vinyl prep

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.)

screen back side

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.)

screen front side

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!)

Printed shirt

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!

Printed shirt

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.

Sample print

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.)

2014.09.07

Hey, this post is only four months late! I had these files sitting on my desktop so I thought I should do something with them instead of just deleting them. I’ll explain a little bit about the process of preparing artwork for screen printing in a timely manner. (Unlike this blog post.)

Back in May I did a screen printing demo at Bay View Gallery Night at Milwaukee Makerspace, so I figured I would make a new screen. I also figured I would use the vinyl method.

Art

I started with some weird drawing of a TV monster with the letters “BVGN” using a Sharpie on scrap paper.

Scanning

I scanned it in as a black & white image at 600 dpi and saved it as a TIFF file.

Raster TIFF file

The resulting scan looked like this. No grey tones, just high contrast black & white.

Converting

I then imported the (raster-based) TIFF file into Inkscape so I could convert it to vector artwork. The “Trace Bitmap” command lets you do the conversion.

Vector Art

Here is the artwork as an outline. Vector artwork is needed for the vinyl cutter part of the process. Typically there would be some cleanup after the conversion process, but I was doing this all really quickly and didn’t have time for perfection.

I didn’t get any photos of the vinyl cutting and screen prep part, but it’s explained well in this post and a bit in this post.

Screen Printed

For the event, I tore pages from an old book on video production and used the pages to print on. I wasn’t after amazing quality with these prints, I just wanted something to demo during the evening. I got a few clogs since the screen sat around with ink in it for over five hours, but that’s how these things go.

The nice thing about using vinyl is that it’s fast, and if you’ve got an idea you can go from a hard-drawn image to screen printing it in a matter of hours. The vinyl method doesn’t work for all artwork though, but that’s the trade-off.

2013.07.24

Maker Faire Detroit / PPPRS

Heads up, kids! I’ll be at Maker Faire Detroit on July 27th & 28th, 2013, mainly to take part in the Power Racing Series, but I’m sure I’ll find time to check out the faire as well.

Milwaukee’s Team will be represented by great new crew this time around, including Audrey, Tony, and Chris, as well as Sean (our veteran) and myself. We’re hoping to bring 3 cars to the race… well, 3 working cars, hopefully. We’ll probably return with no working cars.

Shirts

Special thanks to Mike Massie who worked on the racing team logo. He got it about 95% of the way there, and I supplied the last 5% (mainly by messing with the files he gave me.) So this year our team will have spiffy shirts, and to make them even more obnoxious moxilicious noticeable, I’ve dyed them all sorts of crazy colors. You should be able to find us.

mmrtshirts02

Anyway, join us at Maker Faire Detroit on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm for the races. It’s pretty entertaining. There will probably be fire.

2013.07.17

Shirts

Hey, we printed some shirts at Milwaukee Makerspace! There’s a nice 4-color screen printing machine at the space, and it’s been sitting in the back hallway neglected, and since I used to do screen printing full time (and as a hobby) I figured I’d get it cleaned up and use it.

Vinyl on screen

Instead of burning a screen with photo emulsion I ended up just cutting some vinyl with the Silhouette and applying it to the screen. It’s a trick I learned from Brent at Lovesick Robot Studios, and for short runs it works pretty well. (There’s clear packaging tape covering the rest of the screen. It’s a little hard to see in this photo.)

Shirts

I used a (slightly) modified version of the helmet from the standard logo, and opted not to include the wrench and soldering iron due to the fine details they have, which is a lot harder to do with vinyl.

We started with red ink on white shirts, and slowly added black ink to get some one-of-a-kind prints. Eventually the ink gets darker. Once it was black we started printing some red shirts as well. We also did a black shirt for Audrey. I suggested doing a print-dry-print process, but she really liked the subtle look of a single print.

Shirts

We probably printed 25 shirts, which we wore in the South Shore Frolics Parade so we at least looked like some sort of real group instead of a bunch of crazy weirdos riding on children’s toys… oh wait.

And when I say “we” I mean that I showed others how to screen print, and a few people printed their own shirts. I also talked through the process, which was cool, as it’s been a while since I shared it with others.

I’ll be doing more screen printing at the space in the future, like next week probably. If you need help with a screen printing project, let me know.

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