Screen Printing Tools to Master the VariablesStefan Mertes
My Topic, HOW TO SCREEN PRINT LIKE A PRO explain what makes the difference from a Basic to a Professional Screen Printer.
It looks like a lot a things to control, but this is what it is, more control you have, so better will be the outcome and this every-time.
As there are things what you need to observe, by just plain trying it. There are other things what you need to measure.
And for this, we have luckily some tools to do so.
For my part, we can be even to obsess with it, but nevertheless, the goal is to have total control and for sure, so more you know, so more control you have.
Lets see, what Professional Screen Printers use.
Very Important, but as we Screen Print more and more Water Based Ink, what would not need this amount on tension like Plastisol Ink. I rate it a bit down, as long you have MIN. 15 Newton on your frame you will be “OK”. Try to have 30 Newtons and you set perfect.
A must have, inexpensive and you know, in what Condition your Darkroom is. Emuslion NEEDS under 40% -MAX 50% of Humidity. Otherwise you want have a good Stencil what last in Production.
Dehumidifier and/or Air Condition
A must have if you need, if you are not able to hold a Humidity level under 40%. You would need to invest to have a proper stencil. And have in mind, 24Hours.
You will look for a heater, when you need to dry your emulsion fast. Screen Printing means speed, any-type of heat will help, apart a open fire.
If you can assure, that you have low humidity, then it’s not a should have Tool. But if you are a busy work shop, you would love to be confirmed, that the humidity of the emulsion is ready to go.
The Exposure Calculator, is a must have Tool. You really want to know, what is the proper exposer time for your Photo Emulsion. It’s a Key to produce high quality frames and durability. You are blind without.
Stencil Thickness Gauge
EOM (Emuslion Over Mesh), this is a very smart tool, to measure how thick your emulsion is, and to control your ink deposit.
It’s a nice Tool to have, if you have the pocket money for it. But if you are more low Budget and if you do always a additional face coating to you dry coated frame, i believe you are “fine”.
Simple as it is, it takes the guess work out.
Or Microscope, you like to see your exposed Emuslion or sometimes, just control your registration on the press, a must have tool.
The Thermo Porbe (Donut Probe) is used to control your dryer temperature, best way to do so, is to Map your Dryer.
Laser Gun Temperature
Temperatur Gun, is used mostly to measure the temperature of a surface, like printing platen or heat transfer press.
Many Screen Printers, still use to dry they screens after washing with compressed air, but you will have dirt and oil in it.
Better is, to use a vacuum to remove the water and keeps your screen clean.
Pallet Level Unit
Mostly used by Screen Printing Shops, with Automatic Machines like M&R. As they Pallets get get very often out of level.
Machines like MHM or ROQ, do not have this problem. It’s a important to have your Pallets in level and this speeds up the work.
The Thermometer is very important for the Screen Printing Shop, as it provides the indication, under what condition you are working. But to be sure, your ink stock does stay well.
For a Quality Print, you will need a sharp Squeegee. The only way to maintain a sharp Squeegee is to have a Squeegee sharpener.
Identify the colors and match
To check the viscosity of your Ink.