Do you price match on screen printing products?
We will do our best to match competitor pricing, however we do not guarantee it.
Do you offer free shipping?
Check our monthly promotions for free shipping on certain items, otherwise we offer free shipping on supply orders of $100 or more.
Can you sell my used equipment?
No, Our focus is on new equipment.
Do you carry eco-friendly products?
Yes, please see our Industry Trends Page to learn more about our environmentally safe products.
Can I come to your location to pick up my order?
Yes, we accept walk-ins, however since we do leave frequently for outside sales, please call ahead so we can make sure to be there.
AccuArt™3 is our premium, waterproof inkjet media for the production of high-quality photopositives and photonegatives. AccuArt™3 accommodates pigment or dye-based ink systems, including the all-new UltraChrome™ K3 inks from Epson®.
AccuBlack is also waterproof, but is designed for use with black dye-based inks only yielding excellent density of up to 4.0 dmax.
AccuMark is our economy product, offering density superior to vellum (up to 3.0 dmax) and the ability to print with black or color dye-based inks. AccuMark is not waterproof and dries slowly.
Waterproof films offer a number of advantages. They dry faster after printing. AccuArt3 and AccuBlack have a special coating that helps to receive the dye-based ink and help it to dry instantaneously. This means there is little to no waiting for positives to dry, and no fear of smearing or marring the image during handling. The waterproof nature is also a benefit in the screen room. If the positive gets wet, the image will not be ruined. Simply allow the positive to dry and re-use.
With all AccuArt products, you need to print on the coated side of the film. With AccuMark, it’s easy to determine the proper side. With AccuArt3 and AccuMark, the coated side has a very matte, slightly frosty appearance. The opposite side is very shiny. With AccuBlack, the differences are more subtle. The coated side has a duller, more matte appearance. To the touch, it appears to have a bit more tack versus the smooth and shiny opposite side.
Be sure to load the film appropriately into your printer. For front tray-feed printers, load the film coated side down. For back-feed printers or if you’re using rolls, feed with the coated side facing up.
No. AccuArt inkjet films are designed to work with standard inkjet printers using dye-based inks. Again, AccuArt™3 accommodates pigment or dye-based ink systems, including the all-new UltraChrome™ K3 inks from Epson®. When selecting a printer, be sure to choose one that is of adequate size and quality for your application. Consider whether you will need to print sheets or rolls, and the maximum size you will typically print. You’ll want to choose a printer that prints at a minimum of 720 dpi. For best results, printing should be done at a resolution of 1440 dpi.
For the most part, no. AccuArt inkjet films are designed to integrate into your graphics work flow. The only software you may need to buy is a RIP (raster image processor), if you’re not already using one. The RIP is helpful in creating color separations and also helps to improve print quality. We recommend the Wasatch SoftRip.
Dye-based inks are recommended because they actually penetrate into our special coating on the film. This aids in improving density, speeding up dry times and is integral in the waterproof nature and permanence of AccuArt and AccuBlack. Pigment based inks do not commonly work as well because they tend to remain on the film’s surface. This usually will result in longer drying times, a lack of density and lesser durability (ink is more likely to scratch off or run in wet/humid conditions).
This could be caused by a number of factors: 1. Check to see that digital artwork is of adequate resolution. Line art should be at a resolution of 1200 dpi. Color or grayscale art should be at a minimum of 300 dpi. 2. Check to see that you are printing at a proper resolution. Positives should be printed at a minimum of 720 dpi. 1440 dpi is recommended. 3. Be sure to choose a film media from your printer properties menu. This tells the printer what type of media is going through the printer. 4. Are you using a RIP? The RIP typically will improve print quality, resulting in smoother line edges and clean halftone dots if you’re doing separations. The AccuArt films can handle halftones up to 65 lpi.
This could be caused by a number of things: 1. Make sure that you printed on the coated side of the film. 2. Did you use the proper print settings? For best results, print at a resolution of 1440 dpi and use a print setting for film media. You may need to experiment to find the best media setting for your printer. 3. If you’re doing positives/negatives, print with black ink only versus color. If you’re in color mode, sometimes the printer will mix the colors to make black opposed to getting a pure black ink print. 4. Make sure that you’re using dye-based inks. The dye-based inks penetrate into the film, yielding better density. Pigment based inks will remain on the surface which will typically yield less density.
Inkjet positives offer a number of advantages. 1. Equipment cost is a lot lower. Inkjet printers are relatively inexpensive, and typically cost a fraction of what laser printers and imagesetters cost. 2. Accu Products are clear films with excellent density, which means that they will properly expose your screen. Vellums and some other media, are more opaque in nature, which means the light will not transfer as easy during exposure. This will sometimes result in underexposure. Another concern is often the toner (black) areas of the positive are not opaque enough to block out light. This may cause light to transfer through these areas, leading to improper exposure which may yield imaging and washout problems. 3. Inkjet printing is a cold process. With laser and thermal printers, heat is involved in the process which can cause image distortion and shrinkage of the media. Yellowing is particularly evident with thermal printing.
Positives made with AccuArt inkjet films can easily be archived for later use. For best results, store the positives in a cool, dry area and interleaf with clean newsprint.
Example Lot # U25401
U - Year the product was produced: A = 2007, Z = 2006, Y = 2005, X= 2004, W= 2003, U= 2002, etc.
254 - Julian Date (day of the year) that the product was produced (254 represents September 10th)
01 - Internal Code
Please note that in addition to the lot number, diazo bottles also show an expiration date. ("Use by...")
They both work very well. What's important is what will work best for your application. Direct emulsions are generally more resistant to rough treatment due to abrasion and solvent resistance. Films will usually yield sharper line edge definition.
Touch the inside of the screen during washout. If the stencil is slimy or you get color on your finger, it is a sure bet that it is underexposed. Use an exposure calculator to determine your proper exposure calculator.
Many people in our industry believe the "dual" in dual cure means that this emulsion is resistant to both solvent and water-based inks. Although many dual cure emulsions are resistant to both inks, this statement is not correct. The "dual" in dual cure means that the emulsion uses two sensitizers. One is already in the emulsion before mixing, and the other is usually a Diazo that is added to the emulsion by the user. For example our UDC-HV dual cure emulsion is not recommended for water-based inks, but our UDC-2 and UDC-ACE are recommended for both water and solvent-based inks.
What are plastisol inks?
Plastisol inks are widely used in garment printing. They are easy to print, do not dry in the screen, can be very opaque on dark garments, and will adhere to most textiles. They are composed primarily of two ingredients, PVC resin (a white powder) and plasticizer (a thick, clear liquid).
How hot do I need to get my plastisol ink to fully cure?
Plastisol inks have one outstanding characteristic, they must be heated to dry. They will not dry, or cure, at normal temperatures. For a complete cure, they must reach 290-330º F (143-166º C). You want the garment to be at this temperature for about a minute to make sure all of the ink gets to the desired temperature.
Are plastisol inks safe to use?
Plastisol inks are innocuous when used with reasonable care. A true plastisol ink contains no air-polluting solvents or volatile organic compounds. The manufacture, transportation, storage, use, and disposal of plastisol inks do not cause injury, illness, or environmental contamination as long as the appropriate safety and environmental protection procedures are followed. Most plastisol inks have a Health Rating of 1 (hazard - slight), a Flammability Rating of 1 (hazard - slight), a Reactivity Rating of 0 (hazard - minimal) and a Personal Protection Rating of B (wear safety glasses and gloves).
How do I mix plastisol ink additives?
It's easy to upset the chemical balance of plastisol inks by using the wrong additives or by adding too much of the correct additive. The result can be a print that never cures properly, a problem that may not be discovered until your customer washes a shirt and the design falls off. Every additive has a recommended percent to use by your ink manufacturer. Make sure you use the correct amount of the additive before mixing.
How do I store my plastisol inks?
Store plastisol inks are room temperature. Whiles inks fully cure at 290-330º F; they also have a gel temperature that is much lower. Prolonged exposure to temperatures above 90º F can cause gelling in the buckets and make the inks very thick and difficult to use.
How do I stop dye migration when printing on polyester garments?
Dye migration is the problem caused by dyes in polyester fibers transferring to and changing the color of plastisol inks. The colors most likely to migrate are red, maroon, kelly green, and some of the darker blues. Dye migration may appear immediately after the ink is cured, or hours, days, or up to two weeks later. With more garments being made over seas there is not one product that will always work, because dye migration can vary from lot to lot of shirts or even between shirts in the very same lot. but you can take the following steps to help prevent this from happening.
- Always Print with high-opacity, low-bleed inks.
- Use no more heat than necessary to cure the ink. More heat means more dye migration.
- Print and flash-cure a low-bleed white underbase, then print the desired color over that.
- Avoid the problem by printing on 100% cotton fabrics.
- Use a gray base containing charcoal that works to filter out the dyes.
Selecting a Squeegee:
Squeegees are made from 3 basic types of materials: Rubber, Neoprene, and Polyurethane. The least expensive Squeegees available are those constructed of natural rubber. While commonly used in the education part of the screen printing industry, rubber tends to suffer from poor abrasion resistance and poor resistance to strong solvents. Neoprene, a synthetic rubber compound made from a chlorine derivative of acetylene, is also a popular Squeegee material. Neoprene is slightly more expensive than natural rubber, and it offers better chemical and abrasion resistance.
Polyurethane, a synthetic plastic material, is often used to make Squeegee designed for extended use, and for automatic and semi-automatic equipment. While urethane is more expensive than rubber or neoprene, it offers a much better resistance to both physical and chemical abrasion. Most urethanes used in the screen printing industry are MDI based Polyester. The reason being the MDI urethanes offers the best abrasion resistance of any urethane on the market. Polyurethane Squeegees are the most popular of all Squeegees. They are cast in liquid form in open molds, close molds or centrifuges. The material is a thermoset plastic, and cures when exposed to heat for a period of time. The material is made in sheets or individual sections, and then cut to size for shipping. The most common sizes are the following: 3/8 x 2 for general Screen printing (graphics, textile, glass, electronics), 3/16 x 1 for bottle, cd, and high speed automatic presses.
What Squeegee durometer do I choose?
When selecting a Squeegee, the first task is to determine your desired durometer, or hardness. The durometer is the value that reflects the physical hardness of the Squeegee material. The Squeegee durometer values from 50A to 95A. This is measured by a durometer gauge, and measured based on standards established by ASTM procedures. (American Standard Testing materials) . For the sake of simplicity, we will call soft - 60A, medium - 70A, and 80A - a hard Squeegee, and 90A -extra hard. Plastics/Squeegees are measured in various scales of hardness. Shore A scale is the most widely used for measuring Squeegee material. The values are based on readings There are many different styles of durometer gauges available on the market. All of the durometer gauges on the market have a dial indicator with a small needle head that measures the hardness of the Squeegee. A durometer gauge is identical to a tension meter. Like a tension meter, a durometer gauge should be calibrated on a regular basis. (1 time per year). The small needle head penetrates into the material, and indicates the hardness of the rubber.
Typically the substrate and the screen mesh will directly determine the durometer selected. For example, if the substrate has an irregular or rough surface and requires a coarse mesh, then a squeegee with a durometer between 60 and 70A is recommended. If the substrate is smooth, however, and a high mesh count is being used, a harder durometer squeegee between 80 and 90, should be used. The most popular durometer regardless of industry specific, is the 70 durometer blade. Why? The Squeegees job is to shear the ink, and transfer the ink through the screen. So, the blade needs to be rigid enough for this, yet needs to be soft enough to adapt to the contour of the Screen. A 70 durometer blades gives the printer the best of both worlds. A softer blade, but not soft enough to the point where it will roll over and loose ink shear. See diagram below: Middle of the road makes the most sense when it comes to Squeegee selection. However, ink is also a determining factor when selecting the durometer of the Squeegee. The more aggressive inks such as UV inks cause more harm to the blade than a standard plastisol or water based ink. The harder the material, the more solvent resistant the blade. Therefore, to eliminate swelling and chemical breakdown, use a harder durometer Squeegee.
The printing equipment itself can also affect squeegee choice. Hard durometer Squeegees are normally recommended for use on high speed automatic presses due to the high degree of abrasion that occurs during a production run. Softer durometers Squeegees are typically used for low-pressure low speed manual and semi-automatic presses. The harder the material, the lower the coefficient of friction, and the less abrasion on the screen. The Squeegee durometer directly affects the way the ink is deposited. A soft Squeegee will deposit a thicker layer of ink than a harder Squeegee. Thus, a soft Squeegee would be used for putting a full coverage image onto the substrate.
Most manufacturers of Polyurethane Squeegees color-code their Squeegees based on the hardness of the material. By color-coding, it makes the Squeegee easier to define for a particular job. For Example, one manufacturer has a color scheme of 60A - red, 70A green, and 80A blue. Others use an orange, blue, and red color-code system. Unfortunately, there aren't any standards for colors. The printer knows if they want a heavy ink deposit, they should use a 60 durometer, but it could be red or orange, or even another color. For best results, the printer should invest in a durometer gauge.
What squeegee profile do I choose?
A screen printer can purchase a squeegee with many different profiles. The profile of the Squeegee determines the thickness of the ink deposit laid down, and the effectiveness of the Squeegee on different substrates. See chart for enclosed profiles. Available edge profiles include a square edge, a square edge with rounded corners, a round edge, a double-sided beveled edge, and a single beveled edge. Squeegees with a square edge are the most common, and mainly used on cylinder, textile, and manual presses. Rounded Squeegees are generally limited to the textile industry, and are used when a very heavy deposit is required. Beveled Blades are typically used for printing rounded surfaces where fine definition is required. While double sided beveled blades are more efficient on high-speed automatic machines. Single Beveled blades produce excellent results when printing heavy solids.
Some printers will round the Squeeegee with a small radius to get more ink deposit. There are tools available or grinding wheels for putting different radiuses/profiles on Squeegees. However, the most effective, and the best shearing edge is still a 90 degree or a straight edge profile. The reason being is the following: Anytime you round a squeegee or put a tapered edge on it, the the blade looses it sharpeness or cutting edge. A rounded Squeegee isn't really shearing or transferring the ink, but rather the blade is now spearing the ink across the screen. A good test of the principle is to look at the screen when the blade is done printing, Is there any ink left in the screen? There are many different parameters that can changed in the printing process to achieve the same results: ink viscosity, mesh count, mesh tension, & off contact. I am firm believer that a Squeegee job is to transfer the ink, and the best angle of attack is a 90 degree edge. If you want to lay an adhesive down, then I will agree a rounded edge may be the right choice.
Single Bevel Squeegees (The least popular profile used)