One of the great advantages of screen printing is that it doesn’t need to print only on T-shirts. Printing can be done with almost anything; cardboard boxes, tote bags, and wooden are a few examples. These items are fairly typical in the world of screen printing but knowing the subtleties, and a few tricks will aid you in taking on the orders you need to make confidently. Let’s take a look.
Printing On Boxes
Customised packaging is a great way to elevate your branding’s aesthetic. For this, you’ll not require an elaborate setup. All you’ll require is liquid inks, water-based squeegees, an exposed screen, as well as presses.
Suggested Read: T Shirt Printing DTG Vs Screen Printing
For the installation first, you’ll need the dimensions of the box as it’s flat. It is possible to use a ruler or a T-square to measure the length and width of the box and then every individual panel. To simplify the process, fold the box in half and then fold it. Utilise the folds as a measurement template.
The measurement of your box can help to create your work. It is possible to create an Illustrator template by creating rectangles that match the dimensions of the panels you’ll be using in the box. Place your design onto the template and shift it until you’re satisfied with the position it’ll appear in your box.
Since you’ll be printing the box once it’s flat, every aspect of your layout will be on the same page. Another reason why dimensions and templates are extremely crucial. Printing will only be required using one screen, but it will contain several printed panels when you fold the box.
It is recommended to choose an ink screen with a greater mesh number. Water-based ink is thinner as well as a box won’t take in a lot of ink. It’s not a good idea to pour on too much ink only to crush your designs.
There’s a good reason for using water-based inks for printing boxes. Plastisol does not bond with the box. It’s placed on top, and it needs the ink to stay in place when you ship. Water-based ink will soak into the cardboard, forming a bond that will not rub off when you ship.
Now, after the press has been ready, we can start printing.
Then, apply an even layer of pallet adhesive that is water-based to keep your boxes unmoved when printing. To ensure that the image prints in the same spot on every box, choose an area on your plate that is simple to repeat each time you place another box. You can apply tape markers, marker lines or even make sure that the box is lined up with the sides and front of the platen.
Making sure your design is lined up to the box is vital. Registration marks are the best option to do this; however, if the design you’re creating isn’t large enough to fit registration marks, you can use eyeballs to determine the size.
There isn’t a lot of off-contact for printing onto boxes. However, you’ll need the screen to be able to come off the box. 1/16″ is enough to print off-contact.
The seam is the first thing you need to pay attention to while printing with cardboard. It is essential to ensure that the box is aligned so that you don’t get hit by the seam when you print. When you pull or push your box, ensure that it is aligned to print precisely.
Pro Tip: the fewer strokes you print, the more effective. Many print strokes could run the risk of applying too much ink and then smashing out your image.
Let’s discuss curing.
There are a variety of methods to cure water-based ink. There isn’t necessarily any cure for ink since the cardboard that is not coated absorbs the ink. All you have to do is dry the ink.
Then, you’ll go through the conveyor dryer. The box could appear a little bent straight out of the dryer, but it’ll flatten within about an hour.
If you do not have a conveor dryer, you could use an electric flash unit to treat the boxes. But this might not be the best option for security. Flash dryers can get very hot, and when you’re not paying attention, the box could be scorched or ignited. You could also make use of the heat gun to cure the ink.
Are you lacking any of this equipment? Using water-based ink, you can fix your prints with no heating. If you’re planning to use this method, it is possible to include Warp Drive in your ink before printing. The chemicals included in Warp Drive will chemically cure the ink over 48 hours.
If you decide to use Warp Drive or not, air-drying the box only takes a bit of time and space. When you’re finished printing, then fold the box in half and then place it in a place to dry. It typically takes about a week. The ink should be dry to the touch after it has dried.
Print on cardboard boxes easily and enhance your brand. Water-based inks are great for printing on a variety of types of substrates. Let’s look at another application for it.
Printing On Wood
Wood printing is a popular choice for its rustic, crafted feeling. Based on the kind of wood you’re printing and the amount of detail you’re able to create, You’ll need to consider certain things differently. For each type, be sure the wood used is not coated.
Wood can have either fine or rough grain. Printing on wood that has fine grain requires an image screen with a higher mesh number. It is not advisable to put in more ink. Wood is porous. However, fine-grained woods are less absorbent. It means you will be able to see more in finely-grain woods. Another reason to use more mesh.
If you’re using wood with a rougher grain, You’ll need to reduce the mesh number. It’s necessary to move more ink across the mesh to ensure that your print is attractive and vivid. Be aware that you cannot get enough detail with rough wood. If a piece of wood is extremely rough, you may not get a clear image. It is just a part of the rustic appearance.
The most important thing to think about while printing with wood print is to make sure that the wood does not move when you print on it. It is possible to create a jig for your plate by using paint sticks, squeegee rubber, or other means to keep the wood in the right position. A layer of pallet adhesive that is water-based can help ensure that the wood doesn’t shift when printing.
Always make sure you get enough ink in the tank when printing on a piece of rough grain. Water-based ink is the best option because it can dry by itself. If you put the wood through a conveyor dryer, it could ignite or scorch the wood. To achieve the style you want, You may have to run multiple print passes. The off-contact should be enough to get rid of the wood.
For prints with more detail and a finer texture of the wood grain, you’ll need an off-contact setting so that the screen’s fulling is lifted off the wood. You should print one solid stroke with a stiffer squeegee blade for such designs.
Like the cardboard boxes, you can cure the ink as you’d like. You can pass it through an air-tight conveyor dryer, employ the heating gun or even air-dry it. Include Warp Drive for additional protection when you’re air-drying. If you’re curing the wood using a heater, be sure to watch the wood to ensure that you’re not burning it or, worse, setting it on fire.
Print jobs that are good for some print jobs can be made using water-based ink. Some substrates are better suited to the plastisol ink. Let’s review a few things you can print using the plastisol ink.
Screen Printing On Totes
Bags for totes are getting more sought-after. States are increasingly banning plastic bags at retail shops, causing consumers to buy reusable bags. If you’re at the farmers market or a grocery store or taking your next trip, tote bags will not be going anywhere.
Also Read: T Shirt Printing Design Ideas For Christmas
For the setup, you’ll need the correct size platen. Tote bags come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. And If you’re using a small bag but a big platen, you’re a step back. Pick the size of the bag you’d like to use first before deciding on the size of your plates and artwork accordingly.
In terms of artwork, your artwork needs to rotate 180° away from what you’d typically do.
For shirt tops, The upper part of your shirt will be the nearest portion of the platen to you; however, the top of your tote is located at the top of the tote that is closest to your platen.
Check that you’ve got the correct information, or you’ll need to replace your screens.
Due to the nature of the bags, you might want to choose either a lower or higher mesh. A smaller mesh count is suggested because canvas bags typically have rougher textures.
Let’s get printing.
Put some pallet adhesive that is water-based on the platen. Smear some plastisol on the screen, load bags onto plates and begin printing.
It is possible to make several print passes if your tote bag’s material is more dense. After printing the first stroke, examine the bag to determine if it’s what you’re looking for. If not, just do another one until you’re completely satisfied with the results.
Because a bag with a tote has two sides, it is possible to print on both sides. You must ensure that one side has been dried before you can print on the opposite side.
Tote bags can be treated similar to how you would treat the hem of a shirt. You can run it over the interlocking dryer or use the flash dryer for the cure.
The lighter the bag’s material is, the more quickly it’s going to be cured. Totes made from thicker materials may take a little longer to cure. Be sure to keep watch on the bags to ensure they’re fully cured.