September '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 1 5 For screen printing, you need screens to do the printing. e essential equipment is a printing press to print the ink onto the garment, a dryer to dry the ink, and an exposure unit to expose the color screens. e press is designed to enhance and control ultraviolet light waves so that the screen is quickly burned with the image. "at is what puts the image into your screen with the emul- sion and film positives," says Taylor Landesman, vice president of Lawson Screen & Digital Products in St. Louis, Missouri. Each color that's printed needs a separate screen, which is how the ink is applied to the garment. Screens are used for the col- ors, and printing is done screen by screen and color by color to get to the final design, Landesman explains. "You need a good exposure unit, a good press, and a good dryer. Without that, you produce bad shirts. e color fades or is out of register, or the colors don't line up," e final piece of equipment is a washout booth to clean the screens. "When you power wash, you do that in a washout booth," Landesman adds. "It helps contain all the mess." Beyond the four essentials, there are other tools and equipment that help make the job easier, such as a screen rack to store, orga- nize, and dry screens. Another tool is a film-positive printer that's used to make screens for screen printing by putting emulsion onto each screen and then exposing them to UV light. "You expose the screen with emulsion on it, then you tape the film positive to it, then that thing gets exposed to UV light," Landesman says. "You're basically printing a transparency when you make your film positive. It shows where the ink goes through the screen." Screens can be made without the printer, but "it's hard and complicated and very old- fashioned," Landesman notes. The handheld braille pen shown below makes installing braille onto various substrates efficient. (Image courtesy Johnson Plastics Plus) " Our favorite tool we've added, hands down, is a solvent parts washer. It's used with press wash that allows you to soak squeegees, spatulas, etc." — Chris Slivar, Deluxe Screen Printing Inc. " Our best purchase in recent years would be our upgrade from a high-end CTS (computer-to- screen) system that used dyes to a new LTS (laser-to-screen) exposure system. We have seen dramatic increases in both quality and setup times." — Nathan Belz, Impress Designs What's your favorite shop tool? What's your favorite shop tool?

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