While garment tag printing, most users prefer making their own plates. Typically the most inexpensive way to etch your own plates is by using photopolymer plates with an exposure unit. Etching an image into photopolymer plates requires more attention than laser etching the plates, exposure times will vary depending upon the image size, even if the same plate material is used for both large and small images.
Inkcups Now has done extensive testing with our water wash orange plate material, our most popular for garment tag printing. Larger images need more time to develop during the washout process to provide the depth necessary for garment tag printing.
|200 Line Screen Exposure|
|Bake Time @ 170°F|
New to photopolymer plate-making? Click here to check out a complete photopolymer plate-making training video.
Plates used in this project:
Posts Tagged ‘photopolymer plate making’
Here at Inkcups Now we have many customers that make their own photopolymer plates for apparel tag printing. While there are many variations of exposure and baking times, we have tested many methods of photopolymer plate making with our water wash orange plates in order to determine the best method.
PLEASE NOTE: We are using our BPL1220 exposure unit. Exposure times may vary depending upon the power of your exposure unit.
Step 1 – 1 minute exposure with film positive (customer image)
Step 2 – 20 second exposure with 200 line screen
Step 3 – Washout with water for 1 minute
Step 4 – Blot dry with lint free towel
Step 5 – Bake plate in the oven at 170F for 10 minutes
Step 6 – Post cure in BPL 1220 for 20 minutes
This combination produced a deep plate that works well for apparel tag printing. The plate was hard, doctored well, and the cup rode smoothly across with no bowing. Water wash orange plates are the best photopolymer plates to use for apparel tag printing because the plate is harder than other photopolymer plates when fully cured. This reduces the risk of problems that may arise due to soft plates.
Plates used in this project:
Type: Water Wash Orange Photopolymer
Brand: Inkcups Now
More info: Photopolymer Plates page
Over the years we here at Inkcups now have gotten many phone calls and emails pertaining to polymer plate making, also known as photopolymer plates. Customers often don’t understand the technical aspect of creating a film positive or they get stuck at a step in the process.
We have decided the pain and anguish has gone on long enough! Creating photopolymer plates for pad printing machines should be fun, not difficult! Inkcups Now has created a two part instructional video to show each step (in detail) in the polymer plate making process using alcohol wash plates.
The first video showcases how to create the film positive on your computer using the Adobe Illustrator software. We created a step by step instructional guide to assist the user through the process because this is often where the user has the most difficulty. The second video shows the entire polymer plate making process. We captured the whole process on video so the user can visually see exactly what to do.
Photopolymer plates are great to use as a pad printing plate. The image can be created with great detail for clear/sharp looking prints. Polymer plate making is much more time consuming than laser engraving by about 20-30 minutes, however it is a much more cost effective process.
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Plate used in this project: