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Acrylic - full print application tips?

Discussion in 'Installation Equipment & Techniques' started by Marshal, May 3, 2019.

  1. Marshal

    Marshal Member

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    I've got a chunk of acrylic for a project, not quite 4'x8', and it needs full graphic print on it. I don't have a flatbed to print directly on it, so I need to apply vinyl to it instead. What's the best way to apply a large print to this, and what's a decent material for our eco-sol printer? I've got a Seal laminator, but haven't ever done lamination directly to a substrate, so I'm not terribly confident in keeping it straight or clean enough.
     
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  2. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    Since we don't have an application table or use our laminator for applications we use two people, maybe three people if the second isn't very skilled. Prep the acrylic, then also wipe down the back of the liner before laying on the acrylic. Line up the graphic, put some weight on it or tape it down, cut a foot of liner off one side and apply it. Roll up the other side all the way to the applied side, pull a bit of liner off, apply it, pull some more liner off, apply it, repeat until finished. Make sure to overlap sqeegees and stay about the same pace. I can typically knock one out in about 5-6 minutes. Using a good air egress material will make it super easy.
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Is this for a backlit face or something else where translucent vinyl isn't being used ??
     
  4. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

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    using the laminator for something that size is not as hard as it sounds. may be some youtube vids that could help. basically just tape it in place so it doesn't move then load it in the laminator half way and laminate half at a time..ez pz
     
  5. Marshal

    Marshal Member

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    That was what I was guessing I'd have to do. Acrylic is so darn sticky that my little tests weren't working very well.

    Solid print, no light shining through.
     
  6. zspace

    zspace Merchant Member

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    When we mount a large print - we put the panel about halfway through the laminator, line up the graphic and close the roller. Fold the graphic back over the roller and peel the backing. Cut the backing about a foot before it goes under the roller. Make a nice straight fold in the back still on the print so there is a handle to start peeling back the other end. Then run each end through the laminator.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Okay, then use the air egress vinyl and hopefully you have a big squeegee. That'll do it in 2 minutes. Easier if you have 2 people, but regardless of what you use, you need an absolutely 100% flat table, so it doesn't bow in the middle and create problems.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    I do it wet. Line it up and tape it. Make a hinge, peel back half and wet the vinyl and acrylic. Then just drape it over and work middle out. I've done 4' x 20'+ this way by myself, having a second set of hands does help. We very rarely use air egress on acrylic since 95% of our applications are backlit.

    I've done some ghetto ones that went over tables of different heights because it was too long with banner stand boxes under it to make it relatively even.
     
  9. Marshal

    Marshal Member

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    What films do you recommend? I've got some SV480 here, and some Avery MPI 1105SC from previous jobs. I've only got cast laminates here, and I don't really want to order a full roll just for this job.
     
  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Dumb question but why acrylic if you're going to cover it all with a print?
     
  11. Marshal

    Marshal Member

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    Because that's what the customer requested and the boss bought.
     
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