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backlit adhesive film

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by fresh, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    What material are you printing on for backlit exterior graphics?

    We try to always use cut vinyl on light boxes, but this job needs to be printed. We are not retrofitting the existing structure to use flexfaces or other systems.

    The last time we did a similar job, we used Arlon DPF6500 and it worked well. That being said, its pretty pricey. If there is something out there that works as well but was maybe slightly less expensive, this is the job I'd like to try it out with. Eco-solvent printable please.
     
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  2. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    I've used Orajet 3850 for 9 years and no problems yet.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    We've had good luck with this: AVERY DENNISON MPI 2050
     
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  4. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    cast is always nice, i use the arlon6500 as well. But I've been known to slum-it with cheap trans. on occasion :)
    good options include fellers' solvexTV (which i think has a tint of yellow/offwhite to it) and grimco's briteline trans. Have used both in the past without issue.
     
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  5. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    Awesome. When I searched for translucent film this one didn't come up, thanks for the suggestion.

    What do you laminate it with?
     
  6. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    If using new Lexan, usually Oracal 215 or cast. If the client is cheap and wants us to reuse an old face and doesn't expect long term durability, we'll use Oracal 210.

    We always warn ALL clients that expectations of durability and colorfastness have entered a new phase of climate change induced uncertainty and unless a sign, face, graphics are installed on a north face of a building sheltered from the sun, manufacturer's longevity claims are to be taken with a grain of salt.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    We like Orajet 3850 w/ Oraguard 290 laminate.
     
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  8. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    Have you seen any sign faces you've made with 3850 that are going on 8 or 9 years old? If so, how are they holding up?
     
  9. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Oldest that I've seen from local signs is 5 years still looks good. There is one about 7 years old, sign is still up, but it's an hour away, not going to go check it out. Overprinting (double strike) is always best on translucent.

    Also everyone beware of Avery, they top coat their translucent vinyl. I tried it once and after I laminated it, the laminate fell right off, so I called Avery and the rep said they top coat so that no laminate is required.
    Never used them since.
     
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    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Arlong 4500G Clear, though I just recalled having a failure in the field I need to go investigate.
     
  11. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    I've thought about this, and have done something similar. We did a contour cut graphic on clear mounted to new polycarbonate. In about two years the clear had yellowed enough to be visible when driving by.
     
  12. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I've never used it on clear for exterior, and I'm not a fan of cutting it as it just gives edges a place to collect dirt. The failure I had was a trimcapped face that started peeling top down. Usually the trimcap keeps the edge down, but I'm not certain here... For the most part just full lexan panels that go behind trim, so no real concerns with shrinkage. Yellowing I have not seen that I can recall...
     
  13. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    When the client's budget allows, we do two prints, one for the first surface and one for the second surface printed in reverse. I've never been a fan of double striking.
     
  14. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    we usually like to do it this way, too. But we're replacing all the panels in a big shopping plaza, and there are multiple tenants on each face. If you saw what they currently look like, you'd keep it as simple as possible to change out tenants too.
     
  15. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    The faces are new. Thanks for the info.

    And yes, I always try to steer people in the direction of cut vinyl for these jobs, but this is a big plaza with national franchises. I'm not doing cut vinyl for 8 different logos.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    That's why we try to keep these kinds of projects as uncomplicated as possible. A full coverage single decal on a good quality translucent media with a decent laminate an all attempts to keep the messages direct, simple and to the point without adding a whole bunch of special effects and such. If its corporate chain logos, you reproduce them from good artwork and move on.
     
  17. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    +1 for this combo. We also combine with Avery 1080Z matte if a different finish is needed. Have not hae one issue/failure since I started using these combos.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. What profile do you use for 2050? I used the generic backlit one that comes on the Latex machines with Onyx and had 20 4x10ft faces show grey instead of black when lit up (Would have been nice to have time to have tested everything before I ran them all, but I did not). I am not looking forward to stripping them and need to figure out what happened. It would be nice if I can 2050 to work for me and I have not heard back from Avery yet (I need to follow up with them).

    I managed to get a few good signs with our old Caldera setup, but that was printing to a L360 using profiles that were for the 25500 ink set.
     
  19. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I myself never got the ink to stop the light, just a very deep gray after dark. Double struck, 20 pass.
     
  20. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    You need a rich black to stop the light, we do most of our backlit on white acrylic with clear vinyl. I usually do 40/30/30/100 @20 pass.
     
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