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Backlit Dome Install

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Bigdawg, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    I need to apply a graphic to this dome.. it will be lit. It has to be a full coverage printed... what material and how the heck would you install on something like this? Any suggestions? Our first thought was seaming like a baseball... but we have not done anything like this before and want to hear what other pros think.

    Edited to add: The dome is 6' circle
     

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  2. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    I'm sure you have more expertise in applying vinyl than myself, but whatever it is, will look really cool.

    There may have been a couple other methods you could have done to accomplish the task, but seems like you're locked in to a first surface vinyl application at this point.
     
  3. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    eek....

    that's a fun one. There's no easy way.. just center hinge and lots of prayer :)

    good luck!
     
  4. Border

    Border Very Active Member

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    wonder if you could make a quick frame for the print, slightly larger than the dome. Attach the the edges of the print to the frame, remove all the backing then use a few people to hold the print above the dome, touch it to the center of the dome then heat it as the helpers lower the frame over the dome, stretching gradually as you go and squeegee it down.
    Sorta like using a trash can to do a helmet wrap, but a much larger scale.

    Ain't gonna be fun, any way you do it. Good luck!
     
  5. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Not locked into anything - yet. Please expand on those other methods! The only thing we can't do is paint it.
     
  6. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Although it's too late, I'll assume the dome was vacuum formed. In hind sight, you might have been able to apply the print to the acrylic first and then vacuum formed it. I've only had one prior experience with a domed piece and it was the nightmare from he!l.

    I'd suggest you do a practice piece first with a blank piece of vinyl to see what you can expect to happen before attempting it with the printed piece. Good luck on that one.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    I don't know how you can make a translucent film fit a compound curve surface without making a seam somewhere..... or maybe two. Will the graphic that needs to go down have a place where cutting is possible without seeing the seam ??

    Painting is almost out of the question if it is to backlit.

    The easiest way would've been a clear panel, painted in reverse and then white overspray to give uniformity.




    Is that an eye for a cyclops ??
     
  8. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    I don't much about the material but it is called "convex" (I think) and it is made to go on surfaces that aren't flat. I don't know if it comes in a clear that can be printed but if you can find it, it may be what you need.


    that would work but you would need a template to get the size and bens right. when people wrap a car, what do they do? seems like thye have to deal with bends and such so maybe what they do and use for material (?)
     
  9. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    Paneled like a globe, maybe? I know that's going to create seams that will probably be seen but I don't know who else you could do it.
     
  10. rubo

    rubo Member

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    What's the diameter of the dome? Water transfer sounds like the best solution - I do print my own films - but size might be an issue - my film is only 44" wide - PM me if you want to talk. You can check out 3ddiping.com to see what I'm talking about.
     
  11. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    :goodpost: this Stacy.

    Also, depending on the print......ohhhh how to explain.....
    Lets say that was for M&M. White M&M and the background in brown. You could have back sprayed, and the letters would be the only vinyl you would have to mess with (paint mask vinyl). Unfortunately you have to apply first surface now.
     
  12. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    We didn't create the globe - wish we had. They came to us afterwards when someone had the bright idea to "put some vinyl on this baby!"

    If we do it - and I'm not sure we want to - we will definitely practice first!!!
     
  13. jdale

    jdale New Member

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  14. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    +1 to applying prior to vacuum-forming, but hindsight is 20/20.

    i do like the idea of "heating and dipping", as Border stated, like i've done for helmets with 180Cv3... but at that scale, yikes!, and could be a pain with trans.vinyl print. I wish I had that task, for a reason to try, but without the responsibility of "do-or die".

    purely theoretical, as I haven't done-so yet, but would it be possible to:
    1) pre-seam your graphic
    2) apply only the inner 1' diameter, to secure placement
    3) wetapply remainder, using steam as the heating element to stretch/conform?
    *hair-brained-scheme, i apologize... dumb or not, an idea to consider.

    plz keep this thread updated on the outcome. I'd love to see what comes of it!
     
  15. ElJay

    ElJay Member

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    ^This is a really good idea.^
     
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