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full bleed image panels

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Slamboni, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Slamboni

    Slamboni Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    I have a unique problem here.

    We are having trouble lining up and applying properly when using full bleed prints on a panel. Our panels are all recycled ABS and our prints are all from an hpL26500.

    The hp shrinks images so we have to compensate by enlarging the image in the rip software but it's never exact.

    We can't center hinge because the tape has a tendency to bring the ink up and the squeegeeing scratched the image. We can't laminate because we are making a high volume of reflective traffic signage and lamming would make the whole process not cost effective.

    Has anyone else dealt with this issue?

    I have come up with a work around where we flip the print over and remove the backer and lay the panel down slowly and center it over the print and then flip it and hit it with a hand roller then run it through the laminator rollers to get all of the bubbles out, but this is too time consuming.

    Apparently there's some way to create a jig to line the prints up and appply them, but I haven't seen this method in practice. I'm trying to get a highway handyman bought as that would speed things up, but until then we need a faster solution. Anyone? Bueller?
  2. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Southern Utah
    I would be interested to see the "finished product" if it's a reflective traffic sign
  3. alexmhurst

    alexmhurst New Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    You could do an initial hinge by cutting away an inch or so of backing paper along the edge of the panel, and pressing that section down by hand or gently with a felt squeegee. Lay the rest of the vinyl on with the laminator. Laying vinyl with a laminator is awkward until you sort out how to peel the backing away and keep all the elements in order, but if you have a good starting hinge, it does a very smooth job and shouldn't scratch your prints.

    Honestly, if you can't afford to use laminate in this job, and these are supposed to be highway signs which are being damaged by squeegeeing, then I'd worry about how long they're going to last once they're installed. Even stacking and transporting them will make it tough to keep them in good condition until you can deliver them.
  4. Slamboni

    Slamboni Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    ask and ye shall receive

    pics of some of our finished products

    Attached Files:

  5. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    Print the image with bleed, lay a strip of application tape about 6" wide along the feed edge (to stop it creasing) then lay with the laminator down as usual.
  6. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

    Dec 27, 2005
    Guam USA
    Use a bar (aluminum extrusion or safety ruler) covered in something soft to keep it from marking the print with some quick clamps on the ends - center hinge away.
    Kind of like the poor man's RollsRoller.

    wayne k
    guam usa
  7. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    Do an edge hinge and run them through your laminator. No bubbles or marks.

    Wait... you're latex-printing on reflective, and not laminating... for outdoor traffic signage? And basic masking tape or felt squeegees are damaging the prints??? How long are the customers expecting these "outdoor signs" to last?

    Are you sure your grade of reflective is up to the standards of traffic signage?
    What about just buying pre-made traffic/safety signs from someone like Grimco if you have such a high volume?
  8. Slamboni

    Slamboni Member

    Nov 13, 2008

    rep claimed that the latex inks cure to the reflective and scratched them with his fingernail and they didnt scratch. We have had some problems with moisture, curing, temp settings, and we laminate now.
  9. rjssigns

    rjssigns Premium Subscriber

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Why did no one ask why the prints are shrinking? Wouldn't ya want to nix that issue first?
  10. MPW270

    MPW270 New Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    I’d highly recommend that you check the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices - http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/) standards for traffic safety signs.

    You will find there that the standards for traffic safety control signs are explicitly specific on the materials to be used.

    Good Luck.
  11. LenR

    LenR Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    What rjssigns said.

    That'll be tough to live with.

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