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Printable translucent

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by mudmedia, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Any recommendations on a good printable translucent vinyl for a backlit sign?

    I am looking at either the Oracal 3850 or the Avery MPI 2050. Any good or bad on either of em?

    I normally stick to Oracal but the Avery is a bit cheaper they both are calandered only thing I notice is the mil thickness.

    Any experienced printers with either of these that can provide info on them would be great!
     
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  2. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    I'm partial to the Avery, as much as I'm not a big Avery fan, it takes more ink than the Oracal when double-printing it and it lights cleaner and whiter. I've found the Oracal looks a little muddy and yellowish compared to the Avery. I've been using the Avery for about 5 years and haven't had any issues with it whatsoever.
     
  3. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    we also use avery
     
  4. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Good to know thank you. I have not used many Avery products but there isn't a wide variety for translucent that is affordable.

    Does Avery make a cast translucent or should I be ok with calandered for this small sign? I do not like a large amount of shrinkage that is what I am worried about.
     
  5. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    The 2050 is calendered and I think it's rate for 5 years. The only cast printable that I'm aware of is 3M and it's significantly more expensive, and it's still rated for 5 years, so I'd just make sure your customer has realistic lifespan expectations. I've never had it shrink any appreciable amount. Often times we layer it up with clear vinyl as well for extra ink density and that's also never caused an issue. Like I said, just don't tell your customer it'll last forever and you'll be golden.
     
  6. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    I really appreciate the info! Avery ordered up will be here in the morning.
     
  7. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    It's really noticeable when you put an Oracal face and an Avery face side by side in the same cabinet. I learned there's a huge difference between the two when we had to make some faces for a large multi-panel tenant marquee a few years back. We'd always used Oracal on it but switched to Avery since we did the last panels in it, so when we had to make a new tenant a face we used Avery 2050 and at night it sticks out like a sore thumb because it's so so much whiter than the Oracal. Going back and looking at other faces we've done with Oracal I can actually see where at night the printed color doesn't reproduce as vividly as it would have on Avery too.

    Otherwise I'm an Oracal fan, they make good vinyl, I just think their translucent white needs some work...
     
  8. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Insignia.

    With the avery should I be able to double up my print layering and print directly onto the media lam it and mount it? I seen a lot of people are using clear vinyl printing reverse and doing multiple steps.

    I want to make sure it still looks good lit up but its such a big sign the more steps I can eliminate the better off I will be.

    Thanks!:thumb:
     
  9. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Yes you can double strike the print and it'll look good. You won't get super accurate color during the day, it'll be on the dark side, but its passable. The vinyl itself takes two ink passes great though. For the best color I actually recommend a two layer print. Bottom layer would be double-strike on clear vinyl and the top layer would be single strike on the translucent white. That gives you one visible ink layer at day (accurate day time colors) with three ink layers at night for excellent color density when backlit. These are tricky to mount because you need very good if not perfect registration print to print, otherwise the image can look blurry at night. The bigger the graphic the harder they are to line up, but if you get it right they look killer day and night.
     
  10. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Yeah I am not sure how good I can get the registration to be on a 25' piece lol
     
  11. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Haha yeah that ain't gonna happen. I tried once on a 24' face and the best I could get was within 1/4". Looked fine from the ground because it was about 35' up but it was definitely blurry up close. Took us about 4 tries to get it that good too... If the customer isn't super color critical just double-strike the print, it'll be plenty passable.
     
  12. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Yes, we have the hybrid. We actually have been printing a lot of translucent faces on it, that's a part of the reason we went with the hybrid, so we can run larger faces than the fixed bed can hold. We have one customer that we do a ton of tradeshow work for and probably once or twice a month we run several dozen 6'x6' translucent faces for a huge event backdrop setup they have.

    We've tried printing both regular double-strike on one side, one print on one side of the material and a mirror image on the backside, and color/white/color on the face and they all look killer. Double-strike on the face is by far the easiest and fastest so that's what we normally do, and it looks excellent when lit or not.

    We also got the hybrid because we do a ton of wallpaper, and UV is the way to go with it, much much better than solvent printing. We just finished a 30-roll wallpaper job and didn't have a single issue or scratch or mis-matched panel, when we were solvent printing it a job of that size would have meant having to reprint numerous panels because of scratching during install or "shading" from panel to panel, the UV printer has entirely eliminated that.

    I will say I'm underwhelmed with it's ability to handle wider (98") roll stock. We've had limited success at best trying to run wide banner material, as it feeds it starts to buckle and bunch up pretty bad. I haven't had the time on inclination to try to get CET/Advantage out to try to address it yet because we don't run that many large banners anyway, but sooner or later we'll need to address it...
     
  13. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Feel free or give me a call, either way, I'll give you all the info I can on it!
     
  14. All-SignZ

    All-SignZ Active Member

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    We pretty much use oracal productcs exclusively, but I have noticed the 3850 looks a bit washed out, might have to try the avery. We are doing a couple 16'x2' backlits next week, they are green background and white lettering. Do you think these signs would look much better with green translucent cut vinyl on white polycarb then double strike printed on 3850 with no clear underlay? I think they would, but I have pretty much a full roll of 3850 and no green translucent. Think I'm going to go with green translucent being that it's only a 1 color sign. But curious what others think about the quality of the 2 options side by side. :thread
     
  15. aaronJREgraphics

    aaronJREgraphics Member

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    yeah i use avery and i double strike all my trans. the avery lights great to I dont use a lot of trans but I like the 2050 when i do.
     
  16. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    I would go the green trans route personally
     
  17. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    Yeah, definitely go with green translucent, it'll definitely look better for sure. Like Pat said, use cut translucent whenever possible.
     
  18. klingsdesigns

    klingsdesigns Active Member

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    Couple questions never printed on this stuff. New to printing this year also.
    Think i am going to go with the mpi 2050. What do you guys use to laminate this stuff or do you typically not laminate it .. Also when you say Double strike it how do you go about that? I am using versaworks and have a vp540
     
  19. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Inside your vw options should be able to change how many times ink is laid down per pass.

    I normally print Oracal so I laminated with 290 and all was good. I do recommend giving a color sample of the double striked print to your customer as colors can be tricky on translucent when dealing with day and night time lighting.

    There is a way to get better results if the client is really picky about how it looks at night illuminated but it takes clear material as well that you have to layer. If you research more on here guys will describe the procedure they use.

    Hope this helps
     
  20. signworldusinc

    signworldusinc Merchant Member

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  21. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Aug 15, 2008
  22. klingsdesigns

    klingsdesigns Active Member

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    So i figured out how to overprint.
    In VW it is under printer controls.

    Is it recommended to laminate the avery and if so what should i use to laminate it.
     
  23. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

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    Yes it is recommended to laminate. Again I used oracal 290 Cast laminate...Avery should have recommendations 290 might be a little over kill
     
  24. klingsdesigns

    klingsdesigns Active Member

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    and direction of what laminate to use?
     
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