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Printing on awnings, please advise

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by sinclairgraphics1, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    I'm going to start working with a guy who fabricates awnings and needs printing done on them. He moved here from Chicago and so is needing a new local source. We are thinking of doing heat transfer vinyl but think that is going to be complicated when running anything larger than the 16"x20" heat press due to overlaps. He mentioned that a fellow installer he worked with would use a heat gun to press letters down but I don't see how that would work on large logos/graphics and spread the heat out evenly. Is it easier to make a stencil and use paint? What about when doing 2 colors or more? Anyone do this that has a good solution please let me know.

    Thanks
     
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  2. bigben

    bigben Moderator

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    Sorry, I can't help but I'm very interested to know the answer too.
     
  3. tattoo.dan

    tattoo.dan Active Member

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    Stencil and paint for one color..You can use an eradicator (sp?) depending on what type of awning to pull the awning color out to white and do a printed vinyl or cut vinyl overlay even.
     
  4. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    If he is making vinyl awnings then regular adhesive vinyl will work. If he fabricates Sunbrella or similar "cloth" awnings then you can use a heat press with vinyl from 3M that is especially made for that application, or use cal vinyl as a stencil and use waterbase vinyl paint that matches the *color of the fabric as close as possible for the first coat and then extra coats to finish. *Using the same color helps hide creep of paint underneath the vinyl stencil so you do not notice as much.
    Laying the awning flat on a large table so as to roll the stencil down with a rubber roller helps get nice edges with paint. Use a small short nap or foam roller to apply paint.
    If you are good with a fitch you can make a pounce pattern and put it on the awning (use talc powder on dark color fabric) and cut in your copy with a fitch and paint on the color. Quills can only be use for small copy because they cannot press down into the fabric enough to get paint on fabric. I use to use a small filbert brush for small hand painted copy.
     
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  5. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    Most/many awnings are made with flex material like Cooley. I would print directly to the flex material and then let them stretch it over the frame...
     
  6. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    as mentioned on Sunbrella you have a choice of buying their graphics machine, to do this you will need a plotter or a close sign company. On backlit you can eradicate it, which I like. On vinyl you can place vinyl lettering and paint canvas if you wanted.
     

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  7. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    The material used will be Sunbrella. What's the graphics machine you are talking about? I have a 64" Graphtec plotter and HP Latex 330 and we are a sign company. If I do use a t-shirt heat press, can I overlap something 2-3 times on the heat press? Say the design is 19"x48" and the hear press is 16"x20". Would this work? I would prefer making a stencil and painting it, just wanting to keep it simple.
     
  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    • Informative Informative x 2
  9. bigben

    bigben Moderator

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  10. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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  11. what the

    what the Owner/op

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    I paint awnings- I use a paper template- Trace the image with Transfer paper for canvas- found at any art store - I like to use the white or yellow tracing paper- but there is black too. For sunbrella fabric- Laydown a base coat of waterbase polyurthane made for wood floor/decking... use a a semi rigid brush for this whole project- Get many widths for versitility!
    Then - One shot paint
    Normal application takes two coats of one shot paint- If you don't use that polyurth. you will need many layers of paint- Do not suggest removing this application process!
     
  12. mpn

    mpn Active Member

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    Paint it. If you do it in sections with your 16x20 you'll end up shrinking the sunbrella and leaving heat press platen marks that do not come out.

    What Johnny Best said in post #4 is spot on.
     
  13. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    the sunbrella machine Ive seen is freakin huge. Ive never know it to leave marks on the fabric after applying lettering. The fabric is sewn to fit the frame, lettering is applied and the day after fabric is placed on frame, never experienced Shrinkage.

    Canvas can be painted, it is a PITA to do. We prefer vinyl masking first coat with white exterior latex flat and then paint our color on it rip the mask off. My experience with one shot paint is that it all needs to be thrown away. One shot will not outlive latex down here in the Sunny South.
     
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  14. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    Does anyone know exactly what the 3M product is that is being applied with the Sunbrella machine?
     
  15. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    3M electro cut will work
     
  16. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    By 3M electro cut, do you mean 3M 7125 solid color vinyl series? The Sunbrella system is described on their website as a 3M system but if you search the 3M website I do not find any reference to anything related to Sunbrella. Also, it's promoted as a digital print system, so the 7125 series would not apply to that. I found that there is an SGS Thermal Urethane Vinyl offered by TriVantage, which seems to be the right product but it is not advertised as a 3M product. Apparently the reason that there is such a problem applying anything to Sunbrella is because of the waterproofing chemical treatment that is on the Sunbrella fabric. I don't quite understand how simply heating regular 3M 7125 with a light bulb will make it stick forever. The SGS Thermal Vinyl seems to be similar to hot laminate or heat transfer vinyl, which doesn't have an adhesive layer on it but only adheres when heat activated.
     
  17. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Glen Raven makes the Graphics System Machine (SGS) for Sunbrella and 3M 7125 Controltac plus numerous others are mention that can be used, 3M 180 series is another. They say 5 years, so it is not forever.
    Glen Raven is more of a large heat press and not light bulbs like the AdGraphics video showed.
    I have seen letters peel off with this system, like other things in our industry, it is not foolproof.
    I've always felt either silkscreen or hand painting it is the best method or job it out to someone to do it.
     
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  18. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    glen raven had their own "vinyl" you could use with their system and it was high as h@ll. It was robbery in my opinion. Well one day their "vinyl" stopped adhering come to find out they changed something. I was thinking it was canvas but they also specified a new "vinyl".......when a company does crap like this it leaves small guys eating alot of little jobs.

    I need to double check what the issue was
     
  19. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    So there is no simple way of doing this except painting sounds like the best and most costs effective option. I have painted a couple small awnings before with latex paint. I think the process mentioned in post 13 seems like a good way to go. Putting down the base coat of white then apply the color over that. The tricky part would be doing multiple colors/overlays having your trap just right.
     
  20. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    Also interested in what this would cost, does anyone here own one of these machines? How big is the image area?
     
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