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Need Help Sticker print and cut

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Paultheprinter, May 16, 2020.

  1. Paultheprinter

    Paultheprinter New Member

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    Ok so I am using a media that’s 80 microns thick. i printed some stickers for a customer who put one on her van and sent me these pictures (attached) where they appear to be curling at the edges having only been on the window outside of the window for about 5 days.
    An anyone advise me as to why this has happened? If I give the design white border when it prints and cuts donors not cutting through the ink would it still do the same? Or could it be that it’s been applied to a dusty/dirty window?

    any advice will be greatly appreciated. Also is it better to print on thinner or thicker media for stickers?

    Paul
     

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  2. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    I ran/run a solvent for 6+ years and have never found that you can’t cut through media that’s been printed - what tech are you using?

    Honestly with customer installations anything could be a problem here.

    definitely looks like the window wasn’t cleaned prior to installation so that’s a big no-no to start off.

    aside from that, it’s probably just not been installed correctly, anything from customer getting their fingers on the adhesive to not sealing the edges properly.

    For your other question, I’ve always found customers can install the thicker stuff better, but generally the calendared vinyl is thicker than the expensive stuff. So It depends on life expectancies. It definitely makes it easier if they’ve been laminated.
     
  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    For these types of applications, we have switched to General Formulations 6 mil semi rigid vinyl, it's nice and thick for the client to install and it doesn't curl on the edge when printed full bleed.

    The decal in your photo looks to be laminated correct? If so it's not the vinyl curling from the full bleed as laminating fixes that, I'm guessing they cleaned the window by giving it a wipe with their greasy hand before applying the decal with the other greasy hand.
     
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  4. Jim Hancock

    Jim Hancock Active Member

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    Several things come to mind. As previously mentioned, it looks like the surface wasn't cleaned properly, as I see bumps under the decal.

    But most likely the vinyl wasn't allowed to outgas properly. When you are going to contour cut into the design (bleed cut), you MUST allow the ink to fully dry and outgas for 24 hours BEFORE laminating and/or contour cutting. If you don't do this, when you contour cut, the blade will drive the "uncured" ink down into the cut and the solvent that is still in the ink will start to degrade the adhesive at the edges of the cut. Ink needs to dry and outgas, just like paint has to dry completely before handling. The ink may appear to be dry to the touch, but still has solvent in it underneath the dried surface layer. This edge lifting is a common issue when doing bleed cuts without sufficient drying/outgassing time.
     
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  5. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Outgassing or whatever they call it in your village is a myth that can be used to scare small children into going to sleep. Solvent dries via evaporation and when it's dry, it's pretty much as dry as it's going to get. The process usually is measured in minutes, maybe hours, but not days. On the other hand, solvent ink does change the properties of the vinyl and this change can take some time to subside. The best practice is not to print a full bleed if you can possibly avoid doing so. A full bleed is almost guaranteed to lift at the edges. If you can't avoid doing a full bleed print it, laminate it or not, cut it, then toss it in the corner and forget about it. One day you'll come upon it and if you remember what it was for, apply it. It might not lift.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 4
  6. stickerguynyc

    stickerguynyc Member

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    did you laminated it??? that happen with contour cut the print without lamination. if you laminate it and contour cut inside the print.... without lamination need a white bleed. that sticker also look have some dirt on it.
     
  7. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Are your lam and vinyl a proper match together?
     
  8. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    White borders do solve the solvent problem. Letting the ink thoroughly dry is necessary. That takes anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on which ink set you are using. If you are laminating the vinyl, too much tension on the laminate can also cause the vinyl to pull up.
     
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  9. Jim Hancock

    Jim Hancock Active Member

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    "Outgassing or whatever they call it in your village is a myth that can be used to scare small children into going to sleep. Solvent dries via evaporation and when it's dry, it's pretty much as dry as it's going to get." Beg to disagree based on experience in solving this phenomenon with customers.

    Heat helps the drying process, but it doesn't complete the drying. The heat helps dry the bottom of the ink layer and air the top of the ink, but the middle still has solvent that hasn't evaporated because it is trapped between the two dry layers. This takes some time to occur, which ink, media and printer manufacturers have determined to be up to 24 hours to be completely outgassed.

    If the contour cutting is performed very shortly after printing, there is still enough solvent in the ink to be a potential problem.

    Shops have been doing full bleed cuts for years without any issues, because they allow the ink to completely dry.
     
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  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Agree. It needs offgassing.

    If you truly believe solvent doesn't need to of gas... Print something and 5 mins later take it off the liner... It'll be gooey. When you put overlam on... That solvent has nowhere to go but the glue - It causes bubbles, or curling.

    as for the edges on this photo...

    It's customer installed, in my opinion... she didnt push the edges down properly. The #1 thing they teach you in wrapping class...go over the edges, then go over them again... and again until you're sure you've done it properly. All it takes is a tiny spot thats pressed down and water or wind will get in and it'll peel. Seeing as how much dirt made it under the decal, I'm going to guess they just slapped the sticker on and didn't ensure the edges were good.
     
  11. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    I’m hoping this is sarcasm, that or it really is signs 101.
     
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  12. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

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    All of us have printed and not waited to laminate at some point in time. If it was so sensitive, youd see a lot more failures.
    My bet is that it’s either real cheap vinyl with poor adhesion thats shrinking in the sun or the window wasn’t clean.
    What material combo did you use?
     
  13. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

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    We added a 1 hour dry time before cutting and had not problem with full bleed. More time couldn't hurt though. Up to 24 hours.
     
  14. Ardor Creative

    Ardor Creative New Member

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    I agree with a summary of most comments above. First being, let it dry for a longer period of time to let the ink cure/dry on the vinyl. Generally I print and let it sit until the next day. Like another comment mentioned, yes rushing to laminate definitely has happened but I kinda stick to the print one day finish the next. Second I'd choose a thinner calendared vinyl, 8mil is crazy thick, and always use lamination. Lamination thickens the overall sticker, but also puts protects the ink from scratching and ruining the sticker. It also is an extra layer of sun protection so they fade slower.

    I use Arlon 4500glx and 3420 lamination. Both pair nice, are affordable and the vinyl has air egress foreasier application. I've also printed with all brands of calendared vinyl so anything works.
     
  15. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    All of those who advocate accommodating 'outgassing' seem to be conflating two phenomena. First is that solvent ink dries via evaporation of the volatile elements. That might honestly be called 'outgassing' and, like lacquer paint, it takes minutes. And, since vinyl is gas permeable, the process pretty much is harmless.

    Second is that solvent inks do not sit on top of the vinyl to vinyl like a coat of paint, they penetrate the vinyl and cause the material to become more viscous. It can take vinyl quite a while to recover its original consistency. This process has little to nothing to do with the evaporation of volatile elements, it's an entirely different action. Since viscosity changes may involve dimensional changes this can hurt you.

    What the most of you call 'outgassing' is not. Find another, more correct, term. Knowing the nomenclature is half of all understanding.
     
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  16. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Roland and Mutoh both call it outgassing. Each have their own recommendation for how long it takes - Most of the newer, low VOC inks are 4 hours - the older models, or less eco models are 24 hours.

    And it does not take minutes, as you say -

    https://blog.signwarehouse.com/lamination-and-outgassing-when-good-prints-go-bad/

    I could link 100's of articles, I could link the recommended time between laminating from the manufacturers themselves.. but I've found around here, certain people get an opinion and refuse to change their mind. It's all a conspiracy... so I gave up. If the OP is interested in learning about offgassing, I recommend they google it, read the above link, or call their manufacturer to see what the recommended wait time is.


    And for a fun experiment... print a 12" x 12" square of CMYK black ink - Let it sit for "Minutes" to offgass, then lock it in an airtight sandwich container for 24-48 hours. come back and see how it's mush. I wish we still had a solvent so I could record it and show the results this time - But I'm sure I'd be accused of pouring bleach or something into the container. And yes, I know thats an overkill experiment as vinyl will not be locked in an air tight container.But it demonstrates and shows that these "Minutes" it takes to cure are bullshit, and when you overlam a media... It traps all those solvents in just like an air tight container would, not as extreme... but it still does and is capable of causing problems.
     
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  17. geckophoto

    geckophoto Member

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    I learned day one printing stickers and cutting right away gives you edge curl once the ink starts to dry and shrink it pulls up the edges up just like that.

    Run a test print and cut right away then let it dry you get curl and then print one and let dry overnight then cut, no curl.
     
  18. Lindsey

    Lindsey Not A New Member

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    Needs to dry/outgas longer.

    Use a white border (no bleeds) to avoid curling entirely. You and customer will both be happy. Plus, on dark glass, the white border will help the decal stand out.
     
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