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Substrate suggestions

Discussion in 'Flatbed Printers' started by wonsngis, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. wonsngis

    wonsngis Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    Rockford, IL
    We will be getting our flatbed nest week and I wanted to get some suggestions for alternative materials. Specifically, I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion for an alternative to 3/8" MDO. We commonly us it for site signs (along with 10mil coro) but I would like to find another solid material that has a better white point and doesn't need to have the edges prepped. Scooter board has come to mind, but I think its a bit thin for a 4x8 sign.

    Also I'm interested in an alternative to fomecore with a brighter white point and more even finish. Gator board or ultra board have a better look, but cost quite a bit more.

    Your thoughts are appreciated!
  2. mtmdesigns

    mtmdesigns Active Member

    Jun 23, 2006
  3. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

    Jul 24, 2003
  4. Pro Image

    Pro Image Major Contributor

    Nov 28, 2005
    You get what you pay for.............

    If you want good color your going to need a good substrate............

    As Brian stated any of the aluminum products will get you better color.

    If not then use the cheaper stuff..............
  5. DoubleDown

    DoubleDown Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    You have several options, mainly finding stuff that is more flat should be your concern. Harbor Sales sells a product called "Finnished Wood" that is great and you will love. Also, there is a Pre-primed MDO sign panel from Grimco that is ready to go with no painting needed.

    Of course PVC is an option, but I would use it outdoors for too long and definitely the Alumacore's, Alumalite's, Metal faced panels will be the best.

    In regards to adhesion of UV Inks, you are going to want to test out which substrate gets better adhesion of the inks because that will matter down the road. It's just like paint, some paints don't bite into some finishes and can be easily scraped off...same for UV inks.


    Christian Beebe
  6. geedub

    geedub Member

    Apr 17, 2006
    There is a UV white board, 1/2" mdo that is prepped with a very nice, bright, white finish. The board itself is about the same price as regular 1/2" mdo, maybe a couple of dollars more. It will have to be sprayed with a clear, or laminated with a liquid laminate if printed full bleed, the uv doesn't adhere very good. There is also lustreboard, a vinyl coated 1/2" mdo, it's the same type of thing. We have experimented over and over with different MDO's and come to the conclusion that anything needed to withstand weather outdoors should be liquid laminated or sprayed with a clearcoat, otherwise the ink can be washed off very easily. The only MDO board that works is the aluminum coated mdo, but the fact that it's almost twice as heavy makes it not such a good product. I personally think alumilite is the best application, but we never used it because my boss always thought it couldn't be screwed into anything, it would just fall down.

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