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Uv Printing On Reflective

Discussion in 'Flatbed Printers' started by CaliforniaVibe, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. CaliforniaVibe

    CaliforniaVibe New Member

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    Jan 12, 2017
    California
    I've seen threads about how people have been printing on mirrors and it has mix reviews, where some people do it weekly on their UV Flatbeds...Does anyone have any experience in printing on reflective material?

    I have some reflective blanks and would like to change my process from printing on my Latex HP, laminating, then mounting to just direct to substrate; assuming it won't dry up my printheads.
     
  2. Pauly

    Pauly Active Member

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    Feb 14, 2016
    Melbourne
    I've done it a few times.
    Keep the lamps on low and use a fast print speed. that's all i can say really.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. ikarasu

    ikarasu Member

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    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    We print a lot of real estate signs. It all depends on the material... 3M 3290 we've never had a problem. DG.. no problem (Though its rare). 3M 7930... That thing clogs up our printheads pretty good. Usually a cleaning or two fixes it, but why waste so much ink, to print 1-2 signs. We just use 3290 for reflective, and it's never been a problem.

    Now.. the manual does say to perform a cleaning after printing on reflective. That would probably fix out 7930 issues... But we do so many 1 offs, it wouldn't be worth it for us. So.. It all depends on the material. Give it a try, let the printer sit for a few minutes... print something else. If it prints ok, its not drying the ink at all. If it doesnt... clean it a couple times until its fine again. Odds are youre not going to plug it up in one print, so you can do some tests.
     
  4. davecich

    davecich Member

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    Sep 21, 2010
    atlanta
    Which UV press do you have? Some can, some can't. It depends on how close the lamps are to the heads.
     
  5. ikarasu

    ikarasu Member

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    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    HP fb500.
     
  6. clsche

    clsche New Member

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    Feb 2, 2017
    DFW
    Keep in mind you significantly reduce the retro-reflective value of the sheeting printing UV. In most case it will not pass any standards set forth by a DOT.
     
  7. Pauly

    Pauly Active Member

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    Feb 14, 2016
    Melbourne
    Depends what it's for. In Australia, all our road signs are 3m reflective. but screen printed, so paint. the paint is less translucent than ink.
     
  8. clsche

    clsche New Member

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    Feb 2, 2017
    DFW
    Pauly thanks for the reply, you would think that is the case however the ink used on road signage is formulated for that purposes and retains translucent values. In contrast the UV dries the ink in a way that decreases the values. I had a hard time grasping this when I first started doing larger format signage on the roadway but quickly realized when I pulled the retroreflectometer out. At any rate depending on the use a UV printed sign can make sense.
     
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