2/7 Screen Printing - Getting to film – Sua Sponte Design

2/7 Screen Printing - Getting to film

Getting to the Film
    So you made your first sale! Your design is approved by the client and now its time to get the shirts printed. This is really how my first sale went, I was just in line at a gas station and struck up a conversation with the mechanic that was behind me and it turned into my very first T-shirt order. It was 48 shirts with a 4 color design with halftones. I had just bought my new Printa Systems printing press and had taken the printing class that was included in my purchase, so although I was nervous i felt prepared. 
    When it comes to screen printing you will print a film for each of the colors in the design. The design I was working on had 4 colors so I would need 4 films and 4 screens to get this job done. 

    If your going to be printing halftones make sure you have a RIP software. Its basically a translator from the art software to the printer. It will translate gradients into printed dots on the film to achieve the gradient your wanting. It also increases the ink deposit from the printer as the traditional amount of ink is not enough to make the ink dark enough. The RIP software is kinda expensive but can't do much without it.
    Before I bought my RIP I would run my films through the printer about 3 times to get the ink dark enough. It worked marginally and would often not line up after the second pass and if you had to do more than one film forget about it. My advice is to get the software because if I didn't have it when I got my first order I would of been in big trouble. 
    Ok so now you need to print your film separations In Corel Draw 2017 which I am currently using with the RIP software Power Rip Screen Print for my Epson 1400 Printer.  I will have to switch to the Epson 1430 when this one dies or a different model because I don't understand the need for 6 ink cartridges that cost 20 dollars a piece for 13ml of ink. I'll look for a better model and update you all when I find a better one.  
(Found one) I went through Ryonet to get an all black ink cartridge set up which works way better than the bulk ink systems I've tried in the past.) I kept my Epson 1400 you do have to buy an annual subscription but you are still saving so much money on ink. I was spending 130 on 6 ink cartridges CRAZY. 
To print your film simply select file then Print to open the print dialog box. Once there you will see a few options the first one you need to do is select the right printer. Mine says Power Rip Epson 1400 or (AccuRip Ruby New System) yours will say something similar depending on the printer and Rip you have selected to use. 
Once your printer is selected you will click preferences to select your paper size which should match the paper size in your art program. Typically it will be Tabloid or 13x19 sheet. 
Once you have that done you should see all the color separations in your art file listed below. If you see CMYK colors or multiple shades of the same color then you need to go back to your art and get rid of them. Don't worry I will post a video to show all this. Once you have that all squared away you are ready to print your films. Simply put your film into your printer and open your power rip software and select Print Preview. This will open a larger view and give you the ability to print all the separations without having to reopen the print screen to print your other separations. From the print preview screen you will need to click file and print the sheet now. That will send your file to your rip software and it will begin to spool. Once its spooled in your rip software all you have to do is click print now.

You will also have options in the first print screen to put in Registration marks or halftone dot information on the films this is good if your just starting out so you can adjust things like angle and frequency it will also help when dealing with dot gain. That is a whole other class but for now I think this will do as a warm up to printing films.  
Depending on your set up some of the steps may be a little different. 
Happy Screen Printing.

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