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Home t shirt printing Machine

Remember the screen printing system from the Boing Boing Video episode Mark and I shot at Maker Faire, the Yudu? Well, I wanted to make t-shirts for my personal blog, TokyoMango, so I went over to my friend Ben's house this past weekend to do a test run on the one he bought at the Faire. The Yudu, it turns out, is a great compact home printing machine as long as you don't have high expectations and are armed with mountains of patience.
First, Ben mocked up two versions of his design using Adobe Illustrator, one for dark ink and one for light. We printed these out on a vellum transparency using a regular inkjet printer, then put it aside to dry. It took us several attempts to get a perfectly un-smudged transparency, but we finally got one we could work with. (This obviously is no fault of Yudu — it's either the printer ink or the vellum or the compatibility of the two.)
Next step: prepare the screen. We put emulsion on the screen in a darkened room through a wet-and-stick-and-dry process to get it ready for exposure. We wet the screen with a spray bottle and then squeegeed the excess off. Then we put the screen on a drying rack in the Yudu machine. The drying is supposed to take 20 minutes, but we found it took a good hour of manual hairdryer heat in addition to the preset drying cycle. While we waited, we ate pizza and wings and playing Rock Band.
In earlier test runs with the Yudu, Ben claimed he had nightmarish troubles getting it to just the right wetness — the tutorials warn against making it too wet, but too dry was the bigger problem for him, leaving parts of the screen patchy and other parts just completely missing the emulsive layer. (Ben: "It was super annoying and I wanted to kill it.")
Once the emulsion was completely dry, we burned the transparency onto the screen. We put the vellum transparency with the TokyoMango design on it on the Yudu's glass surface, put the emulsion sheet on top of that, weighted both down with a giant black bin, and then turned on the Yudu's Exposure button for eight minutes.
After that, we took the screen downstairs to the utility sink and washed it. The emulsion that wasn't exposed to light simply washed off, the part that was had hardened and stayed put. We hair-dried it once again, and voila! The screen was ready for printing.
We placed the prepared screen on top of the Yudu's lid and secured it in place with clear mailing tape, then put the first test t-shirt on the platen (kinda like a t-shirt hanger for the machine) Note: be really careful to gauge the placement of the design on the t-shirts chest area. Just hanging it from the platen yields potential fashion disaster, with the design ending up at the collar bone.
Once we were sure everything was in the right place, we closed the top and put a line of ink at the top of the design and then squeegeed the ink over the design with slow, consistent pressure.

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by writt

T-shirt makers: I did some brief research on this and I found that one can get t-shirts printed cheaply at many vendors if it is one-side and one-color. Two sides or more colors and the price goes up very fast, making it hard to imagine being able to sell any at a profit. If you want to do your own printing, I imagine you have to buy or lease a machine, which may be thousands of dollars. Are you looking for a service or a machine? Many of the machine vendors have video tutorials on their sites, but I haven't really looked into this. Heat transfer seems to work on t-shirts and mugs, but different machines ($$$)

Xerox Emirates' Partners with Alpha Printing Press to Deliver  — Zawya
So, for example, by partnering with Alpha we are able to help them offer high-speed digital printing along with a complete range of efficient and cost-effective solutions.

DST unveils £4.9m spend after return to profitability  — printweek.com
The Nottingham machine will focus on the production of direct mail while the new Bristol machine, which features auto-splicing for faster web changeovers, will focus on transactional mail and will output fan-folded print directly into an enclosing line ..

Popular Q&A

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How to print t-shirts at home using a heat press machine?

ok, so i'm looking into making my own t-shirts from home, using a heat press machine. i've been doing some research online but getting kind of confused, so would rather hear from someone who has actually done this and can explain, this is what i think i know so far. you use an inkjet printer, with a4 sheets of inkjet transfer paper, you then print out an image you want, making sure to mirror the image, you then cut out the outlines to just leave the image only, place that face down on the t-shirt which is laid on the heat press, you then have to cover it with something? i'm not sure wha…

Your instructions are close for using inkjet iron-on t-shirt transfer paper for light colored fabrics. When you peel it hot, it will leave a satin finsh. On some you can peel it cold for a glossy finish! One of the best resources is They have an amazing staff and have always answered any question I have.

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