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View Full Version : Laser engraving silkscreen transparencies?



Weston Porter
12-28-2013, 4:59 AM
Have any of you heard of someone using a laser engraver to create screen printing transparencies? I have two big items to budget right now, a laser engraver and a large format laser printer, the latter will be used to print the black and white transparencies I need to expose images onto silkscreen frames. If a laser engraver could fulfill that duty, I could afford a better machine.

Now of course I can laser cutout black stencils but that doesn't work for complicated or details designs. I'm wondering if there isn't some clear material that scorches/darkens without cutting or distorting.

A crash course on exposing screens if you don't know what I'm talking about: A mesh screen is coated with light sensitive emulsion and placed under/above a bright UV light with a black and transparent stencil sandwiched between. The areas the light touches harden while anything protected in shadow can be washed away.

Dan Hintz
12-28-2013, 8:53 AM
They do make laser-capable screens, but you pay for it...

Joe Pelonio
12-28-2013, 9:21 AM
I have made many of them using a plotter and black vinyl applied to clear acetate. Far more cost effective to buy a plotter if you are going to do a lot of screenprinting.

Dan Hintz
12-28-2013, 10:52 AM
Guess I misunderstood the question... I thought Weston wanted to expose the screen using the laser.

Dave Oaks
12-28-2013, 3:59 PM
It'd probably be easier and less expensive to just print film on an inkjet printer- I use an Epson 1430- We used to use a Xante laser printer but gave that up years ago

Larry Bratton
12-29-2013, 7:58 PM
I print designs on film for a local screenprinter. I use an Epson Artisin 1430 also, with a continuous ink system from Cobra ink systems. Some of the designs are pretty detailed but the cost is low and fast. I do the separations in Photoshop CC. I suppose you could cut the stencil with the laser, but a plotter would better serve for that method as Joe said.

It'd probably be easier and less expensive to just print film on an inkjet printer- I use an Epson 1430- We used to use a Xante laser printer but gave that up years ago

Stephanie Olmstead
09-13-2016, 6:26 AM
They do make laser-capable screens, but you pay for it...

Hi Dan,
I saw this thread from a few years ago and was wondering if you know where to buy the laser-capable screens???