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Peter Boyford
11-25-2007, 6:37 PM
I still haven't gotten my laser cutter/engraver, but would like to prepare myself as much as possible before "the great day" :)

I would like to print stuff and mount it on various substrates in order to contour cut it in the laser. For instance, it would be cool to print on some sort of self adhesive vinyl film and cut out acrylic printed shapes.

BUT! Vinyl contains PVC and as such is non-laserable. The alternative would be Polyester, but I can't print EcoSolvent inks to that.

My question is, then: What would you do to make my wish "come true"?

Best regards
Peter

James Stokes
11-25-2007, 7:12 PM
buy a vinyl plotter.

Larry Bratton
11-25-2007, 7:21 PM
I still haven't gotten my laser cutter/engraver, but would like to prepare myself as much as possible before "the great day" :)

I would like to print stuff and mount it on various substrates in order to contour cut it in the laser. For instance, it would be cool to print on some sort of self adhesive vinyl film and cut out acrylic printed shapes.

BUT! Vinyl contains PVC and as such is non-laserable. The alternative would be Polyester, but I can't print EcoSolvent inks to that.

My question is, then: What would you do to make my wish "come true"?

Best regards
Peter
Peter:
I do this all the time. Except, I print on a 44" Canon Inkjet printer and I print a good bit of backlit. That particular media is polyester. We also have a laminator with which we apply a hot laminated decal material, it is also polyester.
I don't know where you get your media, but I might suggest calling Amanda at Lexjet and let her advise you as to what may be available for your printer. I know they have some polyester backlit that is eco solvent compatible. http://www.lexjet.com/lexjet/new_solutions_detail.asp?id=97
I use one similar to it, 7 mil, front print, and then I use the USI decal through the laminator to make it adhesive. Then you can laser cut til your heart's content.
Good luck!

Joe Pelonio
11-25-2007, 9:03 PM
I do inkjet prints on acrylic all the time. I have my local digital imaging wholesaler (I cut acrylic and vinyl for him) print it on adhesive back 2 mil polyester, and put a waterproof UV overlaminate on it, then I apply to the acrylic and laser cut.

Bill Mason
11-25-2007, 10:50 PM
Joe, where can I buy the adhesive back 2 mil polyester?

Bryan Cowan
11-25-2007, 11:05 PM
Would anyone care to share pictures of what you're talking about? I'm trying to follow along, but I'm afraid I cannot picture the end result you're all trying to achieve.

Peter Boyford
11-26-2007, 3:29 AM
James-> I have a vinyl cutter. Can't see how that would help.

Larry-> Canons are not eco solvent. Polyester is not compatible with eco solvent print, unless coated - which I can't seem to find anywhere.. Is your printers ink water-based? In that case it will have only very short outdoor durability :(

Joe-> What type of machine do they use to print on polyester? Laserprinter-type?

All-> I am situated in Denmark, and I know that you probably wouldn't know of any of the suppliers here. So if you know of a brand of "vinyl" that is eco-solvent-printable (Oracal/3M/Avery/etc) then it would help greatly!

Thanks for replies so far ;)

Best regards
Peter

EDIT: Bryan-> As I don't have a laser machine yet, and neither having solved the print'cut problem, I can't post pictures. But imagine a 3/8" acrylic heartshape with printed names on them. Or a refrigiator magnet with print on, cut to a customers desired shape.

Rodne Gold
11-26-2007, 3:50 AM
We use a Roland sc 540 to both print and cut and then use the laser to cut the base material and apply.
If your large format printer does not have cut facilities , you can just print crop marks and use another cutter only to cut the printed sheet (it reads the crop marks)
At any rate , kiss cutting PVC sign vinyl is not going to ruin your laser , but the fumes arent actually the problem with this , the discoloured edges are.
You can get coated media from any Roland dealer.
If you are worried about durability , you could overlaminate the print or dome it.
I can tell you this , that there are far better or cheaper methods of doing any volume type work of this nature than using a digi printer on coated media and then laser cutting it all - anbd if you going to do onesies like the heart you mentioned you would have to charge exhorbitant prices to cover your costs.
Fridge magnets as well are not worth doing , for volume they screen and then die cut , difficult to cut decent magnetic stuff with a laser , you dont get a good edge at all and spend a lot of time cleaning off the crust and dros after you cut

Joe Pelonio
11-26-2007, 8:58 AM
To answer a couple of questions that came up, my supplier uses a 60" inkjet to print on clear or white polyester or vinyl film or banner fabric which they buy so I do not know the source. I do know that HP makes it though.

http://h30267.www3.hp.com/country/us/en/designjet/supplies/vls52-2127---.html

Larry Bratton
11-26-2007, 9:00 PM
Peter:
My printer is a Canon ipF8000, which is a 12 color pigmented ink printer-ink jet type. I did not say it was eco-solvent. I simply answered your question as to where you could purchase polyester that was eco-solvent compatible.
For your information, the inks (Canon Lucia) that my printer uses are tested to 100 years in an indoor application. I suspect I could get close to the 5 years longevity you can accomplish outdoors if I laminated the output. But I don't print for outdoor use on a big scale.

Larry Bratton
11-26-2007, 9:23 PM
Would anyone care to share pictures of what you're talking about? I'm trying to follow along, but I'm afraid I cannot picture the end result you're all trying to achieve.
Bryan:
Here is an example. This is a sample for a RV club. It is inkjet printed, has a hot laminate applied adhesive to the front side (the side where the ink is placed), adhered to 1/4" acrylic. We do 3 of these on a sheet of acrylic (36") and cut them to width and length. Then I use an acrylic (hot wire) bender to make the stand.

Bill Stein
11-28-2007, 11:30 AM
Larry,

I'm curious. I think that you were doing CLLT and were pretty happy with the result. I keep thinking about CLLT but haven't jumped in yet.

Why don't you use CLLT on these pieces? I am sure that there are good reasons. I just want to know what they are and what the trade-offs are when using CLLT.

Thanks,
Bill