So I really liked the dabbling I did in silk screening a few years back but I always was annoyed with the photo emulsion aspect of it. It took to long and I could never get my screens completely clean to reuse them. Last time I was at the Tech Shop in Menlo Park, CA I notice they were teaching a silk screening class where they used the vinyl cutter to make a resist sticker instead of photo emulsion. I looked into it on the internet and found that for doing low quantity runs vinyl resists seemed to work fine. With that in mind I dug out my old silk screening stuff and set the vinyl cutter to stun and decided to give it a shot. What follows is a detailed explanation of my experience and results.
It worked pretty well. I was not able to get a single “perfect” print but I could see how I could. My biggest problem was that my clear transfer tape had too much tack and so I was having trouble getting it off why living the vinyl sticker in place. This lead to a few stretched spots on the sticker that caused bleed through. The other issue stemmed mainly from cutting. I had the blade speed set too high and that caused the blade to pick up and wrinkle the bottom of the “R” in the yar. This lead to the problem seen on the red T-shirt where while squeegeeing the bottom peeled back and let ink through. Those are the only problems I can attribute the the vinyl process the rest are all due to me applying uneven pressure or not enough ink.
I think with the right tack tape and a bit of practice I could see this working quite well for relatively simple designs. This is not going to replace photo emulsion for doing images with shading and really fine detail but for everything else this is the way to go. Fell free to browse the pictures of the process and result below.