From time to time, some idiot will walk in your shop with the bright idea to print on something that isn't 2 dimensional. This happens to screenprinters a lot, because most 'normal' printers are stuck working on thin flexible sheets. We the lucky ones. this is a job from a fellow A.S.S. member and local native artist Andy Everson. He produced a set of limited edition giclee prints and wanted to box them nice. The boxes are acid free. We've got some aluminum ones we are playing with now.
So, first you need to check your ink and make sure it's compatible. Dab a little inside on one where it won't be seen. If that works, proceed. if it doesn't find a different ink.
Next, make sure the image fits a flat area. You can't print rounds or over corners with much luck or consistency. Make sure the client knows, and keep the image in from the edge.
When you have those two things down, time to jig up.
In this case, the print goes on a black box lid. If we just tried to print it as is, the top would collapse or move, resulting in no print, or a blurred print. So the first thing to do is create a build up that holds the box lid. I made this from mdf, with a 2" bottom edge of foam core all around. This created a pocket under the jig that the suction from the vac table would hold - handy to align the print. Once I dropped the box on I pushed the centre, and it was still not supported. So I added 3 pieces of matt board in the centre to support the lid.
I put the box on to check the fit - it must register to a side and top, and also come off and go on easily and quickly. Need to raise and align the front and the back clamps and screen support.
Put the screen in place and check your off contact. the screen needs to be even over the surface, and also a little off contact. Use shims to get this right.
you can see at the back we have the clamps raised up so when the screen is at rest, it sits slightly above the surface of the box lid.
Finished product - silver ink - wouldn't sit in the racks, so they got laid all around the shop. I printed on double while setting up, and another we forgot was on the rack and flipped it up, wrecking it. Get your customer to order extras when printing oddball things.
this is what the finished set looks like
Artwork by Andy Everson