First of all - love this site. I have learned SO MUCH from everyone so far. I've been having exposure issues. I have tried searching the forums and have tried a bunch of suggestions on here, still having some issues, SO I figured the time has come to post! Basically, I like to print finely detailed posters and prints. However, I am having some issues with my exposures. It seems that I lose details even when slightly underexposed and I am getting snail trails from the unexposed emulsion hanging out in the screen - annoying! I have tried doubling up transparencies and this hasn't seemed to work very well - I'm still losing fine details and the fine lines that do show up are too thin, or the halftones are too small. I often have to use the pressure washer to get little tiny areas which, I know, is a terrible idea, but I don't know what else to do.
My setup - I have a 1000 w metal halide lamp, 230 mesh yellow screens and an epson 1400 that I print onto victory factory 13 x 18 inkjet transparencies. Transparencies are smooshed against the screens on the floor against black felt covered foam with a piece of glass. I print my seps as pdfs from acrobat, make sure to set it to a high quality matte print which seems to lay down the most ink. Again, I usually double these up but I'm still having problems. Everyone seems to sing the praises of the 1400, but I'm wondering if RIP software would do the trick? I am using Ulano TZ emulsion but am considering buying a couple of other types and testing them out. Thanks in advance.
Thanks Andymac - I put in an order for Murakami Photocure Pro which you recommended a few threads back. The print side of my film is indeed pressing up against the emulsion of the screen. Does the glass on top make that much of a difference? It is not UV blocking glass and is 1/4" thick.
I had some similar problems when I started printing flat stock. I bought black max ink and along with accurip most of my problems were solved. Even if someone did a sub par job coating the screen it would still burn fine because the positives were so dense. It's a very expensive option and I don't think it even paid off but I don't have exposure problems anymore so maybe it was.
Will black max ink clog up the inkjet heads though? I've always heard not to use anything other than the epson ink on those printers... I am going to give the accurip software a spin (they have a 14 day trial) and test it with my new emulsion. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
This is the stuff I've been using for a while now. It seems to wash out a bit hard sometimes but holds a stencil REALLY well. I haven't had any issues w/ it holding detail. I think you will like it. Good luck.