full bleed image panels

Slamboni

Member
I have a unique problem here.

We are having trouble lining up and applying properly when using full bleed prints on a panel. Our panels are all recycled ABS and our prints are all from an hpL26500.

The hp shrinks images so we have to compensate by enlarging the image in the rip software but it's never exact.

We can't center hinge because the tape has a tendency to bring the ink up and the squeegeeing scratched the image. We can't laminate because we are making a high volume of reflective traffic signage and lamming would make the whole process not cost effective.

Has anyone else dealt with this issue?

I have come up with a work around where we flip the print over and remove the backer and lay the panel down slowly and center it over the print and then flip it and hit it with a hand roller then run it through the laminator rollers to get all of the bubbles out, but this is too time consuming.

Apparently there's some way to create a jig to line the prints up and appply them, but I haven't seen this method in practice. I'm trying to get a highway handyman bought as that would speed things up, but until then we need a faster solution. Anyone? Bueller?
 

alexmhurst

New Member
You could do an initial hinge by cutting away an inch or so of backing paper along the edge of the panel, and pressing that section down by hand or gently with a felt squeegee. Lay the rest of the vinyl on with the laminator. Laying vinyl with a laminator is awkward until you sort out how to peel the backing away and keep all the elements in order, but if you have a good starting hinge, it does a very smooth job and shouldn't scratch your prints.

Honestly, if you can't afford to use laminate in this job, and these are supposed to be highway signs which are being damaged by squeegeeing, then I'd worry about how long they're going to last once they're installed. Even stacking and transporting them will make it tough to keep them in good condition until you can deliver them.
 

Slamboni

Member
ask and ye shall receive

pics of some of our finished products
 

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Bly

Very Active Member
Print the image with bleed, lay a strip of application tape about 6" wide along the feed edge (to stop it creasing) then lay with the laminator down as usual.
 

GAC05

Major Contributor
Use a bar (aluminum extrusion or safety ruler) covered in something soft to keep it from marking the print with some quick clamps on the ends - center hinge away.
Kind of like the poor man's RollsRoller.

wayne k
guam usa
 

jfiscus

Map Wraster
Do an edge hinge and run them through your laminator. No bubbles or marks.

Wait... you're latex-printing on reflective, and not laminating... for outdoor traffic signage? And basic masking tape or felt squeegees are damaging the prints??? How long are the customers expecting these "outdoor signs" to last?

Are you sure your grade of reflective is up to the standards of traffic signage?
What about just buying pre-made traffic/safety signs from someone like Grimco if you have such a high volume?
 

Slamboni

Member
HP

rep claimed that the latex inks cure to the reflective and scratched them with his fingernail and they didnt scratch. We have had some problems with moisture, curing, temp settings, and we laminate now.
 

MPW270

New Member
rep claimed that the latex inks cure to the reflective and scratched them with his fingernail and they didnt scratch. We have had some problems with moisture, curing, temp settings, and we laminate now.

I’d highly recommend that you check the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices - http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/) standards for traffic safety signs.

You will find there that the standards for traffic safety control signs are explicitly specific on the materials to be used.

Good Luck.
 
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