Laminator for acrylic?

Smkmit22

New Member
The face-mounting step is straight forward but done in a very clean environment using common motorized cold laminators.

Yea, I figured this is the best way (for me) as well. Currently looking for a cold laminator with a heat assistant. I think my question is answered. Thanks
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Yea, I figured this is the best way (for me) as well. Currently looking for a cold laminator with a heat assistant. I think my question is answered. Thanks
If you're looking for an actual laminator recommendation, I have a GFP 563TH, I like it a great deal more than my crappy $300 hand crank laminator (red rollers are rubber, much harder than the grey silicone rollers the GFP has), it has a 12" front and ~8" rear platen for 'catching' panels as they are mounted.
 

Smkmit22

New Member
I was thinking about getting a Chinese machine, costing only +-2000/2500$

Another option would be a seal54, a used one, costing about 2500$ as well.

Don't want to spend tot much yet
 

McLeod Graphics

New Member
I agree with JBurton. I’ve been printing on clear vinyl and applying to acrylic for years and it works great. Never once needed a hot laminator. Most any brand of clear vinyl will work, you’ll need to mirror the image and laminate with an opaque white film. Then apply subsurface to the acrylic. You can do this with a laminator or do it wet by hand. Either way works.
What white backer do you suggest? If I recall from when I worked in the vinyl dept at my old job, we would laminate it with regular white cut vinyl (7725, maybe?) but then we'd back that with a PVC (https://remingtonlaminations.com/products/10-mil-psa-backing-film). Again, if I remember, this was to give it more protection, more opacity, and make it less likely that the vinyl would start to come away when mounted to a wall. Seems like everyone here just sticks with regular old white vinyl. I was asked to quote a fairly large job (large for me) for about 200 12" x 18" 1/8" acrylic signs with second-surface prints. Can I get away with just laminating the clear prints with some white vinyl, or should I get this 10 mil stuff from Remington? Any reason I should stay away from using calendered vinyl for the backing? I'll most likely be using 3M ij180mc-114
 
Last edited:

JBurton

Signtologist
What white backer do you suggest? If I recall from when I worked in the vinyl dept at my old job, we would laminate it with regular white cut vinyl (7725, maybe?) but then we'd back that with a PVC (https://remingtonlaminations.com/products/10-mil-psa-backing-film). Again, if I remember, this was to give it more protection, more opacity, and make it less likely that the vinyl would start to come away when mounted to a wall. Seems like everyone here just sticks with regular old white vinyl. I was asked to quote a fairly large job (large for me) for about 200 12" x 18" 1/8" acrylic signs with second-surface prints. Can I get away with just laminating the clear prints with some white vinyl, or should I get this 10 mil stuff from Remington? Any reason I should stay away from using calendered vinyl for the backing? I'll most likely be using 3M ij180mc-114
The pvc likely prevents the print film from separating from the acrylic over time where the tape is applied. I can't say for certain, but I'd opt to use it if your previous shop always did this. You ought to hit up Rtape for a sample of their pc or petg laminates. Free samples are always nice: https://nekoosa.com/products/claricap They've always been responsive if I had something odd I was looking for. I'd avoid anything calendared, but to be fair its all interior so...
 

McLeod Graphics

New Member
The pvc likely prevents the print film from separating from the acrylic over time where the tape is applied. I can't say for certain, but I'd opt to use it if your previous shop always did this. You ought to hit up Rtape for a sample of their pc or petg laminates. Free samples are always nice: https://nekoosa.com/products/claricap They've always been responsive if I had something odd I was looking for. I'd avoid anything calendared, but to be fair its all interior so...
Where the tape is applied? What tape?
 

Mr. Signboy

New Member
What white backer do you suggest? If I recall from when I worked in the vinyl dept at my old job, we would laminate it with regular white cut vinyl (7725, maybe?) but then we'd back that with a PVC (https://remingtonlaminations.com/products/10-mil-psa-backing-film). Again, if I remember, this was to give it more protection, more opacity, and make it less likely that the vinyl would start to come away when mounted to a wall. Seems like everyone here just sticks with regular old white vinyl. I was asked to quote a fairly large job (large for me) for about 200 12" x 18" 1/8" acrylic signs with second-surface prints. Can I get away with just laminating the clear prints with some white vinyl, or should I get this 10 mil stuff from Remington? Any reason I should stay away from using calendered vinyl for the backing? I'll most likely be using 3M ij180mc-114
I wouldn’t use calendered vinyl for this application. I usually use 3m high performance white or something equivalent. Backing with Something rigid like the pvc you mention is defined necessarily if you’re going to vhb these signs to a wall, especially at that size. If you try and tape directly to the vinyl they will fail in a few months or less. I use thin styrene or 1/8” pvc if I want to space them off the wall a little. The thicker pvc gives a “floating” look if you inset it from the sign.

I’ve made thousands of ADA signs and larger art prints on acrylic with subsurface prints mounted to walls and never had one fail with this method. I use IJ3650-114 (or any other equivalent cast high quality clear) and laminate with cast white sign vinyl. Apply wet, wait 24 hours. Use banner hem tape to attach .03” styrene cut slightly inset from the size of the sign so it’s not visible. Attach VHB to the styrene and install with a few dabs of silicone.

It’s sounds like more work than it really is, and it’s a rock solid way to guarantee you’ll only have to make these once.

* I personally wouldn’t use IJ180mc-114 because I don’t like the air egress channels being slightly visible in the print. It will work just fine though.

Sorry for writing a novel, hopefully that helps…
 

jfiscus

Rap Master
We produce a lot of 2nd surface prints on Acrylic. We route our boards and clean them off, haven't tried mounting first then cutting because we would be worried about correct registration of the cut to print.
We print them in reverse for 2nd surface, using 3M clear cast vinyl (when it is available) or whatever premium cast clear we can find. Then we laminate the prints with 3M 7125 white vinyl.
After that we do wet installation on our work table. Spray the board and the adhesive side of the print with rapid-tac, center it up and squeegee the fluid out, then trim off the bleed once it has dried for a bit.

We mount a lot of 1st surface prints using our laminator, but optically clear is finicky so we always do it wet by hand.
 
Top