Printing with white on clear?

ColesCreations

New Member
We have a Summa Durachrome (DC1), and are getting good prints from it. It does pretty good, and we are trying to be a bit more advanced with it.
Problem is printing photos on clear vinyl to use on windows- anyone know an easier way to get white onto the print than to completely redraw the photo?

One thing we tried:
1. Print the photo on clear.
2. Print white on top of the whole photo (looks great from the back now.
3. print the photo again in the same spot, on top of the white.
Now we had the same photo on both sides, but quality was not good enough in the second print, plus no-one will pay for all the labor and production cost that went into doing all this.

I am trying to find out if there is a way to print 5 colors in one operation (CMYK+White) so it will look the same from both sides?

Merry christmasfrom Norway!
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
There is no quick and easy way to do it. Bite the bullet and create silhouetting vectors for the photos. You then have the choice to simply print them on white and cut them out or you can use them to define the spot white and then overprint with CMYK on clear.
 

mfarney

New Member
Jv3

Our Mimaki Can Print White on Clear, we seldom do it but it can be done. Changing the ink from CMYK over to 6 color with white is pricey. Which is on reason we don't do it often.
 

Baz

Member
From what i heard the white ink coming from LF printers is not opaque so your picture viewed from the inside will show the printed picture thats on the other side. Similarly ... if you were to print your picture on clear ... print the same picture on white vinyl and stick overtop the clear .. you will still see the other side since the white vinyl is not opaque either.

From my earlyer years as a screen printer, when we had to print double sided decals. we would print all the colors of the first side .. then print white .. then print silver .. then print white again .. then all the colors. The silver would act as the opaque layer.

If you want to have your product as an adhesive vinyl double sided picture .. you will need that opaque layer to hide colors on the oposite side. So you would print on clear ... back it up with white .. then print the other picture on an opaque vinyl (that has a grey adhesive) and stick it overtop your clear decal. Thats not cheap!

Your other alternative would print either on opaque double sided paper or banner material.
 

Baz

Member
The way i interpret ColesCreations post is that it isnt printing acceptable results overtop his printed white. I would say print your picture including the white on clear vinyl .. and reprint the picture on opaque white vinyl and stick it overtop your clear decal.
 

ColesCreations

New Member
Thanks for replies, I guess no easy way.
Easiest is probably to first print on clear, then print on white Oracal 751 (white cackside, as opposed to the 3M grey backside), and stick it on top. Looks good, but is expensive (Labor and material).
The white print is fairly opaque, and quite enough for using the same print again. I think the quality of the second print can be improved by turning up the heat (print density), as it is by then thicker, and maybe requiring more heat to melt in the resin. (3 print operations, ribbons are expensive)
It is, however, very nice to be able to print white on clear, for windows etc, and one (main?) reason we'll keep the Durachrome. (Just mark the white and print it together with the other colors, no cleaning)
Anyone else use white print regularly?
 
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WYLDGFI

Merchant Member
It can be printed on a Flatbed/hybrid UV machine as a white underlay with CMYK overprinting that.
 

gnemmas

New Member
Printing double sided window decals is a challenge. A layer of white thermal foil or white vinyl is just not able to block out image completely for the other side.(use a flash light to examine it). Thernal printing on top of foil usually result in less acceptable quality.

We will start with print reverse image on clear vinyl, then print white, then print silver foil for block out. Then print image on white vinyl, then laminate onto the other print, make sure register correctly.

We charge $29 ea. for 5"'x10" 2 sided decals with a run of minimum 10. Using Gerber Edge.
 

Rod

New Member
Add priming layers using See Through Sign Wizard

ColesCreations said:
We have a Summa Durachrome (DC1), and are getting good prints from it. It does pretty good, and we are trying to be a bit more advanced with it.
Problem is printing photos on clear vinyl to use on windows- anyone know an easier way to get white onto the print than to completely redraw the photo?

One thing we tried:
1. Print the photo on clear.
2. Print white on top of the whole photo (looks great from the back now.
3. print the photo again in the same spot, on top of the white.
Now we had the same photo on both sides, but quality was not good enough in the second print, plus no-one will pay for all the labor and production cost that went into doing all this.

I am trying to find out if there is a way to print 5 colors in one operation (CMYK+White) so it will look the same from both sides?

From your profile, you indicate that you are using Flexi, Corel, Adobe. However, I'm going to toss in some comments to perhaps give you ideas, and I don't mean anything by it. Hopefully some of you that have SignLab will be able to recognize the possibilities.

SignLab 7.1 Print and Cut has what is called a See Through Sign Wizard. Essentially, the wizard allows you to define an image for both sides of the clear transparent vinyl. In addition, you can specify white and black primers as layers between the images. So essentially you apply something like [IMAGE] + [WHITE] + [BLACK] + [WHITE] + [IMAGE] to get the opacity you need. Using the wizard, it is pretty straight-foward to flip the images for mounting on interior/exterior of the glass. There are further wizard options for introducing custom perforations to allow viewer to see through the sign, but you get the idea.

Another option (similar to laying down primer) involves adding a Highlight. When applying an image to clear transparent vinyl, suppose that there pixels within the gradient that equate to pure white (i.e., the pixels are not applied with ink). So adding a Highlight will actually fill those blank pixels with white primer to prevent show-through.

Cheers,

Rod at CADlink
 

signage

Member
In signlab you can do a (white+white+black+white+white) in other words you can use up to five layers (coclors) in between the images.
 

gnemmas

New Member
In my experience, this is not an software issue.

1. print foil on foil has quality issues. Try to print 5 layers of foil and see.
2. Print white foil on black, result is lite grey. Thus the silver foil, as a block out.
 

ColesCreations

New Member
Thanks to all of you for insight!
Flexisign is pretty unusable for this problem, as it has no support for our printer, we do not have the spot colors available in Flexisign (white)...
Our project involved using the same image on both sides, we lined up the vinyl, printed the image, with opos-marks, then lined up and print white on top of the image, then lined up and printed the exact same image again in the same position. Gnemmas pricing sounds about right. It looked very good, no problem with shine-through, as it is the same image on both sides, but I can see that if it was text or anything that does not line up exactly with the other side, you'd get shades. From the outside it looked better than the print we did on white vinyl stuck on the outside. Would be nice if we could tell the printer to do it all in one operation though... Oh well, c'est la vie (Think that's right)
 

ColesCreations

New Member
Horray! I found Summa Durachrome colors in Flexisign!
Can now design in Flexisign, save it, then rip / print it with the Summa Colorcontrol!
Happy New Year to all of us!
 

ColesCreations

New Member
Did some decals today, that were printed on clear, to be applied to black background.
We can't find an option to print white first; without having to line it up again, so we did the following for 500 2" x 4" decals, 4 colors: 50% cyan, 100% cyan/40% magenta, white, and black for the OPOS-marks. Note no yellow...
We added 100% yellow to each color except black, and traded the white identifier for the yellow in the white ribbon cassette, with print-order yellow (now white) first, then contour cut them.
PS: Love that Summe T140 cutter!
Result: 500 perfect decals.

Oh- Talked to SignLab- they don't have a driver that supports Summa Durachrome:-(
 
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