Screen Printing PressesCredit: http://www.teeshirtprinters.com/presses/11bench.jpg
In an earlier article, I talked about the basics of screen printing and how to get started. In this article, I'll talk about the pieces of equipment that will greatly increase your efficiency and production capability: screen printing presses!
Screen printing presses are specialized machines built with one express purpose: making your manual screen printing process that much easier! This article is useful for people with a casual interest in screen printing presses, and also for people looking for screen printing equipment for sale. Hopefully, it will help you make an excellent choice that matches your printing requirements perfectly.
Without ado, let's look at a few screen printing presses and how they work!
Manual Screen Printing PressesCredit: http://imageshack.us/f/259/41benchze7.jpg/
The manual screen printing press is the first option available for any aspiring printer, and it's the most obvious and low cost entry point into the professional realm. Of course, it is possible to print with nothing but a screen and the equipment stated in my previous article, but in order to do high quality, professional level work, you'll need at least a manual screen printing press so you can make your hand work steady and repeatable.
There are a few options for manual screen printing presses. Really, a press like this is nothing more than a couple of clamps for holding the screen firmly in place, a flat surface to rest your canvas material on, and a set of hinges on the clamps to raise and lower your screens. You can build something like this at home! Just make sure it's accurately sized for the type of printing you want to do. I may do another article on how to build your own screen printing press at some point...
You can purchase a manual printing press in various shapes and sizes from a number of reputable silk screen suppliers. Ryonet has a great set of full metal screen printing presses available for sale, and they're modular in construction, so you can upgrade them as you see fit. The 4 color 2 station Table Top Screen Printing Silver Press, for example, is a great offering that would suit the needs of any small run screen printer.
Screen Printing Presses: Semi Automatic, Fully Automatic PressesCredit: http://www.silkscreeningsupplies.com/files/799934/uploaded/DiamondbackAutomatic68.jpg
The next option available to you is automated equipment. A manual silk screening press is a time consuming way to create copies of an image. You can get to be very efficient with practice, but in order to do, say, orders of 50,000 copies, you'll need to figure out a way to automate your workload.
Semi-automatic and fully automatic screen printing presses are the next logical step. These machines do it all for you. You just load up the material to be printed on. The machines lower the screens onto the canvas, the add the exact correct amount of ink needed for the print, and apply the squeegee. With highly automated equipment, the prints will even be hung and dried, no work involved!
Ryonet and many other companies offer automated equipment, such as the M&R Diamondback Automatic Screen Printing Press. It's usually heavy and large and requires a full shop with exotic power requirements, so it's probably not the perfect entry point for a startup small business. Once you learn the basics, though, you should consider moving on to this next step to make your workload easier.
Screen Printing Presses: Summary
Screen printing presses can be as simple as a couple of clamps, a piece of board and a hinge, or as complicated as hydrolic, automated equipment weighing thousands of pounds! You need to look at all available screen printing presses and choose the option that best suits your needs. Don't overextend yourself! A simple silk screening press is a great way to start up a low cost small business.