Setting Up A Manual Commercial Screen Printing Shop

This is the place to talk about what it takes to get started. This would include what equipment to buy, space requirements, electrical needs and anything related to getting ready to begin screen printing. Have a question regarding what it takes to screen print tee shirts? Please post them here...

Moderators: Shamax, Leadfoot, ApeShirt, Catspit Productions

User avatar
Catspit Productions
Site Admin
Posts: 1828
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:47 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Setting Up A Manual Commercial Screen Printing Shop

Postby Catspit Productions » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:22 pm

What do you need? How much space will it take? What electricity will I need?

Screen Printing Tee Shirts - “What do I need to screen print at home?”

This will all really depend on your end goals and your budget. You will need to do some research yourself because only you know what your particular needs are. Equipment can be expensive depending on what type of printing you are looking to do. Setting up a manual shop can cost anywhere from $500 to over $20,000. How much space it will take, what electrical needs will it have and how much it will cost you, depends on what kind of shop you want to set up. I suggest Ranar equipment because it is a great balance of function, performance and pricing.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z75yFTLcp90[/yotube]

Space requirements can vary but at least 500 square feet is recommended for a 6 color, 6 station manual rotary screen printing shop. With bench presses you can work in much smaller spaces of course but floor presses often require about an 8 to 10 foot working diameter. 1 station floor presses may be placed into a corner but they still need about 8 feet to work with.

Electrical requirements can vary as well depending on what equipment you purchase. Dryers are often 220 volt and most other equipment is 110v with the exception of forced air flash cure units which may also be 220v. In homes a 220 volt outlet may be found in the kitchen or garage. Always have an electrician install your electrical equipment properly to avoid fires. You may also find the need for industrial 110v outlets that run on a 20 amp breaker. Standard household 110v outlets have a 15 amp breaker and will trip when an industrial 110v unit is connected to them.

If you want to set up a manual screen print shop, you will need at least:

bench press or floor press
exposure unit
flash cure unit
belt dryer
washout booth
pressure washer
light safe drying cabinet

I always recommend getting a belt dryer if you can afford it. Then of course you will need the consumables like inks, solvents, screen making chemicals, etc… You will also need things like tape, ink scoops and other small accessories. Whether for hobby or commercial goals, your budget will determine what equipment you can buy.

Also check out these articles:

http://www.catspitproductionsllc.com/basicsteps.html

http://www.catspitproductionsllc.com/st ... print.html

Here is the link for the 500 square foot manual screen printing shop tour:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E8kXi5CBWw

This is the link for using your shop space as your darkroom with a light safe drying cabinet:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVkwER1VBaQ

Here’s a video I did about electrical requirements:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBBbhxaFjI4

This is a general supplies list:
Inks
Emulsion
Screen making chemicals
Screens
Squeegees
Ink Scoops
Scoop Coater
Inkjet Film
Spray Adhesive
Screen Opener
Screen Tape
Temperature Gun
Pallet Tape
Blockout

Here is some general information about the chemicals you will need but the CatspitProductionsLLC.com website has a plethora of articles and information as well. More so than this so I encourage you to explore that as well.

http://www.catspitproductionsllc.com/

Basic Chemicals and Usages:

Mesh abrader - This product is used to abrade or rough up new mesh fibers so the liquid emulsions will adhere to the mesh well. Only use mesh abrader once on new screens to increase your ability to achieve high detail and halftones. Mesh fibers are smooth and slick when brand new so we need to rough them up just a bit so the emulsion has something to bite onto. Only do this with NEW screens once before you use them for the first time. Then follow with a standard degreasing before proceeding to coat the screen with emulsion.

Mesh prep - This is used to degrease and remove debris or dirt from screen mesh in order to increase emulsion to mesh adhesion and eliminate pinholes. Use this before you coat a screen with emulsion every time after you strip the emulsion of and remove any stains from the mesh.

Emulsion - This is used to make the stencil. It’s a direct photosensitive liquid that is applied to the screen mesh. Dual cure emulsions have a wider exposure latitude and longer exposure times. Photopolymers emulsions have a more narrow exposure range with shorter exposure times.

Press wash - This is a solvent for either plastisol or water based screen printing inks. Please check the specifications for each product. It cleans the ink from screens, squeegees, ink scoops and other tools. This is designed to be used on press when the screen is to be reused and/or kept for future usage.

Ink wash - This is a solvent for either plastisol or water based screen printing inks. Please check the specifications for each product. It cleans the ink from screens, squeegees, ink scoops and other tools. It tends to be more aggressive on finishes and emulsions. This ink solvent is excellent at removing stains and may often be used in the washout booth with water to rinse degraded inks off screens. Use this ink solvent before reclaiming screens for reuse.

Emulsion remover - This product removes the stencil without damaging the screen mesh. Use this product when you want to remove a stencil and reuse the screen. This is used during the screen making and reclaiming process.

Haze/stain remover - This is used to remove any stains in the screen mesh before degreasing and recoating with emulsion for stencil making. It will remove stubborn haze images and allow ink to pass freely through mesh openings eliminating printing problems with reused screens.

I hope this post helps you understand what you need in order to set up a manual screen printing shop at home for fun of a commercial shop for profit. If you have questions, just ask.

Thanks for reading!
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions


closetoit
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:07 am

Re: Setting Up A Manual Commercial Screen Printing Shop

Postby closetoit » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:10 am

Quick question... Is it necessary to keep your computer, printer, and transfer sheets in air conditioned space? We're in south FL, and the warehouse can get over 100 degrees. Just wondering if the equipment would suffer if not in A/C. Thanks in advance.

User avatar
Catspit Productions
Site Admin
Posts: 1828
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:47 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Setting Up A Manual Commercial Screen Printing Shop

Postby Catspit Productions » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:12 pm

closetoit wrote:Quick question... Is it necessary to keep your computer, printer, and transfer sheets in air conditioned space? We're in south FL, and the warehouse can get over 100 degrees. Just wondering if the equipment would suffer if not in A/C. Thanks in advance.


The computer will suffer in that heat most likely as it needs to be air cooled to work best. It's probably a good idea to have the computer, inkjet printer, film positives, inks, emulsions and chemicals in conditions under 80 degrees F. Maybe 90 degrees tops.

Plus dust just kills computers.
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatspitProductions


Return to “Getting Started”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest