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Screen Printing - Getting Started with the Right Equipment Package

Posted by Ryan Bolin - Outside Sales on 3/21/2016
If you have happened on this article while searching around for Screen Printing Equipment Packages, then this will be a worthwhile read as I give you tips on what to look for so that you don't get left holding the (empty) bag.

Lots of online retailers will sell you a "Screen Printing Equipment Package" - these are usually marketed and sold as some sort of turnkey equipment package that will have you screen printing in minutes.  But is it really that easy?  And what about service after the sale; when you need help the most will the cheapest retailer available back up the sale with the help you need?  And what about all the options available, are they worth the upgrade?

First, lets start with the equipment.  Usually if you are looking at a starter shop package you are looking at a screen printing press, a way to dry or cure the ink, some sort of exposure device or exposure unit, and some necessary supply items.  Just in these items alone there can be a lot of variety.  What we in Texsource sales recommend is not to go overboard with your press; if you are getting a smaller size press just to get your feet wet then this is usually the first piece of screen printing equipment that you will outgrow.  Consider at least a 2 color press even in your introductory press; it will give you much more flexibility in your printing and give you some good experience in multi-color prints and lining up your screens.  A tabletop press can be fine, but you will find that mounting it to a good stand or table will benefit you with greatly increased stability.  

Many screen printing kits will come with only a heat gun or perhaps a flash unit for curing.  These are entirely fine for starting out and getting your feet wet, as stepping up to a dedicated conveyor dryer can often be a bigger financial step than many are willing to make, at least at first.  When you are ready and have the hang of it (and you are starting to print jobs for 'paying' customers), then you will find the benefits of a dedicated conveyor dryer are hard to live without with regards to production.  You no longer have to sure items one-by-one by hand - simply print, lay on the dryer, and let them run through.  Many of the entry level conveyor dryers (such as the Vastex D100) carry an entry level price, but have the build quality and features to give you plenty of room for growth.  With proper care, such a dryer should perform well in your shop for many years.  


the Vastex D100 is an excellent entry level conveyor dryer

When it comes to exposing your screen, many kits include a 500w lamp kit; it is simple, easy to setup, and easy to use.  the problem is that they offer very little protection or isolation for your screen, and they can take quite a bit more time to burn your image.  You won't have to spent much more money at all to step up to a dedicated exposure unit such as the Genesis Unit.  The difference may be a few hundred dollars, but now you are getting much more efficiency with your burns (less downtime, wasted burns, emulsion, etc).  This is probably a step that many would recommend you take from the very start if you are able.  

What about the supply items?  Well, here is where the competition skimps on you.  Texsource give you absolutely EVERYTHING you need to get started printing, right out of the box.  Inks, emulsion, screen, squeegee, cleaning supplies, etc.  You get it all included in every startup equipment package that we sell.  For anyone within driving distance of any of our locations, every package purchase gets you free admission to any of our Introduction to Screen Printing classes - a $70 value.  If you are not within driving distance and you have any issues at all or just need some help getting going, we are here for you with chat support, Skype, and a dedicated support staff whose job it is to help you get on your feet.  We want you to succeed because if you are successful we want to be your supplier - it is as simple as that!

Take a look around at our equipment and supply kits and packages - we offer more manufacturers and products than ANY supplier in the US, and with 4 location we can get your items to you fast.  When you are ready, contact us and lets talk shop!

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