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Precision screen printing

kustomizer

Active member
Is anyone here doing this?
I need some some small quantity, high quality parts and would like to do them in house 2" dia
 

sfriedberg

Active member
How small is the text and/or how thin is the narrowest line? Print on a flat face or on a circumference? And by "precision" do you mean dimensional accuracy of the printing, registration of the printing with part features, or registration of multiple color passes with each other? Or something else?

There are different choices, depending on the answers. Simplest solution for one color on a flat surface would be silk screening or (at a larger scale) stenciling. Simplest solution for non-flat surface would be padding.
 

kustomizer

Active member
There are several sizes from 1 7/8 to 2", they are flat gauge faces. The bulk of the text is around .15 tall and the thinnest lines are around .020 on the smallest text about .06 tall
IMG_3786.jpg
 

DDoug

Active member
Somewhere I have an article from "machinery" magazine showing a worker at Monarch screen printing the compound rest angular divisions.
 

kustomizer

Active member
Laser that sucker! Lasers work for everything!

Though that would be easier and cheaper the guy that buys it wants it to look and be as close as possible to what came on his 1930's motorcycle, so, it really needs to be screen printed. These are restoration parts for motorcycles worth 50k - 100k
 

thermite

Active member
There are several sizes from 1 7/8 to 2", they are flat gauge faces. The bulk of the text is around .15 tall and the thinnest lines are around .020 on the smallest text about .06 tall
View attachment 339773

That has historically been a while different technique, used heavily at one time in producing finer watch "dials" with extremely fine second and sub-second lines on tachymetric and "Aviator" watches.

The process is kinda counter-intuitive, but there must be at least ONE contractor still doing what I had need of in anywhere from "onesie" restorations for the Company Chairman's fetishes, to multi-hundred volume '74-'84 out of New York to assemble our company house-brand watches on Swiss Ebel movements.
 

gustafson

Active member
I feel their pain, took me the better part of a decade to find a set of gauges for a car I restored, and they were only mostly right. HAd to swap a bezel on one.

I would price out 8-1/2x 11 sheets of them


From another project I learned that new silkscreen has a much sharper line than vintage stuff, so the lettering might look ever so slightly smaller than the original because they are not so fuzzy


No one would notice unless they changed just one gauge
 

thermite

Active member
I wonder if they were screen printed Porcelain ?
Not the legendary "US Gage", no. A screen printing "kit", some camera and 'puter work, these are not hard. BTDTGTTS, Company Logos and one-off DoD weapons system TESTING goods control panel legends, cold war era.

"Weapons" are high-volume goods. Some of their test and acceptance "evaluation" gear can be onesies or fewsies. Interesting bizness, actually. Hardly ever do the same thing even twice!

:)

Even so .. an experienced specialist can do them to a very high standard and more easily.

It's their "Day Job", they are well-equipped, and their "learning curve" can be more than two human generations in the rear-view mirror.

Sometimes it is best to lean on their expertise, free more scarce time to do what they CANNOT do under yer own roof?

international dial company

Automotive Clock and Automotive Gauge Repair and Restoration, Speedometer Repair, Tachometer Repair, Car Clock Quartz Conversion, Gauge Cluster Repair, Instrument Services

Classic Car Instrument Cluster Repair and Restoration
 

Scottl

Active member
There are several sizes from 1 7/8 to 2", they are flat gauge faces. The bulk of the text is around .15 tall and the thinnest lines are around .020 on the smallest text about .06 tall
View attachment 339773

Those are usually done with offset printing, black ink on a matte white aluminum sheet.

Decades ago I worked for an electrical instrument manufacturer and that is how it was done. Most of our gauge faces were black markings on white but we also had some customers who wanted the white markings on black, which was done by making a negative of the artwork.

We had some customers who wanted colored bars as well and this was done by secondary printing operations. We made whatever the customer wanted, with a lot of 4-20mA process meters with some really weird scales such as cubic yards per second.
 

thermite

Active member
Those are usually done with offset printing, black ink on a matte white aluminum sheet.

Yup. Serious-weird vs "on paper" offset lithography, especially as to "one up" at a go.

My immediate predecessor had bought the 1970's (and prior..) equipment, "oil of lavender" and all.'

It had never crossed that individual's tiny little mind what it was going to cost us to retain staff as could USE it well, if even "at all" for our modest, and VERY infrequent needs.

I went to using contractors in New York who did this stuff all-day, EVERY day, delivered "perfection" every time out, scrapped nada.

Our bottom line was far the better for it, too!

Howard Hughes to Noah Dietrich:

"Find the experts, Noah. Find the EXPERTS!"

They don't work "for free"?

Well WTF?

Neither did WE!

Reasonable "markup" off a fairly negotiated price is faster and easier that re-inventing the wheel, alone, and in the dark.

:)
 

Larry Dickman

Active member
I hate to suggest this, because all of these fucked up "Reality" shows make me want to vomit. But what about that Ricks Restorations guy? Sounds like it's right up his alley.
 

gustafson

Active member
Those are usually done with offset printing, black ink on a matte white aluminum sheet.

Decades ago I worked for an electrical instrument manufacturer and that is how it was done. Most of our gauge faces were black markings on white but we also had some customers who wanted the white markings on black, which was done by making a negative of the artwork.

We had some customers who wanted colored bars as well and this was done by secondary printing operations. We made whatever the customer wanted, with a lot of 4-20mA process meters with some really weird scales such as cubic yards per second.

Makes sense when they were building a ton, I have a feeling that now they would silkscreen

But it does bring to mind the do it in house idea.

Making it negative as you mention would make it a lot easier I would think to make your own 'stamp' as it were. Let a little end mill go to work on a chunk of aluminum

Roller some black paint and try it on a white painted chunk of aluminum...
 

chequamegon

New member
Pad printing is the way to go for high quality printing on small parts but you'll need to purchase a machine to do it or have it done outside. Google pad printing.

"Pad printing (also called tampography) is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset (gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate."

Cheers
 

thermite

Active member
Pad printing is the way to go for high quality printing on small parts but you'll need to purchase a machine to do it or have it done outside. Google pad printing.

"Pad printing (also called tampography) is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset (gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate."

Cheers

Got spare f**k-around time to master it? Yah can even make a kinda neat hobby of it:

Pad Printing Of Watch Dials Explained (Reprise) - Quill & Pad

Dashboard instrument dials need far the larger "fake boob", "balloon", or "loaf" than watch-sized dials, but they exist.

One look at that soft, quivery blob.. and yah grok what I meant by "counterintuitive" ... because the accuracy it can deliver seems to fly in the face of a jello-scrotum or wotever doing the transfer!

ISTR a school "Art Class" where the kids actually USED "edible" Jello, even?

:D
 

chequamegon

New member
Op said 2" diameter, The right sized pad printers can do up to 7.5" dia images easily.

Really need to find the ignore feature. Maroon
 








 
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