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Screen printing

On Friday I went to the print room at UCA Epsom, where I worked with screen printing technician Liz Wilson, who helped me to print a limited edition of South London Makerspace posters featuring the lovely new brand!

The day started in Adobe Illustrator where the design for the A1 poster was finalised. The positive of the image was then printed onto Agfa transparency film using a Canon inkjet printer...

The process was very quick, however the little feeder wheels inside the printer meant that there were a lot of holes in the image, that we had to colour back in with a permanent marker to avoid streaks in the image.

Here you can see Liz holding up the positive, it's quite a nice image as it is, but it's about to get a whole lot better...

After degreasing, and coating a screen with UV sensitive emulsion it's into the drying rack for a few minutes all under the co-incidentally matching red light of the dark room to avoid exposing the emulsion.

Once dry, the image was aligned with the screen and put into the exposure unit, which has a very powerful UV metal halide lamp at the bottom and can precisely control the exposure time. To assist in the exposure the screen and the film are sandwiched between a massive glass window through to the lamp, and a rubber membrane which is vacuum sealed to ensure a the image is held tightly against the screen and stays focused.

https://twitter.com/LDN_Makerspace

After it's a quick trip next door to wash out the uncured emulsion before it cures in the white light. It's the first time the image is seen.

Now it's time to mix the ink whilst the screen dries in the drying cabinet...

Then it's a simple case of flooding the screen with ink, and printing.

The whole day was a fantastic opportunity to get making and I am really thankful to Liz for her wonderful help in making these posters.