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Read Thread: Inkjet Printing on Clear Cellophane

Inkjet Printing on Clear Cellophane
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Dec 13, 2007 2:24pm
Board
We've discussed transferring images to rubber by inkjet printing on clear cellophane, letting it dry, and then pressing the rubber onto the cellophane. The biggest problem with this method is the tendency for the ink to blob up. This afternoon I was getting frustrated watching the ink blob up; it would come out of the printer just beautifully, and then right before my eyes I'd watch it all migrate around the surface into blobs before it had a chance to dry. It was like watching Terminator II put himself back together.

I now have developed a small improvement to this transfer method. Spray an even coat of DupliColor Adhesion Promoter -- available in auto parts stores, you should have some on hand for camo-painting plastic containers -- and let it dry fully, like an hour. This will give the clear cellophane a frosted appearance. Then run it through the printer.

There's no benefit to the frosted appearance -- in fact, that's kind of a negative, since the cellophane being clear sometimes helps you see what you're doing. But the frosted surface seems to hold the ink better and result in less gloppiness. And I was fully expecting that it would hold the ink so well that the transferred image would be permanent, I would ruin that piece of cellophane, but I was pleasantly surprised, after transferring the ink washed right off the cellophane as easily as ever.

It's almost a no-risk thing to try, since if you don't like it you can simply use the other, nonpainted side of the cellophane.
Re: Inkjet Printing on Clear Cellophane
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #164296 by Kirbert
Dec 13, 2007 2:27pm
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Kirbert, you absolutely amaze me with your creative solutions!!

~ 3BG
Re: Inkjet Printing on Clear Cellophane
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #164296 by Kirbert
Dec 13, 2007 4:05pm
Board
Kirbert, after printing on clear cellophane prepared the way you described, and transferring to the rubber, does the remainder of the ink wash off the cellophane? Then, you can reuse the piece of cellophane?
Re: Inkjet Printing on Clear Cellophane
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #164340 by Butterfly Suzy
Dec 13, 2007 6:13pm
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Quote does the remainder of the ink wash off the cellophane? Then, you can reuse the piece of cellophane?


Yes, that's what I was trying to describe. The ink washes right off -- just as it did before painting with the DupliColor Adhesion promoter. The DupliColor Adhesion Promoter doesn't seem to wash off, so with any luck one application will be good forever.
Re: Inkjet Printing on Clear Cellophane
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #164296 by Kirbert
Dec 31, 2007 5:51pm
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Quote This afternoon I was getting frustrated watching the ink blob up;

I now have developed a small improvement to this transfer method. Spray an even coat of DupliColor Adhesion Promoter -- available in auto parts stores...


This was my report back before my Christmas vacation. Now having used it a while, I can report that it works great -- once. Unfortunately, the DupliColor Adhesion Promoter lacks durability. It gets worn away in spots, apparently by the print head rubbing on it. Then, of course, if you try printing on it, you'll get a mess. You can apply another coat of Adhesion Promoter, that works fine, but it's a PITA to be repainting that sheet each time you use it. Expensive, too, since the Adhesion Promoter is something like $4.50 a can.

So, my next idea: I took an abrasive scrubber and gently scrubbed the surface of a sheet of cellophane to give it a matte finish instead of shiny. The scrubber I used was actually an abrasive pad, but I suspect fine sandpaper or maybe even household cleanser would work. You can tell if it works by just checking the reflection.

With my first attempt, it did seem to work pretty well. And I expect the buffed surface will hold up just fine. It didn't seem to make any difference at all when cleaning the ink off, it still comes off just fine.