New Method of Printing Decals?

Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby Tom Dempsey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:10 pm

Well, Netzlofdesigns is an empty splash page, no prices, no way to order, etc. Just got off the phone with Mimaki USA, they don't think the equipment will do transfers or decals, but, they're going to talk to the engineering staff in LA and see if those folks think the machine can be adapted. I'll keep you two in the loop if something comes of this, but the conversation was only minimally encouraging.
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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby Bernd » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:17 pm

Tom Dempsey wrote:Well, Netzlofdesigns is an empty splash page, no prices, no way to order, etc. Just got off the phone with Mimaki USA, they don't think the equipment will do transfers or decals, but, they're going to talk to the engineering staff in LA and see if those folks think the machine can be adapted. I'll keep you two in the loop if something comes of this, but the conversation was only minimally encouraging.


I noticed that to. Not much there. Here's a link to CMR Products that sells his decals.

http://www.cmrproducts.com/store/#!/c/0/inview=category14339246&offset=0&sort=normal

In the thread that this was brought up on MRH it was never stated what kind of printer he had bought. The poster basically said it cost more than a new truck and that it could print in white. So I went on a search on Google to see what I could come up with. Wonder if I got snookered?

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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby j p » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:18 pm

Tom Dempsey wrote:Well, Netzlofdesigns is an empty splash page, no prices, no way to order, etc. Just got off the phone with Mimaki USA, they don't think the equipment will do transfers or decals, but, they're going to talk to the engineering staff in LA and see if those folks think the machine can be adapted. I'll keep you two in the loop if something comes of this, but the conversation was only minimally encouraging.


Salesmen may not be familiar with the technique on making decals on ALPS. Have you mentioned that a special decal paper with adhesive- and transparent carrier layers is used? It can print on paper or cardboard, it can print on plastics. I don't see any reason why would it not print decals too.
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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby Tom Dempsey » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:14 pm

Hence the reason he's going to confer with the engineering staff in LA, JP. I don't ever lease/purchase new equipment until viability and support has been locked down.
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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby Bernd » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:11 am

I went to the Mimaki USA website and looked at there products in flatbed printers. Just from logical deduction from what I saw them capable of doing I don't see any reason why they wouldn't print on decal paper. It's smooth like a glass surface and they tout that theirs can print on glass.

On one of the models they showed turning a clear film over and printing on the back matching what was printed on the front. This gave me the idea of doing brass etchings. So I'm wondering if the UV ink would be resistant to the etchant used to etch brass. Also it seems that the resolution is a lot finer making for smaller lines. Excellent for etchings.

Also for a manufacturer of model kits it would be boon that since you can print on wood to have a building completely colored with signs on it. All the modeler would have to do is assemble and weather it to their liking.

I see potential for these printers in the hobby. Maybe not for the individual modeler at this point due to cost. If the tabletop laser dropped in price like they have for an individual to own one then I don't see why it can't happen with these printers.

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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby Shipsure » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:10 pm

Another issue is resolution. I work with a number of printers and by far the ALPS can handle Dim Data even down to Z scale...any of the direct color systems still "spray" the ink so there is a threshold where the focus just isn't all that good. For road names and icons...amazing, but smaller print will need to be handled by contact printers. But, the way technology is advancing, any time now we may have printers that can handle both with ease.

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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby j p » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:15 pm

Welcome back Joe

Each of the print techniques has some advantages and some disadvantages.

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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby NetzlofDesign » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:30 pm

Hi!

I see a lot of stuff going on in here, lots of discussion- Excellent! My foremost goal with this all was to help lead the hobby and industry in a new direction as well as to hopefully inspire more forward looking experimenting; it appears you all are receptive to this!

I also see there's been some diligent research into this; I'm not quite ready to confirm what specific printing method I'm using, but I will confirm it is not an ALPS, a pad printer, nor anything that (to my knowledge) is currently in use for model railroad manufacturing and that months of research, demoing, and testing is what lead to the final purchasing decision. I will also state that the printing method does create fine enough detail to properly reproduce dimensional data on N Scale boxcars (I will provide a few pictures once I get to my home computer.)

I also want to say that I do not intend for the direct-printing aspect to be a replacement for decals; simply another tool to add to the custom market. The way it typically works best is if, say, you have a freelanced coal company that you would like to represent with 30 coal hoppers decorated for this company. Just like placing an order at your LHS or with one of the big hobby suppliers, you ring us up, tell us you need 30 100 X-manufacturer coal hoppers, and in a couple weeks they are delivered to your door; Only difference is instead of being PPLX or UCEX they are decorated for your freelanced company. Our slogan, "We're making Custom Ready-to-Run!" alludes to this. This is also a great facet for clubs or organizations that are looking for a "club car" or what have you.

Now, I am well aware that custom decorated equipment has always been available from the manufacturers, but last I looked into it the minimum order numbers were rather high- 100s of units high. What sets us apart from the factory direct option is we have a 5 Unit minimum. With out the need to produce the inking plates as with a pad-printing machine our set up fee is lower and there is no additional charge for multiple colors.

I didn't really intend to turn this into a sales pitch, but I definitely wanted to make sure you guys had the answers. On that note, I will be hanging around to answer further questions, so, feel free to ask away!

Final note- I am busier than ever printing at this time, and I'm aware our website is pretty, well, crap. Our Facebook page is where the most recent updates wind up, and I will eventually get some time to migrate some of the pictures to the website.

Thanks again guys! Keep watching. we're far from done!
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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby j p » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:40 pm

Welcome to the board!

For our use, it does not have to be limited to a private coal company. Just any real railroad would work fine too.
Now we have to make some more models you could print on :)
No need to discuss your printing method here if you don't want to, it is not likely that anyone could use it only for custom printing of TT equipment anyway. Make it for other scales and you may get also some TT scale orders.
Good luck and thanks.

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Re: New Method of Printing Decals?

Postby NetzlofDesign » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:42 am

Thanks!

My example of the coal company is my standard canned response to explain what we have going, but you're absolutely right! Let's say there's a TT boxcar on Shapeways. great! You've got the car, but it still lacks paint and lettering- that's where we come in!

I have some basic experience with Shapeways plastics (WSF, FUD) and getting paint to work with them, as I'm gathering these are the most readily available source for TT scaled prototypes.
The direct-print process can lay graphics on any scale, its a simple as resizing the artwork to work.
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