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too much ink?

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too much ink?

Postby KikiTopaz » January 6th, 2013, 4:29 am

I'm using rapidmask and making a large rectangle square (pitch black) behind each graphic/text. I'm going through a ton of ink.
Is this normal? Am I supposed to weld the two together so the printer isn't printing two layers?
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Re: too much ink?

Postby David Takes » January 6th, 2013, 7:48 am

Welcome to the world of RapidMask. Ink usage is one of the down sides of this resist option, along with the more expensive films you have to print to, and the difficulty of applying a more brittle resist to any compound curve at all. It has its benefits, but not enough for me to ever want to use it often. That is not to say others don't use it and don't love it.

Now that you are already there and are limited by your current setup to use washout film, many printer driver settings have an economy mode which uses less ink. This setting may not be the best option because you want a very opaque print where light won't get through the printed areas of your design. It may appear that you are putting more ink on the film than you think because it comes out wet, but that's only a phenomenon caused by the less absorbent film. On paper the ink gets absorbed right into the fibers of the paper, while on the film it sets on top of the thin coating on the film and takes longer to air dry.
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Re: too much ink?

Postby Terry W » January 6th, 2013, 10:20 am

Here is a little tip for RM as well. Make your boarder to the design as close as you feel comfortable taping around it. If your design is say 3, 1/2" square you don't need to print a 5" square, make it 3 3/4 or less if you can. Than tape off the areas you don't want blasted.

I only use RM for halftones myself but I have a washout station and it's not below freezing here :TU: .

You could also look into a bulk ink system it it's available for your printer. I have 2 of them but there set up with dye sub inks.
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Re: too much ink?

Postby JESS » January 6th, 2013, 10:36 am

Kari-
Yes, RM uses a lot of ink! You should be printing a single layer image (Flatten the image first). Terry's advise is correct. RM becomes brittle when exposed, while the unexposed material resists abrasion. Washout is the opposite. Exposing washout hardens all the rest of the material, allowing you to "wash out" the unexposed material. Raw washout film is water soluble until it is exposed, when it becomes less soluble. It works much better for compound curves, but for anything with a single curve (wine bottles, etc.) or flat surfaces, after years of experience, I greatly prefer RM.
My 2 cents-
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Re: too much ink?

Postby Tom Kuhn » January 6th, 2013, 10:48 am

Guys.... "Single Layer Image"... "Flattening"... let's not get wrapped around the axle here. It makes absolutely no difference how many layers are in a CDR file as to how much ink it utilizes when printing. The printer driver does all that calculation before printing and only applies the ink required when printing. If you really believe that the program prints all the data on each layer, how does it print something like a washer or a donut, with a black circle on a lower layer and a white circle on an upper layer creating the "hole"? Are you suggesting that it prints a solid black circle on the paper and then prints a white circle on top of that? How many of you have printers with white ink? Where objects overlap and colors overlap, only the top color on the overlap area is sent to the printer.

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Re: too much ink?

Postby Northwestie » January 6th, 2013, 12:30 pm

Kari,

While I was researching what kind of photoresist film to use and looked at Rapid Mask the thought I had about it was exactly what you are experiencing. I use Rayzist photomask which is a washout film. I actually think the washing out is kind of fun. The mask is flexible and easy to apply. I know you've worked hard to get your system down but maybe someday you'll want to give the washout a try. I'm snowbirding now for the winter so I can only live vicariously through all of you. Thanks for posting on your progress. It's been fun to watch you grow since we started out at the same time.

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Re: too much ink?

Postby JESS » January 6th, 2013, 1:33 pm

Tom-
Good point, but she DID infer it was printing multiple times.
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Re: too much ink?

Postby Tom Kuhn » January 6th, 2013, 2:21 pm

Jess, re-read Kari's post. She didn't say it was printing TWICE, she said it was printing multiple layers. Bottom line is, if there is more than one vector in the file, there WILL be layers, every item will be in front of, or behind another item. The only way to get around this is to combine (not weld) all entities into one, and that's not necessary.

Kari, if I'm misinterpreting your initial post and things are PRINTING twice, let me know.

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Re: too much ink?

Postby KikiTopaz » January 7th, 2013, 6:20 am

I was just guessing as to why I'm going through so much ink but now that I look at my accu-art files, I can see that I've done quite a lot of printing. I'm going to take everyone's advice and order wash out. I can see where it would be much easier to work with on compound curves. (I tend to get a few wrinkles in RM when I'm doing a wine goblet) I was just hoping the printer wasn't thinking that it was printing layers, I didn't know if that was even feasible.
I did cut back on making the black borders around my images so that seems to help and I'm careful while taping so I don't catch an edge and end up with a frosted line. Thanks everyone! Once again the collective experiences and first hand knowledge here is immeasurable. Kari
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