Prepare the Screen: Begin by selecting a clean and dry screen mesh that suits your printing project. Ensure proper tensioning of the mesh for optimal stencil creation.
2. Cut the Capillary Film: Measure and cut a piece of capillary film that matches the size of your screen, leaving some extra film around the edges for full coverage.
3. Position the Capillary Film: Place the capillary film on the printing side of the screen mesh, making sure the emulsion side of the film is in contact with the mesh. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
4. Add the Positive: Place the positive film, containing your desired design or artwork, on top of the capillary film. Make sure it aligns correctly with the screen and covers the areas where you want the ink to pass through.
5. Apply Pressure: Use a squeegee or roller to apply pressure on the positive film. This pressure helps the capillary film adhere tightly to the screen mesh, ensuring good contact between the film and the mesh.
6. Expose to Light: Transfer the screen with the capillary film and positive film to an exposure unit or exposure table. Expose the screen to a UV light source for the recommended duration as specified by the manufacturer. The light will cure the unmasked areas of the emulsion on the capillary film.
7. Rinse and Dry: Remove the positive film and capillary film from the screen, then rinse the screen with water. The unexposed emulsion on the film will wash away, leaving behind the desired stencil pattern. Allow the screen to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the printing stage.
8. Setup for Printing: Mount the dry screen onto the printing press or equipment. Ensure proper alignment for accurate registration with the substrate.
9. Ink the Screen: Apply ink to the screen using a squeegee, flood bar, or automatic printing equipment. The ink will pass through the open areas of the stencil created by the capillary film onto the substrate.
10. Print: Lower the screen onto the substrate and use a squeegee or the printing press to transfer the ink evenly across the stencil. Repeat the printing process as necessary, adjusting registration and cleaning the screen between prints if needed.
11. Cure the Print: Depending on the type of ink used, the printed substrate may need to be cured or dried using a heat source, conveyor dryer, or other curing methods recommended by the ink manufacturer.