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Screen printing design with a 3d printer

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Posted · Screen printing design with a 3d printer

Hello there! 

It is not quite 3D printing, but I am using my 3d printer (Ecub maker Toydiy 4in1 with the laser head) and the Cura slicer for this project.


So I am doing simple t-shirt designs and I want to screen print them for myself. 

I have managed to figure out myself, how I can just fill the design with dots and only cut those with the laser head from baking paper (pls see the attached pictures).

Then I use it as a screen on a t-shirt, apply paint and it is done. 


I would like to bring this to a next level, and that's where I need help. I am looking for a method, where I can easily turn any pictures to screens with different sized holes or different density of holes. This way I could achieve different shades of the same colour within the design (by transferring different amounts of paint). 


(I could do basic screen printing by using 1 layer prints and a normal screen, but I like this laser stuff) 


Any ideas? 





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    Posted · Screen printing design with a 3d printer

    I think software that can raster photos for traditional printing might work? For example an old Photoshop or so?


    If you look at printed photos in books or magazines through a magnifying glass or microscope, you will see that they do consist of solid dots in varying sizes and angles. There are no shades in-between, only dots 100% (ON) or 0% (OFF) in the colors yellow, magenta, cyan, and black. By varying the size of the dots of each ink color, all the zillion colors shades in-between are produced.


    So, practically, you would need to convert a color-image into black/white in an image editor, then adjust contrast to your wishes, and then export that greyscale image as a printing-raster or printing-screen (I am not sure about the exact terminology), to convert the grey-shades into black dots of varying sizes. In some professional printing softwares, you can also select the desired shape of the dots: square, diamond, circle, and you can select the angle under which they are printed.


    Next time you walk by a huge promo panel on the streets, have a closer look. Usually they have big dots, easily visible to the naked eye.


    I doubt if freeware like Inkscape or GIMP can do this too, because this is a typical professional printing feature, not required for home or office use. But you might find some software, I don't know.


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