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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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    • 3 weeks later...
    Posted · Screen printing design with a 3d printer

    Cam Watt is a Media, Art, and Design teacher who has provided the files to 3D print a screen printing kit, including print frames, a standoff leg, and a squeegee. The kit also includes a detailed tutorial on converting your 2D files to 3D models (STL files.) Once the kit gets printed, Watt also provides instructions on how to use it to reproduce your own design repeatedly. This is a great project: the kit can be printed on any 3D printer with a 6 x 6 " bed, and the end result is durable enough to withstand what is likely to be your enthusiastic use of it! More details on this process can be found in this article 


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    • 1 month later...
    Posted · Screen printing design with a 3d printer
    On 7/15/2022 at 5:35 AM, joe30 said:

    Cam Watt is a Media, Art, and Design teacher ...  More details on this process can be found. 


    On a different link. That link just goes to a writeup of 3D printer comparisons. Any chance of the real link? I'd like to do this too and don't want to recreate the wheel.

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