Saturday, January 16, 2010
Day 16 - January 16, 2010
Yudu Screen Printing Machine
Speedball Diazo Photo Emulsion Kit
110 Yudu Screen
Gunmetal Bronze Yudu Ink
Area with a sink or bathtub
5 pounds of weight
Iron & ironing board
Rating: Cost $$$$ (expensive)
The Yudu is our Christmas present to our daughter. She watched the infomercial endlessly and really wanted to have the Yudu. The infomercial makes it all seem so simple and fast. Truthfully, if you buy the Yudu via the infomercial it will end up costing you $399. I bought hers from Costco for $252 including sales tax and delivery. I compared side-by-side the Yudu offers from the infomercial, Costco, HSN, Michaels, A.C. Moore and several websites. Costco had the best package including bonus items. I then set out to find the best prices for the supplies. Joann.com had the inks on sale at 25% off so I ordered a few 3 packs of ink from them. Overstock.com had a good price on emulsion sheets and emulsion remover. Since it was the time before Christmas, Michael’s had a 40% off coupon every week. Each Sunday I would purchase something Yudu related from Michael’s. Even with the 40% off, the screens still cost $15 and the emulsion sheets-a pack of 2- ranging in price from $14-$19. These prices mean you really have to think about what you want to screen print. I have been searching for a way to bring down the costs and discovered the Speedball Diazo Photo Emulsion Kit. The first kit I purchased from Dick Blick online for about $20 + shipping. The bottle should be good for creating at least 7-10 screens – I have prepared 3 so far. Today I went to Pearl’s Arts & Crafts and found everything in the store was 50% off – I bought two of the Diazo Photo Emulsion Kits for $22. It is pointless to give a gift to my daughter and have her unable to use it. My goal is a per screen price of $2 which would be low enough to let her create what ever she wants, when ever she wants to.
In a dark place I mixed together water and Diazo Sensitizer and added that to Diazo Photo Emulsion mixing well. I poured this onto a screen and spread it evenly on both sides of the screen. This is messy regardless of whether you use the kit as I did or the Yudu emulsion sheets. After the emulsion has been applied to the screen the next step is to dry the emulsion. Load the screen into the Yudu and turn on the fan. The quoted time for drying is a 15-20 minute cycle. In reality it took more like 30 or 40 minutes.
I found an image on the internet of a bunny and printed it onto a transparency. I taped the transparency onto the glass top of the Yudu. Once the screen dried, I put the screen, flush side down, onto the registration posts. The T-shirt platen, felt side down, is placed on top of this. Close the lid and put a 5 pound weight on top of the platen. Press the exposure button. Exposure time may vary but it is roughly 8-10 minutes. Once time is up, remove everything from the top of the Yudu and take the now exposed screen to a sink and wash off the green emulsion. It might take a few minutes to wash away all the unexposed emulsion. After you have it all removed, place the screen into the drying compartment of the Yudu. Drying time will vary according to your design.
Take the dry screen and using painters tape, tape the screen around the edges to prevent ink from going where you don’t want it to be. Place the T-shirt on the T-shirt platen, and place the platen onto the registration posts. Close the lid of the Yudu. Place the screen on the Yudu lid and apply a generous bead of ink on to the screen just above the design. The bead should be as wide as the design. Holding lid up and away from the T-shirt, flood the screen with ink by gently pulling squeegee across the design. Lower the Yudu lid and, holding squeegee with both hands using firm, even pressure, pull the squeegee across the screen. Lift lid, and you will see the image on the T-shirt. Remove the T-shirt platen and hang the shirt to dry. Once the ink has dried it must be heat set using an iron on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Over all I would say it took about 2 hours from start to finish. A lot of time is spent waiting for the emulsion and or screen to dry. If you have a design you plan to use a lot, then once you have created the screen it will take just a few moments to pull the design onto sometime new. We are going to explore different ways of creating designs – such as cutting Cricut® images, placing them on the glass and making a screen. In the mean time, I have my 40% off coupon ready for my visit to Michael’s tomorrow. You can’t use the 40% off coupon for the Yudu machine but as long as they will honor the discount for the other Yudu items I will continue to buy screens. I never know when inspiration will strike and I want to be prepared!