Posted on Sunday, March 19th, 2023
My trusty Roland VS-540 printer uses Eco Sol Max ink, and I’ve discovered that when it comes to laminating these prints, you must BE PATIENT! Roland recommends that you allow 24 hours after printing for outgassing of the solvents in the Eco Sol ink before lamination.
Hang the vinyl or roll it loosely to stand it up so the gases can fall away. Don’t let it lie flat on a bench because the solvents are heavier than air and will sit on the vinyl, possibly compromising the printed ink.
I now leave prints to hang for at least 48 hours—and longer if I can—just “to be sure to be sure.” I’m guessing that solvent printers wouldn’t have the same issues.
To hang the prints, I built racks along the shop wall that step out from the bottom like a set of upside-down three step stairs. They are made from 2-by-1-in. and 3-by-1-in. soft pine so that I can easily tack the prints to them with the staple gun.
The bottom 3-by-1 is fixed to the wall, then the next 2-by-1 is mounted a bit higher, then another one is mounted a bit higher still. The first print is tacked to the 3-by-1, then the next is tacked to the 2-by-1. The print hangs an inch out from the first sheet. Then the next print hangs a further inch out from that, tripling how many prints you can hang on the same wall space.
A friend of mine loosely rolls printed vinyl and stands it on a wire grid. Rolling it loosely allows the gas to drop to the bottom. The rolls are held off the floor by the grid which, not being anywhere near airtight, allows the gas to disperse. He swears by the method, saying that it works and doesn’t take up too much floor or wall space.
John Elliott, Prickle Patch Signs, Nambucca Heads, NSW, Australia