Our A to Z of Wide Format – F is for Finishing
Applications, Bleed, RIP Software…. We get asked lots of questions about the world of Wide Format on a daily basis. At Signmaster we are here to help and our lovely team of experts have pulled together a handy A to Z guide answering the most frequently asked questions.
Introducing the Signmaster A to Z of Wide Format
This is a series of helpful blogs, guides and articles that we hope you will find useful. We will post a new blog every fortnight and we’d love to know what you think so please comment or drop us an email. We’d love to hear from you!
This week it’s all about Finishing.
Whether you get asked to produce small vinyl stickers right through to pop-up systems, how you finish your products plays a very important role in your company.
There are a number of different finishes that you use or could use within your print room to complete your product range. Most common finishes are cutting (whether die, contour, perforation or pounce cut), routing, lamination, mounting, trimming, hemming, eyeleting or stamping.
You may not be able to offer every option available within your print room, however it’s great to know what you could achieve to keep current, make your business stand out and be different to others! You firstly need to establish what your product range is and the applications you wish to use.
You can then look at what equipment you may need to complete your chosen finish. Having the right equipment doesn’t only reduce your production time but they improve your workplace safety, increase the quality of your products and add value to your business.
In our opinion the most popular and sort after finishing bits of equipment are as follows:
1. Cutting Rails – although you can cut some semi rigid materials on a cutting rail; they are designed to cut flexible materials.
- Adding a cutting rail will allow you to cut materials such as vinyl, banner, film and even some semi rigid materials with precision and accuracy, as well as eliminating damage and errors which may occur with hand cutting.
2. Vertical Cutters – designed to cut rigid and semi rigid materials, which provides flexibility to cut down to any size.
Adding a vertical cutter will allow you to cut rigid and semi rigid materials such as aluminium composite, glass and PVC foamboard cleanly, accurately and with an excellent finish (due to the tapered wheels). As they cut without any noise or dust it is a perfect solution to be used in the same area as your printer. They also have the ability to score acrylic!
3. Laminator – most commonly used to put a clear protective film onto printed vinyl.
A laminator applies a smooth and even pressure to ensure two materials bonds together properly; eliminating bubbles or creases.
By adding a laminate to your prints, it will enhance the appearance and durability. It will give protection from potential scratches, protect from water or other liquids and offer UV protection.
They can also be used to mount vinyl’s to board and other rigid materials, although it is possible to hand-mount these, a laminator makes it so much easier and helps reduce damage and errors!
4. Plotter – designed to cut or plot graphics. It is mainly used for cutting single colour media such as lettering vinyl and heat transfer vinyl.
Many businesses start out with a print and cut solution. However, as they grow they purchase a plotter to free up the printer to be used for print only whilst using the plotter for cutting. This enables you to complete more products within the same time period, increasing your productivity!
The above outline, in our opinion, the most popular pieces of finishing equipment to enhance your production area, but there are many more that are available. If you are interested in others, please visit our website – where more information can be found on (Heat Presses, Cutting Rails and Vertical A Frame Cutters, Laminators and Flatbed Applicators, Plotters).
If you have any questions about what finishes would best suit your requirements and substrates, please give a call; our specialists are on hand to give their expert advice!