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Off Contact Printing for Screen Printers

What is off contact screen printing? In off contact screen printing you adjust the screen a bit above the platen, so that the only time the screen touches your garment is when you press the squeegee onto the mesh. Some people don't understand the importance of off contact screen printing, while others swear by the clean, flawless prints they get with this technique. In a perfect world, off contact printing that is set correctly will allow the mesh to lift off of the shirt making for a cleaner print. When adjusting the screen there are several different factors to take into consideration:
  1. Ink Viscosity; thicker inks will hold to mesh and not release onto your garment properly. Here a tight screen and an open mesh, along with the proper off contact will really help out the printing process and save on ink. An article talking about "High Density Printing" and overall ink viscosity is here.
  2. Mesh Count and Tension; having a tight mesh and the appropriate mesh count for your job makes printing so much easier. You shouldn't have to be overly concerned with off contact heights if you are using the appropriate screen and mesh. Click here to read about "Choosing the Right Screen Printing Mesh". Click here to read about "Mesh Counts".
  3. The Amount of Ink Used Per Print; the more ink you use the thicker your ink will be on your screen. Most likely you will have a higher off contact than if you were to use less ink.
  4. Print Size; larger prints usually hold more ink and the mesh may rest on your garment so a higher off contact setting is preferred than if you were printing a smaller print.
Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 7.56.10 PMFor all questions call us. We'd love to hear from you!
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