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anothergol

film-free waterslide decals?

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Posted (edited)

Looks like this company makes film-free waterslide decal paper... and that looks pretty interesting.

However it's based on heat to remove the film. While putting Lego parts in an oven is undoubtly unsafe, I wonder about hair-dryer.
Has anyone used this yet or anything similar?

What's a better option? They have ruboff paper as well, but it looks even more hard/boring to use (for someone like me who'd just want things done).

 

I wanted to get some tiles custom-printed, but they all require large batches, while I have quite some parts to print differently for a MOC.
Then I checked decal paper again, even though I don't much like like decals either because of the sheet's reflection that's different from the part's reflection, the transparent film often shows on camera.
Looks like this type of thing would work well in theory?

Edit: what scares me is the comments on those things, saying they don't work well. I so wish there was an easy way to print tiles..
Last year I had contacted a company that told me they had no problem printing Lego parts... until I clarified that I didn't wanna 3D print parts, but print ON them.. and they replied they couldn't do that. We're in a world in which it's easier to 3D-print a Lego part than to print on it.....
 

 

Edited by anothergol

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5 hours ago, anothergol said:

I wanted to get some tiles custom-printed, but they all require large batches

Pad printing, which is what lego uses, requires large batches, but digital UV printing does not.  I'm pretty sure BrickSanity's website says they print onto tiles for 1 pound per tile, and I can't recall offhand but I'm guessing MinifigFX and minifigs.me might print on tiles. All three of those companies offer printing in very small batches.

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Yeah but digital printed tiles, at least how they're shown on such websites, generally look like very cheap printing, with low DPI and visible banding.

On the other hand, minifigs.me's showcase looks better, perhaps because the other 2 websites try doing photorealistic stuff that (doesn't look really Lego, and) look pretty bad.

That said, I only need printing in black, so maybe digital printing will be a good enough solution.

I also need to print these, but maybe it's not flat enough for a digital printer.

s-l300.jpg

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13 hours ago, anothergol said:

Yeah but digital printed tiles, at least how they're shown on such websites, generally look like very cheap printing, with low DPI and visible banding.

On the other hand, minifigs.me's showcase looks better, perhaps because the other 2 websites try doing photorealistic stuff that (doesn't look really Lego, and) look pretty bad.

That said, I only need printing in black, so maybe digital printing will be a good enough solution.

I also need to print these, but maybe it's not flat enough for a digital printer.

s-l300.jpg

check steindrucker.com

he did digital printing on slightly curved parts before.

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4 hours ago, raminator said:

check steindrucker.com

he did digital printing on slightly curved parts before.

 

Ah cool, that's one I didn't know. And his printing looks pretty good, actually. No visible banding & high-res.

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19 hours ago, anothergol said:

Yeah but digital printed tiles, at least how they're shown on such websites, generally look like very cheap printing, with low DPI and visible banding.

On the other hand, minifigs.me's showcase looks better, perhaps because the other 2 websites try doing photorealistic stuff that (doesn't look really Lego, and) look pretty bad.

That said, I only need printing in black, so maybe digital printing will be a good enough solution.

I also need to print these, but maybe it's not flat enough for a digital printer.

The torso of the girl in blue and the face of the guy she’s talking to in this image were printed by BrickSanity.  I send them files at 600 DPI and can still make out features from that resolution in the final print.  Same for minifigs.me, but the prints I’ve gotten back from MinifigFX look like they’ve been blurred to about 300 DPI.  Printers can print onto heads, so slightly curved slopes shouldn’t be a problem, though they might not have printed on those before and might not offer it as a standard service.

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Looks ok enough.

I'm preparing my artwork, but I think I may have done some lines too thin for those printers.
On the other hand I have the full side of an AT-AT head to illustrate on a 4x4 slope..
But I'll be happy if anyone can print this like in my quick mockup.

I have already contacted steindrucker, which is a neighbor country (BrickSanity is a neighbor as well, though).
I have 28 parts with 9 different designs, I guess that pretty much prevents pad printing. And that's by already making knee disks & leg pistons generic enough that I can repeat them.

Steindrucker mentions 5760 x 1440 dpi printing btw. I'm not sure all of the parts in his showcase look like they're ultraprecise, but some definitely do. (most are cheesy but hey, it's not what I'm judging).
Those UV printers have much lower precision for lines, if I understand it correctly? Which is where that weird banding comes from?
 

AT-AT_PrintingMockup.jpg

Edited by anothergol

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So I have contacted Steindrucker and I now know that I got my artwork in the wrong direction.

I thought I'd go for transparency for shadows, so that I'd put less ink on the tiles and they would keep their original "shine". That is, I'd rather have a tile covered in halftoned black, rather than fully by grey, also because I'm pretty sure it'd be hard to match the part's base color with the printer's ones.

I could half-tone the shadowing myself of course, but there's a chance it's gonna go wrong the closer I get to the printer's DPI.
I fully understand that pad printing needs every color solid, though.


Anyway, I know what I need, now the question is still who & at which price.

CustomDecals_Parts.jpgFullRender.jpg

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