Screen Printing Equipment

This is the fun part, the printing itself. Here's what you'll do before you start laying down your first prints.

  • Screen Press Press - this might go without saying, but the press itself is an integral part of the screen-printing process. Screen presses can be either manual or automatic and come in varied color counts typically between 1 and 6.
  • Printing Ink -discharge inks can be either water-based or traditional plastisol. If you plan on mixing ink to make your own colors, you'll want to pick up a basic ink mixing kit along with ink containers and scoops.
  • Squeegees -think of these as your paint brushes. In screen printing, squeegees are used to pull the ink across your screen and lay down the paint. Screen printing squeegees come in a few different durometers (a metric used for hardness) based on the ink type and mesh count of the screen.
  • Substrates-this is the actual item you're printing on. The canvas for your masterpiece. This could be a shirt, sweatshirt, bag or anything else as long as it's on a flat surface.
  • Conveyor Dryer/ Belt Dryer -once your prints are pressed, the conveyor dryer will heat your ink to curing temperature to make your print last. Plastisol ink must reach a temperature of 300-330F for curing, while water-based inks require 320-375F.
  • Flash Care Unit -a flash care unit is more of a "nice to have" than a "must have", but it makes printing white underbases or overlapping colors much easier by partially curing your inks so you can add these additional layers.