We can help cut metal panels in pre-cut sizes. If you are looking to save money per sq.ft., or to achieve custom-sized cuts on a regular basis, you can also trim the metal down yourself. To do this, it is very common to use a metal shear, which is designed to cut thin aluminum. These come in a wide variety in terms of width, manual or hydraulic operation, foot or hand-driven, various features, etc. Many customers will opt for a shear that is at least 50"-wide, which will accommodate half-size (4ft x 4ft) sheets. A manually operated shear at this width will cost you approximately $1,500 and will go up as you add sizes and features. (US standard) Another option is to use a CNC router. This is common for the higher-volume labs and studios. These come in just as large of an array of sizes and options. Prices will start at approximately $20,000 and go up from there.(US standard)
3. What can I do to prevent chipping on the edges?
When removing the protective release liner from the blank panels, make sure to not use anything sharp or hard that could damage the coated surface, especially on the edges. After pressing, allow the metal panel to cool off completely before removing the transfer paper. The receptive coating on the metal can be more sensitive when it's still hot. Handle the hot metal panel as little as possible. If you must move it, be extra careful especially around the edges when it lifting up and putting it down. You can save a panel that has edge chipping by shearing a small portion of the edge off, if you have an aluminum shear. You can also use 240 grit sand paper to sand the edge(s) until smooth. This will clear up the chipping and prevent it from happening further in the future.
4. Why do I have duplicate or blurry images or text?
This is commonly referred to as "ghosting." This is usually caused by the transfer paper moving during or shortly after pressing while the aluminum is still hot and ink continues to sublimate or transfer into the metal's coating. Here are the easiest ways to prevent ghosting:
Make sure transfer paper is being attached with heat-resistant tape on all edges.
Make sure to minimize post-press movement of the prints as much as possible. The more the prints are moved, the more likely the transfer paper is to shift on the metals surface when hot.
When removing the transfer paper from the metal, be sure it does not slide along the surface of the metal. Remove the tape from three sides of the metal and lift off the paper in one seamless motion. For large prints, you may need to use two people--one on each side.
5. I found a small inperfection on the surface of the blank metal, What is this and is it normal?
Small surface imperfections are normal to a certain extent, due to the nature of the base metal. We do our best to cover these up during the coating process, but it is not always possible, and there is an allowable number of specks allowed per sheet, depending on the sheet size. We can better control pre-cut sheets, cutting around any imperfections as we go, so full and half-size sheets will likely have the most surface imperfections (this is one reason why the price per foot is lower). Often, these small imperfections will not significantly affect the final print. Many customers who offer metal prints send along a small card that educates their customers on what to expect when purchasing prints on metal.
6. How should I handle breathing color media? What about storage?
To prevent the transfer of oils and dirt from your hands to the inkjet receptive coating of the media, white cotton gloves should be worn when handling the media. When not using the media, you should store it in its original packaging, exactly how it was shipped to you.
Name: Easty Limited
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