Custom Film Progress

SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
Hey, Everyone! I know its been a while since my last posts. Things are super busy, which is good!
This week I had an order to fulfill with some custom graphics. This has always been an issue for me getting consistent hits. Commercial films have become routine, but the custom film just hasn't been right for me yet.
But this week, I tried some thing new and made some progrees on that front and I thought I would share with ya'll.

Here is a video link...(Not real time)

First, the water temp is 90 degrees and I am using Super brew activator. I made three passes and let the activator dwell for 20 seconds.

Second, I let this film soak for 3:30 seconds! You can see an edit about :45 second mark showing the difference between 2 minutes and 3 minutes with the film saturation.

Third, after the dip, I let the parts sit for 20 minutes.

It was at this point that I rinsed the first couple of parts and everything just washed away or smeared around with the water pressure. I would say this was a typical custom film situation for me. Very frustrating!

So, I sat down and thought to myself, "what would @studebaker do about this?"

I filled my sink with water enough to cover my unrinsed parts and set them in there for another 20 minutes. Pulled them out and gave them a gentle rinse on the faucet and they were perfect! The color was vibrant, the ink didn't move around on me, and no touchs up needed.

I'm going to try this again soon, hopefully, with repeatable results.


  • studebakerstudebaker Member, Business Ninja Posts: 4,108 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for posting this @Spinner It helps the whole community. One of the things I found out with letting the activator dwell 20 seconds is that fast/hot activators evaporate fast. Hence there is little activator left to slightly melt the paint surface which promotes ink adhesion. Just a little more in the initial activator application or a second quick one just before the dip helps immensely with getting it to stick during the aggressive rinsing some folks like to do.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,948 El Moderator
    Yeah, not sure where this idea that dwell is required, but letting is sit, you just lose solvent. The idea is to dip as soon as possible after the application.
  • SpinnerSpinner Member Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
    edited July 1
    My description above was a little out of order and vague…

    90 degree water
    3:30 Hydration
    3 passes of superbrew
    20 second dwell
    20 minute rest
    20 minute water bath then rinse. 

    Of course, the two big differences between using commercial film and custom film is the hydration time and the “resting, bath” cycle. This worked for this run of parts. I’ll have to see if it works next time. 

    Something else I noticed - regardless of film type - is if I leave my exhaust fan running on high while activating, the parts are more likely to come out under activated. So I lower the fan, activate, then turn the fan up to suck out the cloud. 

  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,948 El Moderator
    You are reinforcing the idea. Running the exhaust fan on high evaporates more solvent from the gun transfer to the film, and also accelerates the evaporation rate while you are letting it "dwell". That is why you have more solvent left to activate the ink when it is on low.
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