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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, On average how long would it take to set-up for a job with a typical 4 color silk screen printer?

Saying that the designs you had were already burned & ready to go & you kept the frames stored, and were doing anywhere from one color to 3 or 4 color designs with fairly simple artwork?

My plan is to buy a silk screen printing press ( probably a 4color 1station printer) with or possibly without micro-registration, and do shirts as customers order them... I understand that this would be a time inefficeint way to do this type of printing considering the fact that a heat press would be much faster for one off jobs...

However, I feel that the quality of silk screening is better than heat press ( opinion only, I just like the look & feel of silk screened stuff opposed to heat pressed ones)... Plus, I think that filling orders on a as needed basis would quicken my learning rate at becoming a good printer due to the fact that I would be setting up & taking down different jobs all the time....

I know it is the most time consuming way to do it like this, but I plan to make shirts in my free time, for myself , family, & friends at first until I get good at it & if I get too many orders that I cant fill, then I will outsource some of them to a shop.....

But I was wondering how long it takes to set-up for a run if you already have the frames ready & was going to be using a 4 color press with one station... And with or without micro-registration....

5 minutes??? 20 minutes???

Even just a ball park figure would help tremendously...
 

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MikeyFingaz said:
On average how long would it take to set-up for a job with a typical 4 color silk screen printer?
Once everything is ready and you're just re-setting up a job it shouldn't take long. Since I am 1) A student, and 2) overly meticulous, I'm not in a good position to put an actual figure on it for you.

MikeyFingaz said:
and do shirts as customers order them... I understand that this would be a time inefficeint way to do this type of printing
The problem is if you do the printing as the shirts comes in every day, you're going to be wasting a lot of time (and some resources, both of which equal money), even if you setup quickly (there's also all the extra washouts, etc. to consider). If you print once a week, you cut down those problems considerably, but increase your delivery time. If you print once a month (I know a site that does this), you increase the chances of chargebacks, and definitely lower the level of your customer satisfaction.

It can be done, but you've got to be careful about how you describe your process to customers (i.e. if there's going to be a delay you need to tell them, even though that will cost you some sales - it's better than getting chargebacks).

The other option of course is to do a small print run on the bulk of the bell curve to fill orders from, then print on demand the more unusual size or style requests (topping up your main inventory when you do so).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I figure I will have time to do the orders about 3 times a week...

So, once Im set with frames & images it doesnt take as long as I was thinking then?
 

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MikeyFingaz said:
Thanks, I figure I will have time to do the orders about 3 times a week...

So, once Im set with frames & images it doesnt take as long as I was thinking then?
I wouldn't think so, but you'll have to see for yourself how long you take really. Worst case scenario 3 days a week could become one or two, or you could move to pre-printing when you figure out which styles are the most popular.

When you're printing yourself costs go down and options go up, so that does help.
 

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Solmu said:
I wouldn't think so, but you'll have to see for yourself how long you take really. Worst case scenario 3 days a week could become one or two, or you could move to pre-printing when you figure out which styles are the most popular.

When you're printing yourself costs go down and options go up, so that does help.
Ok, thanks... I kinda figure thats what will end up happening... As I go, I will become faster at the set up & I will learn which ones sell more... Also, I am just genuinely interested in learning to do it myself... It looks like a fun thing to learn... I think I will get great satisfaction in making shirts & being able to say that I made them myself.
 

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MikeyFingaz said:
Ok, thanks... I kinda figure thats what will end up happening... As I go, I will become faster at the set up & I will learn which ones sell more...
Yup.

MikeyFingaz said:
Also, I am just genuinely interested in learning to do it myself... It looks like a fun thing to learn... I think I will get great satisfaction in making shirts & being able to say that I made them myself.
I do. I hadn't really been doing anything with my hands, so screenprinting was a good fit for me. I think you'll find that sense of satisfaction you're looking for - good luck.
 
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