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Hi guys. Writing from Italy so excuse me if my english is poor.
I started my brand 2 years ago, and things are going pretty well now. I started with a dropshipping service that make DTG printing only and now I'm trying to converting to screen printing.
I made a huge investment and bought a Vastex HD2000 6 colours 4 station and a Little red X3D Dryer and other minor equipment. I've never screen printed myself but I think I can learn fast. My question is: is it possible to "print on demand" with plastisol screen printing? I have at least 30 different one colour design and I don't want to risk by making a big stock ok printed shirt. Would be possible to print only what I sell? How should I manage the screens after I use them? Can I put them aside for the next print just removing the excess ink or should I wash them at the end of each day?

Thank you for your answers
 

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It is possible, sure. But time consuming. Setting up and cleaning/breaking down a screen for one print will get old after a while. But I've heard of companies do it.

Because plastisol will not readily dry in your screen if you leave ink in it, you wouldn't necessarily have to break down your screen each time you print. You could conceivably leave your top 6 design screens in your press. But this all depends on your shop and how hot it gets in there. You could end up with ink dried in the screen.
 

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I have at least 30 different one colour design and I don't want to risk by making a big stock ok printed shirt. Would be possible to print only what I sell? How should I manage the screens after I use them? Can I put them aside for the next print just removing the excess ink or should I wash them at the end of each day?
Print plastisol transfers and apply them on demand.
Even easier have somebody else print them for you.
 

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I do what you are proposing but with water-based inks, so I am clearly somewhat crazy :p With water-based I have to clean the ink out of the screens with every use, which makes for lots more bother. I have over 100 screens in use.

Doing this with Plastisol would be much easier. Your only real concern would be keeping dirt, dust, and bugs off the screens, so storing them vertically might help, else maybe in garbage bags.

I have the 4-color version of that press. It is a precision piece of work, lots of $, but so great to use. Lucky you starting out with professional equipment. My first press was one of the better hobby presses, and had me pulling my hair out when I got busy and needed to print a lot.
 

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Sure you can print like that. It’s similar to how I print for my brand. I have over 100 one or two color prints and a few with three colors. I have all the screens prepared and print runs of usually about 20 shirts at a time. Sometimes I’ll do larger runs if necessary.

I never clean out my screens. Ive had some sit for months (probably years) and was able to print with them again without much issue. Sometimes if ink dries in the actual image ill have to wet a rag with ink cleaner and wipe that part down but it’s usually not a big deal.

After a print run ill scoop off as much ink as possible with my squeegee and leave the rest in the screen (if your not going to print for a while use an ink card to get as much off the screen as possible. But ifink does dry on the screen I’ll just scrape that part off and print fresh ink over it.

Setting up one color prints like this is quick. Two colors can be a bit more trucky (its tougher to see through the ink on the screen than a fresh screen the first time setting up) just make sure when printing.. on the last pass with the squeegee, you move as much of the ink away from the design and registration marks as you can.

One thing I used to do, bit stopped, was putting two designs on one screen (one on each side). I would tape spare transparency sheets on the shirt side of screen, to cover one side while printing the other (sometimes I would tape the transparency on the ink side). If I needed to print the other design I would transfer the transparency to the other side. It would sometimes be a messy process to transfer the transparency and have to wipe that side clean so I stopped messing with that an bought more screens. Good luck.
 

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I do what you are proposing but with water-based inks, so I am clearly somewhat crazy
If you have the space to store the screens, this method is definitelly a time saver.
Coating exposing and washing a screen will take longer and cost more in materials than just washing the screen with a bit of water at the end of the job.
Would I do it for a single print? Definitely not! ...but I do have a few screens I use for discharge and and some other things.

Setting up one color prints like this is quick. Two colors can be a bit more tricky (its tougher to see through the ink on the screen than a fresh screen the first time setting up) just make sure when printing.. on the last pass with the squeegee, you move as much of the ink away from the design and registration marks as you can.
1. The registration marks don't have to be tiny.
For most jobs I use large squares as a registration marks, and very rarely have to use the crosshairs I print next to them. Much easier to register screens this way.
2. Trying to register a screen over white under-base (as I see a lot of printers do) is silly.
Registering all the screens (including the first one) using a sheet of paper printed with black ink is much easier.
I just print the registration marks on a sheet of paper, and stick a piece of parcel tape over them.
This way I can wipe off the ink and move to the next screen.

Anyway... storing plastisol screens without cleaning them is easy, but for single shirt prints and especially if they are multi-color transfers would be much easier.
You can of course still store the screens for the next batch of transfers.
Transfers are not as durable as direct plastisol obviously, but if you are coming from DTG this soulsn't be an issue at all.
 
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