Screen printing equipment is complicated, requiring hours of technical training to use. There are a few simple ways to understand screen printing equipment though! Perhaps the hardest thing to learn about screen printing equipment is the many different kinds of equipment that must be used. Such things as screens, inks, and presses are just three types of equipment used in screen printing.
A printing press is one of the most vital pieces of screen printing equipment. Without the press, nothing gets made. There are several types of presses, including cylinder presses and flat presses. The press is what actually makes the ink transfer through the mesh screen and onto the printing surface. The press can also help cure the ink, so it does not run or bleed once it is on the material. Most presses are simple to use, though mastering them is not easy. With a flat press, all you really have to do (assuming the press is not automated) is push a lever down to drop the press onto the material!
A mesh screen is a piece of screen printing equipment that enables the ink to be transferred onto the printing surface. The screens are engraved in the pattern being printed, which allows the ink to pass through them, in varying amounts. Screens are placed between the press and material, with ink inserted onto or into them. When the press comes down, the ink flows through the screen. An older method of using a screen to transfer ink involves using a squeegee to push the ink through, though this is not as accurate as a modern press.
Ink may not be something you would think of when a person mentions screen printing equipment, but it is vital to the task. While ink is not machinery, it is what enables printing to take place. The ink is pushed through a screen by use of a press, and then it soaks into the printing surface, creating lettering, graphics, and other affects. There are hundreds of types of inks, as well as hundreds of colors.
Without screen printing equipment, printing would not be possible. The many different types of screen printing equipment can be daunting to someone not trained in their use, but their application is simple in design, though tough to master.