Joystick or Micro Registration? An Extension of Your Personality.
“Should I get joystick or a micro registration print heads?”
This has been a hot topic for Riley Hopkins manual screen printing press fans since he released the Joystick option with his WIN line of presses back in the late 90’s. A lifelong artist and doodler, Riley actually invented the Joystick Registration system during a drawing session. As he moved his pencil back and forth, pivoting the top while the bottom stayed in one point, he noticed that he was able to control his upper hand movements fluidly. “Why not make a new way to register a press exactly like this?” he thought – and so the joystick registration system was born.
Micro registration has been around a lot longer and there are pros and cons to both systems and fans and haters of each as well. This blog and short video will help you decide: are you a joystick or are you a micro?
After selling hundreds of Riley presses with these options I have found a simple way to explain the preferences to a new customer. See what you think:
- Flexibility vs. precision. If you’re someone who likes to move quickly, have flexibility to make adjustments that just “feel right” and are super particular about things being JUST PERFECT, the joystick is a better option for you. On the flip side if you like to be precise about measurement, color RIGHT to the edge of the line, want exact movement per the direction you give it, the micro will float your boat better.
- Simple prints vs. lots of color. If you’re printing the majority of 1-2 color work, I think the joystick is a no brainer, the speed in which you can center screens and make simple alignments is insane! However, if you are doing a ton of process work, or high color tight registration work, the micro gives you that exact movement and ability to literally dial in a print.
- What you’re used to. If you have screen printed before with micros and even if you don’t love them, you are very used to them, I would never recommend changing to a joystick, you will have to learn all over again. Likewise if you have been screen printing for a while without the use of micro’s at all, just clamping in screens to a rear clamp, then the Joystick takes what you are already doing and makes it even better with additional flexibility once you clamp in your screen.
- Artists vs craftsmen. If you’re a hand artist, get the joystick because you are used to working with your hands, however, if you’re a craftsman that is used to using precise tools, get the micro, because it is just that.
A few other things to watch out for:
- Shaky hands and good hand eye. If you have shaky hands or aren’t good with hand eye coordination, go micro.
- Etch A Sketch haters. A micro works very similar to one of these, so if you could never get your doodles to come out and ended up throwing it on the floor out of frustration, go with the Joystick.
The cool thing about Riley Hopkins screen printing machinery and Ryonet is, we are the ONLY press manufacturer that gives you this choice, because we are the only ones who have joystick registration, thanks to the ingenuity of Mr. Riley Hopkins himself.
Still undecided? Check out this short video where our man Luke Ryerkerk breaks both of them down.
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