Creating a DIY exposure unit is a cost-effective way for screen printers to get high-quality screen exposures without breaking the bank. Here's how to create and use your own DIY exposure unit.
Creating a DIY Exposure Unit:
- Start by purchasing a large plastic storage container with a lid. This will be used as the base for your exposure unit.
- Cut a hole in the lid of the container and attach a UV light fixture inside. Using LED light will expose a better screen and last much longer than halogen light.
- Add a piece of clear glass or plexiglass to the top of the lid, making sure it fits securely.
- Make sure the screens you use in your shop fit snugly inside the container.
- Cover the glass with a piece of black fabric or a light-blocking material to prevent light leaks.
Using Your DIY Exposure Unit:
- Coat your screen with emulsion, making sure it is evenly applied.
- Place your artwork or film positive onto the emulsion-coated screen and secure it with a sheet of glass or plexiglass.
- Place the screen inside the DIY exposure unit, with the emulsion side facing up.
- Turn on the UV light and let it expose the screen for the required amount of time, according to the instructions for your specific emulsion.
- Remove the screen from the exposure unit and wash it out with water to reveal your design.
Using a DIY exposure unit can take some practice to get the exposure times and emulsion thicknesses right, but with a little trial and error, you can achieve great results. It's important to note that a DIY exposure unit may not be suitable for high-volume production, but it is an excellent option for those just starting out in screen printing or those looking to create prints at home.