Printing on Plastic Card

Discussion in 'Extended Mediums' started by NYC Irish, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    Hello Gang

    I was just wondering if anyone here has any experience or thoughts on printing parts from our kinds of kits onto plastic Evergreen or Plastruct etc....

    Not worried about quality as I would just need the shape to cut out

    Any one tried it before?

    John John
  2. rmks2000

    rmks2000 Member

    Haven't attempted it yet. I imagine you would need a printer that had a straight through feeder.

    I have on one or two occasions simply cut out the card part and traced it onto the plastic. This worked well for biplane wing struts and made the models more durable for handling. You could also use rubber cement to temporarily affix the card to it.
  3. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    Yeah I have the printer and it can take some substantial paper/plastic thicknesses but its inkjet and that smudges before I can cut it..

    Im actually trying to cut lines drawn in auotcad…I think I just need to do it the old fashioned way ..

    Others suggestions welcome but ,major thanks anyway

    John John
  4. clif52

    clif52 Banned

    Spray Matte Finish First Then Print?

    I wonder if you could spray the plastic with a matte finish spray and then print it? After it prints seal it again with another coat? Sounds like it might work. I've seen poster printers that print with a solvent ink that will dry on plastic, vinyl, and clear static cling. The smallest one I've seen is 36 inches wide.

  5. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

    Couldn't you print onto a full-page size label with adhesive backing and then affix that to a plastic backer (probably a bit tricky)? If I recall correctly, this has been done with some success by modelers...:twisted:


    Ping-Pong Ball Cannon and N/Z scale Old West paper models (free samples) at: paperbeam - virtual paper models
  6. jaffro

    jaffro Long term member

    Or maybe you could try printing to something thin but durable, something that isn't going to tear when peeled off... then stick it to the plastic using one of those "repositionable" (sorry, the proper word escapes me right now) spray adhesives.

    eg: Print to paper, adhere to plastic, cut along the lines, peel off the paper, clean up the plastic.

    Something like paperbeam suggested would probably work the same way, you could possibly peel it off later, it just depends on what the adhesive does to the plastic.
  7. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    I knew I'd seen a thread on this before - LCT Hull Construction Page 1

    Suggests printing directly on plastic sheet then fixing the print with Inkjet fixative.


  8. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member


    Thanks all and definetly thanks Charlie.

    Will actually be in Dunline tomorrow which is the only city in Ireland with a Jessops Photo Shop so I hope they have some of that spray..

    Thanks lads excellent resource

    John John
  9. Dave Treby

    Dave Treby Member

    You can buy over hear projector slides which can be used with an ink jet printer. They're thin and transparent so if you just need the shape it should be esy enough to fix them to plastic card to cut out.
    They must have other model uses, too, but I haven't thought of it until now.
  10. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member


    Oh oh...That wasnt should have read Dublin..and just to let anyone who might be looking for Jessops they have closed their only Republic of Ireland store as of 3 days before I got there...Timing is everything isnt it?

    Im still open to suggestions if anyone has them?

    John John
  11. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    I think sticker paper is the way to go, unless you can get ahold of a plotter that will indent the styrene.

    Good luck. I used sticker paper as a template to cut windows for a 22" TOS Enterprise. Worked great.sign1
  12. redhorse

    redhorse Member

    Sticker Paper

    Wow, I'd never thought of sticker paper. I used to scratch build a lot of WWI aircrraft subjects and glued photo copies of plans onto the plastic card with elmers.

    Sticker paper would be perfect - you could probably just soak it over night in detergent and it would come right off.
  13. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    The sticker paper I used came right off without soaking. All you had to do was clean it up with a little alcohol and a cotton swab.:thumb:
  14. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    I have had good success with printing on 0.010 and 0.015 styrene with a laser printer. Be careful the laser sets the ink power with heat and you could end up with melted plastic in guts of the printer. I would think that this would be more of a problem with the thinner plastics.

    Jim Nunn
  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    No Guarantees but this May Work...,

    John John,

    Just get some acrylic matte spray. Spray the sheet styrene with the matte spray, allowing it to dry, then print out your graphic on it using the grayscale only printer setting (uses black inkjet only). This may take a little experimentation to get the right print settings such as overhead foil, super gloss photo paper etc. Let the ink dry before over spraying with the acrylic matte spray to seal and protect the ink layer.

  16. rjward1775

    rjward1775 New Member

    I might be onto something with this.
  17. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    You have an idea to share?

    John John
  18. rjward1775

    rjward1775 New Member

    I said 'might'. I just wanted to tease to see if anybody would be interested. I have sent an email to a company that makes plastic stuff and expect something back this week.

    Who knows, might turn into something.

    I'll update when I get the email.
  19. brock uppercut

    brock uppercut New Member

    what i do is i take the printout and just tape it on top of the sterene and carefully cut out the parts. pratice making a few pieces first , my first attempt i cut eveything out first not taking into accout the thickness of the styreene and there were some gaps .

    another way is to get a light box , tape the plans to it and then tape the styrene over that then just draw on the styrene , i found that this works if you are just converting something (like a 1/32 stepside pickup into a full sized blazer.)
  20. dinhonghai

    dinhonghai New Member

    an amazing post for someone

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