Well the journey continues as I get closer and closer to having a regular functioning workflow for printing shirts. I've successfully burned my screen, used my #makermade screen printing press to print the design on a few shirts, and then ran the shirts through the DIY dryer. So a complete test-run of the workflow has been completed once, and I've already learned a number of things to speed up the process in the future. But it was a lot of fun and I can't wait to work out the kinks and streamline the process to start getting you guys some shirts!
So as I said, there have been a few catches too that I need to tweak for better results. While my dryer does work, the heat doesn't get quite hot enough yet. It's currently getting to about 230 degrees F. So I have a few options to try to get the dryer up another 100 degrees F ensuring the ink fully cures.
- Move the heating element lower, and make the volume of the oven smaller
(Drawback - requires more time and reworking of the "oven" portion of dryer)
- Add a heating element.
(Drawback - requires a pretty hefty load on a single circuit.)
- Get an additive for the ink to lower the required temp at which the ink cures.
(Drawback- ink can't be saved)
While they each have their own drawback, I'm going to start with #1 with the hopes that I can make a significant enough difference by moving the heater closer to the "belt" and decreasing overall volume of the oven to reach the needed temp.
Once that's done, then it's time for test run #2!