[sdiy] Inkjet printed laminated satin-silver labels suitable for front panels

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Tue Dec 30 10:17:02 CET 2014

I have a brief explanation of our labelling technique at:


Here is a longer version.

We inkjet print (using an Epson Stylus Pro 3800, with Ultrachrome K3
pigment inks) onto a unique self-adhesive satin-metallic label material:
A-One 29283.


As far as I know, this is only available in Japan.  We import it via
http://www.fromjapan.co.jp who can be asked to purchase it from a local
retailer (http://www.amazon.co.jp, who won't ship outside Japan) and who
then ship it to us in Australia.

The ink must be thoroughly dried, such as by placing the entire printed
label face up in an electric frying pan at 110 to 130C for 20 minutes.
(We use an IR remote-reading thermometer to measure the temperature, and
drive the 240V frypan from a big 120V auto transformer so that the
temperature doesn't overshoot the target range too much before the
thermostat turns off.)

Then we laminate the entire label, cut it to size, and trim its corners
(for the larger label pictured below in the second image) with this
corner cutter: CR2MM:


The adhesive is strong and can be regarded as permanent.  I have not
tried cutting tricky holes in such labels.  If this is attempted, it
might be best to do so with the backing and its lamination layer
removed, with the label itself stuck on something relatively soft and
expendable, such as the polythene coated paper (like wax paper) used for
ordinary adhesive labels.

Some photos of these labels are:


    (Just the "Headphones" and "Out MIDI In" labels - the main Devil
     Fish labels are polycarbonate, screen-printed from behind.)


    (I wrote on this after the drying process, with a solvent-based
     pen and let it dry some more, before the lamination step.)


    (The red of the Real World Interfaces) is overexposed in the
     camera so it appears to be white in this image.)

We use ordinary A4 pouch material from office supply companies.  Oregon
Laminations does have some non-mylar, softer, matte finish, laminating
material which is not too thick, but I think it would be difficult to
use reliably, and would not be as wear resistant as the
common-and-garden mass-market pouch lamination material.

A feature of this process is that the lamination material bonds well to
the areas which have been printed, including with solid colors and
black.  This includes at the edges, which would otherwise be subject to
peeling if the bond was not good.

Since the inkjet printer can print with very fine detail, and since
these Ultrachrome K3 inks have a good reputation for light-fastness (as
best I know, but see the reports at http://www.wilhelm-research.com ), I
think these labels should last well as long as they are not exposed to
excessive moisture, sunlight or UV light in general.

The mylar lamination layer protects the label very well against wear,
but it is not as robust as polycarbonate printed from behind labels,
which are supremely robust.

It would not be possible to laser print onto this material, due to it
melting and probably due to it being (presumably) electrically conductive.

A-One also make a mirror like material.  I think they make some gloss
white material as well, but I haven't tried it.

 - Robin        http://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/dfish/

More information about the Synth-diy mailing list