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  1. #1
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    Coaster Jigs - those who have tried and failed/succeeded

    Hi

    Come Christmas I'm going to need to print a lot of coasters, I can't tape these individually (time/cost will not permit) so I will need to print these in some sort of jig. I've tried a few dozen UniSub coasters in a MDF jig from MDP without issue but obviously the challenge is produce rather more than a few dozen so I'd like to understand what problems develop over time......

    I've read a few posts on here where people have tried with jigs (and mostly ultimately failed - unless someone can tell me different!). I'd be grateful if anyone can share their experiences of using jigs and the issues they encountered so I can try and build a solution with as few problems as possible.

    Thanks

    Gary

  2. #2
    Premium Member Mrteajunkie's Avatar
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    Well I have a jig from mdp and at first it was great but I found it was easier to do them by hand especially after a few months of using the jig.
    I started to find coasters weren’t pressing properly and had patches in them as the mdf started to warp form the continued usage.

    I looked for alternatives but they all had downfalls and overall creating 50 coasters isn’t as bad As it sounds.
    If I have helped please hit the thanks button.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Mrteajunkie For This Useful Post:

    garysub (07-07-2021)

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    It’s the volume, it will potentially be 0000’s per day.

    Yes, I can see that as a downfall of the MDF jigs, mine’s going that way already. Has anyone had a jig CNC machined from metal with any success?

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    Premium Member UK Printed Mugs's Avatar
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    There is no alternative. After years of experience and trying jigs nothing works well. If your printing hundreds a day then it is more labour you need. Employ people.

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    Thanks for this. What problems have you experienced? What “doesn’t work”?

    Quote Originally Posted by UK Printed Mugs View Post
    There is no alternative. After years of experience and trying jigs nothing works well. If your printing hundreds a day then it is more labour you need. Employ people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garysub View Post
    It’s the volume, it will potentially be 0000’s per day.

    Yes, I can see that as a downfall of the MDF jigs, mine’s going that way already. Has anyone had a jig CNC machined from metal with any success?
    A different production method may be more appropriate IMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by froggy View Post
    A different production method may be more appropriate IMO
    What have you got in mind? They are all unique/personalised.

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    Premium Member UK Printed Mugs's Avatar
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    Jigs available to buy warp easily. They are only for a small amount of coasters at a time. Paper position needs to be perfect. If you're going to print hundreds a day then you'll most certainly be printing on roll paper so difficult to cut perfectly for any jig. We print about 500 coasters a day and no issue for sticking down. Only takes an extra 5 seconds per coaster to put on heat tape on 3 sides. As you take the heat tape off when cool then you're spending the time quality checking the coaster as well so that takes no extra time. Believe me there is no jig option that is going to do mass coasters. If you're on your own then perhaps look into alternative methods of printing rather than sublimation e.g. UV.

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    garysub (08-07-2021)

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    Quote Originally Posted by UK Printed Mugs View Post
    Jigs available to buy warp easily. They are only for a small amount of coasters at a time. Paper position needs to be perfect. If you're going to print hundreds a day then you'll most certainly be printing on roll paper so difficult to cut perfectly for any jig. We print about 500 coasters a day and no issue for sticking down. Only takes an extra 5 seconds per coaster to put on heat tape on 3 sides. As you take the heat tape off when cool then you're spending the time quality checking the coaster as well so that takes no extra time. Believe me there is no jig option that is going to do mass coasters. If you're on your own then perhaps look into alternative methods of printing rather than sublimation e.g. UV.
    Thanks for this.

    So the real issues are warping of the jig causing uneven pressure when printing and the registration of the images to the coasters.

    I can imagine if you need pinpoint accuracy the jig approach is never going to work. I have the luxury of greater control over my artwork than most (we essentially create it ourselves) so we do not need to get too close to any edges or need everything to be mm perfect, we can adjust what we print for the limitations of how we print it.

    Thanks for your input, very useful.

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    Premium Member Mrteajunkie's Avatar
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    I only tape two sides. when the press opens I flip them over and use a pick to release one side of the bottom of the coaster, then use the paper to flip it back over and remove the other side of the tape.

    I place them on a block of wood in singles to cool down.
    If I have helped please hit the thanks button.

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