Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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48 • August 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS material you're conforming the vinyl to the object, while also relieving the tension at the edges that can cause failure. When the excess vinyl is cut away, the smooth tension-free vinyl remains around the object with little chance of lifting. There are limitations to pre-stretch- ing with heat. It works fine on gloss, satin and matte materials, but on chrome, brushed metallic and carbon fiber films the heated stretch can cause discolor- ation or distortion of the pattern. Cold pre-stretching works similarly, but heat is not used initially before wrap- ping the vinyl around an object. The vinyl is simply stretched over an object without heat, starting at the most difficult area, then smoothed out. Before taking the material all the way to the edge of the object, it is heated to remove any tension right at the edge, then you finish squee- geeing the material to the edge. Because cold pre-stretching doesn't involve as much stretching of the material itself it allows you to use the techniques on a wider variety of materials. Triangle Another technique that Justin Pate often mentions in his videos is pulling the graphics in a triangle. In this tech- nique you're anchoring the vinyl in an area with minimal tension then pulling the vinyl out toward the edges. On larger objects the vinyl may be divided into multiple sections as you pull tension out all the way around the object. Depending on the shape of the object you're wrapping, you start at any curves or points and pull the vinyl out at a triangle. The curved point is the tip of the triangle. This distributes the excess vinyl away from the point, eliminating tension, and future failure. If you see wrinkles forming along the edge of an object simply pull at a V away from the wrinkles to create a smooth glass-like surface. All of this pulling and smoothing is typically done before you even start squeegeeing. Once the graph- ics are smooth and wrinkle free you can simply squeegee the graphics to set the adhesive. This hockey helmet is essentially one big compound curve. Relief cuts and overlaps were essential techniques. This was a cool project that involved a full wrap on the client's X-wing jet pack and a matching wrap on his helmet. Because the object was wrapped top and bottom, as well as the inset spaces and wings, we had to be care- ful with our relief cuts and alignment.

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