Sign & Digital Graphics

July '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • July 2017 • 49 ence that our heat guns take a beating since they're used so much and can fall from ladders or scaffolding. We chose to go with lesser expen- sive guns that provide the heat we need without all the bells and whistles. For post-heating we use a separate surface temperature reader in conjunction with our heat gun to be sure we're heating the vinyl to the proper temperature. Bubble Busters While most wrap media have features that eliminate the majority of bubbles during installation, bubbles will still pop up here and there. For those that can't be simply pressed out with your fingers you'll need to poke a small hole to elimi- nate the air. Do not use the edge of an X-acto knife or trim knife since the tip of the blade angles from a small point to a wider edge. You'll end up cutting a small slit in the vinyl that can separate, instead of just creating a tiny hole that will close up as the bubble is pressed out. Use an air-release tool that has a thin, sharp tip that will create a tiny pinhole. There are options in a clickable retract- able pen form as well as ones with a fixed pin end. Tools for Rivets If your wrap contains rivets, as seen on many truck sides, you'll need to prop- erly form the vinyl over the rivet to avoid future failure. The vinyl should be squee- geed close to the rivet leaving a bubble of air around the rivet. This air needs to be released with small holes prior to heating and forming the graphics around the rivet. 3 M offers their MPPI multi-pin tool that will press a bunch of holes around the rivet. You can also simply use an air release tool and poke a quick series of holes around the rivet. To conform the vinyl to the rivet you'll need to use heat along with a rivet brush. The RBA-1 and RBA-3 rivet brush applicators from 3M do a great job of forming heated vinyl. 3M also offers their Power Grip Magic Pad applicator tool for conforming vinyl over rivets. For vinyl that doesn't conform well, or when the rivets are too big for conform- ing, check out the RollePro Rivet Cutter. Using the tool, the vinyl is quickly cut around the rivet, which allows the vinyl to lay down smoothly. Trimming Tools When graphics would need to be trimmed on a vehicle we try to use 3M Knifeless Tape as often as possible to avoid putting a blade on the vehicle. Knifeless BOOTH #357

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