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ScrantonStrangler

Layering vinyl questions

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Recently I decided I wanted to try something pretty complex. It’s a design I made that consists of 3 colors. I managed to get them lined up pretty damn well but when I went to apply it I got a crap ton of bubbles. I’m assuming it’s becasue I used a large solid piece for a background layer and put the other layers over it instead of cutting the background layer to fit the other layers in it. Is there any way around that? When I try to cut the layers exact, I don’t think my cutter(or maybe my program) can be that precise and I end up about a mm off even tho I’m dead on the registration marks. 

Another question about registration marks, should they be a certain size/shape?

Thanks in advance!

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You did it correctly. The bubbles come from the install. Sorry to tell you that but it's only lack of experience with the squeegee or you pre-stacked the design prior to installing it on the final substrate. If the later was the case there isn't much you dan do because the bubbles come from the difference in thickness at each layer. There are some installation tips in the Instructional Contribution Section of the forum that might help you. 

 

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I did stack them all to create one large decal. Should I apply each layer right to the surface itself? Every layering video I watched showed people layering the vinyl onto a final piece of backing paper and ending up with finished decal ready to go. Is it not possible to stack them and say send them off to someone who purchased?

Thanks

53 minutes ago, Wildgoose said:

You did it correctly. The bubbles come from the install. Sorry to tell you that but it's only lack of experience with the squeegee or you pre-stacked the design prior to installing it on the final substrate. If the later was the case there isn't much you dan do because the bubbles come from the difference in thickness at each layer. There are some installation tips in the Instructional Contribution Section of the forum that might help you. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, bikemike said:

You can stack to make 1, but it takes a lot of practice. Always better to assemble at the final resting place.

hmm ok good to know. I was going to try to make these to sell but I don't know if people would want to/be able to do that. I have people who rip their decals all the time because they didn't read the instructions I send with them lol

I was kind of guessing that when peeling off the app tape it would create problems. Would a low tack tape help?

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Even if you perfect layering, the buyer would probably get bubbles installing it due to the varying thickness.

Personally, I would sell them as separate pieces with instructions and let them do it right. (if they read the instructions)

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8 hours ago, ScrantonStrangler said:

hmm ok good to know. I was going to try to make these to sell but I don't know if people would want to/be able to do that. I have people who rip their decals all the time because they didn't read the instructions I send with them lol

I was kind of guessing that when peeling off the app tape it would create problems. Would a low tack tape help?

Tough call on how to market them. You are correct that the end user may mess them up either way. I have always struggled with pre-layered work getting bubbles long the layers. The tape pushes down and basically stretches the lower layer slightly when it's getting installed or at least that's my take on the WHY it happens. If I were selling them I would probably pre-layer them and give as explicit instructions as possible to apply from one side in a hinge method and use a squeegee if possible. Maybe an upsell option to sell a squeegee along with it and then instruct the that if they choose not to use a good squeegee they can try to use a credit card. In the end the ones that didn't buy the squeegee can at least be told they probably should have. A pin to pop the bubbles the best they can and the rest will usually work their way out over time. I had one side window I did on my own business rig when I was brand new. Had literally a thousand tiny bubbles from my inexperience. A few weeks later after some sun expansion and contraction and they were all gone. The only other really solid cure might be to do the bottom layer in an air release variant if you can get the right color. They are usually thicker vinyl but have little air vents built into the adhesive and allow you to chase the bubbles out pretty good most of the time. (I never do this but have considered it) I do mostly shirts and stuff so the only window decals I cut are usually fun ones for friends who don't complain because it's free. 

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