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tangent4ronpaul
05-29-2011, 03:32 PM
This is for silk screening T-Shirts.

The thing apparently retails for $299.00
Amazon Sells it for $183.00
Michaels (craft store chain) Has it on sale through June 4th for $99.00
Michael has a coupon (if you can find it) good Monday May 30th only, for 25% off your entire order, including sale items so that brings the cost down to $75

You can probably get that coupon by subscribing to their ads:

http://michaels.com/

the sign up is below the products and above the red section of links

Here's the company web site:
http://www.whatdoyudu.com/

Here is a tutorial on how to use it:
http://www.whatdoyudu.com/videos/default.aspx?id=3

I have no idea how well this would hold up for making a lot of shirts, but suspect it would do OK.

Just FYI - looks like a huge savings!

ps: I'm not a really "crafty" type person but I did drop in to Michaels a couple of times in 07/08 and remember decent prices on spray paint for banner making and picking up something for making templates. Guess I signed up for their ad e-mails and just noticed this. I'm not endorsing this store - think I stepped foot in one like 3 times in my life. We did end up buying most of our spray paint at hardware stores, though. Buy grommets online and in bulk - local sources are incredibly expensive!

Also note and price out costs of expendable supplies if considering this. The Emulsion is apparently expensive. 2 pack from Amazon is $17.50. Not that big of a deal if you use the same design over and over.

Amazon does have this emulsion screen HACK kit:
http://www.amazon.com/Hack-Screen-Liquid-Emulsion-Replaces/dp/B004DAV2UA/ref=pd_sbs_ac_4

Hack the Yudu Screen Liquid Emulsion Kit (Replaces 50 Yudu Emulsion Sheets) - $68

-t

I would suggest you check out the customer comments on Amazon if you are thinking about buying one. They are mostly positive. This one is invaluable so being copied over:

http://www.amazon.com/Provo-Craft-Novelty-yudu-62-5000/dp/B0025T6V5C

After spending most of my three years of grad school in the screenprinting facilities, I was anxious to create some sort of setup for myself at home once I'd graduated. As a couple of other reviews point out, the YuDu is indeed different from traditional screenprinting - the tools are different but the process is essentially the same with the major difference being the application of the photo-sensitive emulsion. And this is where the YuDu will make or break you. While in the end I'd give the YuDu a rating between 3 and 4 stars, mostly for potential, these have been the challenging areas for me along the steep learning curve:

EMULSION:
Applying the emulsion in sheet form (rather than as a liquid with what's called a scoop-coater, as you would in traditional screenprinting) has been the most challenging part of the learning curve for me (and most others, it seems). But like any tool, it takes time and back-up supplies to learn it so do yourself a favor and have at least 2 sheets of emulsion on hand, a lot of patience, and a first project that is not on a tight deadline. The trick is having the screen wet enough but not too wet (since you're essentially doing something in solid form that's ideally applied as a liquid) and this will take practice.

BUY A 220 MESH SCREEN:
Once you get the hang of emulsion application, you may want to add a 220 mesh screen to your supply inventory since the 110 mesh screen that comes with the machine won't be fine enough to handle most text-based projects or designs with lots of detail. I got the YuDu primarily for client-based work, primarily text-based, and my own art projects, which are more graphic design based with some text. I'm not terribly interested in printing t-shirts, which is what the YuDu is primarily marketed for, so having at least one 220 mesh screen is essential.

GET YOURSELF A REAL SQUEEGEE:
I'm not fond of the tone taken in a few reviews here, most of which are hardly reviews of the product (I doubt those reviewers even have a YuDu) but rather snobby declarations of their preference for "traditional" screenprinting. I will be a snob on one point though and that's the "squeegee" that comes with the machine. Maybe this piece of plastic works well printing on t-shirts but I found it to be really inconsistent with pulling the ink through and getting a consistently printed surface on the paper below. You can find a variety of screenprinting squeegees at your local art store (or try [...] - I got the "graphics" squeegee but a standard squeegee should work just fine and there are squeegees especially made for textile printing). This is one of several details the folks at Provo Craft need to work on to make a good machine with potential really great.

INKS:
Once I finally mastered the art of applying emulsion to the screen and successfully burned my design, I found the YuDu brand inks to be too thick to pass through the finer mesh of my 220 screen. Like my squeegee rant above, this may not be an issue with the 110 screens and printing on textiles, but I found it to be a real problem, only passing through the larger parts of my design despite being able to tell that my image had burned perfectly and the emulsion had rinsed out no problem. So I experimented with a different brand of ink (Versatex which I got at my local Blick art supply store) and sure enough my design printed just fine (having a new squeegee at this point also helped). I had my heart set on a particular YuDu color, however, so I tried adding some extender (again, available with the screenprinting inks or online) and, although this did dilute the color ever so slightly, worked like a charm. I mixed enough ink (about 3-4 parts YuDu ink to 1 part extender but it may vary for you) for my entire print run and stored it in a little plastic container you can get at just about any art or craft supply store (or even a tupperware devoted to your Yudu would work).

If you want to read more, you can check out my even longer, more rambling blog post on the topic: [...]

I hope Provo Craft is reading all of these reviews, and the countless blog posts and video tutorials and taking all of these complaints into consideration. The machine itself is great - it's nice to have something that will fit on my table that's an exposure unit, light table, and printing apparatus all in one. But the accessories could use some work - emulsion sheets are tricky and costly and the squeegee is worthless. I can understand why they don't want to include all these little bits of information in the instructional DVD and pamphlet (they'd turn off a lot of potential customers if they advertised just how tricky this thing is) but a little more information up front would be useful. On the other hand, keep in mind that screenprinting is an art form that some folks spend years perfecting. Like any tool, it's going to take some time and practice to get it right, but I think this thing has a lot of potential, especially for folks like me who don't have the time or resources to create a screenprinting setup from scratch in my nonexistent garage.

Good luck and happy printing!

krankt
05-30-2011, 07:24 AM
For anyone considering buying the Yudu, please don't. You are better off making a single head press yourself and buying ink, squeegees, emulsion, etc separately. If you crunch the numbers, the Yudu has a hard time ever paying for itself - especially considering its numerous limitations and high cost of replacement materials compared to traditional screenprinting.

tangent4ronpaul
05-30-2011, 01:05 PM
For anyone considering buying the Yudu, please don't. You are better off making a single head press yourself and buying ink, squeegees, emulsion, etc separately. If you crunch the numbers, the Yudu has a hard time ever paying for itself - especially considering its numerous limitations and high cost of replacement materials compared to traditional screenprinting.

I've never seen or used one of the Yudo's and they may suck. It is a decent price, though. I don't remember traditional silk screening supplies being that cheap, last I priced them so I have to wonder.

You do have a conflict of interest that you didn't mention: http://www.revolutionapparel.us/ but that also says experience in the area of screen printing. My own is a bit limited. Would you mind elaborating on your post, above?

Thanks,

-t

angelatc
05-30-2011, 01:19 PM
Here's another lengthy review written by a crafty person who returned hers. Note the comments too.

krankt
05-30-2011, 03:48 PM
I've never seen or used one of the Yudo's and they may suck. It is a decent price, though. I don't remember traditional silk screening supplies being that cheap, last I priced them so I have to wonder.

You do have a conflict of interest that you didn't mention: http://www.revolutionapparel.us/ but that also says experience in the area of screen printing. My own is a bit limited. Would you mind elaborating on your post, above?

Thanks,

-t

Gladly. I acknowledge what you see as a conflict of interest there, but I'll explain. There's regularly auctions on eBay for used screenprinting supplies. I just recently bought 51 screens (40 of which are in near perfect condition) for $100. There are also great deals for just about everything else considering all the shops closing down recently because of the economy. You can make the single station, single head press yourself with some clamps and wood. Ink is very inexpensive when bought by the gallon. Yeah it's $30-$100 per gallon, but it lasts nearly forever (unless it's white ink). Yeah, there's other expenses like an exposure unit and a flash unit to cure the ink, and a conveyor dryer if you plan on doing hundreds of shirts, but even for the home hobby printer, it's not that far out of reach to have a *real* setup. I've seen entire shops sell for around $3,000.

I know that's too much for a hobby printer, but you can have a decent hobby setup for $400 if you buy selectively. And nobody will argue that a yudu is better than the traditional setup, just that it's cheaper. And the traditional setup wouldn't come with all the limitations of the yudu. The most important limitation that I see with it is that you just are not going to be able to match the quality of a "traditional" setup. Also, limited print size, smaller runs of shirts that take longer, awkward operation... I could go on, but I'll let the opinion of other screen printers (like the ones that print all day every day) speak for me.

I am not telling anybody not to do it themselves. I'm just saying that Yudu is not a good investment.

Also, when I have time, I'll share share my knowledge with any Ron Paul here. I'm not trying to "shut anyone out."

tangent4ronpaul
05-30-2011, 05:35 PM
Thanks for elaborating! Good info.

+rep

I agree the print area is a bit limited, but you did point out it's main advantage - it's cheap! The other plus side I see is that it's about the size of a computer printer. I think you would have a lot of problems doing multi-color work with it, however.

The Woodstock Craftsman Manual has some decent instructions on making screens / a press:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/elithebearded/3406307030/in/set-72157616246749912

try the library. I'm sure there are instructions on the web too.

krankt
05-30-2011, 05:58 PM
Thanks, I've been looking into making my own press and setup, though I haven't saved any links. I work at a local screen printing and embroidery shop in NE Ohio, but because I may relocate eventually, I want to be able to continue printing if I do. For me, I can make the exposure unit, flash dryer, and some other essentials, but would have to purchase at least a 2 station 4 head press and maybe a 4 station 6 head press, and a small conveyor dryer (this ensure the design stays on the shirt longer and does not fall of in some areas after repeated washings). I dream of buying an H&R Chameleon press, but it will probably never be practical.

I forgot to mention two things, a plus and minus about the Yudu. You need a decent size part of your home or garage to setup a work area, and the yudu is cheap on space. The other issue is that while browsing ebay and craigslist, I have noticed a LARGE number of yudus for sale. But then again, I've noticed a large number of print shops for sale as well. Maybe that's just the economy.

BTW, I can only print shirts at cost at work because I am allowed to work off the clock and use their equipment.

tangent4ronpaul
05-30-2011, 06:21 PM
You are going to love this!

Free Plans for a Four Color T-Shirt Screen Printing Press
http://www.printingplans.com/

They also sell kits with the hardware / wood needed to build. The everything included one is $375 + shipping

-t

krankt
05-31-2011, 05:43 AM
Looks nice, but I need one that has at least two stations. By a station, I mean the place to put the shirt. Some call those platens and some call them palettes. Basically, I need at least two so that I can be flashing (curing) the ink on one palette while printing on the other. Makes things much quicker.

tangent4ronpaul
05-31-2011, 09:42 AM
Should be really trivial to modify the plans.... just do station 1 times 2...

Do you really need to flash the shirt on a printing surface? Wouldn't a table do?