(Topic ID: 220502)

RIP Silk Screening


By nerdygrrl

11 months ago



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  • 61 posts
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  • Latest reply 11 months ago by whitey
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    #1 11 months ago

    I guess this has been a death that was a long time coming. That being said it doesn't hurt any less. We knew it was just a matter of time before major reproduction outlets abandoned silk screen "technology" and embraced newer digital tech. I wonder how many producers, if any will hold out.

    I am happy for CPR and the others that are expanding by utilizing this method. It will definitely lead to an increase in new product and flusher repro stock. This is clearly where the future is heading. I don't fault them, everything about it from a production standpoint makes sense.

    In the last week or so, I have had a few folks recommend a hard top for my BK project and while I understand the draw, and the cost effectiveness to the consumer, it just feels a little dirty to me. Stripping off all of that old art and throwing down a sheet of printed plastic instead? I weep a little just thinking about it.

    I wonder if this is how the Anti LED crowd felt when they began to flood the market. Will we soon have a die hard no digital art base talking bout the good o'l days when art was silk screened and Judge Dredd was an $800 pin?

    #2 11 months ago

    But will prices go up-down or stay the same?
    -Mike

    #3 11 months ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    But will prices go up-down or stay the same?
    -Mike

    Up, up, and up until that bubble bursts

    #4 11 months ago

    I read in one of the posts that cpr plans to run new designs in silk screen. Stuff with insufficient demand and repeat stuff is going to direct print!
    Got to love and support cpr !

    #5 11 months ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    But will prices go up-down or stay the same?
    -Mike

    Inquiring minds...but given the newest CPR release which I believes uses this tech it would appear no. If you scroll down you will see some BG's state silk screened and others do not.

    #6 11 months ago
    Quoted from cougtv:

    I read in one of the posts that cpr plans to run new designs in silk screen. Stuff with insufficient demand and repeat stuff is going to direct print!
    Got to love and support cpr !

    The idea that they (CPR) are willing to do short runs for us is just .That is just great news that they feel they can do little runs and not need 100+ to make it financially viable due to this new machine they bought.
    -Mike

    #7 11 months ago
    Quoted from cougtv:

    I read in one of the posts that cpr plans to run new designs in silk screen. Stuff with insufficient demand and repeat stuff is going to direct print!
    Got to love and support cpr !

    Yeah, I read it that the initial runs will be screened and the re-releases, etc will use the digital print as it's really the only way to be able to "print on demand" like that. I totally get it, I am not knocking it. It's pretty clear digital is the future. I am planning on buying the BK plastics when they get re-released.

    #8 11 months ago
    Quoted from nerdygrrl:

    If you scroll down you will see some BG's state silk screened and others do not.

    I hadn't noticed that interesting, will have to go take a look.
    -Mike

    #9 11 months ago

    I think this is a rip to getting scalper type pricing on old cpr runs. I only feel bad for those that “invested” in cpr stuff.

    #10 11 months ago
    Quoted from cougtv:

    I think this is a rip to getting scalper type pricing on old cpr runs. I only feel bad for those that “invested” in cpr stuff.

    Yes and no, I mean if they have the silk screened goods they may still demand a higher price than non. That being said, eff those folks if they only bought with intent to flip for more $$

    As I said, this is not a knock on new process. Just noting what is a major shift in pinball artwork production. I'm a history nerd. This is a significant moment in some ways.

    #11 11 months ago

    The printer and ink and media is more expensive than screen print.

    For replacement parts low volume digital is suitable

    Large volume like game manufacture screen if cheaper and best

    #12 11 months ago
    Quoted from Ballypinball:

    The printer and ink and media is more expensive than screen print.
    For replacement parts low volume digital is suitable
    Large volume like game manufacture screen if cheaper and best

    Thanks for the info. I was wondering if the ink would cost more than typical paint and what have you.

    Makes sense on small run as less setup and on large run I'm guessing it's overall cheaper b/c of the assembly line nature of it/material costs?

    Do you think as digital starts to take off those material costs will come down?

    #13 11 months ago

    I'm sure some people were sad when rotary phones were phased out too. . . not exactly the same but you get the idea. Technology can make things easier -- nothing was worse than "dialing" the wrong number on the last digit and having to start all over again.

    I'm still holding onto my flip phone, but I will admit for a lot of things smart phones make more sense and are better use of the technology available.

    I am usually the cranky old guy that likes things how they used to be back in the day. . . but ask yourself which is better -- continuing to wait for something to be available in original form for your project or having am immediate replacement available?

    I'd prefer NOS parts when restoring a vehicle, but anymore a lot of those are becoming unobtanium. Aftermarket parts are not always the same as originals but they can allow a hobby to live on and still be enjoyed.

    #14 11 months ago

    In regards to old blown playfields, I read somewhere that CPR was willing to take them and print new art on it for you, with the digital print,and that it was much less expensive than a new playfield. If this is true (I swear I read it somewhere) then stripping down a blown pf down to bare wood, and sending it to CPR to reprint would be my preferred process rather than Hardtop. Just another possibility. Might be able to offset the cost of a new CPR this way by doing a swap, stripping down the old pf, sending it off to get new art, then reselling it or keeping it as a spare? The market would determine how much a "used" pf with new art would be worth, which I dont think really has been tested before.

    #15 11 months ago
    Quoted from TractorDoc:

    I'm sure some people were sad when rotary phones were phased out too. . . not exactly the same but you get the idea. Technology can make things easier -- nothing was worse than "dialing" the wrong number on the last digit and having to start all over again.
    I'm still holding onto my flip phone, but I will admit for a lot of things smart phones make more sense and are better use of the technology available.
    I am usually the cranky old guy that likes things how they used to be back in the day. . . but ask yourself which is better -- continuing to wait for something to be available in original form for your project or having am immediate replacement available?
    I'd prefer NOS parts when restoring a vehicle, but anymore a lot of those are becoming unobtanium. Aftermarket parts are not always the same as originals but they can allow a hobby to live on and still be enjoyed.

    I see what you are saying, but tech quality improves with upgrades. I am not sure the same can be said for artwork. Again, I get it, this is the future. To answer your question about having it sooner and possible of lesser quality I would rather wait. Again, not knocking. As soon as they announce BK plastics I am buying a set as NONE are available, but if both options were, I would go SS over digital print.

    #16 11 months ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    In regards to old blown playfields, I read somewhere that CPR was willing to take them and print new art on it for you, with the digital print,and that it was much less expensive than a new playfield. If this is true (I swear I read it somewhere) then stripping down a blown pf down to bare wood, and sending it to CPR to reprint would be my preferred process rather than Hardtop. Just another possibility. Might be able to offset the cost of a new CPR this way by doing a swap, stripping down the old pf, sending it off to get new art, then reselling it or keeping it as a spare? The market would determine how much a "used" pf with new art would be worth, which I dont think really has been tested before.

    That would be pretty cool!

    #17 11 months ago

    Mirroring and certain colors can’t be printed digitally, as far as I know.

    I’m also skeptical of repro backglasses after seeing CPR’s magenta Flash Gordon and STTNG glasses. For $300, the examples I saw looked horrible. Maybe digital print would look better though?

    Also saw someone say the printed glasses can have a banding effect from the printer.

    #18 11 months ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    In regards to old blown playfields, I read somewhere that CPR was willing to take them and print new art on it for you, with the digital print,and that it was much less expensive than a new playfield.

    Explained here:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/announce-cpr-begins-its-new-business-model/page/4#post-4473433

    #19 11 months ago
    Quoted from radium:

    Mirroring and certain colors can’t be printed digitally, as far as I know.
    I’m also skeptical of repro backglasses after seeing CPR’s magenta Flash Gordon and STTNG glasses. For $300, the examples I saw looked horrible. Maybe digital print would look better though?
    Also saw someone say the printed glasses can have a banding effect from the printer.

    Yes if no calibrated correctly or an old or poor maintained can band

    #20 11 months ago
    Quoted from nerdygrrl:

    I see what you are saying, but tech quality improves with upgrades. I am not sure the same can be said for artwork. Again, I get it, this is the future. To answer your question about having it sooner and possible of lesser quality I would rather wait. Again, not knocking. As soon as they announce BK plastics I am buying a set as NONE are available, but if both options were, I would go SS over digital print.

    I remember in the late '90s the same argument was being had about digital pictures replacing 35mm film. Digital pictures will never be as warm and natural to replace 35mm or medium format film.....20 years later and no one sheds a tear over film being gone, as innovation took over and made digital photography go far beyond what anyone ever imagined.

    #22 11 months ago
    Quoted from AUKraut:

    I remember in the late '90s the same argument was being had about digital pictures replacing 35mm film. Digital pictures will never be as warm and natural to replace 35mm or medium format film.....20 years later and no one sheds a tear over film being gone, as innovation took over and made digital photography go far beyond what anyone ever imagined.

    I still shed a tear.

    #23 11 months ago
    Quoted from nerdygrrl:

    That would be pretty cool!

    Largest benefit is that every hole and dimple will automatically be in the right place! But you need to sand down to clean wood or the bare areas won’t look great when clearcoated.

    Marc

    #24 11 months ago
    Quoted from AUKraut:

    I remember in the late '90s the same argument was being had about digital pictures replacing 35mm film. Digital pictures will never be as warm and natural to replace 35mm or medium format film.....20 years later and no one sheds a tear over film being gone, as innovation took over and made digital photography go far beyond what anyone ever imagined.

    Apples and oranges. Those that are photographers and collect photography for artistic purposes care as I am sure some of those that do over the top restorations will. I think for most it won't matter and there are entire worlds it can open up for the community as digital photography has for some.

    I was more just noting then end of an era in how things are done.

    Quoted from pintechev:

    Largest benefit is that every hole and dimple will automatically be in the right place! But you need to sand down to clean wood or the bare areas won’t look great when clearcoated.
    Marc

    Yeah, this is pretty damn cool. A printed restoration/clear for those on a budget.

    #25 11 months ago

    My question is will the machine with screen printed play fields draw more money that the digital counterpart. Some people will use this when trying to sale machines. ( my machine has a screen printed playfield not one of those digital printed ones). I could see this running prices up on machines just for the sake of old school printing. Only time will tell.

    #26 11 months ago

    As a certified curmudgeon to digital EVERYTHING and a traditionalist when it comes to the arts...I must admit, when I heard that my old high school silkscreening teacher passed away at the ripe young age of 57, due to various cancers from *most likely* exposure to all things silkscreening, maybe this digital way of doing s#!t isn’t so bad.

    #27 11 months ago

    I get that digital is the best way to have small runs and 1 offs but if anybody really thinks pricing will come down you may have a surprise coming.
    I think pricing may come down just a little to get everyone "on board" but then it will be supply vs demand regardless of cost to produce.

    I've been waiting on Gorgar playfield for years and I think it will be several more before I actually see one. By then the price will probably be higher than screen printing.

    #28 11 months ago
    Quoted from NimblePin:

    As a certified curmudgeon to digital EVERYTHING and a traditionalist when it comes to the arts...I must admit, when I heard that my old high school silkscreening teacher passed away at the ripe young age of 57, due to various cancers from *most likely* exposure to all things silkscreening, maybe this digital way of doing s#!t isn’t so bad.

    Ugh, that sucks. Sorry man.

    #29 11 months ago

    Silk screening was the best, but good riddance. Aside from the quality, it had nothing going for it. It was costly in terms of time and money, involved films, was error prone, and the errors are costly when they occurred. In my industry, there were too many hold-overs from the 60s and 70s who sucked at what they did and expected their customers to pay for their mistakes. I’m in the midst of financing my own digital machine. Can’t wait.

    #30 11 months ago

    any xenon hard tops out there yet?

    #31 11 months ago

    The thing is digital is so good it can even replicate the dots that make up silk screening so oh well! Like just the right warm white led!

    #32 11 months ago
    Quoted from TractorDoc:

    I'm sure some people were sad when rotary phones were phased out too. . . not exactly the same but you get the idea. Technology can make things easier -- nothing was worse than "dialing" the wrong number on the last digit and having to start all over again.
    I'm still holding onto my flip phone, but I will admit for a lot of things smart phones make more sense and are better use of the technology available.
    I am usually the cranky old guy that likes things how they used to be back in the day. . . but ask yourself which is better -- continuing to wait for something to be available in original form for your project or having am immediate replacement available?
    I'd prefer NOS parts when restoring a vehicle, but anymore a lot of those are becoming unobtanium. Aftermarket parts are not always the same as originals but they can allow a hobby to live on and still be enjoyed.

    I'd be much happier if phones still hung the wall. On vacation and my phone has been off the entire time. Dreading Monday.

    #33 11 months ago
    Quoted from gmkalos:

    The thing is digital is so good it can even replicate the dots that make up silk screening so oh well! Like just the right warm white led!

    Digital resolution passed screen printing ages ago. What it can’t do well is true solid colors, you’re going to see process dithering.

    #34 11 months ago

    Still reading posts about the death of silk screening here. As was posted above, please read this:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/announce-cpr-begins-its-new-business-model/page/4#post-4473433

    “You can all rest easy that mainline CPR playfield runs will still be genuine silkscreened.”

    #35 11 months ago
    Quoted from AUKraut:

    I remember in the late '90s the same argument was being had about digital pictures replacing 35mm film. Digital pictures will never be as warm and natural to replace 35mm or medium format film.....20 years later and no one sheds a tear over film being gone, as innovation took over and made digital photography go far beyond what anyone ever imagined.

    Film is still better, Digital is great though.

    #36 11 months ago

    I spoke with kevin about this almost a year ago when he was "testing the waters" so to speak. and believe me, he was definitely one of the doubting thomas' with regards to the technology

    in fact, (and I apologize if I've droned on before about this) when we were feeling out solutions for the joust playfield plastics, there was a company close to where I live that did direct printing and proclaimed that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. unfortunately for this co., he wasn't very well versed in what or how the PETG media was used in pinball and how transparent or non-transparent and solid things had to be in order to be a viable solution. the long and short is that 4 years ago, what was available simply couldn't hold a candle to screen printing using solvent inks and thankfully kevin was there to pick up the torch

    fast forward to the numerous tests that kevin, mike and stu did on playfield, plastics and backglass samples before making this decision and I think that everyone will be more than pleased with the results. as kevin has stated, screen printing will not be going away entirely (at least for now for initial runs for large numbers) and it may still around for years to come for layers requiring metallics and mirrored inks that simply can't be produced using the digital format (just yet)

    #37 11 months ago
    Quoted from albummydavis:

    Silk screening was the best, but good riddance. Aside from the quality, it had nothing going for it.

    Aside from the quality? The quality is the whole point.

    #38 11 months ago

    Most of the 90s cabinet art was cmyk screened at 55dpi earlier like no fear 32.5dpi

    You can scan the films into a pc and compile them into a tiff, which will then print with gradiants

    #39 11 months ago
    Quoted from radium:

    I’m also skeptical of repro backglasses after seeing CPR’s magenta Flash Gordon and STTNG glasses. For $300, the examples I saw looked horrible. Maybe digital print would look better though?

    Did you see them in person? I was considering ordering the sttng glass but won’t if it’s bad in person...

    #40 11 months ago
    Quoted from j_m_:

    I spoke with kevin about this almost a year ago when he was "testing the waters" so to speak. and believe me, he was definitely one of the doubting thomas' with regards to the technology
    in fact, (and I apologize if I've droned on before about this) when we were feeling out solutions for the joust playfield plastics, there was a company close to where I live that did direct printing and proclaimed that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. unfortunately for this co., he wasn't very well versed in what or how the PETG media was used in pinball and how transparent or non-transparent and solid things had to be in order to be a viable solution. the long and short is that 4 years ago, what was available simply couldn't hold a candle to screen printing using solvent inks and thankfully kevin was there to pick up the torch
    fast forward to the numerous tests that kevin, mike and stu did on playfield, plastics and backglass samples before making this decision and I think that everyone will be more than pleased with the results. as kevin has stated, screen printing will not be going away entirely (at least for now for initial runs for large numbers) and it may still around for years to come for layers requiring metallics and mirrored inks that simply can't be produced using the digital format (just yet)

    Quoted from Ballypinball:

    Most of the 90s cabinet art was cmyk screened at 55dpi earlier like no fear 32.5dpi
    You can scan the films into a pc and compile them into a tiff, which will then print with gradiants

    Awesome info.

    #41 11 months ago

    I am in a different land of production, but we have a few products that can either be screened or printed and we experimented with both. The quality difference is definitely notable, but as folks noted this has a lot to do with the quality of the digital tech.

    I am excited to see what comes of this and how the stuff compares and holds up.

    #42 11 months ago

    The test is do a print on vinyl and clear translite media , then screw it into a ball if the ink cracks off it's no good

    Try it with petrol if ink comes of no good

    #43 11 months ago
    Quoted from cougtv:

    I think this is a rip to getting scalper type pricing on old cpr runs. I only feel bad for those that “invested” in cpr stuff.

    I don't feel bad. It's pinball, not wall street.

    #44 11 months ago

    As I was reading the post about the new CPR process, I was excited, not sad. They can do a production run of ONE! That’s freaking awesome. No more waiting ages for a new playfield. If they have done it, they can whip up a new one quickly. I doubt they would be making this switch if they felt they couldn’t hold up the quality. So it’s a game changer (literally and figuratively). If someone bought an out of production playfield and is holding it ransom for a crazy sum, they lose. I can’t wait to see for myself how good the results look.

    #45 11 months ago
    Quoted from j_m_:

    unfortunately for this co., he wasn't very well versed in what or how the PETG media was used in pinball and how transparent or non-transparent and solid things had to be in order to be a viable solution. the long and short is that 4 years ago, what was available simply couldn't hold a candle to screen printing using solvent inks and thankfully kevin was there to pick up the torch

    This is why I'm excited about what CPR is doing, because for my own personal selfish reasons I'm stoked to have a company able to provide the pretty specialized printing that pinball requires, I've struggled to find a good way to do it too.

    #46 11 months ago

    Shay still uses silk screening. And the quality couldn't be better.

    #47 11 months ago

    JUST TO CLARIFY FROM OUR END:

    Silkscreening is NOT going away. The role of the digital suite here is targeted to where it fits the scale of economy.

    WILL BE SILKSCREENED:
    All new first-time-run (preorder based) main playfield runs. When it's the original "big batch" being done.

    WILL BE DIGITAL:
    Plastics from this day forward.
    Backglasses from this day forward. (except mirror is still screened)
    Small-run, or on-demand one-off (legacy, sold out) playfields.

    Sitting, past silkscreened stock will remain, and draw down until it sells out someday.

    Hope this helps.

    KEVIN
    Classic Playfield Reproductions
    http://www.classicplayfields.com

    #48 11 months ago
    Quoted from KevinCPR:

    JUST TO CLARIFY FROM OUR END:
    Silkscreening is NOT going away. The role of the digital suite here is targeted to where it fits the scale of economy.
    WILL BE SILKSCREENED:
    All new first-time-run (preorder based) main playfield runs. When it's the original "big batch" being done.
    WILL BE DIGITAL:
    Plastics from this day forward.
    Backglasses from this day forward.
    Small-run, or on-demand one-off (legacy, sold out) playfields.
    Sitting, past silkscreened stock will remain, and draw down until it sells out someday.
    Hope this helps.
    KEVIN
    Classic Playfield Reproductions
    http://www.classicplayfields.com

    Right, so with the exception of PF's digital suite will be used. AKA no more screened glass or plastics. AKA RIP.

    Again, this is not a knock, just a noting of a significant change in the history of pinball part production. I am anxiously awaiting the rerun of BK plastics and I can't wait to see where this goes, but as a history nerd thought it was worth noting the demise of a particular style of production.

    #49 11 months ago
    Quoted from nerdygrrl:

    I am anxiously awaiting the rerun of BK plastics and I can't wait to see where this goes

    BK plastics are in the next wave of releases brought back out of the proverbial mothballs. Check our site by monday evening.

    #50 11 months ago

    I think it’s very cool. It will be even cooler when it’s cheap enough to at home for free.

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