For professional-level screen printing, there are a lot of machines on the market so the race is on to find one which delivers great results every single time.
The Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Colors Silk Screen Printing Press promises that it could be such a machine.
This bad boy has a huge six color stations and screens that can rotate independently. This machine comes from ASC365 and is one of the latest in their screen printing machines, and as such, it has some nice new perks available.
But will it live up to our desire as an effective yet effortless screen printing machine?
Let’s take a look!
Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Colors Silk Screen Printing Press Machine: The Details
- Weight: 335 lbs
- Dimensions: 84″ x 84″ x 66″
- Platen Size: 18 x 22 inches
- Manual or Automatic: Manual
- Stand-Out Feature: Double rotation, adjustment springs and 6 colors, 6 stations
This machine has a ton of adjustable features: the amount of fine-tuning you can accomplish here is truly impressive.
When we say it’s the machine for professional screen printing, we really mean it.
Let’s go through the features one at a time:
This is a six-color screen printing machine, with six-platen stations, that allows you to rotate both the frames and the platens, so working on up to six projects at once without ever moving is entirely possible.
The swivel rotation is very easy to manipulate, and once you bring the frames down to begin filling the screen with ink, it’s locked into place; you’ll hit the exact right mark every time.
It’s remarkably convenient to use and makes the (usually tedious) print process go just a little bit faster. You can even have multiple people manning the stations to press the colors simultaneously.
Tension Adjustable Springs
For each arm, there are tension springs that fully support the weight of the frame as you bring it down onto the printing pallets.
If you use larger screen frames than the ones included with the machine, you can adjust the springs so the arms retain proper tension and lie completely flat on the pallets, preventing ink from spilling.
This machine holds a maximum screen frame size of 16 by 20 inches, so whenever you swap out the frames, take some time to adjust it so the right pressure is being applied when the screens meet the pallets.
Similarly, you can swap out your pallets for a larger surface on which to work, and swapping them out is incredibly easy.
The ASC365 Double Rotary also allows you to adjust the height of the pallets, putting them below waist-level for many people, which makes the manual work of adjustments and tuning very comfortable.
You’ll always want to ensure you observe proper posture as you’re working, and this is a great way to make sure you’re relaxed and not straining yourself too much as you manipulate the machine.
Accommodating Uneven Surfaces
Although screen printing is most commonly associated with T-shirt printing, there may be times when you’re applying a design to a slightly uneven surface, perhaps a thicker fabric or a substrate with a slight warp to it.
The Double Rotary allows you to make fine adjustments to the frame so that it adheres perfectly to whatever surface you’re using, with no “air” bubbles that would cause slips.
You can also make adjustments for distorted silk screens without having to re-stretch it.
Micro-Adjustments for Registration
Most screen printing machines require you to adjust the registration by hand, but this machine is equipped with dozens of red knobs that allow you to make tiny, smooth adjustments to get precise alignment.
Melamine, Pitted Printing Pallet
The material used for the printing pallets is a pitted surface that makes it easy to apply adhesives that will keep your fabric in place.
As you press the arm down onto the pallet, the arm will slide between two wheels in a groove, locking the arm in place so that the pallet and frame match up perfectly.
The cool thing about using rolling wheels in this design is that you don’t have to press overly hard to make sure it snaps into place, and the wheels will slow the arm down at just the right speed to prevent slips or spills.
Moving the arm up and down is very comfortable and doesn’t require much strength or exertion, which is a nice benefit.
You can find a handy video installation guide by the manufacturer here:
The printing machine is shipped in five small packages, so you’ll save a lot on shipping costs since it’s easily transported (although you’ll still need a lot of room in your home or studio once it’s fully set up).
Be sure to research the proper silk screens, inks, emulsions, squeegees, and flash dryers to work with your printing machine.
The Double Rotary works best with a flash dryer, which you can set up so that it dries the ink as you pass a printing pallet under the lamp. Setting it up above the rotating pallets will allow each one to dry as you move from station to station.
ASC365 Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Colors Printing Press Review
A lot of four- or six-color printers are way more expensive than this model from ASC365: usually somewhere in the range of $3,000 to $5,000.
This one, in contrast, is incredibly reasonably priced and will be perfect for people wanting to take their screen printing up to the next level, but don’t quite have the cash budget for a commercial machine yet.
Allows High Precision
The number one thing that we love about this 6-6 color printing press is the sheer amount of fine tuning that’s available to us.
This is a real craftsman’s machine.
The attention to detail when it comes to getting the pressure, tension, and height exactly right ensures that you can get great quality prints, and there will always be a way to work around a difficult print job.
If you’re looking for a machine that’s going to spoon feed you, this isn’t the printing press for you. But if you’re looking for one that allows you to grow and hone your printing skills, we think you should give this a second look.
Durable and Clears Easily
With its all metal construction and incredibly robust weight, we’re confident that this will serve you well for a long time yet.
As well as being durable, it’s also easy to clear up once you’re finished with it and — perhaps most importantly — won’t rust.
All screen printers know that the worse thing about this hobby is clearing up the inevitable mess at the end of a session. Thanks to the electrostatic spraying and electroplating, we found clean-up jobs on this ASC365 printer to be easy as pie.
Surprisingly Space Efficient
Yep, it’s 350 lbs. And yes, it’s pretty damn big. But it doesn’t take up quite as much space in our craft room as we feared.
This is because of the unique combinatorial design that allows it to fold in on itself while you’re not using it. The manufacturer says that this makes it easier for transportation, but we’ll admit that that still seems out of our wheelhouse without some serious help.
We’ve been hinting all the way through this review at the quality of this machine, and mostly this is down to the sheer versatility it offers you.
Not only are you able to tweak it to your heart’s delight, but with the whopping 6 stations and the ability of the double springs to take screen frames of different weights, you can do a huge amount with this machine.
It’s definitely a hobbyist printing press, with boundless potential.
Not for Beginners
Beginners may find the versatility offered and tweaking needed with this Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Silk Screen Printing Press to be simply overwhelming.
It took us a little while to get our heads around it and we consider ourselves to be reasonably old hands!
Unless you’re highly committed to screen printing, we suggest beginners start with more user friendly and cheaper models.
Since it’s a self-installation model, be prepared to make your own tweaks to the frame in order to ensure it’s set up just the way you want it.
For example, sometimes the wheels that “lock” the arms into the lower pallets might need to be moved up in order to really get that firm lock. So, as a starter press, be willing to make lots of adjustments and you’ll find success.
For hobbyist screen printers, we can’t recommend the ASC365 Double Rotary 6-6 Colors Screen Printing Press highly enough.
It’s durable, highly versatile and offers an impressive range of versatility for a comparatively low price.
It’s going to give you a great setup to start printing right away, and the machine is easy to manipulate and adjust to suit your project needs.
Although you’ll probably find more expensive machines of higher quality and ease, this is a great way to get started in 6-color printing, and the range of features means you get a lot of use out of this machine.
Have you tried the Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Colors Silk Screen Printing Press Machine yet?