As an artist, there are a few reasons why you might want to learn how to print photos on acrylic panels at home and sell them. Perhaps you want to offer unique and stylish designs of your artwork to reach a broader audience. Maybe you want to provide your customers with a different product type- something more high-end and luxurious than traditional prints.
Whatever your reasons are, printing on acrylic sheets can be a great way to showcase your work and make some extra income.
This article will discuss the basics of acrylic photographic prints – how to print on acrylic plastic, what materials are available, how to get prints on acrylic, and how to design graphics for printing. We will also explore pricing strategies for acrylic prints. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge you need to start printing on acrylic and selling your products.
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What’s An Acrylic Print
Acrylic printing is printing onto printable acrylic sheets, also known as plexiglass.
Prints on Plexi are the perfect way to bring your photos into a new world. They have an incredibly bright and glossy look, with light reflecting off them in different directions.
Acrylic photography printing offers several advantages over traditional printing methods.
- The most notable advantage is the vibrancy of the colors. An acrylic print is also highly durable, ideal for outdoor uses such as business signs or advertising displays.
- In addition, acrylic panel printing is a relatively fast and inexpensive way to produce high-quality prints. As a result, it is an increasingly popular choice for photographers and other artists who want to create stunning visual displays.
- The most common size is 8×10″, but they come in all sizes.
- The thing that sets acrylic prints apart from other types of prints is the depth of the image. It’s not just a flat photo; it has a three-dimensional quality.
- When you look at an acrylic print, you’ll notice that the image seems to be floating off the surface. This effect is created by light refracting through the thick layers of acrylic. It’s a beautiful way to display your photos, and it’s also highly durable.
- Acrylic prints are waterproof and UV-resistant, so they never fade or discolor. They’re much lighter than traditional framed photos, so they’re easy to hang on your wall. An acrylic print is an excellent option if you’re looking for a unique and eye-catching way to display your photos.
What Are Acrylic Block Prints
The acrylic photo blocks are a unique alternative to traditional frames, made of crystal-clear 0.7-inch thick material that will stand up on any flat surface. Small acrylic prints allow art collectors to enjoy their favorite artwork on a shelf, desk, or table.
What is Sublimation Printing
Sublimation printing is a digital printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a medium such as metal, ceramic, fabric, and acrylic.
The advantage of sublimation over traditional methods is that it allows for full-color images with a high degree of detail. The result is an image that is not only vibrant and long-lasting but also has a soft, natural feel.
Supplies You Need For Printing Onto Acrylic
You can use different printing methods for printing onto acrylic, but sublimation printing is the most popular for acrylic prints, metal prints, and ceramic.
To sublimate onto acrylic, you will need the following supplies:
- Acrylic photo blocks
- A sublimation printer
- Sublimation inks
- Sublimation paper
- Heat resistance rubber gloves
- Heat tape
- A heat press
Designing Graphics for Acrylic Printing in Photoshop
Now that you know what materials you need to create acrylic photo prints, it’s time to design your graphics.
When creating graphics for acrylic printing, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, the colors will appear more vibrant on the finished product than on your computer screen.
Second, the image will be reversed when printed onto the back of the acrylic sheet- so make sure to design your graphics accordingly.
Here are a few tips for designing graphics in Photoshop for acrylic printing:
1. Use high-resolution images- the higher the resolution, the better the image quality of the finished product. (suggested 300 pix)
2. Adjust the colors to appear more vibrant on the acrylic sheet.
3. Reverse the image if you want it to appear correctly on the back of the acrylic sheet.
4. Save your file as a .psd or .tiff so it can be edited later if needed.
How To Create An Acrylic Print
- Print your artwork on sublimation paper with a sublimation printer.
- Place the transparent acrylic sheet on top of the print and line up the image printed.
- Tape the print to the acrylic material so the paper will not shift.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on the top and bottom of the acrylic glass to protect it from heat.
- Place the acrylic on the heat press with the print facing up. Set the heat press to 385 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 seconds. Note: the temperature and time might vary depending on your heat-press.
- When the heat press is done, remove the acrylic print carefully because it will be very hot and rubbery.
- Place the acrylic print on a flat surface and let cool.
- Once the acrylic print is cool, remove the paper. Some of the photo paper might stick to the acrylic. Let it soak in soapy water to remove the photo paper.
Thick acrylic will not warp as much as a thin acrylic photo print.
Watch this video to learn how to create beautiful acrylic prints.
What Is Lucite Printing
Lucite printing is a technique that artists use to transfer images onto acrylic sheets. It is also known as screen printing or silk screening.
The artist starts by creating a design on a piece of paper or film. This design is then transferred onto a mesh screen. Inks are then applied to the screen, and the excess is wiped away so that only the ink passing through the openings in the screen remains.
The screen is then placed over an acrylic sheet, and a squeegee is used to apply pressure to the back of the screen. This forces the ink through the openings in the screen and onto the surface of the acrylic sheet.
Once the ink has dried, it will be permanent and will not smudge or fade over time. Lucite printing is a popular choice for artists because it provides a high-quality image that can be easily reproduced.
Mounting Options For Acrylic Photo Prints
Various choices are available when deciding how to hang an acrylic picture, from more modern methods like acrylic blocks to forming the acrylic in a curve, so it will stand on a countertop.
Consider using mountain-shaped acrylic blocks for those looking for a truly unique option. These blocks are designed to prop up the print at an angle, giving it a three-dimensional look that will impress. The added height makes the print stand out even more, making it an excellent choice for those looking to make a statement.
How To Hang Acrylic Pictures
Another option is to install hanging hardware to the back of the print, so they are ready to hang.
Hanging an acrylic print is different than hanging a traditional framed art. You will need hardware specifically for acrylics. The best hardware for acrylic photos is Standoff Screws. For more information, visit, How To Hang Standoff Prints.
Acrylic Printing Machines
A UV printing machine is a type of printer that uses ultraviolet light to cure ink, paint, or other materials. The process is also known as UV curing or UV printing.
UV printing is fast, efficient, and produces high-quality prints. It is often used for high-precision and/or high-resolution printing projects, such as signage, packaging, labels, and decals. UV printers can also print on various substrates, including paper, plastic, glass, metal, and wood.
Popular Acrylic Printer:
Another option for printing photographs on plexiglass is to outsource the printing job. You can find printing companies in your area by searching for “acrylic printing near me” or “local acrylic printing service.”
Be sure to ask for a sample because you do not want to invest in cheap acrylic prints if you are planning on selling them.
How To Clean Acrylic Prints
Here are some simple tips to keep your prints looking their best.
- Use a microfiber or soft, lint-free cloth to avoid scratching the surface.
- Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasives, as these can damage the print.
- Dab it gently with a damp cloth if you need to remove a stain; do not rub, as this can spread the stain.
- Keep the acrylic print out of direct sunlight because sunlight can ruin the acrylic print over time.
You can enjoy your acrylic prints for years by following these simple tips.
Best Places to Sell Acrylic Prints
If you want to start printing on acrylic and selling your products, you must know where to sell them. There are several places to sell acrylic prints, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Here are a few of the most popular options:
Sell Acrylic Photo Prints At Art Fairs and Festivals
Art fairs and festivals are among the best places to sell acrylic prints. These events are typically held in public spaces like parks or squares and usually attract much foot traffic.
Selling custom acrylic prints at art shows is an excellent opportunity to show off your work to potential customers and make some sales. However, art fairs and festivals can be very competitive, so you’ll need to ensure your work is high quality, priced correctly, and offers various custom sizes.
Sell Acrylic Prints Online
Another option for selling acrylic prints is online. There are a few different ways to do this- you can sell through an online marketplace like Etsy or Amazon or set up your website. Selling online is an excellent option because it gives you a wider reach and allows you to sell to customers worldwide.
Pricing Your Products Effectively
When pricing your products, finding the right balance between making a profit and pricing your items low enough that customers are interested in buying them is essential. With acrylic prints, you want to ensure you’re pricing them high enough to make a profit but not so high that people are unwilling to buy them.
The best way to determine what price you should charge is to research what other artists are charging for similar products. Look at the prices of other acrylic prints and find a range that you’re comfortable with. Once you have a range in mind, start on the low end and increase your prices until you find a sweet spot that allows you to make a profit while still attracting customers.
Can You Print Onto Perspex
Printing on perspex can be a bit of a challenge, but with the proper technique, it’s possible.
The first thing you need to do is choose the right perspex type. For most applications, cast acrylic is the best choice. It’s durable and easy to work with.
Next, you need to prepare your design. Ensure it’s high resolution and that all the colors are correctly calibrated. Once your design is ready, you’ll need to print it onto self-adhesive vinyl. This will act as a transfer film for your design. Finally, you’ll need to use a heat press to transfer your design onto the perspex. The vinyl will adhere to the perspex, and the heat will cause the design to bond permanently with the surface.
With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to produce high-quality prints on perspex that will last for years.
How To Stop Acrylic From Warping
Acrylic prints are a popular choice for artwork because of their vibrant colors and durability. However, one downside to acrylic is that it can warp if not adequately protected. Warping can occur when the print is exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity levels or if it’s left in direct sunlight for too long. Storing acrylic prints in a cool, dry place is essential to prevent warping. If you’re displaying the print in a frame, use UV-resistant glass or Plexiglas to protect it from sunlight. You should also avoid hanging the print too close to a heat source, such as a fireplace or radiator. These precautions can help ensure that your acrylic print remains flat and distortion-free.
Acrylic vs. Glass Photo Prints
If you’re considering having a photo printed, you may wonder whether to choose an acrylic or glass print. Both options have their own unique benefits.
Acrylic prints are created by printing an image onto a sheet of clear acrylic. The result is a vibrant, high-resolution image with a modern look.
Glass prints, on the other hand, are made by printing an image onto a piece of clear glass. Glass prints have a classic look and feel, and they can be displayed in a variety of ways. However, they are also more fragile than acrylic prints and require special care when handling.
When deciding between an acrylic and glass print, it’s important to consider the look you’re going for and how you plan to display the print.
Acrylic prints are an excellent choice for modern photos, while glass prints are ideal for images that deserve a classic treatment.
Now that you understand the basics of acrylic board printing, it’s time to start pricing your products. Consider what other artists are charging for similar items when pricing your prints. Start on the low end and increase prices until you find a sweet spot that allows you to make a profit while still attracting customers. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to success with acrylic printing.
You might consider outsourcing your work with acrylic printing services if you sell in bulk.
Other popular products to sell to generate extra income: