Do do that Yudu

BW and I recently borrowed a Yudu home screen-printing “system” from Tim The Enchanter.  I thought it would be fun to make some tshirts from a very cool Syd Barrett graphic that I stole from someone on Flickr a while back.  Although I’m happy with the results, I don’t know if I would seriously recommend the Yudu to anyone.  In terms of cost, it definitely doesn’t hold a candle to real screen-printing equipment.  However, real screen-printing equipment can take up whole rooms, so it’s impractical for the home hobbyist.

More than anything, the Yudu reminds me of an outsized Easy Bake Oven.  It’s a big box with a lightbulb and a fan inside.  There are emulsion sheets (sold separately) that you apply to their screens, then you dry the emulsion using the unit’s built-in fan.  This takes a very long time…a few hours minimum.  The next step is burning your design into the emulsion; this is done by inserting the screen into the unit and turning on the mega-watt bulb.  That only takes about 10 minutes.

Then you’re ready to print.  The manufacturer says that you can do multi-colored printing, but I’m dubious.  We found one color to be clumsy enough.  It doesn’t help that for multi-colors you’d have to buy even more sold-separately accessories.

And that is the main gripe with the Yudu:  cost.  Something that expensive should work better.  If I’d paid for a Yudu, I’d be pretty miffed. It’s a damned cost-ineffective way to make just a few items, and too unwieldy to make high volumes of items.  You’d honestly spend less money finding a real print shop that accepts small job orders, and paying them to make shirts for you, particularly for a multi-color design.  Or uploading to Cafe Press and doing it there, but the print quality won’t be as good.  Either is cheaper than Yudu, especially once you factor in cost of shirts and the all-important convenience factor.

Lest I sound too bitchy, the part where you finally get to screen your design onto your object WAS fun.  And our screen did come out very nicely; the design was crisp and retained all its detail.  The end products are very cool, but I don’t think I’ll be Yuduing anything else in the future.

2 Responses to “Do do that Yudu”

  1. Wendy Says:

    Nice work! I worked with a Yudu once, trying to screen print t-shirts for a project. It sucked.

  2. ReeRee Says:

    … my goodness ! I’d never even heard of this Yudu thing … I really like the way your shirt and tote came out – they look awesome !!

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