Electrostatic Sheets

Posted on Wednesday 26 September 2007

I’ve just printed off a type of electrostatic sign for my wife’s car. She is a member of Kiwanis, and every fall they put on a haunted house called Skreamers. It’s a fun event for all those who like to create that sort of thing, as well as those who like to be scared by it. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea, but I do help out when my wife volunteers me 😉

So this year I thought I was going to get away with just having to help out with some of the emergency wiring in the building and perhaps aiding her in the updating and creation of new outdoor signs (the 4 foot by 4 foot type). Helping out with the wiring was a “no brainer”, but I found the creation of the signs to be kind of neat.

Harley runs a great computer store called Bloom Microtech. He is also one of the most avid volunteers I have ever seen, which is a great thing for Kiwanis. One of the tools his store has is a special plotter which connects to a regular computer. The advantage of this plotter, and I assume the software, is that instead of plotting out graphs and the like, it actually cuts out letters, words and symbols on a special plastic paper that allows entire words to then be picked out and placed on those plastic sign boards you see everywhere. The result is an excellent and affordable sign, made without the help of a professional printing company. Needless to say I enjoyed helping with the signs, just so I could get a better look at the technology at work!

As I mentioned, Harley is a major volunteer and he volunteered this equipment to Kiwanis, so that my wife could make all these great signs. She of course, after getting into the sign making mood, wanted to know if it was possible to make smaller signs that could be put on a car or truck…either magnetic or electrostatic, or shrink wrapped. The sign material was too permanent for what she had in mind, so I decided to take a look elsewhere.

I figured several well known label supply companies would have what I wanted and I searched on-line, including several well known Business Supply stores, but came up empty for anything that could be used in a normal printer. So my next step was E-bay, if it didn’t exist there, it didn’t exist anywhere!

Amazingly, it took only one search and I came upon an E-Bay store that carried any and all types of labels and specialty papers which were already cut into normal 8.5 x 11 inch sheets. Not only did they have what I was looking for, they had something better (called Ultra Cling), but they also had sheets that you could print decals out on, both clear and white and tattoo sheets. These sheets you could actually design your own water tattoo for kids, grandkids and the kid at heart, plus this might be something that one could use for makeup!

All the sheets could be purchased at various amounts, from singles for those who wanted to experiment, to dozens for the more serious designer. All in all, it was a gold mind of a find. The shipping was very affordable and all the different sheets came with their own instructions and were separated and well protected.

The Ultra Cling sheets threw me at first. They have a reusable adhesive on them (instead of depending on static electricity) which allows them to be used and re-used over and over again (think of post-it-notes). The instructions on how to use them, and to put a solid color backing on them (which makes them more visible through a window) worked flawlessly.

So now my wife has removable/reusable signs for her car, and I’m sure other Kiwanis members cars. It really is amazing how easy it is to resolve what might have been an expensive or elaborate process by just finding the right technology for the job and then using basic home computer components to deliver a professional product.

Man I love it when technology works!

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