Do You Use the Thermofax?

It’s obscure, but its amazing, and it’s been going through transition.

The Thermofax is an old 50’s 3M machine that was experiencing a resurgence of popularity through an alternate use. Silkscreening with the Thermofax is amazingly easy when you have the right materials.

We’ve used it for classes with youth, and in the past have been able to make drawings using the right pencils, pass them through the machine and silkscreen. Bam. You could also do it using a laser printer, which toner contains carbon.

About 1 year ago, Riso, the company that made the Thermofax screen material changed the formula, and a lot of the old equipment that folks used didn’t work any longer. Instead of just any laser printer, you now had to find a laser printer with enough carbon in the toner to make it work. So now, instead of being able to use our old Brother AND our old hp that folks had donated to us, we discovered we could only use our old Brother. Add to that the trouble we had with the machine…. not burning the image due to the fact that the light bulb needed replacement…

We found a supplier in Australia that had the old Thermofax screen material and bought some (but they are out of the old stuff now).

We finally think we’ve got our answer together this summer and used it on some work near the end of summer with some success.

Old brother printer (not HP), old 3m thermofax, new silkscreen materials, burn setting of 2-3. And NOW we hear that Welsh Products, the only supplier of the film here in the US… is retiring because of the trouble they are having to field with their customers, dwindling supplies of the machine, etc. I’m bummed. Does anyone use the thermofax? Is anyone else bummed about this?

Making another post where we can share our successful situations.

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