Does acrylic face mounting involve printing directly on acrylic material? Contrary to what many people may believe, this is not the case. It involves first printing on to a photo paper which is then fastened onto an acrylic sheet using a clear adhesive. It forms an alternative to the more traditional methods, not to mention the superior qualities that it offers. In some situations, acrylic face mounting would be best for your artwork. Hence, it is something that you should consider when framing your pieces. To give you a better understanding of the process, here is an overview of what goes on during acrylic face mounting.
For there to be a printout, there has to be a photo that is to be printed. Hence, the first step in acrylic face mounting is to process the photo in question, which is usually in digital format. A quality print out can only be achieved if the photo itself is of good quality. They therefore will ensure that the resolution is high enough. Any cropping or editing is also to be done here. The photo should end up looking at its best.
Printing the Image
The image is now to be transformed from soft copy and into hard copy through printing. How you go about printing also has an impact on the final quality of the printout. High-end photo printers are therefore used for this. The image is also printed on quality printing paper. Here, one has the option of glass, metallic, Fujifix, among others depending on how you want your image to appear. The time taken during printing will depend on the size of the image.
Once printing is done, we then move on to the mounting part. The first part of mounting is selecting an acrylic sheet with the preferred thickness. A double-sided clear adhesive is then applied. This is placed on the backside of the acrylic sheet. These application process needs to be flawless. This means that no dust, hairs, or other particles should get trapped in between as they will be visible. Special rollers can be used to ensure that the surface of the acrylic is as clean as possible.
The next thing is to take the photograph and align it to the acrylic sheet before going in into the laminator. By doing so, the image gets adhered to the other side of the double-sided adhesive. Even here, it has to be ensured that it comes out flawlessly. To help with this, rollers are used to clean the surface of the photograph to remove any particles before going through the adhering process. As it passes through the laminator, it gets pressed on to the acrylic glass.
Once the photo has been stuck onto the acrylic, it is now time for the backing to be installed. Here, the back of the piece gets pressed with a backing of a certain thickness. For this, materials such as di-bond which constitutes of PVC sandwiched between aluminum or Sinatra can be used. This backing offers protection to the piece and makes it firm.
After everything has been put together, it’s now time for the final touches. First, the piece will go through a cutting process. Here, the excess at the edges will be cut off. This is to also give the piece smooth and even edges. A special machine such as a router is used for this. Before this is done, however, the piece has to be covered using masking tape. This is to prevent it from getting damaged during the cutting process.
This is the final stage of acrylic face mounting. If a metal back frame is to be used, then the first thing will be to create the frame. The aluminum will be cut to the preferred size and put together. VHB tape is then used to adhere it to the back of the piece.
Other times, two wooden slats will be used instead. They are placed vertically at the back of the piece while parallel to each other. The adhesive is then applied on the back of the piece and the slats for them to stick. This process allows for the installation of the piece on the wall. Both of these techniques will give the piece a floating off the wall appearance.
As seen above, there are a lot of layers that go into acrylic face mounting. The process, therefore, requires a lot of skill and precision. Otherwise, the piece will end up being ruined. This is something to have in mind as you look for a picture framing shop to do this for you.