From a desire to fabricate my own PCBs I was searching the internet for information on the toner transfer method. Initially I tried using magazine paper and photo paper for the transfer media with 'ok' results. In an internet posting someone said he used sign vinyl as the transfer media with good results. I happen to have sign vinyl so I gave it a whirl. I was very pleased with the results (previous post)
I remember one topic on these forums about front panel printing and I wondered if the same method used to print on copper could be used on other materials as well. Should work! Finally got around to trying it. Worked nicely! Procedure below:
Print mirror image on common paper via laser printer.
Cut out a piece of sign vinyl larger than the image printed on paper.
Remove vinyl from backing. Save the backing to be used in a later step.
Apply vinyl over image printed on paper.
Thoroughly apply vinyl to paper.
Set up printer for high quality output.
Set up printer for dark print.
With printer settings applied, load the original paper with the vinyl applied and print the mirrored image again.
Trim printed vinyl from paper.
Preheat material. I used the highest setting for about 3 minutes.
Apply vinyl, printed side down, to material. It'll readily adhere.
Place vinyl backing (shiny side down) saved from previous step over vinyl and apply heat on top. I used highest heat for about 2 minutes.
Immediately after removing heat, rub numerous times over the vinyl. I initially used this squegee but it started getting soft so I switched to a piece of aluminum with a rounded edge.
Allow material to cool.
Peel away vinyl.
Tada! As is the print seems pretty durable. I was unable to scrape any of it off, aggressively using my fingernails.