Archive Entries

There are a few other resources that don't fit into the main site structure, so they are listed here, just in case.

How to be a Great Screen Printer

Screen printing is, sadly, a prime example of the triumph of art over science. Many printers continue to insist that only their instincts and their magic tweaks to the press can provide the answer. In fact, the whole process is readily understandable and done properly requires no magic tweaking. Most of the problems are self-induced: by insisting, for example, on using the wrong stencil, then the ink has to be changed which causes other problems which then have to be fixed with higher squeegee pressure which in turn ...

By making sure that the mesh does the metering, the stencil does the shaping and the ink does what it does best, then the printing process is very straightforward. All this has been described by me in numerous articles for the screen print press and in the eBook I co-authored at MacDermid Autotype with Anna Harris, David Parker and Tricia Church How To Be A Great Screen Printer. My thanks to MacDermid Autotype for permission to add this download to my website.

In 2013 the science behind the methodology was published: Nikil Kapur, Steven J. Abbott, Elisabeth D. Dolden, and Philip H. Gaskell, Predicting the Behavior of Screen Printing, IEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, Early Access Article: DOI 10.1109/TCPMT.2012.2228743.

Bioinspired Nanostructures

It's relatively easy to make a couple of copies of some fancy nanostructure over a few microns. But my interest is in nanostructures (and nanocoatings) by the kilometre. Making large-scale master structures containing uniform nanostructures, then replicating them by the kilometre is hard to do but ultimately where the industry has to go.

I've had the good fortune to have been involved in a wide range of large-scale nanostructure projects.

  • One result was a prize-winning article co-authored with my colleague Prof Phil Gaskell, Mass production of bio-inspired structured surfaces Proc. IMechE Vol. 221 Part C: J. Mechanical Engineering Science, pp1181-1191, 2007 . Although much of the work I have done is proprietary to MacDermid Autotype, many of the projects have featured in the public domain:
  • Motheye anti-reflection structures developed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy and Holotools, both in Freiburg
  • Anti-fouling structures for oil-wells (pdf), developed with Prof Anne Neville, U. Leeds
  • "Tree-frog" structures for robots on interior abdominal cavities , developed by Prof Anne Neville's team at U. Leeds
  • Structures for enhanced photovoltaic cell efficiency developed with Konarka, Holotools and U. Bath as part of the N2T2 Framework 6 partnership
  • Nanorod enhancements for LEDs and lasers developed with U. Bath & U. Linz as part of the N2T2 Framework 6 partnership and with Osram (and other partners) in a Framework 7 program