Azhar Bhamji’s R X-3
BASE: 3M IJ180CV3 (PRINTED) LAMINATE: 3M LUSTRE
The preparation and application for this RX-3 differs from the Audi wrap as it is a digitally printed graphic. This had to be printed due to the complex gradients and shading that are seen across it. The design file was set up and printed as a single panel per side on 3M 180C print film, and then laminated in 3M lustre laminate.
“It makes for a cleaner appearance,” explains Tommie, continuing: “You don’t get those raised edges from layers upon layers; it’s the only way you can achieve something like the gradient that the client, Azhar, was after.”
Digital prints are slower in terms of prep time as the printers are slower than vinyl cutters; however, the printers do not require an operator to stand and observe the process, it can be set to print and left on its own until complete. Application is also faster as you are only applying a single layer, wherein the the graphic is generally taped up to ensure it is in the correct location, and then proceeding to application.
“The Audi was more labour intensive than the RX-3 as you have to prep each individual layer and apply it in separate layers,” says Tommie.
A laminate film is used to seal the media. This is a clear UV protective layer that is applied to the print prior to being applied to the car. Tommie explains that when using the correct base and laminate — ‘match components’ as it’s called in the industry — you generally have a three-year warranty, although the new Avery products are offering 5 years on certain products when applied correctly.
Although the laminate films are on top of the base, an aggressive adhesive is used to ensure that they do not separate. This means that they cannot be replaced separately if the top layer was to get damaged.