A listener of the podcast recently wrote in to tell us that, in the process of trying to purchase a legitimate Hackaday t-shirt, they discovered this 2012 Instructable from [yeltrow] that covers how you can cheaply crank out your own Wrencher shirts via screen printing.
Now historically, as long as you’re not trying to make a buck off of our name, we’ve never felt the need to stop folks from putting our logo on their projects. So we’re not too concerned that somebody was making Wrencher shirts, especially since they were almost certainly for their own personal use. Though the fact that [yeltrow] apparently described the project as a “Hackster-Style shirt” to try and avoid using our name ended up being a prophetic 4D chess meta-joke that you couldn’t make up if you tried.
Anyway, the reason we’re pointing this out now is because it’s a reminder of just how simple it is to spin up your own screen printing operation. As the name implies, you stretch a piece of window screen between a frame, glue on a piece of paper that has your design printed on it, cut out the pattern, and boom — you’ve got a stencil that lets you rapidly duplicate a physical version of an image without the need for a CNC, laser, or any of our other modern contrivances. Here it’s being used with a can of spray paint on plain t-shirts, but it could just as easily let you tag your local brick wall.
These days, you can simply upload an image file to any number of sites and receive a pack of professionally produced shirts/stickers/mugs/whatever in a week. But we think it’s still a technique worth knowing about. Not only is it cheap and easy, but there’s a certain value in having the final product in your hands on the same day — it’s the same reason many hackers are still finding ways to make their boards at home despite the wide availability of low-cost PCB fabrication services.
Special thanks to [Gregor] for not only tipping us off to this one, but for tuning into our weekly Hackaday Podcast.