When I was working in the Brother booth at the NBM Show recently, we were wanting to print on some stone coasters. That’s right, the Brother GT-3 DTG printers don’t have to print on garments! If this was a task you were going to do on a regular basis, you might want to make a jig with holes for the coasters making it easier to line up the artwork.
Even if you are not printing on a DTG printer, you can follow the general idea presented here to create a template for the designs you want to print.
Think of the scene in the movie Apollo 13 when a solution had to be made from the parts available on the spacecraft. In this case, we didn’t have a jig and had to make a quick solution from the materials we had in the booth. We had paper and tape and that was all we needed.
Let’s talk about what we know. The standard platen in the printer is 14″ x 16″. The coasters are 4.25″ in diameter. If you’re curious, the blanks can be found for less than $2.50 with big discounts available for larger quantities. So with the sizes we knew, I created three circles in CorelDRAW where each coaster corresponds to a single coaster. You can see the CorelDRAW page below. If you wanted to print more than one row, you can easily create more rows.
You might be asking why I filled the circles with different colors. The colors themselves don’t mean anything, but if I wanted a specific design on each spot the color would help me determine which design goes in what spot.
One I had the circles drawn, we taped some paper to the top of the platen and printed the circles on the platen. Once they are printed, we placed the blank coaster on the printed circle and put the artwork we wanted in a specific location in place of the circle in CorelDRAW. In just a few minutes, we had some awesome looking custom coasters!