Bumper Numbers

So I know that the rules for bumpers say 4" height and 1/2" stroke, but what have you guys used to put your team number on your bumpers that has worked well? We’ve always done some sort of paint, and I’d really like to have a cleaner look. Thanks!

We usually print a stencil that says 1058 cut out, courtesy of our graciou sponsor, Fully-Assed Graphics. You could do the same thing with a large printer/plotter. We then spray paint the number with white fabric spray paint. Good luck!

Yeah, that’s what we’ve done in the past and it just never turns out that well. I guess we just don’t have good stencil/painting skills.

We usually use a stencil to mark the outline and then fill in with a paintbrush. Gives much cleaner edges (and if anyone’s seen our bumper numbers, they have a lot of edges…)

I guess I should have cleared this up; does anyone have something OTHER than paint that works well? I really want to avoid painting the bumpers.

We have been in the same boat before. Things we tried that worked well:

If you have a local shop that does fabric screen printing (like on t-shirts) they might be willing to donate screen printing the numbers on the bumpers in return for the advertising on the bot. We did that one year and it was the best our bumpers looked :slight_smile: . Unfortunately they went out of business so now we don’t have anyone here that can do it for us.

Last year we used iron numbers (I bought out Hobby Lobby of 2’s and 8’s). This year we ordered iron numbers from Andy Mark http://www.andymark.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=iron+on+numbers
they were about the same price as Hobby Lobby just more convienient and I didn’t buy them out of stock…:smiley:

Good Luck!

Screen printing is definitely the best option, especially if you can get it donated. We’ve been working with the same shop since our second year, and they always look great and never come off!

You can get Vinyl numbers from the craft store in white just peel and stick for a professional finish. You may need multiple packs to get all the numbers you need. Hobby lobby has then for around $5.00. Check for coupons on line for 40% off to make them even cheaper.

The 1/2" stroke width should alleviate some of the issues teams encountered last year when the stroke width requirements were 3/4"

As a 4-digit team, this makes me happy, as we BARELY fit our numbers on the short section bumper (8 inches of frame, ~11 inches wide at outside corner)… and we have two 1’s in our number!

We usually sew on our numbers, cutting them out of white fabric.

Talk to some of the team moms; I’m sure there’s one or two out there that are good with a sewing machine, or even by hand. Our team has our numbers cut out of white fabric, then sewn on by our Head Mentor’s wife.

I know of several teams that have access to embroidery machines and have the numbers added with thread. They look very cool. I would suspect any shop that does hats could potentially do the numbers. A good choice for a new sponsor.

Starting this year, TPD is offering bumper numbers. It’s similar to what the other robotics retailers have online, but we can choose your teams font instead of a standard font. Also, we would prefer to add them on ourselves instead of sending out the vinyl to be done, we would use our industrial heat press to insure the vinyl would stick. email Alex at [email protected] for more information!

Robo Promo has iron on bumper numbers at a very reasonable cost this year - 4 numbers for $6. I believe our team will be using these this year.

Edit: Nevermind, AndyMark has them for the same price.

Michael’s carries a home screen printing kit that works well on shirts. The image is transferred to the screen by using a transparency and exposing the negative of you image using a stong light in a dark room. If your font doesn’t change you can leave the screen with your image on it and it will dry thay way permanently, or you can wash the screen out to make it blank again.

The one I bought was made for black shirts, which includes a nice opaque white. If needed you can print-dry-print again for a nicer white if the first one is too thin. I paid about $90. Make sure it has the photo transfer emulsion or you can buy that separately for refills. The kit came with everything (screen, squeegee, paint, etc.)

If your students get good at it, you could do 1 or 2 color shirts on your own, too. Very DIY.

We struggled with sharpies and fabric paint last year (it worked but didn’t look that great), so I’m very interested in this. I’ve heard the other vinyl numbers have a tendecy to fall off so TPD and the industrial heat press may be the way to go. I’ll pass this along to the ‘bumper team’ and see what they think.

We printed out a cardboard stencil and then used a white sharpie fabric marker for our bumper numbers with no issues. Just watch incase the paint runs, we had to redo one bumper.