Lab-6: M&R Chameleon manual press

Harry Bartlett, screen printer

Tell us a bit about your business

Lab-6 was started eight years ago, offering screen, vinyl and digital printing, along with web and graphic design. We’ve since split the printing services from the design, which is now under a different company name (Hirro).

What’s the latest screen printing press you’ve bought?

An M&R Chameleon, which we bought to run alongside our M&R Kruzer.

What other systems did you look at?

We looked into purchasing an auto, but for the time being it seemed like overkill and as these presses retain their value, we can always sell this on in the future if we decide to go that way.

M&R Chameleon manual press

Why did you choose the Chameleon?

We chose it mainly to take some of the workload off our other press. Smaller jobs would start to pile up simply because we didn’t have enough equipment for the workload.

What are its main advantages?

It’s easy to set up and easy to use, spare parts are easily accessible, and all the equipment like the platens etc, are interchangeable, so we can utilise the stuff we already have.

Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade or don’t particularly like about it?

It’s a bit heavy and clunky, but being an older press (we purchased a pre-owned one) this stuff has no doubt been sorted with the newer models.

What sort of work is it used for?

The majority of our jobs are in the 50–100 mark – leavers hoodies, dance schools etc – with the odd few repeat customers ordering 1,000+ tote bags or T-shirts for corporate or charity events. We also supply merchandise for local festivals, which are an annual thing.

What is your advice to others thinking of buying a new press?

Pre-owned presses are well worth a look, depending on your requirements.