Printing question: Transparency

Does anyone know of a print media that will behave like a theatrical scrim or one way mirror.

What do I mean by this?

Well, you walk up to the front of a diorama that has a plexiglass front on it. On this front is a printed image. You then push a button and a light turns on inside the diorama, allowing you to look through the printed image and see what’s inside.

I’ve spoken to some of my graphic design friends, and they seem to think that there is a way, but they don’t know what it is.

Duratrans? Doesn’t seem quite right.

Printing on a mesh?


Inkjet silk and inkjet mesh are both available - how big do you want to print?

It’s going to be around 2 feet by 3 feet. Are silk and mesh opticaly true?

I’m not sure what you mean, but the mesh seems to be closer to scrim material. The silk is very fine, like scarf silk.

Sounds like those won’t be clear enough to see through. Ideally it will have no texture when looking through it. More like printing on an overhead transparency, but that isn’t quite a strong enough image when looking at the front.

It may not exist.

Anyone worked with etching a pic into glass and lighting it internally? Then turn off that light and light behind it, so you can see through.

I’ve done this, but the glass isn’t completely transparent after etching. How close are you going to be to the printed piece?

Well it’s a museum exhibit, so you’ll be right there. The part you look through to see is going to be about a foot back. If I can make the see through image with enough negative space, that should work.

Stepping away from the computer now.

Thanks for the input.

The traditional way to do this is with a partially-silvered mirror. You might also want to look at “bus wrap”, which is inkjet-printable vinyl that consists of tiny dots, making it transparent (more or less).

I would just get an actual two way mirror and either print directly on it (or etch, or do cut out stickers), or print on a transparency and place that on top.