Capabilities of Pad Printing

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How Pad Printing Works

Pad printing is an indirect offset printing process, where an image is transferred via a soft silicone pad onto the surface to be printed. The silicone pad or then lifts the ink from the etched image and transfers the image directly onto the surface to be printed. Thus turning this into 3-Dimensional Pad Printing.

Advantages of Pad Printing

The main advantages of pad printing are that you are not only limited to flat/round surfaces as you are in screen printing. You can print on all different types of irregular surfaces (such as multi-cavity molds). Nearly all types of substrates can be pad printed with some being easy than others. This makes a vaster array of medical devices and implements that we can be produced.

Easiest Substrates for Pad Printing

  • Thermoplastics
    • Styrene
    • Acrylic
    • Polycarbonate
    • Vinyl
    • Butyrate
  • Blends of above plastics (eg. ABS, PVC)
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Lacquered surfaces

Another advantage of pad printing is machines are incredibly versatile because the equipment can print on nearly any substrate quickly. Since the process is generally quick it can take only a few seconds for a full print cycle (depending on the number of colors being used).

Difficult Materials for Pad Printing

  • Silicone rubber
  • Silicone coated surfaces
  • Teflon
  • Nylon
  • PP/PE
  • Santoprene

Many of these require special inks and possibly a pre-treatment before printing.

Finally, it is very important to us here at K-Kolor that we familiarize ourselves with each customers project that we will be pad printing. This way we can find the best ways to take advantage of 3D Pad Printing to meet or exceed our customers’ requirements. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority.

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