The History of 3-Dimensional Pad Printing and its Applications

Although it seems like a technology that has been around for only a short time, 3-Dimensional Pad Printing – the process of printing 2D images on to a 3D object – actually goes back quite a way. In fact, the origins of this process can be traced back nearly 200 years in one form or another. The most primitive form of 3D Pad Printing was done by hand which made the procedure arduous and inexact. Craftsmen used copper as a material from which to transfer tiny etchings onto objects.

The Twentieth Century

Pad printing technology crawled along using this old-fashioned, handwritten method of marking objects such as watch faces, silverware, etc. Then, in the first part of the last century, methods and techniques of placing 2D images on to 3D objects grew to become more precise and sophisticated. The real boom in the technology came when Swiss watchmakers industrialized the process. Their pads were made of gelatin and used oil-based ink to make the markings. As you can see, the process of 3D Pad Printing found its biggest boom in commercial applications. The medical industry had yet to utilize this technology to its fullest extent. However, this would soon change with the advancement of 3D printing technology and even in the production of medical devices using 3D printers.

The 21st Century and Beyond3 dimensional Pad Printing

Today 3D Pad Printing is so exact and accurate that it can be used to display information on a variety of medical devices and implements. These include:

  • Airway Devices
  • Catheters
  • Central Venous Catheters
  • Dialysis Catheters
  • Endotracheal Tubes
  • Epidural Catheters
  • EVD Catheters
  • Intrauterine Catheters
  • Intravascular Catheters
  • Jejunostomy Tubes
  • Neonatal/Pediatric Closed Suction Catheter System
  • Neonatal Umbilical Catheters
  • Pediatric Feeding Tubes
  • Pediatric Tracheal Tubes
  • Pleur-Evac Thoracic Catheters

As you can well imagine, precision means everything when it comes to the information that must be displayed on these devices. At KKolor we use the finest computerized medical device printing technologies that are available in order to print vital information on a variety of materials. In the not too distant past, some of these materials were thought to not be able hold 2D images and information but necessity is the mother of invention. As long as there is a need for information to be displayed on the above objects we will have the protocols in place and equipment to do so.

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