Unlocking the Power of Pad Printing: Principles, Tips, & Applications
The technique of Pad Printing involves applying a two-dimensional picture onto a three-dimensional object. This process employs the etched plate, called cliché, and a pad to transmit the image through offset printing. Besides, the style of a pad printing machine may vary depending on the image size and the number of colors involved. Pad printing is extensively used in various industries, with industrial, electronic, and mechanical being the most prominent ones.
What Is A Pad Printing Process?
The ink shift mechanism in the pad printing machines is the pad printing pad, which compresses onto the inked etching to capture the image. As it glides over the object to be printed, the pad once again squeezes to place the image onto the surface.
Silicone is the material used to make pads, and the specific type and hardness of silicone used depends on the intended application. Furthermore, pads come in various shapes & sizes, which are chosen based on the particular artwork and application requirements. The most common pad shapes are round & rectangular, but specialty pads are also useful for specific applications with unique forms. A range of print pads in different sizes and conditions are discoverable on a silicone stamping pad website.
The Procedure with Steps for Pad Printing Process
Before being used in pad printing, the printing plate undergoes a pre-etching process to create depressions. The picture to be printed is etched onto the flat Flat sheet utilizing a photoengraver. The depressions hold the ink, which is then collectible by a silicone pad that moves over the plate & transfers the ink onto the object.
Here are the steps that demonstrate a pad printing procedure utilizing the sealed cup printer:
Step 1: Home Positions
In this step, an ink cup is over the engraved sheet, covering the etched area. The ink cup then opens up, allowing ink to fill the carved space.
Step 2: Exposure to Air
After filling the etched area with ink, an ink cup reduces any excess ink as it closes & separates from the engraved. The plate does not have ink, while the engraved(etched) portion holds the ink(deposited). Due to exposure to air, the top layer of the ink becomes tacky, allowing it to adhere easily to a silicone pad & the workpiece.
Step 3: Pad Printing
To lift the image from the Ink-coated plate and release air, a silicone pad is compressed against the plate. The pad then moves with the raised image to a workpiece, where it is applied.
Step 4: Next Cycle
After the pads have moved the image onto the workpiece, the ink cup returns to its initial position. It then refills the plate (printing plate) with ink, ensuring that it is ready for the printing cycle.
Ink Types Of Pad Printing
Pad print ink holds the most significant role in the printing procedure. It comes in various colors, series, & types, with white & black being the standard colors, while several other colors are useful. Inks are useful for specific mediums like plastic, glass & metals and comprise various binding materials like polyester epoxy, pigments, and resins. Based on their composition, there are four kinds of inks.
- Two-component ink
- One-component inks
- Mixed inks
- LED inks
To facilitate the shift and drying of an ink layer, a solvent is available in ink. Solvents with a higher evaporation rate are typically useful for pad print procedures. These solvents also help to maintain the correct level of ink consistency between the pad and the medium available for printing.
Machines for Pad Printing Process
There are 2 kinds of printing pad machines categorized based on their operating systems. Besides, These machines utilize two distinct working principles:
- Open system: The ink cup in the available method has no seal, and the outer printing plate layer is exposed. The open inkwell pulls the ink onto the image on a plate, and a sharp blade wipes the excess. The ink dries in the air when its solvents evaporate. Modifying colors in an open system is much simpler than in a closed system.
- Closed system: The secure system utilizes a sealed ink cup with an edge to remove extra ink from an image. There is limited exposure of inks to air, preventing changes in thickness. It is making it easier for operators to handle the printing procedure.
Pad Printing Vs. Screen Printing
The primary factor that distinguishes pad printing from screen printing is the item sizes being printable.
Pad printing is more appropriate for smaller objects such as labels and barcodes. It is easily applicable to three-dimensional items. On the other hand, screen printing is better for items with a larger surface area, such as boards and shirts.
The pad printing process involves using a silicon pad to transfer ink onto a desired item. This modern printing method employs a printing machine, which secures both the item from printing & silicon pad in place. By squeezing a silicone pad, ink is transferable onto a product, and the silicon conforms to the form of the printed object. The printing process concludes once the printed item has dried.
Screen printing has been a tried-and-true method for a century. Its popular application involves transferring a design from a stencil onto fabrics like silk and t-shirts. Besides, The process starts by crafting a pattern onto a see-through film, followed by selecting a mesh screen – the critical component in this process. Next, the film is onto the mesh to dry. With the stencil in place, the printer applies ink onto the fabric to imprint the design.
Top Benefits of Pad Printed Process
Pad printing offers a range of benefits, some of which are:
Printing on irregular shapes
In contrast to other printing techniques, such as screen printing, pad printing excels at producing prints on objects with unconventional sizes and shapes. It can imprint pictures on items with intricate geometries.
Silicone pads can uniquely conform to any structure or form without causing damage. Besides, This characteristic eliminates the shape and size limitations that manufacturers encounter with other printing methods.
A transfer (shift) pad has silicone that imparts remarkable flexibility. This feature enables the smooth transfer of ink onto the medium.
Less space and cost
The pad printing equipment is relatively compact and doesn’t occupy much space. As a result, many operators can conduct their pad printing operations within a single room. Furthermore, the cost of setting up the equipment is minimal.
The pad printing process employs uncomplicated and compact machinery, facilitating delicate product handling. Also, this technique allows intricate details to be reproducible with accuracy and to produce high-quality prints.
Pad printing delivers high-resolution prints, also on substances that are typically challenging to print on. These prints not only offer excellent visibility and legibility, but they are also impervious to chemicals & corrosion.
Top Applications of Pad Printing
Pad printing’s advanced printing capabilities have led to its widespread adoption across various industries. Besides, It finds applications in medical, automobile, electronics, cosmetics, mechanical and other sectors for branding & logo printing.
Several products are frequently producible using pad printing, such as:
- In sheet metal fabrication, pad printing is useful for printing on parts, including logos and numbers of various shapes and sizes.
- The consumer electronic product, pad printing is easy to print custom graphics.
- The pad printing technique is the preferred option for creating promotional items, as it can produce over a hundred designs with many colors at an affordable cost.
- Pad printing is a popular choice for printing & decorating silicon products, as it offers a commercially viable solution. Besides, Many products, pet supplies & kitchenware items have silicon. This is useful to print using this technique.
Creatingway concentrates on CNC manufacturing, prototype machining, low-volume manufacturing, metal fabrication, and parts finishing services, providing you with the best support. ask us one inquiry now.
If you have any questions or RFQ for metal& plastic technology and custom machining, you are welcome to contact us below
Call +86-0(755)-89492523 or send an inquiry to us
Welcome to visit us, For any metal and plastic design and machining questions, we support you. Our services email address: