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Digital printing is a method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.
Digital printing has a higher cost per page than more traditional offset printing methods, but this price is usually offset by avoiding the cost of all the technical steps required to make printing plates. It also allows for on-demand printing, short turnaround time, and even a modification of the image (variable data) used for each impression. The savings in labor and the ever-increasing capability of digital presses means that digital printing is reaching the point where it can match or supersede offset printing technology’s ability to produce larger print runs of several thousand sheets at a low price.
Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink (or dye) onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-coloured image or design.
Traditionally, silk was used in the process. Currently, synthetic threads are commonly used in the screen printing process. The most popular mesh in general use is made of polyester. There are special-use mesh materials of nylon and stainless steel available to the screen-printer. There are also different types of mesh size which will determine the outcome and look of the finished design on the material.
The technique is used not only for garment printing but for printing on many other substances, including decals, clock and watch faces, balloons, and many other products. Advanced uses include laying down conductors and resistors in multi-layer circuits using thin ceramic layers as the substrate.
Pad printing (also called tampography) is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object (e.g. a ceramic pottery). This is accomplished using an indirect offset (gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate. Pad printing is used for printing on otherwise difficult to print on products in many industries including medical, automotive, promotional, apparel, and electronic objects, as well as appliances, sports equipment and toys. It can also be used to deposit functional materials such as conductive inks, adhesives, dyes and lubricants.
Physical changes within the ink film both on the cliché and on the pad allow it to leave the etched image area in favor of adhering to the pad, and to subsequently release from the pad in favor of adhering to the substrate.
The unique properties of the silicone pad enable it to pick the image up from a flat plane and transfer it to a variety of surfaces, such as flat, cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, textures, concave, or convex surfaces.
ARTS & CRAFTS CREATIVITY
Marabu has been synonymous with high-quality special colours with the “Made in Germany” quality seal for more than 160 years. Whether it is paints for special printing processes, hobbies or leisure time, or demanding works of art – Marabu products are leaders when it comes to meeting worldwide quality requirements in all areas. With distribution in more than 50 countries, they offer an incomparable full range of creative colours, simple-to-use products, tools and ideas, so that creativity can be indulged in all forms and colours. They develop sustainably and safely whose utmost priority is of course to protect and safeguard the natural environment. Their annual environmental report gives detailed information about our commitment to the environment.