How to print on curved surface area – pad printing

Have you ever wounder that how people print on curved surface area like pens, can, dish or anything else? That is the tampon printing method some people call that is pad printing. This pad printing is very popular in industrial manufacturing. It is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object

For an example, you can see these pens below, it is printed in the curve surface but it very high resolution.

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How do they do that?

Image Plate

They have a image plate are used to contain the desired artwork “image” etched in its surface. Their function is to hold ink in this etched cavity, allowing the pad to pick up this ink as a film in the shape of the artwork, which is then transferred to the substrate.

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The Printing Pad

Pads are three-dimensional objects typically molded of silicone rubber. Their purposes as a transfer vehicle, picking up ink from the printing plate above, and transferring it to the part (substrate). They vary in shape and diameter depending on the application.

There are some shape but two main shape groups: “round pads” and long narrow pads called “bar pads”. Pads are also made in other shapes, called “loaf pads”. Within each group there are three size categories: small, medium, and large size pads. It is also possible to engineer custom-shaped pads to meet special application requirements.

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Printing Ink:

Ink is used to mark or decorate parts. It comes in different chemical families to match the type of material to be printed (please consult the substrate compatibility chart for selection).

Now you can see the demonstration of curve printing system for easily understanding how to print on curved surface area.

How they apply it in the real world manufacturing. In this video, they printing on the surface of dishes.

In some case, if printing with multiple colors, they will use another machine can hold several printing pad and prints it sequence.

Thank you for your watching, we hope you like it and take a look more about the simple science in this website. Do not forget to share with your friends!


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