Different types of printing will give your final product different visual effects. The most common printing methods are Digital Printing, Flexography, Offset Printing, Rotogravure, Large Format, and 3D Printing. It’s important to understand that any process can produce an attractive, stylized, and marketable product. Each method allows the manufacturer to create a specific and distinctive look.
As technology has advanced, so too has the range of printing methods at our disposal. Each printing method can be suited to different needs. The range of printing options means businesses can choose which one to use to best meet their requirements. While you may be used to simply laser printing things at home or office, for marketing materials such as leaflets, booklets, stationery, or flyers, a more robust method is needed.
Digital printing is the reproduction of digital images onto a physical surface. It is the latest printing method that encompasses various technologies such as inkjet printing and laser printing. As part of the digital printing process, images are sent directly to the printer using digital files (such as PDF). This eliminates the printing plate. Other types of printing such as lithography still require this. Digital printing is a printing method that saves a lot of time and money because it does not use plates.
Digital printing also enables quick turnaround. This means businesses can print on demand. It’s also great for short-running jobs as there are no set-up costs or minimum quantities, making it ideal for smaller runs.
Digital printing is a cost-effective way to produce high-quality prints. Digital printing is generally used for posters and signage, labels, newsletters, menus, and letters.
Flexography often referred to as flexo, is the most commonly used printing process for packaging. It is a modern version of letterpress printing. This name (flexo) was given because the corrugated cardboard with a rough surface was originally printed. The printing plate, being flexible, maintains contact with the cardboard.
This style of printing uses fast-drying semi-liquid inks and can be used for high-volume jobs. It is generally used for packages and Labels (e.g. plastic bags, juice cartons, disposable cups, candy bar wrappers) or wallpapers and gift wrapping.
This process typically uses an aluminum printing plate. Each plate contains an image of the content to be printed. The contents of these plates are transferred or “offset” onto a roller or rubber blanket. An inked rubber blanket transfers the image to the paper.
This process is often called offset because the ink is first transferred from the plate to the blanket, instead of going straight to paper. Since the printed content does not touch the plate, the life of the plate is also extended.
Offset lithography can produce consistently high-quality images in both short and high-volume print jobs. However, it is not the most cost-effective method for small jobs as it is time-consuming and expensive to set up. This method is recommended for very large volumes. This method is generally used for books, stationery, etc. -widely used in mass-production printing.
Gravure Printing (Intaglio)
Gravure printing (also known as intaglio) is primarily a high-speed, high-quality, long-time printing process. A type of intaglio printing that produces finely detailed images. The image is engraved on the image carrier. Like offset and flexographic printing, gravure printing uses a rotary press to engrave an image onto a copper cylinder.
The rotogravure press is the fastest and widest press in operation, printing everything from narrow labels to 12-foot wide rolls of vinyl flooring. Gravure Printing is commonly used for high-volume printing of packaging, wallpaper, and gift wrap with fast-drying inks. Less commonly used for printing magazines, greeting cards, and high-volume promotional materials.
The name says it all, but this process exists to create the maximum width of the print roll. Ideal for traditional ad formats and large advertising companies, large format printing is the best option for large print media such as building envelopes, signs, banners, and murals. Large-format prints are produced using either an inkjet web press or a flatbed press. Flatbed presses allow products to be printed directly onto thicker substrates, virtually skipping steps in the process.
In recent years, this method has received a great deal of attention, and more and more applications have been reported. All 3D printers work basically the same. Transform your digital model into a physical three-dimensional object by adding materials layer by layer.
Processes always require a 3D digital model, as they are blueprints for physical objects.The model is sliced into thin 2D slices by the printer software. It is then translated into a series of machine language (G-code) instructions that the printer executes. It is commonly used for promotional and Marketing Gifts, Novelty Items, Display Items, Toy Figures, etc.
Now you know which printing to go for specific business needs. At CityBue, we cover a vareity of these printers and printing services. Check out our range of printers here.
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