Archive: May 2023

A Guide to Pad Printing Machines

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A Guide to Pad Printing Machines

Most manufactured items are three-dimensional, but the designs and any printing that goes onto them are two-dimensional. A pad printing machine enables manufacturers to apply a two-dimensional image or design onto a three-dimensional object. According to Future Market Insights, the 2023 global market for pad printing machines is nearly $1.14 billion. Let’s take a look at what this popular process could do for your business!

How Does a Pad Printing Machine Work?

A pad printing machine has three primary parts that enable it to do its magic. An etched plate contains an image that becomes a two-dimensional design. An ink cup that contains ink glides over the etched plate’s surface and leaves a very thin layer of ink on it. A silicone pad contacts the ink-coated plate etching, lifts the image, and transfers it to the three-dimensional object.

What Are Some Common Items That Have Pad Printing Machine Designs?

Many different types of items could contain an image or design that is transferred with a pad printing machine. According to Inkcups, products that commonly use the process include:

  • Watch faces
  • Pens
  • Flash drives
  • Garment tags
  • Silicone products

The pad printing machine enables those items and others to look identical, which is very useful for manufacturing processes. The process is fast and affordable and produces excellent results.

Why Should You Use a Silicone Pad?

The silicone pad is an integral part of the pad printing process and enables correct and accurate transfers of two-dimensional images onto three-dimensional surfaces and objects. The silicone pad is pliable and flexible, which makes it possible to conform to the shape. The pads vary in shape and size, making them flexible and pliable to produce the best results.

How Does the Shape Affect the Printing Pad?

The shape of the printing pad enables it to effectively transfer two-dimensional images to three-dimensional objects of different shapes and sizes. A curved or rounded object requires a flatter pad. A pad that has sharp angles generally does a great job on surfaces that have less curvature or sharp angles. A flat pad, though, might trap air between the pad and the object. This would prevent a full transfer of the image. If the pad is too small, the image often becomes distorted.

You can call to learn more about pad printing machines and how they could help with your manufacturing processes. Reach out to us at AMTEC today!