Pad Printing vs. Screen Printing: Which is Right for You?

If you have ever had to choose a graphical printing technique, you know it can be difficult.

There are a number of different factors that come into play, including the process, equipment, and substrates you will be working with. In order to make the right choice for your exact needs, it helps to understand the advantages of the two most popular methods: pad printing and screen printing.

Screen Printing

Also known as silk screening, screen-printing involves a woven mesh screen that is coated with a special emulsion that blocks specific areas of the screen, thus forming the actual image you are transferring.

Screen printing is popular for applications such as, clothing, balloons, artwork, visual graphics, and labeling for consumer products. This process, which has been in use in some form for over 1000 years, offers users a number of distinct benefits including:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Sharp and defined printed imagines
  • Inks apply firmly and last for years
  • Can print same design on large and small scale
  • Less process intensive in beginning

Pad Printing

First used by watchmakers in Switzerland, pad printing involves the use of specialized mechanical equipment called a pad-printing machine. This machine consists of three primary components: printing ink, image plates, and rubber or silicone printing pads.

It is easier to understand the process if you can imagine a simple rubberstamp you might use at home but on a much larger scale. Pad printing is utilized by a number of different applications such as printing on electronic components, industrial buttons, promotional items, and household appliances.

Pad Printing vs. Screen Printing: Which is Right for You?Though it has higher overall costs than screen printing, pad printing offers some unique benefits including:

  • Incredible image clarity and resolution
  • Perfect for 3D or unusually shaped objects and irregular surfaces
  • Great for larger production volumes
  • Easier to customize for your design requirements
  • High-tech options available (laser-guided, and robotic capabilities)

It is clear that screen and pad printing both have their unique benefits, and drawbacks. The best way to make the right decision is to get the help of an expert. That is why Prime Products is happy to offer our new eBook Pad Printing vs. Screen Printing: Advantages and Applications.

This free, downloadable eBook gives you the critical information that will make choosing between pad and screen printing much easier.

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