At AMTEC, we specialize in transferring images onto three-dimensional parts through a process called pad printing. This image transfer process offers flexibility with a wide range of possible colors and styles for use across a wide variety of products.
Pad printing is a high-speed image transfer process that follows an electronically controlled series of steps.
- The desired image, text, or other graphical elements are etched onto a print plate.
- An ink cup that is filled with printing ink moves across the print plate, filling the etched areas of the plate with ink. The ink becomes tacky once it’s exposed to air.
- The image is transferred onto a soft silicone pad by pressing it against the ink-filled plate. As the pad is compressed onto the plate, the ink lifts from the etched artwork onto the transfer pad.
- The pad is then pressed against the surface of the product being printed on.
- The ink transfers consistently onto the surface, even on objects that are typically irregularly shaped, delicate, or otherwise impractical to apply other printing methods to.
This process can be modified to incorporate multiple different colors and stages to create complex final images and finishes on goods. The process is versatile, easy to customize, and can create high-quality, consistent images across small and large production orders without variation or blurriness. At AMTEC, our pad printing capabilities include:
- Hermetic sealed system
- 1, 2, 4, 6, or more colors, which can be customized to meet your needs
- 4 color process
- Ability to achieve fine details
- Warp around printing
- Electronic controlled process for high accuracy and repeatability
- Photopolymer/laser, steel & ceramic cliché
- Ability to work with large, small, and contoured parts
AMTEC’s custom pad printing services can be used to personalize and enhance a wide variety of goods, including:
- Automotive components
- Consumer goods
- Flash drives and other portable electronic goods
- Labels for identification, instructions, and more
- Medical devices
- And more
While pad printing isn’t the only option for image transfer available, it offers several advantages that make it a popular choice across various industries. These advantages include:
- Application on three-dimensional surfaces. Many commercial and industrial printing methods only pair well with two-dimensional or flat products. The soft silicone pad of pad printing can accommodate uneven, rounded, and complex surfaces without compromising image quality.
- Versatility. The softness and shape of the pad, as well as other variables in the printing process, can be modified to meet the unique specifications of any project. The process can use a wide variety of inks (including water-based inks, epoxies, and UV inks) of virtually any color to place logos, barcodes, care instructions, artwork, and other graphics on products.
- Consistency. The precision of pad printing allows manufacturers to create high-quality images that stay consistently clear, informational, and aesthetically appealing across every order.
- Ideal for delicate products. The pad printing process can be customized to offer the right degree of gentleness for fragile and delicate products without sacrificing image quality.
- Material options. Pad printing can apply to a wide selection of materials, such as fabrics and textiles, hard plastics, ceramic and glass, and more. Service providers simply choose the right silicone pad based on the properties of the substrate.
- Cost-effectiveness. Pad printing is easy and budget-friendly. The process is also fast, making it even more cost-effective.
For over 25 years, AMTEC has been providing better products and processes for our clients. We’re an ISO 9001:2015 registered company that offers advanced pad printing technology to deliver high-quality results. For more information about our pad printing contract manufacturing services, contact us today. You can also request a quote to get started.