Pad printing is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset (gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate. Pad printing is used for printing on otherwise impossible products in many industries including medical, automotive, promotional, apparel, and electronic objects, as well as appliances, sports equipment and toys. It can also be used to deposit functional materials such as conductive inks, adhesives, dyes and lubricants.
Physical changes within the ink film both on the cliché and on the pad allow it to leave the etched image area in favour of adhering to the pad, and to subsequently release from the pad in favour of adhering to the substrate.
The unique properties of the silicone pad enable it to pick the image up from a flat plane and transfer it to a variety of surfaces, such as flat, cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, textures, concave, or convex surfaces.
What is Pad Printing?
Quite simply, pad printing is a process of transferring an image from an etched cliché (printing plate) on to a product, using silicone pads and pad printing inks.
With the versatility of pad printing, it is of course possible to print on to a diverse range of promotional products - including pens, lighters, golf balls, calculators, mugs to name but a few.
It is also possible to print on to glass, metal, ceramics, plastics, smooth, textured or irregular surfaces.
Pad printing is also a preferred method of marking in industry and is widely used to print on to
switches, circuit boards, syringes, smoke detectors etc.
What makes the pad printing process stand out from other forms of printing is the fact that it is capable of imprinting images on to virtually any shape - regardless how irregular it is!