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 printing process that involves an image being transferred from the printing plate (cliché) via a silicone pad onto a substrate (surface to be printed). Pad printing is used for printing on otherwise impossible products in many industries including medical, automotive, promotional, apparel, electronics, 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 favor of adhering to the pad, and to subsequently release from the pad in favor of adhering to the substrate (material being printed).
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 surface (i.e. flat, cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, textures, concave surfaces, convex surfaces).
- Medical devices (surgical instruments, etc.)
- Implantable & in body medical items (catheter tubes, contact lenses, etc.)
- Golf ball logos/graphics
- Decorative designs/graphics found on toys
- Automotive parts (turn signal indicators, panel controls, etc.)
- Letters on computer keyboards and calculator keys
- TV and computer monitors
- Identification labels and serial numbers for many applications