Digital Printing FAQ
What is digital printing?
Digital printing is a printing process that transfers the image to be printed electronically and does not require the use of screens. There are several digital technologies available today: piezo, thermal inkjet, and laser jet technology being just a few.
What are the advantages of digital printing?
The main advantage of digital printing is the flexibility it gives to the user. It allows you the flexibility to change the printed image with little to no down time, and the flexibility to change the image on the fly (i.e. variable data). It also gives the user the ability to print both static and variable data in one pass, reducing the need for further printing steps. Since screens are not required, there are also no additional costs associated with printing besides ink and maintenance.
What is the piezo digital printing process?
Piezo printing is a mechanical process that is similar to the operation of a piston. The piezo crystal flexes when a charge is applied and returns to a resting state when the charge is released. This mechanical action pushes a drop of ink out of the nozzle and across a small air gap onto the printing surface.
What inks can I use in the piezo heads?
One of the advantages of piezo heads is the wide variety of inks that can be used with them. Piezo technology can use water-based inks, UV inks, solvent-based inks and dye sublimation inks.
What media can digital printing print on?
Because of the wide variety of inks that can be used with piezo heads, the media that can be printed on is almost unlimited.
How fast is digital printing?
Digital printing is somewhat slower than traditional printing, however the speed of digital printing is relative to the number of heads that are used. To increase the speed, simply increase the number of heads. The true times savings of digital printing is realized in setup. When changing the image to be printed, it is not necessary to change screens or inks. In some traditional analog applications, this set-up time can be as long as 4 to 6 hours. No printing can be performed during this down-time. The most effective applications for digital printing technology are short to medium size runs and jobs that require variable data.