What are the Types of Digital Printing?

Digital printing equipment is available in all sorts of sizes and types. Based on ink type alone, we have solvent-based, UV based, and Edible. Solvent-based ink typically comes in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black colors. The ink itself is air-cured by evaporation. Often the print quality is not great.

UV based Ink is widely available as the most popular form of digital printing. The ink is cured through exposure to UV light. The ink is available in a wider range of colors including white and varnish. The print quality is typically very high, depending upon the equipment.

Edible ink is used to digitally print edible items such as cookies and cakes. Technically this ink is also a solvent-based ink because it air-cures. The ink is safe for human consumption. Edible ink typically is only available in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black colors.

These inks are available on a wide variety of machines such as flatbed, rotary, or conveyor. A flatbed printer is used for flat substrates that feed straight through the machine for printing a single side of the part. The parts travel into the machine on a traveling fixture and back out. Manual loading and unloading of the fixture is required. 

Rotary printing is used to print on cylindrical parts, such as cans, cups, and bottles. Cylindrical UV inkjet printers are able to print an item, including tapered and straight-walled cylinders, up to 360 degrees, allowing for more application versatility.

A conveyor system allows the user to print and load the UV inkjet printer at the same time. Similar to a flatbed printer, a continuous feed inkjet printer conveyor system delivers the part to the print head, however, instead of returning the parts to the operator, they are further fed through the machine and removed from the other side. A digital printer equipped with a conveyor belt is great for high volumes, as they will provide a continuous feed to where the print head will imprint it. Conveyor systems typically only send the part through the machine without a traveling fixture, allowing the user to continuously load the machine.

Read more information about digital printing: The UV Inkjet Printer guide

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