Today I will talk to you about another printing technique, digital printing, in order to explain our world a little better and how all the gadgets we offer are customized every day.
Here is digital printing: a very broad and generally generic term. I’ll explain why. A digital print is any print generated through electronic processes and printed directly on the substrate to be printed. In the PTO world, digital printing is basically divided into 3:
- Direct digital printing.
- Digital printing with the digital transfer.
But let’s start from the beginning.
What are the elements necessary for Digital Printing?
The elements needed for digital printing are:
- An inkjet printer: that is one of the classic desktop printers or a plotter for large format prints. These, using a head that moves on the surface to be printed, release the liquid directly on the article to be customized, drawing from different tanks;
- An object that can be customized digitally or in sublimation.
Direct Digital Printing
Direct digital printing is a printing technique very similar to screen printing without, however, the use of transparencies or printing frames. It allows the printing of images with a high definition photographic rendering, keeping the fabric soft to the touch. It is perfect and particularly suitable for printing all complex images, rich in shades or details. It is mainly used for the digital personalization of items with a flat surface.
Advantages of Direct Digital Printing
- Highest print quality for complex photos or drawings;
- The fabric remains soft to the touch as the color penetrates perfectly into the fabric.
Digital sublimation printing
Textile sublimation is a relatively recent customization technique and allows digital printing on white-colored garments or gadgets and ceramic objects.
Technically, sublimation takes place when the ink printed on the paper, through a dedicated press, is transferred onto the fabric and passes directly from the solid to the gaseous state, instantly. For this reason, white-colored materials with a synthetic percentage (at least 65%) must be used. In fact, only these, at the high temperature of 170 °, loosen their molecular structure allowing the dye to combine with the material.
For digital sublimation printing the necessary elements are:
- A printer suitable for sublimation printing that can also support inks;
- The sublimation paper to be printed;
- A vacuum press or a sublimation calendar;
- Objects or fabrics suitable for sublimation (necessarily white in color and composed of at least 65% synthetic material).