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Profile - Pad Printing

What is Pad Printing?

Pad printing is the term that is given to a printing technique that uses a silicone rubber pad to transfer the ink to the object that is being printed. It is similar to offset printing in that ink is applied to a plate and then transferred to the object that is being printed, but this is where the similarity ends. With offset printing the object to be printed is placed directly on the plate, either through a roller system or a press. Just like offset printing an acid etched plate is created from artwork and ink is applied to this. The main difference being, instead of applying the object directly to the plate it is placed in a fixture and a silicone rubber pad attached to a mechanical arm transfers the ink from the plate to the printed object. The pad is made of a silicone rubber that is very pliable and has the ability to conform to irregular shapes such as a curved fender, roof or hood. In the diecast industry several other techniques are used but none of them have the clarity, true color and detail of pad printing.

What are Some of the Other Techniques?

Dot matrix printing, laser printing, decals, stencil and mask systems are some of the other techniques being used today. Stencil and mask techniques are good for creating a two toned paint job effect but when they are used for graphic reproductions they tend to leave a fuzzy edge. Dot matrix printing, laser printing, and decals are generated through the use of tiny dots of ink or paint similar to your home computer printer. While this system is adequate for large graphics it is when you scale down a small logo or image that the dots of color tend to reduce the clarity. Because pad printing does not involve a dot matrix system it retains high definition and true color throughout any scale. When you look at a pad printed graphic up close, you can truly see the difference.

Who Performs this Service?

Some of the finest pad printing performed today comes from China. There they have several large factories that offer pad printing as a regular service and ninety percent of the world's pad printed diecast reproductions are produced there. Because these factories are very large and geared toward large production, it is not practical from an economical standpoint for one of them to produce a small production run. Even if you could persuade one of these factories to produce a few hundred pieces, the price of shipping such a small order would diminish your profit.

At Bad Ass Diecast we are proud to say that we have one of the only full service pad printing operations in the nation. From original artwork to final pad printed production, every phase is performed in-house through the use of our state of the art computer controlled pad printing equipment and short production runs are no problem.

Is this Service Only Available for the Diecast Industry?

Just about any object can be pad printed. Even if you do not own any diecast collectibles, chances are you have something in your home that has been pad printed. Decorative drinking glasses, cologne bottles, clock and watch faces are just some the items that come to mind. Pad printing is not only an excellent tool for the diecast industry it also works well in the promotional market. Just to name a few, it is great for printing company logos on coffee cups, golf balls and key fobs. If you would like to contact us about this service, Click Here to visit the Contact Page.


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