UV Printing vs. Screen Printing

Nowadays, not only garments and t-shirts that you can print and personalize. Printing glass doors, tabletop surfaces, and even metal are also possible.

Businesses may benefit from the technology invasion because it brings something fresh and unexpected to the table. Digital UV printing is the most recent printing invention, reminiscent of this.


UV Printing

UV printers are built with very high tolerances and need very little modification, making full-color printing as simple as printing a single color. Near-photograph quality photos are possible using this method. What can you print on a uv printer?

Inkjet printers for personal use are pretty similar to this procedure but on a much greater industrial scale. It has a button that allows you to swap between different images quickly.

It is possible that Pantone colors may not seem as brilliant or strong as they would on a press utilizing a particular color ink. To get the most out of the ink, we print directly onto the substrate, often “ganging up” many pictures.

A CNC-controlled drag knife device separates the pictures. Our production speed is among the best in the business, but we prefer screen printing for bulk projects with a single image.

Screen Printing

According to Wikipedia, screen printing definition is a method of printing that uses a mesh to transfer ink (or dye) to a surface, except for places blocked by a stencil.

The provided color picture is divided into its component colors and then applied on a separate screen. The small holes in screens are precisely the same size because they are composed of a fabric material with a highly exact design. After the screen is made, the picture will be what you see through the holes.

Using a squeegee, ink is driven into the holes in the material to be printed, leaving a thin film of ink behind. After it has been baked and dried, it is ready for a new color. Screen printing requires some setup time to get all the colors in alignment (registration), change pictures, and adjust the machine squeegee pressure to lay down the correct quantity of ink.

Because the press can print on precut materials, the sign doesn’t need to be finished once all the colors have been printed. Full-color screen printing is more costly since each color must be printed separately and then cured before the next color can be applied. The preparation time for one-color prints is minimal, but as the number of colors rises, so does the time required. A short printing procedure is possible after the screens have been readied and installed. It takes less time to print large 1-2 color projects.

Screen printing produces huge volumes of a single image with a limited number of colors is a cost-effective option. Spot inks of a specified color may be used to print solid blocks of color that are smoother and bolder than those produced by an inkjet printer because the ink can be tailored for the material being printed.

Is More Modern UV Printing Always Better?

Innovations and new products are almost always born out of the flaws in an existing method. The long drying time and the fact that UV printing could only be used on textiles led to the development of the new rage.

The ink dries rapidly and without spreading or blotting thanks to the built-in UV light. Any design may now be printed on a wide variety of surfaces, including wood, and even metals and ceramics.

With UV printing, dark and light pictures may be printed side by side on the same surface. It has become far more efficient and cost-effective to print with photo-quality results.

Which One is Better?

Modern and old printing methods needs a head-to-head comparison to determine which is more effective. Some variables to think about are as follows:

#1 Cost

First and foremost, the cost of a product or service is critical. What is UV printing used for? UV printing is a one-to-one procedure regardless of the number of items printed, making it ideal for low-volume manufacturing.

Screen printing needs the creation of several stencils, making it unsuitable for smaller productions. But if you’re printing a large quantity, the stencils may be reused, so screen printing is an option.

#2 Ease of Process

Screen printing is a time-consuming technique that requires careful consideration of the content to choose the best layout and printing method for the particular material being printed on. There are a lot of different ways to process different materials, and each one needs a different method.

Contrary to conventional ink-jet printing methods, UV printing requires nothing more than placing the media to be printed on the platform and locking it in place; once an HD picture has completed layout creation and placement, printing may begin immediately. The basic printing modes for many materials are almost the same, with the exception of certain materials requiring layers and varnish.

#3 Products You Can Print

There are a lot of different ways to use screen printing, but it’s most often used for clothing and T-shirts. A wide variety of synthetic materials, including vinyl and coroplast, may be found here. We can probably print on just about everything you can think of.

Adhesion, equipment, strategy, and technological advancements have made it feasible to print on a wide variety of materials. Materials that are better for strongly exhibited text, coloring, and shading may be found in a variety of ways. A wider range of ink colors may be used with screen printing, too.

This is especially true for coroplast, which is a frequent project material. Coroplast, also known as plastic cardboard or corrugated plastic, may be used both inside and outdoors; however, it’s ideal for short-term storage.
On the other hand, projects that demand this material frequently need huge amounts of an affordable rigid material. Yard signs and campaign signage are two examples. Screen printing is usually the first thing our customers think of when they need to do these kinds of things.

Printing on plastics, on the other hand, may be a challenge for any printing company. An ink formula isn’t universally applicable and digital ink isn’t as simple to replace or customise as screen printing inks, which are.

Custom additives incorporated into the ink formula allow the operator to improve the flexibility or bonding of the inks when the formula isn’t performing as expected during screen printing. As a result, screen printing is a preferable option for difficult-to-adhere products and surfaces.

But what can you print on a UV printer? Acrylic, aluminum, glass, metal, and wood may all be printed on using digital UV printing. Items such as pens, doors, mugs, mobile phone covers, awards, and many more may be personalized. Customization and personalization have been revolutionized through UV printing. UV printing has sparked a boom in the gifting sector.

#4 Use of Inks

UV printing employs ink that includes photoinitiators, which activate a cascade of reactions when exposed to UV light, as well as other chemicals. When exposed to UV light, this ink dries very instantaneously.

Plastisol ink, water-based inks, and discharge inks are all used in screen printing. Depending on the ink, drying time and quality after washing might vary greatly.

#5 Durability

Screen printing is easily scratched off, isn’t water-resistant, and has to air dry for a while before it can be used again.

UV printing may provide a wider range of hues than other printing methods. Color printing is made possible without the need for manual color modulation thanks to its proprietary matching color management system.

Because of this, the resulting items are watertight as well as scratch and wear resistant (the degree is determined by the quality of UV printing ink used). Another thing to keep in mind is that if the print size and unevenness are in the allowed range, the material is not limited.

#6 Environmental Effect

This aspect is steadily gaining prominence as a result of a more informed generation. PVC, a toxic contaminant, is found in the plastisol used in screen printing. In terms of environmental impact, water-based inks are preferable. UV printing, on the other hand, does not utilize heat or toxins in the printing process, making it the clear victor in this area.

#7 Printing Results

The colorfastness of any screen-printed object might be questionable since it can be readily scratched off, is not waterproof, and must be air-dried for a period of time. However, UV-printed surfaces are waterproof, anti-scratch, and wear-resistant depending on the grade of UV printing ink that was utilized.

Some printing business exclusively use Mutoh Ink. This is because they give world-class color reproduction and allow us to print up to six colors, including White, CMYK, as well as UV Varnish. This ink can be printed on both coated and uncoated surfaces.

By combining UV printing with laser cutting or laser engraving, as well as high-quality materials, they have created an unrivaled trifecta that enables us to provide an almost endless printing service.

final thought

Choosing a printing process might vary depending on the product and the volume of production. In spite of this, digital UV printing is becoming more popular for a variety of reasons.

As a licensed producer and supplier of UV printers, OIE provides the best screen printing and UV printing machine. FYI, UV LED printers with unidirectional and bidirectional printing modes are becoming increasingly popular.

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