Methods and Options for Printing on Glass

Improve the beauty, functionality, and diversify the uses of your tempered glass through digital glass printing.

Glass has evolved past its traditional uses and has become a modern medium for decorative use through methods such as glass printing. Printing on glass increases the value of glass and allows it to be used in a variety of applications in the industrial, commercial, automotive, interior design, and architectural sectors.

The two primary methods for printing on glass are screen printing and digital ceramic glass printing. With varying degrees of versatility and cost, both procedures provide outstanding outcomes and advantages while utilising various methods, machinery, and inks.

Primary Glass Printing Methods

Screen Printing

Screen printing has been around for years due to its extreme durability and suitability for both interior and exterior settings. In this method of glass printing, the design is made using a mesh screen and a stencil. Squeegees are used to spread ink across the screen, and the stencils are used to block off some of the glass which allows some ink to pass through to other parts of the glass’ surface. An excellent image, pattern, or design is the result.

Glass can only be printed with a maximum of four colours using screen printing. Each colour has significant setup and preparation requirements, and substantial fixed costs. Screen printing is ideal for high-volume glass printing production in commercial, industrial, and architectural settings.

Digital Printing

For glass manufacturers, architects, and designers, the adaptability of digital printing on glass opens a whole new world of possibilities and advantages. UV printing and digital ceramic printing are two methods used for digital glass printing.

UV Printing

Organic inks are used in digital UV printing, which makes use of ultraviolet light to dry the ink onto the glass. In this method, it is possible to mix any number of colours for designs. Architects and interior designers can quickly and affordably print high-quality, customised pictures and designs on glass using digital UV printing. However, in comparison to digital ceramic printing, UV printing does not have as many inks available, and the durability and scratch resistance of the ink is not of the quality as its counterpart.

Digital Ceramic Printing

In digital ceramic printing, ceramic frit, which is nano-sized glass particles mixed with colourful pigments, is added to the inks and fused into the glass. In comparison, the ink used in UV printing is applied on top of the glass. This results in a very thin printed layer covering the glass surface. Digital ceramic printing produces a more durable and sustainable product than its UV printing counterpart.

Innovative and Versatile Technology

For design applications of any size, digital ceramic glass printing offers a variety of options and adaptable solutions with nearly limitless creative possibilities. Additionally, digital glass printing allows for a combination of creativity without sacrificing functionality. This cutting-edge technology gives manufacturers the ability to create distinctive designs with a limitless colour palette and include natural effects while saving on set-up times and costs associated with glass printing. The inks used in digital printing provide enhanced functionality for both indoor and exterior settings, including sun control, resistance to glare and reflection, control of light flow, and compliance with durability standards.

Additionally, specialised software tools like the Dip-Energy Printed Glass Performance Calculator allow manufacturers to calculate the energy needed to print a design. These software tools address the environmental impact of the amount of energy glass printing machines consume.

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