CD and DVD Printing – Choosing the Best Print Method For Your CD Or DVD

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    • #49394

      When it comes to CD/DVD Printing nowadays there’s so manychoices that unlike paper printing (where run size and cost are the mainfactors), you’re faced with the daunting choice of litho, screen, inkjet, digital and thermal printing or even a
      combination of 2 or more of these.So how do you determine what is best for your run of CDs or DVD’s?

      Asa basic guide, stick to the following principles; solid colours shouldbe screen printed, as should Pantones. CD/DVD artwork consistingof photographs or CMYK mixes with lots of graduations and tints willlook better litho printed or better still printed using the newgeneration of digital UV cured CD/DVD printers. One of the bestexamples of this new print process is a new printer developed by Sun
      Chemical; its resolution, vibrancy of colour and gloss finish givespicture discs an almost 3D feel to them.

      Screen printing requiresthe artwork to be split up into constituent colours. A film is thenexposed from each of these colours (usually including a white base).From this film a screen is made; this is a 12cm square porous mesh withthe area not to be printed remaining as a non-permeable area. Ink of 1colour is forced through this mesh with a rubber blade (known as asqueegee), onto the surface of the disc. Screen printers can have up to 5colours applied one after the other. Once the ink has been applied thedisc is passed under a powerful UV lamp that cures the ink, solidifyingit. This method allows for some creativity, such as not applying ink insome areas, revealing the silver disc layer beneath or applying
      special varnishes to give specific areas of the disc high gloss orconversely a matt finish.

      Litho printing also starts withphotographic exposure used to generate plates. In litho (also morecorrectly known as offset) the print is made up of 4 colours; cyan,
      magenta, yellow and black (CMYK), also usually on a white base. Artworkis separated into these constituent colours and from the exposed films 4plates are made. This ink is applied to these and rubber rollers thenpick the ink up, reapplying it to the surface of the disc. Once the 4colours have been sequentially applied then the disc is also cured undera strong UV light.

      Digital is the latest generation of discprinter and uses UV cured ink and multiple print heads that are similarto consumer inkjet but on a much bigger scale. Each colour is applied by8 separate heads which dramatically increases resolution and variabledroplet size allows greater variation in shades. A digital printer suchas this will print 1200 discs per hour compared to a consumer inkjet’s30 or so. Once the ink has been applied to a white base it passes under aUV light to be cured into a solid, glossy and durable finish.

      Inkjetand thermal print offer a cost effective solution for very small runsof full-colour printed CD/DVD and the lead time is normally amatter of hours rather than days, though this of course depends in thesize of the duplication facility.

    • #202269

       Is there a reason you omitted Lightscribe technology?  I know it only prints in black and white at this point but it is still another option.

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