This method of DVD printing utilises pre-manufactured printable DVDRs. The discs will either have a bright or perhaps a silver printable surface which can be receptive to an inkjet printer. Printable DVDRs are widely for sale in high street stores or online and even top quality discs are inexpensive.
A Digital DVD printer works for a passing fancy principle as a computer inkjet printer. The cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges are loaded into the printer and a printer head makes a series of passes over the printable disc surface depositing the ink according to the artwork file. It is possible to print extremely detailed high resolution images using this printing method but it comes with several drawbacks:
The digital DVD printing process is slow in comparison to other printing processes – Commercial digital DVD printers are just capable of printing around 200 DVDs unattended and each print usually takes up to minute depending upon the complexity of the artwork.
Each disc needs to be finished with a level of clear lacquer – this really is to guard the printed surface from potential moisture damage when handled. This adds more delay to the process.
However, this DVD printing process does have no fixed put up cost rendering it ideal for short runs of significantly less than 100 DVDs which is really a service that is greatly in demand with the advance of the digital download.
DVD Screen Printing
Screen printing is a tried and tested printing method that has been used in the commercial printing industry for decades. DVD screen printing is a difference of this technique, modified to permit printing onto a disc. This technique is perfect for printing areas of solid colour using vibrantly coloured inks mixed from various proportions of base cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink. Additionally there are fluorescent and metallic inks available for use with this particular process.
A screen printing machine includes a large rotating platform. The platform is split into 5 printing stations with a UV lamp between each station and the next. DVDs with a base coat of any colour can be printed on, which allows for no more than 6 different colours in the artwork design.
The printing screen, where the procedure gets its name, is a very fine mesh screen which can be initially covered with a thermally reactive emulsion. A separate screen is necessary for all the colours featured in the final artwork and a celluloid film is also created for each colour. The film is black in the areas where in actuality the colour is necessary on the disc, and clear where it is not required. The film is attached along with a display and placed into an exposure unit. A hot, bright light is then briefly switched on over the the top of film. Where in actuality the light and heat have the clear portions of the film to the screen beneath, the thermal emulsion on the screen is hardened. Where in actuality the film is black, the heat and light don’t move across the film and and so the emulsion remains unchanged.
The screen is then transferred to a spray booth where it is sprayed with a superb water jet. The water washes away the emulsion that has not hardened leaving a display where ink can move across the mesh only using areas where that colour is necessary according to the design. 卡片 The screen is then fitted to its station on the DVD screen printing machine. Another 4 screens are prepared in exactly the same way and the machine is then willing to print.
The DVDs are loaded onto the printing machine automatically. They are presented on spindles and each disc is lifted by an automatic arm with soft rubber vacuum cups. The DVD is put right into a metal jig which holds the disc securely to prevent any movement whilst it will be printed. The metal jigs are set up around the machine and the DVDs are loaded, printed and then removed once printing is complete. A DVD that has been printed and then removed is replaced at the following machine rotation with a new unprinted disc. This technique continues before production run is complete.
At each station an alternative coloured ink is put on the disc when a rubber squeegee blade passes over the screen. The screen is pressed down onto the disc surface and the ink is forced through the mesh by the blade. When the ink has been applied the blade returns to its starting position ready for the following disc. The device platen rotates one position and the freshly printed disc passes under a UV lamp. The UV light from the lamp cures the ink instantly and the disc moves to another station where the following coloured ink can be applied without any chance of smearing of the previously applied ink. The printing and curing process is quickly and a contemporary DVD screen printer is capable of printing more than 3,500 DVDs in a hour.
The requirement for screens and films for every single different ink colour in the look to be printed onto the DVD, means there are fixed costs associated with this particular process. These costs can be minimised by limiting how many colours mixed up in DVD print design. It is perfectly possible to design a stylish disc using merely a single colour print onto a printable silver DVD. The fixed cost, however, does ensure it is a less viable process for tiny orders of significantly less than 100 DVDs.
Lithographic DVD Printing (Offset printing)
This technique, as with DVD screen printing, is a favorite printing method for producing high resolution images written down or card stock and has been adapted to match DVDs. Lithographic printing is the best process for producing DVDs with a photographic print or artwork involving a subtle colour gradient but isn’t perfect for printing artwork that has large areas of solid colour due to potential coverage issues which may result in a “patchy” print.
The lithographic DVD printing process involves building a metal printing plate which can be curved around a roller. The fundamental principle at use this technique is that printing ink and water don’t mix. The printing plate surface is treated in certain areas so that it attracts ink, the remaining areas are treated to attract water and not ink. The effect is a publishing plate that can be introduced to ink which only adheres to it where required. The ink on the printing plate is transferred or “offset” to another roller which has a rubber blanket wrapped around it. The rubber blanket roller applies the ink to the DVD which can be held firmly in devote a metal jig on the machine bed.
This technique is just as fast whilst the screen printing process and so many tens and thousands of DVDs can be printed every hour that the machine is running. Yet again, you can find fixed put up costs involved here and so the price to print orders of significantly less than 100 DVDs is high.
DVD Printing Process Summary
In a nutshell, if your project is only for a small run of discs then digital DVD printing is how you can go. There is unquestionably no print quality compromise with digital printing over the other 2 processes and even though it may be the slowest process, this is not really relevant if you’re only having 50 discs printed. There are numerous companies specialising in 24 to 48 hour turnarounds on short runs of discs who make use of this printing method exclusively and contain it down seriously to a superb art.
For projects where the quantity of discs required is over 100 and the artwork features bold, solid colours, then your DVD printing process of choice needs to be screen printing. The metallic and fluorescent inks available for this technique make for many truly eye-catching and distinctive designs. If the artwork for the discs is a photographic image or has a subtle colour gradient, then your printing process best worthy of this sort of artwork would be Lithographic printing. For screen and lithographic printing, the more units ordered, the cheaper the machine cost becomes