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Frequently Asked Pad Printing Questions

Questions about:
Inks | Pads | Pad Stations | Artwork | Clichés
How long does it take for the inks to dry once the product is printed? 
Almost instant. These are fast drying inks and the product is "Touch dry" almost immediately once printed. However, a further 24 hours of air drying may be required for the inks to cure properly.
Is it necessary to invest in a curing oven?
No. If required, you may use a hair dryer, heat gun or a normal domestic oven.
How long does one have to wait to print the second colour using your two colour systems?
You can print the second colour almost instantly. In pad printing, you can print 'wet on wet" without smudging as the inks are very fast drying.
Can I use ink "neat" straight out of a ink pot?
No. Ink has to be mixed with Retarder to obtain the correct viscosity.                                      
Can I reuse any left over ink again at some other time? 
Yes, providing you have not mixed "Hardener" into the ink. In such circumstances, the shelf life of ink is around 72 hours only. If no hardener is mixed with the ink, then ink may be kept and reused many weeks later.
Can I achieve Pantone colours?
Yes, you can - by correctly mixing the right amount of inks.                                          
Can I achieve a " Sparkling effect" using Pad Printing inks? 
Yes, by mixing sparkling silver ink with any standard colour of ink.                                     
Can I print onto all types of plastics? 
The answer is generally, Yes. However, some plastics require "Corona" or "Flame" treatment before ink will adhere to the product. An example of such plastic is "Polypropylene". However, most plastics used in the promotional printing industry are very easy to print onto and do not require any pre-treatment.
Will the print scratch off once the product is printed?
Generally, No. However, when printing onto Glass, Metal, Ceramics and some other products, you will need to add "Hardener" to the ink to stop the print from scratching off.
How long do Pads last?
If you have taken care in their use, they can last for many years.                                           
If I damage a Pad, can it be repaired? 
Generally, Yes. However, if it is in the "Image area", then, No.                                       
Can I use one Pad to print onto a number of different objects? 
Generally, Yes. However, depending on the shape and print area of a product, you may need to select the correct size and shape of pad for the job in hand. If you are looking to print onto promotional products generally, then you will not need to stock up on too many pads as a few carefully selected pads will suffice. We can give you expert guidance on this matter.
Can I get Pads of varying hardnesses? 
Yes. However, for printing onto most promotional products, we find pads of medium hardness to be sufficient.
Can I print all the way around an object?  
No, not with Pad Printing. However you can print around partial curved surfaces.
Can I achieve very fine work with your Pad Station Machines?
Yes, providing your artwork and Cliché are of good quality. Furthermore, correct viscosity of ink is important in achieving a good quality print. If all these factors are perfect, then you will not have any problem in producing fine text and/or logos.
Inks | Pads | Pad Stations | Artwork | Clichés | top
Pad Stations
How long does a Doctor Blade last? 
Doctor Blades can last for a long time. They can also be re-sharpened by yourself using a "Arkansas Block" and/or very fine sandpaper, providing of course they are not badly damaged. The ceramic ring on the closed cup systems also are very durable, however, great care must be taken not to damage them in anyway. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced.
Does your machines have a "Pressure adjustment stop"? 
Yes - our machines have all necessary stops to take out the guesswork in their operation.            
Are Clichés clamped down on your machines?
On the closed cup systems, the cliches are clamped down and on the open ink systems they are held by magnets.
Are we able to adjust the Pads in "XYZ" coordinates on your machines?               
Yes, you can - on all of our machines.
What is the maximum size of object that can be placed on the "Print bed"? 
With its very unique design, our range of Pad Station machines will enable you to print a product of virtually and width. Traditional vertical systems on the other hand often limit the width of a product to 4" .
Are Pad Station machines faster than others?
Yes, they are. The number of steps on our Pad Station Machines have been reduced from 3 to 2 (ie. Inking, Doctoring and Printing). Further, our machines only require one hand operation rather than two.
Inks | Pads | Pad Stations | Artwork | Clichés | top
How good does my artwork have to be to make a Cliché? 
Your artwork must be very solid so as not to allow any UV light to pass through to the Cliché. Your artwork should be produced using a good quality laser printer with a minimum of 600 dpi. REMEMBER: Poor artwork = Poor Cliché = Poor Printing.
When held to light, my laser printed artwork seems to let light through - what can I do? 
This can be quite a common problem - however it can be overcome by using our "Toner density spray" which, when applied, will make your artwork very dense.
Do I produce artwork onto normal paper?
No. You would need to use either "Acetate" or transparent artwork sheets for output.     
Do I simply print out my artwork on acetate or transparent sheet as normal? 
No. You would need to print your artwork out in "Mirror image". Most DTP programmes these days will have this under "Options" when you go to your "Print page" The side on which the toner is applied is known as "Emulsion side".
Can I reuse the same artwork for making a same Cliché?
Yes, you can.
Inks | Pads | Pad Stations | Artwork | Clichés | top
Do I need a Cliché for every job - no matter how simple?
Yes, without any exception. Depending on the size of your artwork, it is sometimes possible to incorporate several jobs onto one Cliché. This would save you time and money.
If I do not wish to purchase a Cliché making system at this stage, is there anyone else who can make Clichés for me? 
Yes, there are many companies who will make and post them to you, but it will always be cheaper to make them yourself. This will not only save you a great deal of money but will also offer you convenience of being able to make Clichés, in-house and within 15 minutes from your artwork.
How long will a Polymer Cliché last?
Generally, it is estimated that around 5000 impressions can be achieved from each Cliché.          
Are there any chemicals needed to make Polymer Clichés using your systems? 
No, none at all. Our Clichés are water washable and no chemicals are used in the process.       
Inks | Pads | Pad Stations | Artwork | Clichés | top

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