This method of DVD printing utilises pre-manufactured printable DVDRs. The discs will either have a bright or perhaps a silver printable surface which is 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 on the same principle as a desktop inkjet printer. The cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges are loaded in to the printer and a printer head makes some passes on the printable disc surface depositing the ink based on the artwork file. It is possible to print extremely detailed high resolution images applying this printing method nonetheless it comes with several drawbacks:
The digital DVD printing process is slow compared to other printing processes – Commercial digital DVD printers are just capable of printing as much as 200 DVDs unattended and each print may take up to a minute dependant on the complexity of the artwork.
Each disc must be finished with a level of clear lacquer – this really is to protect the printed surface from potential moisture damage when handled. This adds more delay to the process.
However, this DVD printing process does not have any fixed create cost which makes it ideal for brief runs of significantly less than 100 DVDs which is really a service that’s very much in demand with the advance of the digital download.
DVD Screen Printing
Screen printing is a tried and tested printing method that’s been used available printing industry for decades. DVD screen printing is an adaptation of this technique, modified allowing printing onto a disc. This method is ideal 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 specific process.
A screen printing machine has 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 foundation coat of any colour could be printed on, which allows for a maximum of 6 different colours in the artwork design.
The printing screen, where the procedure gets its name, is a very fine mesh screen which is initially covered with a thermally reactive emulsion. 卡片印刷 A different screen is needed for all the colours featured in the final artwork and a celluloid film can be made for each colour. The film is black in the areas where in fact the colour is needed on the disc, and clear where it’s not required. The film is attached along with a screen and placed into an exposure unit. A warm, bright light is then briefly switched on on the the top of film. Where the light and heat have the clear portions of the film to the screen beneath, the thermal emulsion on the screen is hardened. Where the film is black, heat and light don’t move across the film and so the emulsion remains unchanged.
The screen is then used in a spray booth where it’s sprayed with an excellent water jet. The water washes away the emulsion that has not hardened leaving a screen where ink can move across the mesh only in certain areas where that colour is needed based on the design. The screen is then fitted to its station on the DVD screen printing machine. The other 4 screens are prepared in the same way and the device is then willing to print.
The DVDs are loaded onto the printing machine automatically. They’re presented on spindles and each disc is lifted by an automatic arm with soft rubber vacuum cups. The DVD is positioned right into a metal jig which holds the disc securely to avoid any movement whilst it is being printed. The metal jigs are prearranged around the device and the DVDs are loaded, printed and then removed once printing is complete. A DVD that’s been printed and then removed is replaced at the next machine rotation with a brand new unprinted disc. This method continues before the production run is complete.
At each station a different coloured ink is placed on the disc whenever a rubber squeegee blade passes on the screen. The screen is pressed down onto the disc surface and the ink is forced through the mesh by the blade. After the ink has been applied the blade returns to its starting position ready for the next disc. The equipment 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 location station where the next coloured ink could be applied without the likelihood of smearing of the previously applied ink. The printing and curing process is extremely fast and a modern DVD screen printer is capable of printing a lot more than 3,500 DVDs within an hour.
The necessity for screens and films for each different ink colour in the design to be printed onto the DVD, means that there are fixed costs associated with this specific process. These costs could be minimised by limiting the amount of colours involved in the DVD print design. It is perfectly possible to design a nice-looking 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 really small orders of significantly less than 100 DVDs.
Lithographic DVD Printing (Offset printing)
This method, much like DVD screen printing, is a well known printing method for producing high resolution images written down or card stock and has been adapted to suit DVDs. Lithographic printing is the greatest process for producing DVDs with a photographic print or artwork involving a delicate colour gradient but is not ideal for printing artwork that’s large areas of solid colour as a result of potential coverage issues that might create a “patchy” print.
The lithographic DVD printing process involves making a metal printing plate which is curved around a roller. The basic principle at use this technique is that printing ink and water don’t mix. The printing plate surface is treated in certain areas such that it attracts ink, the rest of the areas are treated to attract water and not ink. The end result 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 that includes a rubber blanket wrapped around it. The rubber blanket roller applies the ink to the DVD which is held firmly in invest a metal jig on the device bed.
This method is equally as fast because the screen printing process and so many a large number of DVDs could be printed every hour that the device is running. Yet again, there are fixed create 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 tiny run of discs then digital DVD printing is the best way to go. There is certainly no print quality compromise with digital printing over one other 2 processes and even though it is the slowest process, this is simply 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 utilize this printing method exclusively and have it down seriously to an excellent art.
For projects where the quantity of discs required is over 100 and the artwork features bold, solid colours, then the DVD printing process of choice needs to be screen printing. The metallic and fluorescent inks available for this technique make for some truly eye-catching and distinctive designs. If the artwork for the discs is a photographic image or has a subtle colour gradient, then the printing process best suited to this kind of artwork could be Lithographic printing. For screen and lithographic printing, the more units ordered, the cheaper the machine cost becomes