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Light curing 3D printing and light curing thermal transfer

Light curing 3D printing and light curing thermal transfer

Today, UV flatbed printing is mentioned separately, mainly because it is still very related to 3D printing (understand what is 3D printing?). Let’s take a look with the editor below.

UV curing-flat printing

UV light curing plane printing is to directly print the patterns designed by yourself on the appearance of the product through a dedicated UV printer and UV ink. It is similar to the principle of general printers. It mainly includes three principles, namely printing principle, color principle, and imaging. principle.

1. Printing principle

The uv flatbed printer uses the principle of piezoelectric inkjet printing. The ink is controlled by the internal voltage of the nozzle and sprayed on the surface of the material to be printed.

2. Color principle

The basic colors are C (cyan), M (product), Y (yellow), K (black), plus W (white), in addition to LC light green, LK light black, LLK light black and Spot colors such as green, silver, etc., match the appropriate colors according to the actual material printing needs. Because of the white function, two functions are realized.

  1. White ink paving: After paving white ink, you can see the printed color patterns on dark materials;
  2. Print relief effect: use white ink to form uneven heights on the surface of the material, and then print colors on the surface. This is why the confident Sujun thinks it is an alternative 3D printing.

3. forming principle

Imaging is achieved by the chemical reaction between the photosensitive curing agent in the uv ink and the ultraviolet light waves irradiated by the LED lamp to achieve drying and curing. Because the reaction time is short, the pattern can be cured within 3 seconds, so the production time.

Like traditional flat printers, UV light-curing flatbed printers also belong to the category of inkjet printing, except that the printing ink used is UV ink (sensitive to ultraviolet rays), and the ink will be cured under UV light after being ejected.

In the 3D printing industry, there are also 3D printers that use similar principles, such as 3D system’s MJP printing technology, stratasys’ polyjet technology, China’s Sena Technology’s WJP technology, and Japan’s Mimaki company’s patented full-color 3D printing technology. These companies have adopted inkjet printing methods, UV light curing molding, but the sprayed material is photosensitive resin, so it can print three-dimensional models.

In comparison, the UV light-curing flatbed printer only sprays UV ink, so it can only print flat models, but due to the use of white ink, it can also print flat models with embossed effects. Of course, theoretically speaking, the layer-by-layer accumulation of white ink can also realize the printing of 3D models, but for now, the maximum height of white ink accumulation is about 5mm, which is very similar to the full-color 3D printing patented technology of Japan’s Mimaki company.

At the same time, UV light-cured flat printing does not have to directly contact the material, and the space inkjet method prints the ink on the surface of the material. Compared with the traditional flat color printer, it broadens the printing range of the material and is no longer limited to one material For example, printing on flat materials such as wood, slate, acrylic, and mobile phone cases.

It is worth noting that there are many similarities between UV-curable flat printing and thermal transfer processes. There is no need to directly contact the material, and the printing range is relatively wide. This is why sometimes people often confuse the two flat printing methods.

Thermal transfer-process

Thermal transfer is to first print the color pattern on a heat-resistant substrate, which is usually a film material, and needs to be released, and then combined with a dedicated transfer equipment to transfer the pattern to the surface of the product by hot stamping. Therefore, this printer technology is called “thermal transfer.” The advantage of thermal transfer is that it can print on curved and irregular surfaces. For example, transfer patterns on clothes and pillow cups.

The editor believes that the UV light-curing flat printing process can be regarded as a printing technology transition between 2D printing and 3D printing. Let’s call it 2.5D printing for the time being. Now it is used in mobile phone cases, tiles, glass, metal, building materials, advertising, leather, etc. Many industries have become important members of the printing family.

The birth of printing has changed people’s lifestyles. With the continuous development of various types of printers, it is believed that the future world will be more colorful.

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