This approach 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 high quality discs are inexpensive.
A Digital DVD printer works on a single principle as a computer inkjet printer. The cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges are loaded into the printer and a printer head makes some passes on the printable disc surface depositing the ink in line with the artwork file. It is possible to print extremely detailed high res images applying this printing method nonetheless it does have several drawbacks:
The digital DVD printing process is slow in comparison to other printing processes – Commercial digital DVD printers are only capable of printing around 200 DVDs unattended and each print may take up to a minute depending upon the complexity of the artwork.
Each disc must be finished with a level of clear lacquer – this is to safeguard 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 setup cost rendering it ideal for short runs of significantly less than 100 DVDs which is really a service that’s quite definitely 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 in the commercial printing industry for decades. DVD screen printing is an adaptation of this method, modified to permit printing onto a disc. 印卡片 This process is great for printing regions of solid colour using vibrantly coloured inks mixed from various proportions of base cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink. There are also fluorescent and metallic inks readily 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 can be printed on, allowing for no more than 6 different colours in the artwork design.
The printing screen, where the process gets its name, is a very fine mesh screen which is initially covered with a thermally reactive emulsion. A separate screen is needed for all the colours featured in the last artwork and a celluloid film can be designed for each colour. The film is black in the areas where in actuality the colour is needed on the disc, and clear where it’s not required. The film is attached along with a display and placed into an exposure unit. A hot, bright light is then briefly started up on 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 pass through the film and therefore the emulsion remains unchanged.
The screen is then used in a spray booth where it’s sprayed with a superb water jet. The water washes away the emulsion which has not hardened leaving a display where ink can pass through the mesh only using areas where that colour is needed in line with the design. The screen is then fitted to its station on the DVD screen printing machine. One other 4 screens are prepared in the exact same way and the machine is then prepared to print.
The DVDs are loaded onto the printing machine automatically. They’re presented on spindles and each disc is lifted by a robotic arm with soft rubber vacuum cups. The DVD is placed right into a metal jig which holds the disc securely to prevent any movement whilst it has been 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’s been printed and then removed is replaced at the next machine rotation with a fresh unprinted disc. This process continues until the production run is complete.
At each station a different coloured ink is placed on the disc each time 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 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 next coloured ink can be applied without the chance for smearing of the previously applied ink. The printing and curing process is very fast and a modern DVD screen printer is capable of printing more than 3,500 DVDs within an hour.
The necessity for screens and films for every single 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 can be minimised by limiting the amount of colours involved in the DVD print design. It is perfectly possible to design an attractive disc using merely a single colour print onto a printable silver DVD. The fixed cost, however, does allow it to be a less viable process for very small orders of significantly less than 100 DVDs.
Lithographic DVD Printing (Offset printing)
This process, as with DVD screen printing, is a favorite printing method for producing high res images in writing or card stock and has been adapted to match DVDs. Lithographic printing is the greatest process for producing DVDs with a photographic print or artwork involving a subtle colour gradient but is not great for printing artwork that’s large regions of solid colour as a result of potential coverage issues which can create a “patchy” print.
The lithographic DVD printing process involves building a metal printing plate which is curved around a roller. The essential principle at use this method is that printing ink and water don’t mix. The printing plate surface is treated in certain areas such that it attracts ink, the residual areas are treated to attract water and not ink. The end result is a printing plate that may 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 devote a metal jig on the machine bed.
This process is quite as fast since the screen printing process and so many 1000s of DVDs can be printed every hour that the machine is running. Yet again, you will find fixed setup costs involved here and so the fee to print orders of significantly less than 100 DVDs is high.
DVD Printing Process Summary
The bottom line is, if your project is limited to a tiny run of discs then digital DVD printing is how you can go. There is unquestionably no print quality compromise with digital printing over one other 2 processes and although it may be 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 own it down seriously to a superb art.
For projects where the amount of discs required is more than 100 and the artwork features bold, solid colours, then your DVD printing process of choice must be screen printing. The metallic and fluorescent inks readily available for this method 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 your printing process best suitable for this sort of artwork could be Lithographic printing. For screen and lithographic printing, the more units ordered, the cheaper the system cost becomes