By Ryan Allen
Digital printing offers a number of advantages over technologies of the past. In fact, given the advancements in printing equipment and recent software and materials, one might think the life of a modern printing professional is fairly easy; though, this is not the case.
Challenges are part of every evolving technology, and many times signmakers feel as though they have more questions than answers as they pursue the latest digital printing best practices. To operate as a printing professional, even in the digital age, requires a thorough knowledge of everything from print media choice to production and finishing. This information must be continuously built upon as technology
is always evolving.
In this article, the author discusses some of the challenges one might face with digital printing on a daily basis, dispels a few myths related to printing and media, and provides troubleshooting solutions to help maintain efficient, cost-effective operations in the process.
Myth No. 1: A film is just a film
Choosing the right media for a job can be a challenge from the start. Film technology has evolved over the years and product performance may vary among suppliers and different product lines. While some product lines offer better printing quality than others, regardless of the printer, a general understanding of material functionality is a prerequisite to ensure desirable results in any project.
Print media suppliers have designed tools to help customers make smart choices. These assist with navigating through a wide portfolio of products offered based on application needs; compatibility with inks and cures; and requirements for durability, conformability, and adhesive removability. One can start with similar tools and then reach out to material providers with any questions.
While ensuring printability may be the key area of focus, one must not overlook the importance of choosing the right permanent, removable, or long-term removable (LTR) adhesive for application. No matter how great a print project looks, the wrong adhesive for the end-use application can cause issues during the installation/removal process and durability could suffer.