Printing on glass is an art, cherished by artists as a collector’s item. Printing on glass increases the value and aesthetic sense of the surrounding. Glass decoration expands to commercial, industrial and architectural applications. For interior decoration, printing on glass is a very popular way of expressing the beauty of nature and life through designs.
With the use of advanced technology, printing on glass not only illuminates the air by decoration but also adds to the durability and flexibility of interior surfaces. You may wonder how to go around the technique of printing on glass. There are many ways you can improve your lifestyle by printing designs you would love to see around you. In this article, we hope to walk you around the most popular methods and uncover the secret of how to print on glass.
The Printing Materials
The printing method would depend on the glass vessel that you want to decorate. For home decoration, the popular items are mugs, pint glasses, candleholders, wine glasses, jars, spirit bottles, buckets, plant pots, and many more.
The printing method also depends on the design you want to use for printing. How many colors would your design have? Alternatively, just one color? Would you prefer the design on one side or a wrap-around? Determine the type of the printing material and the details of want you to desire to see on your glasses are keys to choosing the right method of printing.
The requirements for glass printing would depend on the volume of work you are planning. The kinds of prints, one kind or customized, and use of same or repeated design would also determine what you would need. Therefore, based on this guide, you will be able to prepare a list of the requirements.
Methods of Printing on Glass
There are three methods of printing designs on glass. They are screen, pad, and digital printing. You may use any of these methods to print on any size, shape, type, and thickness of glass with the use of one or several colors. However, all three methods have advantages and disadvantages. Let us go through each of these methods.
1. Screen-Printing on Glass
This has been a traditional method of printing for decades. The technique uses only one or two colors. Because of their high durability, screen print glasses are suitable for exterior and interior surfaces.
The creation of design in this method of screen-printing requires a net or mesh screen to construct the design. On adding ink to the screen by squeezing with a squeegee, the stencil with the design receives the color. The obvious area of the stencil lets ink through to make the design on the glass. The ink adheres to the surface of the glass as it is ‘fired’. The pattern or design results from the drawing on the stencil. The design comes out bold.
Screen-printing of glass is suitable for the high-volume production of industrial, commercial, and architectural products. Screen-printing allows printing on flat, cylindrical, and curved surfaces. However, over 360 degrees, the screen print produces a seam.
2. Pad Printing
By pad printing technology, you can easily achieve a high volume and lower mix of products. Usually, by pad printing, 1 or 2 colors are used but with heavy-duty machines, pad printers can take care of 6 colors. This method is good for printing designs and logos on mugs and shot glasses.
The prints produce images of high resolution that repeatedly produce the same prints with efficiency. Pad printing is great for 3D objects and equally prints well on irregular and ordinary-shaped objects.
3. Digital Printing
Digital printing or electronic method of printing on glass are of two types: (i) UV-curable or digital UV printing on glass, and (ii) digital ceramic printing. Both the method produces good prints on glass using unlimited colors and at affordable costs in this computer-driven method. The differences are in the method of printing, drying, functionality, and durability.
Digital printing allows printing in a larger number of glass objects, such as wine glasses, candle holders, mason jars, pint glasses, and many more. The beauty of digital printing is that it produces seamless prints with all the colors on glassware. Many kinds of digital printers are available that care for small and large loads of printing in glass items. The price of these largely depends on the productivity and the design you want.
(i) In digital UV printing, the technology applies organic inks in printing. It applies UV light for the ink to dry on the surface of the glass. UV printing uses is a highly technical and economical method of printing customizable, interior, and architectural designs. However, there is no functional link and no scratch resistance in the UV printing method.
(ii) In digital ceramic printing, the ink integrates inside the glass during firing. Versatile printing on ceramic glass by this method allows repeated printing of images, graphics, and images in marble and wood grain.
The opportunity of the innovative technology glass printing is immense. The ideas of an artist are expanding to the ceramic and glass made architectural designs and decorations through the various methods of printing. It may amaze you to find the beauty of the design in glass appearing in style with vivid colors. The application of unlimited colors to ceramics and glasses produces unique and out-of-the-ordinary products for customers always searching for unfamiliar looks.
The above write-up reflects the application of design in glass in many day-to-day items. The process is quite simple and affordable despite the aestheticism it produces in your home and environment. Indeed, printing on glass is a grand idea for a small business enterprise.