This method of DVD printing utilises pre-manufactured printable DVDRs. The discs will either have a white or a silver printable surface which is receptive to an inkjet printer. Printable DVDRs are widely obtainable in high street stores or online and even good quality discs are inexpensive.
A Digital DVD printer works on a single principle as a desktop inkjet printer. The cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges are loaded to the printer and a printer head makes some passes on the printable disc surface depositing the ink based on the artwork file. It’s possible to print extremely detailed high resolution images applying this printing method however 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 around 200 DVDs unattended and each print can take up to a minute depending upon the complexity of the artwork.
Each disc needs to be finished with a coating of clear lacquer – that is to guard the printed surface from potential moisture damage when handled. 卡片印刷 This adds more delay to the process.
However, this DVD printing process does not have any fixed setup cost which makes it ideal for short runs of significantly less than 100 DVDs which is really a service that is quite definitely in demand with the advance of the digital download.
DVD Screen Printing
Screen printing is just a tried and tested printing method that’s been used in the commercial printing industry for decades. DVD screen printing is a variation of this method, modified to allow printing onto a disc. This process is ideal for printing regions 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 particular process.
A screen printing machine includes 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 base coat of any colour can be printed on, allowing for no more than 6 different colours in the artwork design.
The printing screen, that the procedure gets its name, is just a very fine mesh screen which is initially covered with a thermally reactive emulsion. A different screen is necessary for all the colours featured in the last artwork and a celluloid film can be created for each colour. The film is black in the areas where the colour is necessary on the disc, and clear where it is not required. The film is attached along with a display and placed into an exposure unit. A warm, bright light is then briefly started up on the the surface of the 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, the heat and light don’t go through the film and so the emulsion remains unchanged.
The screen is then used in a spray booth where it is sprayed with an excellent water jet. The water washes away the emulsion that has not hardened leaving a display where ink can go through the mesh only in certain areas where that colour is necessary based on the design. The screen is then fitted to its station on the DVD screen printing machine. Another 4 screens are prepared in exactly the same way and the machine is then willing to print.
The DVDs are loaded onto the printing machine automatically. They are presented on spindles and each disc is lifted by a robotic arm with soft rubber vacuum cups. The DVD is put into a metal jig which holds the disc securely to avoid any movement whilst it will be printed. The metal jigs are prearranged 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 another machine rotation with a fresh unprinted disc. This process continues before the production run is complete.
At each station a different coloured ink is put 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. When the ink has been applied the blade returns to its starting position ready for another disc. The machine 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 another coloured ink can be applied without any possibility 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 in an hour.
The necessity for screens and films for every single different ink colour in the design to be printed onto the DVD, means there are fixed costs associated with this particular process. These costs can be minimised by limiting the number of colours involved in the DVD print design. It’s 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 tiny 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 resolution images in some recoverable format 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 ideal for printing artwork that’s large regions of solid colour because of potential coverage issues which can result in a “patchy” print.
The lithographic DVD printing process involves creating a metal printing plate which is curved around a roller. The fundamental principle at use this method is that printing ink and water don’t mix. The printing plate surface is treated in a few areas so that it attracts ink, the remaining areas are treated to attract water and not ink. The result is a publishing 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 a different roller which has a rubber blanket wrapped around it. The rubber blanket roller applies the ink to the DVD which is held firmly in devote a steel jig on the machine bed.
This process is just as fast because the screen printing process and so many a large number of DVDs can be printed every hour that the machine is running. Once again, there are fixed setup 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 way to go. There is unquestionably no print quality compromise with digital printing over one other 2 processes and though it could be the slowest process, this is simply not really relevant if you’re only having 50 discs printed. There are lots of companies specialising in 24 to 48 hour turnarounds on short runs of discs who use this printing method exclusively and have it right down to an excellent art.
For projects where the total amount of discs required is over 100 and the artwork features bold, solid colours, then your DVD printing process of choice has to be screen printing. The metallic and fluorescent inks available for this method make for some truly eye-catching and distinctive designs. If the artwork for the discs is just a photographic image or has a subtle colour gradient, then your printing process best worthy of this type of artwork would be Lithographic printing. For screen and lithographic printing, the more units ordered, the cheaper the unit cost becomes