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Have you ever used a Pad Printing Machine? Pad printing, also known as tampography or tampo printing, is an indirect offset (gravure) printing process. In this process, a silicon pad transfers a two-dimensional image from a laser-engraved printing plate to a three-dimensional object.

 Pad printing allows for the printing of difficult-to-print shapes. It includes curved (convex), hollow (concave), cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, and textures. It was previously unavailable with traditional printing processes.

How Is Pad Printing Done?

Step 1: Place the closed (sealed) ink cup over the engraved (etched) artwork area of the pad printing plate, covering it with ink. This is known as the home position.

Step 2: The closed ink cup moves away from the engraved artwork area, removing all excess ink and exposing the inked engraved image. When the top layer of ink is exposed to air, it becomes tacky. This is how the ink adheres to the transfer pad.

Step 3: The transfer pad briefly presses down on the printing plate. As the pad is compressed, the air is pushed outward, causing the ink to lift (transfer) from the engraved artwork area onto the pad.

Step 4: The transfer pad picks up the tacky ink film inside the engraved artwork area as it lifts away. The pad printing plate still has a small amount of ink on it.

Step 5: As the transfer pad advances, the ink cup advances as well, covering the engraved artwork area on the printing plate. In preparation for the next cycle, the ink cup refills the engraved artwork image on the plate with ink.

Step 6: The transfer pad compresses against the product, transferring the ink layer from the printing plate to the product surface. The printer then lifts off the substrate and returns to its starting position, completing one print cycle.

What Can Pad Printing Be Used For?

We can use an Automatic Pad Printing Machine in many industries to print difficult products. DSTAR specializes in specific product categories. It has the most affordable range of pad printers.

Also, its applications include:

  •         Printing on coated tablets and gel capsules in the pharmaceutical industry.
  •         The medical sector for printing medical device components such as syringes, inhalers, insulin pens, catheters, and so on.
  •         The candy industry, prints coated sweets and chewing gums.
  •         Sports equipment.
  •         The cosmetics industry uses it to decorate perfume bottles, lipstick holders, and other items.
  •         Beverage packaging for printing on bottle caps, corks, etc.

Pad printing is also useful for transferring functional materials like conductive inks, adhesives, flavors, nutritional additives, natural dyes, and lubricants.

Inks That Conduct Electricity:

Advances in conductive ink technology, such as ethyl-cellulose polymers, carbon/graphite, silver, and UV curable dielectric inks. It enables pad printing circuit boards, multi-layer membrane switches, and touch-key applications, among other applications.

Savings in process and material costs, such as eliminating etched copper, gold plating, or soldered wire, are among the advantages. For example, replacing gold plating with carbon ink results in greater toughness than extremely expensive metal or lower electrical resistance than copper.

People use conductive inks in a growing economic sector for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). It is rapidly streamlining inventory and shipping in the global marketplace. Medical sensors, transistors, antennas, and electrodes are among the other applications. Moreover, the shielding against electromagnetic, radio-frequency interference, dissipating or eliminating static.

Again, the ability of pad printing to print on uneven, curved, or recessed surfaces gives it an advantage over standard flatbed methods of material deposition. However, conductive inks, like printing adhesives, must come solvent-based.


Many manufacturers consider an adhesive applied to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. We often require the precision application of small or translucent parts, which raises the cost. Alternative adhesive application methods are in high demand when waste and we take cleanup into account. One method is to use adhesive film, but this creates waste.

Pad printing’s precise viscous liquid deposition transfer method is the ideal solution. We should prevent the glue from drying out by a sealed ink cup. Moreover, we can engrave the printing plate to the desired depth and line thickness.

Once adjusted, the pad deposits the exact same amount of adhesive in the exact same location every time. The finished part, such as a beveled cell phone lens, must be fed into a custom-machined shuttle fixture that holds the part in place. At the same time, you should apply the glue to its edge as part of an in-line automated process. They transfer the lens to a pick-and-place robot arm, which places the phone body onto the glued area.

Further automation can move the joined parts to another conveyor, which will transport them through a drying tunnel or further down the assembly line. This process is compatible with ultraviolet or heat-cured adhesives as well as many solvent-based types of glue that aren’t too aqueous or hydrophilic.

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