How to Print on Metal Glass Acrylic PVC with UV Flatbed Printer

UV flatbed printing has opened up many possibilities for printing directly onto rigid substrates like metal, glass, acrylic, and PVC. These materials are extremely popular for signage, displays, decorations, and more. The UV-cured inks adhere well to these surfaces and create vibrant, durable prints. There is a huge market for UV-printed products on these rigid media.

The Application of UV Printed Metal, Glass, Acrylic and PVC Products

UV printing on rigid substrates like metal, glass, acrylic, and PVC allows for stunning graphics and designs directly printed on these materials. Here are some of the most popular applications:

metal glass acrylic pvc uv print

– Interior décor –

Printed metal, glass, and acrylic are widely used for wall art, partitions, tabletops, lamps, mirrors, and more inside homes, offices, restaurants and other interior spaces. Vibrant colors and designs can be directly printed for an eye-catching look.

– Signage and displays –

Retail stores, trade show booths, real estate signs, and more benefit from directly printed metal, acrylic and PVC signage. The prints are durable for indoor and outdoor use. Backlit signs are also possible with translucent materials.

– Promotional products –

Printed metal and acrylic are commonly used for awards, trophies, plaques and desk accessories given out by businesses. These printed gifts and merchandise have a sleek, modern look.

– Packaging –

Beauty brands, consumer electronics, luxury goods and more use printed metal, acrylic and PVC boxes, cases and packaging. The printing process allows for unique, custom designs on packaging.

– Vehicle graphics –

Large format UV prints on metal and PVC films are ideal for wrapping vehicles, trucks, buses and even trains with eye-catching branding and designs. The inks adhere well even on curved surfaces.

– Furniture –

Tabletops, doors, panels and more furniture components can be printed directly for one-of-a-kind looks. Wood-like finishes, artistic designs, faux marble, and more are possible.

UV flatbed printing opens up endless creative possibilities on these substrates. The quality and durability make printed metal, glass, acrylic and PVC products ideal for both indoor and outdoor commercial and residential applications.

Step-by-Step Guide to UV Flatbed Printing

Printing directly onto metal, glass, acrylic, and PVC using a UV flatbed printer is a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step overview:

1. Prepare the Material

Proper cleaning and surface prep ensure the UV inks adhere well. Start by cleaning the surface to remove any dirt, dust or debris. For metal, gently wipe down with alcohol if needed. Glass, acrylic and PVC should also be wiped clean with a lint-free cloth and alcohol.

The material must also be completely flat and level on the printer’s bed. Any warping could prevent the substrate from lying flat, causing printing problems. Check for flatness and use shims to level the surface if needed.

2. Apply Adhesion Promoter

These materials require an adhesion promoter or primer to help the UV inks bond. Apply a thin, even layer using a non-woven brush or specialty applicator. Avoid over-application and pooling.

Let the adhesion promoter completely dry before printing. This usually takes just a couple of minutes.

3. Print Directly onto the Material

The pre-treated material is now ready for printing. Place it evenly on the bed. Select and load the required UV inks and print directly onto the metal, glass, acrylic or PVC. The inks will only cure and bond where they are exposed to the UV light from the flatbed printer.

4. Examine Print and Clean Residue

Carefully check the test print. Make sure the ink coverage and colors are accurate and that the inks have bonded evenly across the surface.

There may be some tacky residue from the adhesion promoter surrounding the printed areas. Gently clean this off with alcohol and a clean cloth. Avoid scratching or damaging the printed areas.

The material is now ready for use!

Get a Complete UV Flatbed Printing Solution

Rainbow Inkjet Technology is a leading global supplier of UV flatbed printers and inks. We offer high-quality, reliable printing solutions for all types of professional print providers and manufacturers.

Our Nano series of flatbed printers come with a precision linear drive system and specially developed UV inks for printing directly on metals, glass, acrylic, wood, leather and many other substrates. Key benefits include:

– Stunning print quality – Sharp detail, rich saturated colors, and smooth gradients.

– High production speeds – Fast print modes for high volume throughput.

– Industrial reliability – Designed for 24/7 operation with minimal downtime.

– Automated features – Ink circulation, print head maintenance and more.

– Size and thickness capabilities – For oversized graphics, objects and thick substrates.

– Versatile inks – Wide adhesion range for almost any material.

We also offer full pre and post-print treatments to further ensure excellent ink adhesion, as well as software and RIP solutions.

Our UV flatbeds are designed for high-productivity printing directly on metals, glass, acrylic, PVC, and beyond. Contact the Rainbow Inkjet team today to get started! We are happy to provide consultations, sample prints, machine demonstrations, and more to help you find the best UV flatbed printing solution!