Surprising Uses of a Flatbed Printer
Sign-making has progressed quickly over time, from signs being made by hand-painting lettering back in the day, to intricate wood and metal signs made by using specialized tools, to digital printing which allows for endlessly customizable sign solutions. Specialized machines have made the process of making signs in large quantities a lot easier to produce, and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down. One of these specialized machines is a flatbed printer. A flatbed printer is a large-format ink-jet printer that allows for printing directly to a flat and rigid substrate. This convenience allows us to eliminate a few steps from the process of creating a sign panel which saves time and some waste. There are some surprising ways to utilize the capabilities of a flatbed printer, so keep reading and maybe you’ll get inspired!
About Our Flatbed Printer
Our flatbed printer utilizes six ink cartridges to create full-color prints – cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, and light magenta. With the option of installing a white ink cartridge in place of the light magenta or light cyan cartridges, we can also print with white ink which is useful for prints on dark or clear substrate. The printhead carriage makes several side-to-side passes while spraying ink in a stochastic dot pattern to create beautiful high-definition prints. The sign panel, or substrate, is then moved through the printer with heavy rollers that hold it in place and move the substrate at the perfect speed to ensure good ink coverage. We can print up to 60″ wide with this machine and with a little ingenuity, are also able to print on some non-conventional surfaces.
One of our clients came to us wondering if we could help them customize coolers with their branding and sponsor logos. These coolers are gifts for employees, so they wanted to make them special and memorable. The printed graphics were all one color (black), and the surface was smooth and uniform which is necessary for a flatbed printer. We made a custom sled to allow the printhead carriage to move over the lids without striking or causing damage, and they all turned out great!
Custom Cornhole Board Graphics
Cornhole is one of our favorite outdoor games to play in Summertime. It is easy to play and it goes great with an ice-cold beer! Since cornhole is played with two flat boards, we figured why not run them through our flatbed printer for a personalized cornhole set? The result was a resounding success and makes playing cornhole with our friends and family that much more memorable!
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Interior windows are the latest trend for dividing up large interior spaces like shared offices and meeting rooms. They look modern and reflect light in a very interesting way, however, they sometimes cause some negative situations for occupants of the space. People not familiar with the office may not see the clear glass panels, which possibly lead to them running into the glass. Another concern is privacy because glass is clear and sometimes you do not want outsiders looking in on your team meeting. One of our clients had these concerns, so they reached out to us to see if we could help them with some window graphics on their interior glass conference room walls. Their graphics were an intricate design that would have been very difficult to create with white vinyl. After running a few tests with clear vinyl, we found that our flatbed printer was the perfect tool to create the intended effect. Our flatbed printer can have a white ink cartridge installed, so we were able to print the white graphics onto clear adhesive vinyl and the result was stunning!
Printed Customer Appreciation Acrylic Coasters
When important holidays or events come up it’s nice to provide your guests with something memorable and useful. Coasters are something that everyone uses, so we figured that we could make some custom drink coasters for some select customers to receive for Christmas! Using ¼” thick clear acrylic, we printed custom graphics and logos with our flatbed printer. We glued some thin cork strips to the bottom side of the coasters to keep them from sliding around on tabletops.