What is Digital Glass Printing?
Digital glass printing combines technology with artistry to produce high-precision printed glass for a variety of applications. Using state-of-the-art technology, printing machines are able to translate digital files into colorful prints on glass. Printed designs can include patterns, textures, graphic art, high-resolution photos, and colors. The glass sizes range according to manufacturer and printer capabilities. Glass printing machines can range in size and their printing application. Some are set up for high design jobs, while others are set up to produce bulk products like car windows and stovetops. There are only a handful of glass fabricators in the US that have this capability, but we do expect to see glass printing become more commonplace in the future.
How Does a Digital Printer Work?
Digital printers take designs and print them onto glass using small inkjets to administer the ceramic inks. After printing, the glass goes through the tempering process and inks are fused into the glass. The result is a high-quality product that will not fade or scratch off. Unlike screen printing, digital printing offers a wide range of colors and flexible design techniques. Printers and ceramic inks manufactured by Tec Glass, come with high-performance ink selection that varies by application. They also offer luxury ink, with shimmer effects for the most high-end architectural glass projects. The average DPI (dots per inch) for their fleet of printers is 1440 DPI, but they all have the capability to print an impressive 2880 DPI. To put this in perspective, high-quality marketing materials are often printed at 250-300 DPI.
Features and Benefits of Printed Glass
- Durable, resilient ink
- High resolution
- Wide range of design possibilities
- Easy to replace
- Set up is quick and easy
- A bold and diverse color pallet
- Cleans with regular glass products
- Printed glass can be laminated or made into an IG unit
- Print on clear float glass, pattern glass, acid etch glass or anti-reflective glass
Architecutral Applicaitons and Uses
- Interior and exterior applications
- Door inserts
- Glass panels
- Wall art
- Art installations
- Glass cutting boards
- Glass marker boards and calendars
- Cabinet glass inserts
- Barn doors
The Future of Glass
We expect to see digital printing grow to be a common glass fabrication practice in the future. At the moment, most printed glass is found in high architecture buildings, art installations, or commissioned art projects. We hope to see interior designers and contractors utilize printing capabilities to make some truly unique glass designs. Interested in exploring more about digital printing? Visit our page to learn more and connect with a project manager!