Product Frequently Asked Questions
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ACRYLITE® digital print
ACRYLITE® digital print
What benefits does ACRYLITE® digital print sheet provide for me?
Five Benefits Of Using ACRYLITE® Digital Print Acrylic Sheet
Digital printing is a modern method of production that has offered the industry new ways to create graphics that are flawless in their design. When looking to create eye-catching prints, choosing digital printing over more traditional ways of printing can provide exciting features and flexibility.
ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic sheet is specifically designed with this application in mind. Find out below the five benefits of using ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic sheet. We guarantee you will be satisfied when choosing this acrylic material as your substrate for digitally printed applications.
1. Enhanced Adhesion Properties
Printing on standard acrylic can be risky because the material is not formulated to promote ink adhesion. Sometimes, you can achieve what looks like a good print, but when post-printing steps such as routing are initiated, ink delamination can be the result.
To satisfy this concern, ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic sheet provides enhanced adhesion properties for UV curable inks used in today’s flatbed digital printers. It features a special coextruded printable layer on one side of the sheet that allows these inks to adhere extremely well.
2. Water-Clear Edge Color & Superior Optical Clarity Throughout
Some competitive materials have edge colors that have a tinted appearance. This can result in a color shift of the final print leading to an unsightly finished product. ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic sheet features a water-clear edge color which enhances the overall look of the print. Once the edges are polished, they can be beautifully exposed if a frame is not desired.
Additionally, the crystal-clarity throughout this material maximizes visual impact and allows for the colors within the print to pop with accuracy and brilliance.
3. Easy to Fabricate
This sheet can be easily fabricated using the same machining parameters and equipment that are recommended for use with ACRYLITE® premium acrylic sheet. Whether you want to saw-cut, rout, laser-cut, drill, edge finish, cement, or something else, this material will perform well.
In some instances better results can be obtained if the orientation of the printed surface is taken into account during fabrication. Follow our printing fabrication manual to ensure success during these processes.
4. Unique Masking Configuration
ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic sheet features low-static masking to prevent interference with the digital printing operation. White poly masking is on the printing side and clear poly masking is on the non-printing side. The non-printing side also has strip tape on it indicating to “print other side”. The use of clear poly masking on the non-printing side allows the user to view their final second-surface printed work through the protective clear poly and reduces the chance of damaging the surface.
5. Additional Colors & Properties Available
This material is available in both colorless and white to satisfy every need. The colorless material also can come with a mar resistant coating or non-glare surface to add extra protection and an even better looking view to your final print.
Will the printable layer flake off from ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic?
ACRYLITE® digital print has a special coextruded layer made exclusively for the purpose of providing good ink adhesion. This special surface will not cause ink to flake or chip off the acrylic the way a coated substrate might. Additionally, this material has been tested with leading digital UV flatbed printers to ensure a perfect print every time and passes the cross-hatch adhesion test as per ASTM procedure D3359. Watch our ink adhesion spotlight video to see how to test the adhesion on both non-digital acrylic and ACRYLITE® digital print acrylic.
How can I fabricate ACRYLITE® digital print?
Most fabrication steps, including saw-cutting, routing, laser-cutting, drilling, edge finishing, cementing, and buffing can be performed on ACRYLITE® digital print. Line-bending and thermoforming may also potentially be performed but this may compromise the appearance of the final result by thinning out the caplayer and will also affect the ink layer which may not be flexible enough to be thermoformed. We recommend that you test this in your application first. The primary fabrication step that we specifically recommend against is flame-polishing, since the flame will visually damage the printable surface. For additional information, refer to our tips on fabricating ACRYLITE® digital print.
Can I print on regular acrylic/plexiglass or do I need digital print?
For better durability, we would still recommend using ACRYLITE® digital print. There may be some applications where printing on standard acrylic does not show any ink adhesion issues but in certain cases you would likely need to use a primer to get the ink to adhere to the standard acrylic. Note that priming can be a messy and time-consuming step, and there are also safety and environmental considerations. This can be completely avoided by using ACRYLITE® digital print sheet. For example, if the printed result is not subjected to post-printing operations (such as cutting or routing) and is protected from harm, then printing on standard acrylic might satisfy your needs. However, we have seen issues where a piece of standard acrylic was printed and “appeared” to work fine, but post-printing steps such as routing caused catastrophic delamination of the ink.
Does ACRYLITE® digital print sheet have an edge color?
We make ACRYLITE® digital print sheet with a water-clear edge color that looks the same as standard acrylic. This allows for beautiful, exposed edges when polished. Some competitive materials have a tinted appearance that not only can look unsightly but can also result in a color shift of the final print. With ACRYLITE® digital print, this water-clear edge color will enhance the overall look of the print.
What is moisture-control packaging?
ACRYLITE® digital print sheet is provided in special moisture-control packaging to keep absorption of moisture to a minimum. This packaging is essential because acrylic sheet can absorb moisture, and the two different surfaces of ACRYLITE® digital print (digital printing side and standard acrylic side) can lead to a differential rate of absorption. When this happens, the acrylic has the potential to begin to warp – this can lead to inconsistent printed results and potentially a print head strike.
The moisture-control packaging is a double-layer of polyethylene overwrap with desiccant bags inside. The pallet has a yellow label with the instruction to keep the pallet sealed when not in use. With this packaging, the material is well protected to avoid moisture-related problems.
Can I back-light a digital print image?
Yes, you can absolutely backlight your image. Several factors can affect your result – the print density, number of printed layers, flooding, etc. Please consult with your printer manufacturer for guidance on this.
How do I remove static from acrylic media printing substrate?
This is not an uncommon issue when printing on all types of plastic. There are several actions that you can take after peeling the sheet to try to improve this situation (Simco-ion and Meech are among the manufacturers of this type of equipment):
- Make sure that your printer is properly grounded
- Use an ionizing air gun with your compressed air to blow ionized air across the sheet
- Add or use a built-in ionizing bar on your printer
- Wave a grounded anti-static rod/wand just over the sheet
- Gently wipe the sheet with a grounded anti-static brush or copper tinsel
- Wipe the sheet with an anti-static liquid cleaner such as ACRIFIX® AC1010 Acrylic Cleaner