Pad printing is a relatively new printing technique that was developed in the 60s and 70s. The process is defined by applying a 2 dimensional image to a 3 dimensional object. It is used on objects that cannot be printed on before being put together such as golf balls, hard hats and thermos flasks. The process allows for printing on 3D objects, but a single print cannot cover the entire object. It is possible to spot colour print using pad printing although the most common method of colour is CMYK. The process is handy in the fact that it can print onto a wide rage of 3 dimensional materials, providing that they can withstand the pressure of the pads(s) during printing. For example, a polystyrene cup would be crushed if you tried to print on the side of it. Also, large quantities can be produced in short amounts of time.
The process works by silicon pads squishing into the object in order to apply the ink in the appropriate places. The diagram helps to make it clearer. Also, the video helps to explain.
A pad printing machine
A video showing pad printing in action
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