September 20, 2010
Digital printing signs began not long after cut vinyl technology was introduced. In the early years the process was either very expensive or it's durability was less than adequate. As technology improved the costs came down and the durability improved. Still to get a print that would last for any length of time outdoors, harsh solvent inks were needed. This limited the process to a more small scale industrial setting. However the new eco-sol ink technology has enabled signmakers to digitally print durable, cost effective products without running their machines with ventilators and other hardware.
The basic process of digitally printing is simpler than vinyl signmaking. You can take your print file and send the information to the printer. Where the process is complex is in the initial file creation and in determining the correct settings to print the file. Once this is determined and the file is sent, the printer prints on the media of your choice usually vinyl, paper or banner (there are other medias for specialized applications). Once it is printed you remove it from the printer and allow the print to dry.
Once dry if it is a poster or a decal, then it is ready to give to the customer. You may want or need to laminate the media to give it more durability. If it's a banner, you may need to hem and grommet it so it can be hung properly. If it is vinyl film you may be installing it on a substrate. This process is similiar to installing vinyl cut graphics.
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