Pad printing machine
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Pad printing cycle
1. From the home position, the blade sits over the etched artwork area of the printing plate, covering the image and filling it with ink.
2. The blade moves away from the etched artwork area, taking all excess ink and exposing the etched image, which is filled with ink. The top layer of ink becomes tacky as soon as it is exposed to the air; that is how the ink adheres to the transfer pad and later to the substrate.
3. The transfer pad presses down onto the printing plate momentarily. As the pad is compressed, it pushes air outward and causes the ink to lift (transfer) from the etched artwork area onto the pad.
4. As the transfer pad lifts away, the tacky ink film inside the etched artwork area is picked up on the pad. A small amount of ink remains in the printing plate.
5. As the transfer pad moves forward, the blade also moves to cover the etched artwork area on the printing plate. The blade again fills the etched artwork image on the plate with ink in preparation for the next cycle.
6. The transfer pad compresses down onto the substrate, transferring the ink layer picked up from the printing plate to the substrate surface. Then, it lifts off the substrate and returns to the home position, thus completing one print cycle.