Direct-to-substrate Technology: The Power of Large Format

Large Format Flatbed’s ability to print on virtually anything opens up an exciting world of opportunities.

Since print has been around, it always used to be about paper-based substrates; of course, you could do interesting things with paper-based substrates. but it was still paper all the same. Not so much now. Developments in large format print have meant that a whole new world of potential has opened up to marketers, with the capacity to print directly onto everything from boards, to aluminium, glass, wood, plastics – the sheer breadth of printable materials really is mind-blowing.

Having been one of the earlier investors in to Large Format UV Flatbed technology back in 2010, we faced ourselves with the question – how is best to use this stunning new capability?

We purchased our first UV flatbed printer in 2010, and we were absolutely ecstatic about our decision. Immediately we started to push the technology as far as it could go, and to do as much of it as possible. We were printing onto clocks, counter tops, doors, floors – you name it, we were printing it.

The main attraction that brought us towards printing directly onto multiple materials, rather than printing onto a substrate that is then stuck onto other materials, were cost and quality. Until this generation of presses came along, printers looking to impose an image on a non-paper surface would typically have to print the image on to an adhesive substrate (such as self adhesive vinyl) and that would then have to be applied to the intended finished article. This took a lot of time and energy and also required a huge amount of space – to mount a two metre board you might typically need mounting tables that could take up as much as four metres of previous floor space. Using direct-to-substrate devices also significantly cuts down the amount of processes required to finish a large format print job, thus reducing the likelihood of mistakes being made. For instance, if an error is made during the mounting stage – such as a ripple or a crease in the material – you have to start the whole printing process all over again, and that can potentially double the time and the cost.

“With marketing budgets typically smaller than in yesteryear, marketers are faced with the need to deliver far more with much less, so they can use it to maximise the attention-grabbing potential of their campaigns. Since Large Format Digital Printing allows for short-run samples and one-off pieces to be produced quickly and cost-effectively as test projects, marketers can also experiment with different substrates and techniques without incurring huge outlay.” – van der Camp, HP

Since the purchase of our first UV flat bed printer, we have purchased two new UV flat bed printers in order to keep up with the high demand of print directly onto rigid substrates. With marketers very keen to employ the technology,  printing direct to multiple substrates has been growing and growing. The new capacity to print onto pretty much anything has been bringing us closer to marketers in the pursuit of effective and innovative marketing collateral. To see what you can achieve with large format print direct-to-substrate, contact us now and see how we can give your marketing campaigns a boost.