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Pad vs Screen Printing: Which is Best for Your Custom Medical Cart?

Posted by Brittany Beckmann on July 13, 2017

Many companies invest in pad printing or screen printing to add branding and an aesthetic appeal to their custom medical carts. Although both these printing options use ink, their differences may determine which one you use for your specific application.

The information supplied by this blog is attributed to one of HUI’s suppliers—Unique Assembling and Decorating Inc.

What is pad printing?

Pad printing is applicable to plastic, glass, metal, rubber or wood 3-dimensional surfaces. An ink-filled silicone-etched pad successfully prints on 3-dimensional objects because the pad acts as a wrap which adapts to shape of the part without hindering the image. Pad printing offers accessibility to fine detail and tight multicolor registration.

For a better idea of how pad printing works, check out this video by Unique Assembly and Decorating.


What is screen printing?

Screen printing is also applicable to plastic, glass, metal or wooden parts. However, decorative images or logos are directly transferred to the object by pressing ink through a screen "burned" image. Multicolor images can be applied via cylindrical screen printing and flat screen printing, but it would require one pass for each color.

For a better idea of how screen printing works, check out this video by Unique Assembly and Decorating.


Will pad printing or screen printing work best for your custom medical cart?

Will pad printing or screen printing work best for your custom medical cart?

When it's time to decide between the two, the your answer will depend on the material, the quality of the surface and the number of colors.

Screen printing is the best application for

  • Large images on flat surface
  • Large, two-sided image on cylindrical part
  • Opaque images against light, dark or clear substrates (more cost effective because it can be accomplished with one pass. The printing costs go up with each additional pass)
  • Images that require one color

Pad printing is the best application for

  • Images printed on difficult materials like Polypropylene, Delrin, Acetal or Urea
  • Images that cover a raised or recessed area
  • Images that cover any complex curves—concave or convex
  • Images that are near a vertical wall or obstruction
  • Small image requirements or printing on smaller, metal parts
  • Multicolored images

If you’re still stuck between the two, some printing companies, like Unique Assembling & Decoration Inc., will conduct multiple tests to ensure you receive an economical solution with the best quality printing.

If you have any additional custom medical cart projects that may require pad or screen printing, contact us today.


Topics: Medical Cart Development, Medical Cart Aesthetics

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