How To Choose Between Digital And Screen Printing For The Project?

There are so many printing techniques available for creating alluring designs on the substrate. Out of various techniques, screen printing and digital printing are the most commonly used methods. Let’s know about these two printing techniques in detail:

Screen Printing 

The screen-printing technique is also known as the silkscreen and it has been around since early 500 AD. This printing technique is originated in Asia. In the screen-printing method, the stencil is created on the fine mesh screen.

After that, ink is applied to it and pushed through the open pores on the stencil so that it can create an image on the surface below. The same process is repeated by using more stencils, each one has a different design and a different color is used for every screen.

You have to repeat processes using various other screens so that you can get the desired result. Finally, the printed material is placed under the UV lights to make the design permanent. T shirt screen printing is widely popular among people due to good quality print results. 

Digital Printing Basics

Screen printing is a manual process and the digital printing technique involves a computer and digital files for printing. The digital printing method is further divided into roll printing and flatbed printing technique.

In these two types of digital printing, UV light is used to cure the ink, just like the screen-printing method. But these processes are quite different from each other. The roll printing needs flexible vinyl as base material and usually, it is not capable to print white ink.

Differentiation Between Screen Printing And Digital Printing

  • Set-Up Time And Fees

In the case of the screen-printing technique, you need to create and set up every screen before starting the printing process. This printing process needs films and various other types of tools. The screen-printing technique needs one-time fees and high-set costs.

On the other hand, the digital printing technique does not need these kinds of tools, and the cost of printing is not very high. When you are printing only one item, then screen printing may not be a suitable technique due to high set-up time and cost.

  • Quantity

If you will print bulk items by using the screen-printing technique, then the cost of printing would not be high. It is so because the set-up cost would be divided over the large quantity.

The print completion rate per hour of the screen-printing technique is faster than the digital printing method. Therefore, the cost of printing for bulk quantity is cheaper in the screen-printing technique.

On the other hand, the cost of printing for small quantities is cheaper in screen printing because the set-up fee is low or non-existent. It means that the digital t-shirt printing in bulk will cost you less. 

  • Color Payoff

If you want a vibrant print on the substrate, then screen printing is the best option as compared to the digital printing technique. It is so because the digital press utilizes CMYK four-color process.

In this process, the color ranges are inherently limited. On the other hand, the screen-printing technique utilizes spot colors, similar to the Pantone Matching System.

It means that the digital press cannot print some bright colors that screen printing can like red, grey, green, etc. So, if you want a vibrant print design, then you should choose the screen-printing technique over the dye-sublimation printing method.

  • Print Complexity

In the screen-printing technique, only one color is printed at one time. Thus, the number of colors that are used for printing affects the cost of printing. But when it comes to digital printing, the cost of printing will remain the same, even after including various colors in the design.

In the screen-printing process, simple images help in creating a crisp design. But this printing process is not efficient for creating complex designs. If you want to print a complex design, the digital printing technique is the best method.

  • Adhesion And Durability

The screen-printing ink can create the design on various types of surfaces directly such as glass, aluminum, etc. The digital ink also adheres to the different substrates and can create a design on these.

But digital material is quite expensive as compared to the same material used in the screen-printing process. It is so because most digital printers need a special type of ink adhesion coating to make sure that digital ink stays for long.

The screen printing is quite durable and weather-resistant as compared to the digital printing technique. In addition to this, a clear UV-resistant coat is applied to the screen-printed image. But clear digital top coating is not usually available.

Final Words

These are some pros and cons of the digital printing and screen-printing technique. You need to choose the right one as per your demands and requirements.

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