Saturday, April 24, 2010

Printing directly onto PVC

Mechanical puzzles often call for tiles, decals or stickers to distinguish the parts. (Think Rubik's Cube.) The SD300 should be able to create tiles of any desired thickness, so I cut a sheet of shapes suitable for a puzzle I built last year.

One of the tiles is supposed to be labeled with the puzzle's name. I used this custom-made guide to hold one of the tiles in my printer's CD-loading tray. (The tile is barely visible in the slot nearest the 'TOP' label.)

The printer uses delicate pigment-based inks, so I printed on the back side of the tile so the text would be viewed through it. This will protect the pigments after the ink dries. (Note: You can only print on plastic using a pigment based printer. Most ordinary ink-jet printers use water-soluble dye-based inks, which probably won't work on PVC.)


  1. may i know, can i print car sticker (static cling decals) using pigment ink?

  2. Just to clear up a little confusion:

    The SD300 built the little tiles, but the ink was printed onto them with an Epson photo printer. The Epson inks are very delicate, and the pigment must be protected because it rubs off too easily. It is not durable enough for decals.

    For your sign shop you will need decal media, like the "static cling" and "ultra cling" decals described at