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Pros and Cons of Flatbed Screen Printing

Flatbed screen printing is more dominant in the apparel industry than ever before. Everyone needs help to overcome its main selling point – labor and time convenience. Its precedent techniques required much labor input and time to produce sound output. However, flatbed screen printing is faster, more convenient, and gives fine-tuned results. You can manufacture a whole load of T-shirts, print them, and run other essential errands.

This has caused a significant revolution in the print industry. Printing gigs that could take weeks to complete now only take days. Besides, this revolution has resulted in less expensive machinery and more minor space requirements. Unlike before, flatbed screen printing works for a wide range of materials.

But is this the best printing technology yet, or does it have some quirks?

Let’s start with the perks!

Pros of flatbed screen printing

Versatility

You know a printing technique is good when it’s not restricting. Flatbed screen printing lets you get the prints onto practically any surface. This includes PVC, plastic, T-shirts, ceramic, wood, stone, toys, balloons, etc. In a fast-changing world, customization is economic and futuristic. Hence, everyone is seeking to unleash their potential in operations and investments. So, they bank on machines that can perform most activities without replacements. Don’t hesitate to dive into the flatbed screen printing pool.

Ideal entry-level alternative

In the past, printing was a serious niche that needed dedicated expertise. Well, it’s still a severe niche to take on. However, it’s easier to jump on a flatbed printing job for its ease of use. Reputable companies will always provide an operation manual. Even better, the screen moves up and down slowly, leaving fewer chances of making mistakes. Besides, the setup process is straightforward, quick, and less repetitive, unlike flatbed screen printing, which takes 30 minutes to set up. 

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Budget-friendly

You know it’s going down when a machine costs you more than you can afford. Thankfully, flatbed will align with your budget and still generate some profit. To begin with, flatbed screen printer machines have a smaller space demand. They also require relatively less printing paste for large-scale printing. Hence, it would be best to have more financial commitments to start. This technique attracts short-run and custom printing contracts. There’s no better time to upgrade and overcome stagnation for your business. 

High longevity

The cost-effectiveness of something counts when it lasts. Flatbed screen printing leaves long-lasting and sturdy prints that go a long way. This comes about because of the thickness of the ink used and its ability to withstand stress. So, you have a lovely print that will stay on without needing re-printing or replacements.

Superior results

You can now enjoy improved registrations, different color themes, and larger sizes. This printing technique employs a custom-made screen for every design motif and color theme. Hence, they’re ideal for large-scale printing to the finest detail. Hence, you have perfect designs and fine prints with visual appeal, sharpness, and smoothness.

Environmental friendly

Flatbed screen printing produces less waste than rotary screen printing. Flatbed uses fewer cartridges and products that have little to no harmful chemicals. The print ink also instantly dries, allowing immediate use with less air pollution. 

Cons of Flatbed Screen Printing

Material management

Handling the material after printing involves a long process. Dry the equipment before using a rewinding unit, finishing, and printing operation. Besides, the process may only be complete with the flatbed printing press. Superior printing designs with multiple colors undertake longer post-printing processes than basic ones. Hence, more caution when handling and transporting the materials to their destination.

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High chance of image distortion

Flatbed screen printing employs off-contact. It would be best to leave a gap between the substrate and the stencil for fine print and detail. However, the squeegee narrows this distance, bringing the screen and substrate into contact. Since the screen is made of polyester, it causes the material to snap off, allowing the ink to retain the details. As such, it is easier to come up with fine print and cutting-edge details with off-contact.

Not ideal for combination printing

Flatbed screen printing is considered better than rotary printing. But this is where we draw the line. Flatbed screen printing is not a reliable technique for in-line combination printing. Combination printing involves using two negative images to create a single image. 

Conclusion

The benefits of flatbed screen printing outweigh the shortcomings. Many buyers would rather have an affordable investment and get massive returns. While this may work for the majority, you still want to determine which aspects to focus on. Flatbed screen printing is a good option if you prioritize budget, versatility, and ease of use.

You might be looking for a reputable brand to help you get started. Here’s our premium catalog to choose one flatbed screen printer.

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