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Printing on Acrylic Plastic

Unique Assembly & Decorating is one of the most knowledgeable and reliable companies in the industry for pad printing, screen printing, or hot stamping on Acrylic parts. With over 25 years of experience, we can decorate or print on almost any plastic material and surface with customers including product manufacturers, contract manufacturers, OEM's, and injection molders. We are in Downers Grove, IL and proudly serve customers throughout the country. 

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What is Acrylic Plastic?

Acrylic plastic, also known as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), is a synthetic polymer made from acrylic acid derivatives. It is a versatile and transparent thermoplastic that is commonly used in a wide range of applications due to its unique properties.

What are the Key Characteristics of Acrylic?

Some key characteristics of acrylic plastic include:

  1. Transparency: Acrylic plastic is exceptionally clear and allows for excellent light transmission, making it a popular alternative to glass in various applications.

  2. Impact Resistance: It is relatively durable and has good impact resistance, making it less likely to shatter compared to glass.

  3. Lightweight: Acrylic is lighter than glass, which makes it easier to handle and transport.

  4. UV Resistance: Many types of acrylic plastics have good UV resistance, making them suitable for outdoor applications without yellowing or degrading over time.

  5. Weather Resistance: Acrylic is resistant to weathering, and it maintains its clarity and properties in harsh outdoor conditions.

  6. Moldability: It can be easily molded into various shapes and sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of design and manufacturing applications.

  7. Chemical Resistance: Acrylic is resistant to many chemicals, which makes it suitable for use in laboratories and chemical processing industries.

Can You Pad Print on Acrylic Material?

Yes, pad printing can be done on acrylic material. Pad printing is a versatile printing process that can be used on various surfaces, including plastics like acrylic. Contact us to request a quote or to learn how we can help with your pad printing needs.

What are the Common Applications of Acrylic Plastic?

Common applications of acrylic plastic include:

  1. Signage: Acrylic sheets are often used for signs, both indoors and outdoors, due to their transparency and ability to hold vibrant graphics.

  2. Displays: Acrylic is used for making display cases, shelves, and stands in retail environments and museums to showcase products or exhibits.

  3. Architecture and Construction: Acrylic panels can be used as windows, skylights, and partitions in buildings. It is also used for noise barriers on highways and bridges.

  4. Automotive: Acrylic is used for headlight covers, taillights, and instrument cluster covers in some automotive applications.

  5. Aquariums: Large aquariums often use acrylic sheets due to their clarity, strength, and ability to be molded into complex shapes.

  6. Furniture: Acrylic can be used to create modern, sleek furniture designs, such as chairs, tables, and decorative accents.

  7. Medical Devices: Acrylic is used in the manufacturing of medical devices, including dental prosthetics and orthopedic implants.

  8. Lighting: Acrylic is used to create light fixtures and diffusers, as it allows for the even distribution of light.

  9. Art and Design: Many artists and designers use acrylic sheets for various art and design projects due to their versatility.

  10. Consumer Goods: Acrylic is used in the production of consumer goods like kitchenware, jewelry, and smartphone screens.

  11. Aerospace: Acrylic is used in the aircraft industry for cockpit windows and cabin components.

  12. Model Making: Hobbyists and professionals use acrylic sheets for model building, such as architectural models or miniatures.

Printing on Pad & Screen Printing on Acrylic

At Unique, we provide printing and decorating services to companies all over the United States. We work with each customer to determine a printing or decorating solution for your products. Our printing and decorating processes ensure excellent adhesion.

Pad Printing

Achieves extremely fine detail and tight multicolor registration.

Pad printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of a 2-dimensional image onto a 3-dimensional object. While just as effective for flat surfaces, this process is most often used for printing on parts that are round, have complex curvature, that are round, have a concave or convex surface, or have recessed or raised areas. 

Pad printing became popular following World War II when watchmakers began printing on the curved surfaces of watch faces. This ability to print on unprintable substrates has turned the pad printing process into a well-established technology and is used today across multiple industries such as medical, cosmetics, electronics, and more.

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Screen Printing

The most economical choice for projects that have a single, large image. This process produces very opaque images.

Screen printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of large opaque images onto flat (or relatively flat) and cylindrical plastic, glass, and metal objects. The origins of screen printing date back thousands of years — from early Polynesian natives who forced die through cut-out patterns in banana leaves to decorate cloth, to cave walls found in France and Spain that were decorated by way of stencils and colorant applied with blowpipes, to the Japanese creating intricate designs during the Sung Dynasty (A.D 960-1280). Today, screen printing is used to decorate rigid parts for a variety of industries. 

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Hot Stamping

Works well for single color images producing very opaque and high gloss images.

Hot stamping (or foil stamping) is a dry process that uses heat and pressure to transfer reflective metallic foil and high gloss opaque colored foil to the part. It is also the process used to decorate raised areas and is also known as tipping. In this process, the pigment or metallic foil is transferred to raised letters or a raised area of a plastic part.

Because hot stamping is a dry process (unlike screen printing or pad printing), decorated parts can easily be bulk packed on-line with fewer concerns about damage to the decorated image -- this can save on packaging and handling costs. Polypropylene and polyethylene parts can typically be hot stamped without pretreatment which provides cost savings over pad printing and screen printing.

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Have Questions?

We have the capabilities to work with companies across the US and are excited to work with you on your upcoming project!

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Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc.
2550 Wisconsin Ave,
Downers Grove, IL 60515