The Printing Industry in 2024 – First Glance at New & Emerging Technologies

Technologies and equipment in the printing industry are on the verge of major advancements notwithstanding the surge of the green- and paperless movements. Although the progress made in transitioning to electronic paper and the process of digitalization as a whole, printing has evolved, and new tools are being developed that will bring significant changes in the upcoming decades.

Fortunately, the progress achieved so far has been able to reach the general public, where we’ve seen the steady increase in the commercialization and usage of new equipment throughout the whole printing market.

Being aimed at overcoming challenges throughout the whole convention printing process, the market continues to grow by swiftly adopting new tools and techniques.

Popular Technological Change

A popular technology that’s gaining traction is polydoming printed products. Compared to a standard vinyl label which is flat and therefore two-dimensional, polydoming printed product or resin domed prints have a modern, sleek, 3D bubbled appearance. Its shape is formed by the raised polyurethane bubble (which is a liquid type plastic that flows to the edge of the label) when it’s applied on top of a standard label, creating a three-dimensional plastic dome shape. While standard in manufacturing plants, these products are gaining traction amongst other types of industries since they can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes on a wide range of materials.

Where Is Polydoming Mostly Used

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The process of doming these products primarily applies for badges, labels, stickers, nameplates, and control panel overlays later used in facilitating the use of machines, product labeling and branding across many different industries and sectors like aerospace, automotive, food processing, health and safety, medical, military, retail, and security industry. You can learn more about the different 3D domed products by going here.

Using these 3D stickers for product labeling and brand identity is gaining popularity among a growing number of industries as these unique promotional merchandises provide many benefits and is perfect for all sorts of environments. 3D or resin domed labels are a low cost, a high-quality enhancement to your existing brand identity, increasing the quality of a 2D label and giving it life. The stickers can be placed on almost any smooth and flat surface, so the possibilities for their application are endless as well as low cost and time-saving. Especially good to be used with company logos, the polyurethane dome protects the sticker from scratches, weathering or other harsh conditions letting you display your brand professionally and clearly for a longer time. Various brands use polyurethane printed products to market their outdoor equipment (like camping), furniture, clothing, electronic devices, automotive parts and much more, as they are incredibly tough and hard to destroy.

But is Marketing All There is to Domed Printing

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More and more companies opt-in for this type of prints not only because of the visual advantages for marketing and branding but also because of the utility of these products. They are shatter-proof, water-resistant, can be printed in high resolution and the colors will not turn yellow over time. This makes for an extremely attractive label where the design and color shine through the clear exterior without any defect or change, meaning the eye-catching labels will definitely make a lasting impression.

The standard vinyl label that is underneath the polyurethane bubble can be printed using any process – lithography, screen printing, from digital processes to flexo. From full-color photographs to a brushed metallic look, any design or shape is possible as long as the label has curved corners to allow the resin to flow. Furthermore, the 3D finish can be additionally applied to an already finished label sheet.

3D badges can also be applied to textiles and add a whole new dimension. After printing on to a special flexible vinyl, the polyurethane dome is applied just short of the edge allowing the extra durable label to be sewn onto all types of medium and heavyweight clothing and textiles. This can include caps, jackets, sports shoes, and bags just to name a few.

The Demand for Domed Products

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3D domed shaped labels allow for better protection and overall better durability of the products. They are also often used by heavy-industry manufacturing companies to create control panel overlays that require raised buttons and to label instructions.

These control panel overlays are used for electronics and instrumentation, as well as any other technology or machine which is supposed to be used by humans.

Not only do they add extra protection, but they are also ideal for highlighting particular areas or keys, providing a clear window over displays and LED lights, labeling buttons and more.

An extra layer of versatility is added by the fact that the coating area can be specified as well. As an example, only keys can be elevated, while the rest of the panel is kept flat and 2D.

The Cause for These Preferences

The domed coating allows for frequent cleaning without scratching or wearing down the panel overlay.  Minor scratches or cuts heal themselves and the label looks like new once again. Choosing the right adhesive as well as a base material is crucial for the overlay’s durability.  While the variety of the materials that the 3D “bubble” can be applied to caters to the extra specifications dictated by the environment and the customer’s preference. So, for instance, the printing material and adhesive can be chemical resistant or able to withstand harsh weather conditions, be water, flame or UV resistant. These utility-based features make the panels long-lasting even in the harshest conditions seen in heavy industry.