Nowadays, when you want to print some logo, words or patterns, there are various kinds of way, the main method is by screen printing. Except screen printing, there is another method with modern technology flavor, it is laser marking.
So let’s compare and see some advantages and disadvantages of laser marking and screen printing:
Laser marking is one of the largest applications in laser processing. Laser marking is using high-energy density laser beam irradiating the part of the workpiece, makes the surface material being vaporized or color changed by chemical reaction, and then leaves a permanent marking.
Laser marking can mark a variety of words, symbols, and patterns, etc., the size of the characters can be small from millimeter to micron, which can be specially used for counterfeit-proof printing and ensures the product security.
Advantages of Laser Marking
(1) The focused laser beam is like a knife tool, it could remove the object surface material point by point, the advance of laser marking is that laser process has no direct touch to processing materials, it would not produce mechanical extrusion or stress, and would not damage the processed items.
(2) As the focused laser beam is very small and tiny, the heat affected area is also very tiny, this ensures the ultra-fine processing by laser. Therefore, laser marking can complete some special workmanship that conventional methods can not achieve.
(3) Laser marking processing does not need extra equipment and materials, as long as the laser can work properly, it can work for a long time.
(4) Laser marking is at high speed with low cost. It is controlled by the computer automatically, the full production process can be without human intervention, this saves much of the labor cost.
(5) As long as the artwork designed in the computer is identified, the laser marking machine system can accurately mark and restore the design on the appropriate carrier, for example, metal, plastic, glass wood, ceramics, leather or stones etc. The software system and function are very important, it determines the application scope of the laser marking system in some respect.
Disadvantage of laser marking
Compare to traditional screen printing, the laser marking machine system is very high cost. And some could only mark on nonmetal materials, for example, co2 laser marking machine. But these minor disadvantages could not prevent advanced laser marking technology more and more widespread application in various parts of industry and daily processing.
Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. ( – this paragraph quoted from wikipedia.org)
Advantages of screen printing
(1) Screen printing is not limited to the sizes and shapes of printing material.
Common printing can only be printed on the flat surface. Screen printing not only can print on the flat and plane surface, but also can print on a special shaped object, such as spherical surface printing. Nearly all kinds of things can be printed by screen printing.
(2) The screen printing strength is soft.
Screen printing can be controlled by strength very well, it would not give much pressure on the printed surface. The screen printing is soft and flexible.
(3) The coverage of screen printing ink layer is strong.
We can screen print white color on the black surface and can print black color on the white surface.
(4) Screen printing can use various kinds of inks.
(5) Strong gloss resistance performance.
The screen printing can be kept for very long time without fade or color change. And would not be affected by temperature and daylight, which makes stickers printing without add additional film or other processes.
(6) Matched with fixtures, there are flexible and diverse printing methods by screen printing.
(7) Screen mesh plate making is easy and cheap, and screen printing skill is easy to learn.
Disadvantage of screen printing
Screen printing costs much labor cost, as it needs worker to operate the printing process from the beginning to the end. Screen printing ink is more or less not so environmental protective.