What types of printing plates are used in Pad Printing?

  • Steel clichés: Steel cliché plates are available in either thin steel (0.5mm) or thick steel (10mm). Steel plates are the most durable plates on the market, and they are designed to last up to 1 million cycles (thick steel). Chemically etched steel cliché plates provide superior detail and are perfect for small intricate designs (such as Swiss Watch faces). Steel clichés are typically for long run and dedicated artworks.
  • Photopolymer plates: Photopolymer cliché plates are made from light-sensitive photopolymer resins that are exposed to UV light to create a printing plate and are either washed out with water or alcohol. These photopolymer cliché plates are much less expensive than a steel cliché plate and they are ideal for shorter production runs.
  • Laser engraved plates: Laser engraved plates are unique in that they can only be processed with a direct etching (engraving) from the energy of a low powered laser source (typically 5W is ideal). These