Pad printing is the process of transferring a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. Using a silicon pad to essentially stamp the 3-D object completes the process. Pad printing uses a unique process, which consists of a silicon pad that has the chosen image etched into it. The pad then picks up ink and transfers the ink to the object.
Pad printing is ideal for adding your company logo or message to a small object that you have already purchased. It has been used to print on golf balls, walnuts, USB sticks, and even testing tubes used in the biotech industry.
When using pad printing to impose an image on an object, only a portion of the surface of the object will be usable. This printing process is unlike printing on a flat object such as an aluminum sign or coated paper. Therefore, when the silicon pad makes contact with the object to transfer the ink, only a portion of the surface will be printed on.
If you need to print on an oddly shaped object, pad printing may be just what you're looking for.