Cliché Plates for Your Project
Teca-Print USA offers a range of the highest quality cliché plates available on the market today. From low-run water wash polymer, to high speed production ready thick steel, we have the cliché you need.
Click any of the below images for a free downloadable PDF
Graphic to Cliché Plate Services
In supplying us with an artwork or design, Teca-Print USA will manufacture your cliché plate for your project. A good cliché plate is key to ensuring a high quality print, so leave it to our graphics and plate making experts to produce a cliché that meets the quality standard required for your project needs.
Cliché Plates for Pad Printing: Photo-Engraving and Laser Etching
Pad printing is a printing process that uses a pad to transfer images and designs from the cliche plate to the substrate. A cliché plate, also called a pad printing plate, is etched with the image for printing. Two main ways to etch the plate are photo-engraving and laser etching.
The cliché printing plate you choose will depend on your desired print quantity and quality. Here is an overview of some standard plate-making processes to help you make the right choice.
Photopolymer Plate-Making Process
The photopolymer plate-making process is the most common type of plate-making technology used today. Covered with a film positive of the desired image, a light-sensitive plate is exposed to ultraviolet light. The plate hardens where the light hits it, and areas covered by the film positive are washed out with water and dried. The end product is a plate with an etched surface containing the image to be printed. The entire process can take 25 to 45 minutes per plate.
Unexposed plates should be stored flat in photographic bags away from moisture, sunlight, and humidity. This protects the print from fading or other damage over time. You can only open the black photographic bags for a few minutes at a time and only under UV filtered lights. Otherwise, the plates will be exposed and unable to be used for pad printing.
Laser Plate-Making Process
The laser plate-making process uses a focused beam of light to etch a plate. Laser plate-making is faster than photopolymer etching—each plate takes just 5 to 7 minutes to make. As a result, you can produce more plates in a shorter time.
Although laser plate-making is more expensive than photopolymer plate-making, laser pad printing plates use a computer application such as Adobe Illustrator to create the artwork, enabling quick design adjustments as needed.
Types of Lasers
Although they perform the same functions, you are not limited to using a single type of laser. Different lasers have different wavelengths, strengths, and other qualities that can be advantageous in specific applications.
- CO2 Lasers: CO2 lasers are used in laser plate-making processes because they are very good at cutting and engraving a variety of materials with bold images. Their versatility and cost-effectiveness make them the most common type of laser, but they are slower and less powerful than fiber lasers.
- Fiber Lasers: Fiber lasers are preferred for their ability to engrave very detailed and intricate designs. Their superior power allows them to etch steel plates, which last longer than other types of plate materials.
- Diode Lasers: Diode lasers are not as quick or powerful as CO2 and fiber lasers, but they are the most cost-effective option.
High-Quality Cliché Plates and Pad Printing Machines From Teca-Print USA
Pad printing is a highly accurate printing process that applies images to objects of different shapes, sizes, and materials. This versatile technique can print on surfaces that are not entirely flat, such as mugs, jewelry, and other objects.
If you want a high-quality printing process that can produce precise images, you need quality cliché plates and pad printing machines. At Teca-Print USA, we offer a wide selection of pad printing machines, cliché plates, and services. Get in touch with us to find the solution that meets your needs.