The Beginners Guide To (Chapter 1)

Differentiating Between Screen Printing and Digital Printing for Membrane Switches

Membrane switches are a type of equipment interface that enables command communications between users and various electronic devices. One interesting fact about these membrane switches is that their component parts are not constructed or assembled but printed. The same goes for many printed electronic devices, input devices, and sensors.

A membrane switch is a thin switch that turns on and off to activate and deactivate, respectively, any electric circuit when you press it. When it comes to these membrane switches, they have multiple components that require printing such as their casing, underlying circuits, as well as the top graphics display. For the components that these devices have, the manufacturers of membrane switches utilize varying methods of printing on them. Two of the most popular methods used in membrane switches are digital printing and screen printing. When it comes to both screen printing and digital printing methods, both of these processes use apply special inks onto a substrate. If you look at screen printing vs digital printing for membrane switches, though, the mechanisms by which these methods work differ. So, for both printing methods, their main difference revolves around how each image is mapped.

When it comes to screen printing on custom membrane switches, the printer makes use of a fine wire mesh. Usually, this wire mesh comes in a layer of silk or polyester material. They are created to look and function like a stencil with openings through which ink will be pressed onto its substrate. For custom membrane switches with an outcome of multiple colors, you have to also use multiple screens.

Meanwhile, in digital printing, the image that you have in mind should translate into a digital file that will be used for mapping. These maps are where small drops of ink create the final image after you apply them into the substrate.

When it comes to custom membrane switches, their usability, cost, and durability are affected by the printing method that you choose. One such example is the graphic overlay which is an essential part of user experience and user interface. It is vital for the user to be more engaged with the device. A poorly printed membrane switch will mean that the device will be less useful. Additionally, if the print job easily deteriorates, the functional capacity of the device will go down. Thus, the kind of print method that you use will have a strong impact on the quality of the final device or product that you create.

You can say the same thing for the circuit layer, which is vital part of your membrane switch functionality. The use of screen printing methods is very popular for direct printing on the underlying circuits. This is a must because the need to use specialized high-viscosity inks is vital for the effective printing into metallic and conductive items. Nevertheless, digital printing techniques are also gaining popularity in custom membrane switch printing.

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