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Jig Making: How to Make a Printing Jig

If you’re looking to make a printing jig got pad printing, these step-by-step instructions will show you how!

Jig Making Supplies

  • Fixture Putty
  • Hardener Gel
  • Pad Printer Table
  • Printable Item

Making a Printing Jig

  1. Take a golf ball size of fixture putty.
  2. Place the putty on your palm.
  3. Using the Hardener Gel Tube, pour 3 to 4 inches (8 – 10 cm) out onto putty. (Note: The Amount of hardener you use will determine how fast your putty will harden. Use putty and hardener gel accordingly.
  4. Mix the gel into the putty for around 45 seconds until the gel is completely dissolved with the putty.
  5. Place the putty on the print table and mold it to fit flush on the pad printer table. Put your printable item on the putty and make a deep mold. Set for 2 minutes.
  6. Finally, let the printable item and the putty sit for about 6 minutes until the Fixture Putty has completely hardened.
  7. -Remove the printable item and you are finished.
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Ink Mixing Guide for Pad Printing

Before mixing Ink, it is important to know about the types of ink involved with pad printing: TPU ink and TPR ink. TPU ink is a two part ink, meaning you have to add thinner and hardener to the ink. TPR is one part and many times needs only thinner. Before we start mixing, pour ink thinner to the empty squirt bottle that came with the supply package and label the bottle.

Mixing Ink

  1. Place a paper cup on the electronic scale and “tear” to get zero on the reading.
  2. You can mix any amount of ink you need (25 or 35 gram) but let’s try 25 grams for our trial mixing.
  3. Pour 25 grams of TPR ink in the cup.
    The reading should be “25.00 g”.
  4. Add 3 grams (15% of 20 grams) of thinner in the cup. 15% of thinner is a good starting point. If you feel that ink is still too thick after adding 15%, you can slowly add more but not to exceed 25%.
    The reading should be “28.00 g”.
  5. If you are using in the manual machine or if the substrate you are printing on is hard to stick to-Add 2.8rams (10% of 28grams) of hardener in the cup. 10% of thinner is a good starting point. If you feel that ink needs to bite more on to the substrate then slowly add more but not to exceed 20%
  6. Mix the ink well. The ink should now be ready to be poured on to the tray (for Manual Pad Printers) or poured into the sealed cup (for automatic Pad Printers).
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Successful Pad Printing Tips

Loading ink into pad printing ink cup

Tampo & Pad Print History

This is a great resource for anyone getting started with pad printing or wanting to learn more about its history. Read more here about how pad printing works and how pad printing technology has changed over time.

Pad Printing Equipment Tips

Understanding the Pad

Pads come in many different shapes and sizes, and one of the most difficult questions to answer about the pad printing process is, “How do I determine what pad to use?”. Click here to learn more information about pads and custom pad making from All American.

Tackiness by Degrees

In pad printing, controlling and maintaining the condition of the ink is key to a successful job. Often, other uncontrolled process variables may create what is solely perceived as an ink-related problem. All too often, I have seen technicians struggle for hours to solve what they believed to be an ink problem while ignoring other potential problem-causing variables, such as machine settings and environmental conditions. Frequently, this is due to a lack of understanding of the pad-printing process and the role of the ink in the process.

Pad Break-In Procedure

Silicone pads develop a slick finish on their surface, this can usually be prevented by simply wiping the surface with alcohol to remove the excess silicone. Occasionally, a more aggressive solvent is required for removal.

Other Pad Printing Tips

Jig Making Guide

These step-by-step guide will help you learn about making a plate for your pad printing machine.

Guide to Pad Printing Plates

Our step-by-step guide will help you learn about making a plate for you pad printing machine.

Ink Mixing Guide

This step-by-step guide will tell you all you need to know about mixing ink for your pad printer.