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Printing Compact Disc's & DVD's

Information Sheet #32 covers the mechanics of how a Print Masters is attached to a frame and used for printing, this Information Sheet covers the equipment and processes required for printing a Compact Disk [CD] or DVD.

The process of printing CD's has become very popular, with many small bands, small record companies, and other artists printing their own artwork onto CD for promotional use and for sale.

In addition other applications include architects, engineers, surveyors, legal firms, accountants and other professional operations printing short run designs for clients and in-house use's.

Equipment Required

There are 2 options available - purchase basic equipment and make the designs yourself as required, or purchase an imaged screen along with printing supplies.

If you are only printing 1-2 designs then purchasing an imaged screen is cheaper in the long run than a full kit, however if you will be changing the designs then the kit provides a lower cost and more flexible options.

Option 1
Based on no equipment owned, the following is the best start-up equipment:
S-868 NEHOC Screen Printing Kit
S-528 CD Printing Kit [details]
Aqua Ink for Plastic & Metals [details]
Additional 3 x S-9100 Small Plastic Frame [120mm x 180mm]
Jig Hinges [code: S-360H]
Option 2
Have imaged screens created for you:
Imaged screens with your design
170mm Long Life Squeegee
Aqua Ink for Plastic & Metals [details]
Jig Hinges [code: S-360H]

To print a CD effectively you must use either a set of jig hinges or a screen printing jig. This will ensure you receive correct registration and print 'off contact' at the correct height required for the non-absorbent surface of the CD.

What CD's can you use?

It's important to test a sample CD before purchasing hundreds as many of today's CD's are NOT suitable for printing.

Silver/ Silver CD's are generally the worst, being heavily recycled material and will reject almost every ink available - you will print them but the ink will scratch off when dry.

The best brand available is the Laser Inkjet Printable imported by NASA Technologies in Ryde, NSW - Stock code number CDR-LB100P

Details of the CDR-LB100P on NASA's web site - click here . .

This is a CD NEHOC have used and tested with permanent adhesion of Aqua inks and high speed recording of up to 52x.

Ask your supplier for a sample before printing to be sure.

How to print

After making your screen [details available in Information Sheet #32] the screen is placed into a set of Jig Hinges, or a screen printing jig, as the screen must be printed 'off contact' above the CD so the ink does not smudge.

Register the design over the CD [details of registering single colours click here . .].

The printing process is then exactly the same, excepting you can not place Table Adhesive on the board or the CD may scratch. You must lay a piece of felt under the CD to avoid scratches, and place CD's in either Card Racks [code: S-147] or on a flat clean surface to dry/ cure.

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