Printing on Acrylic Sheets

Acrylic is a very commonly used material in signage, manufacturing, fixture displays, and décor applications. Acrylic is an industry favorite because it is visually attractive where it has a glass-like look but is more durable and easier to fabricate to custom shapes and sizes.  Using acrylic for signage can immediately improve the image of a business or product to help it stand out and add perceived value.  After all, a beautiful and expensive-looking sign can make the brand or product appear luxurious and of higher quality.  From printing onto full acrylic 48”x96” sheets to router cutting them to custom sizes for point of purchase display signage, NGS Printing offers custom printed services and solutions.

NGS Printing has years of experience providing the best quality acrylic sheet prints on the market, all at very affordable prices.

Why You Should Use Acrylic Plastic?

Acrylic is a highly transparent, rigid, clear plastic that resembles glass but is superior in nearly every way.  Frequently referred to as plexiglass, acrylic is a common printing substrate used throughout the retail display industry.

The optical clarity of acrylic is among the most admired characteristics and makes it the preferred substrate for 2nd surface printing applications.  Not only does acrylic give off the most high-gloss and visually appealing aesthetic on all of your art, but it also provides genuine optical depth, adding dimension to your images.  Another considerable benefit of acrylic sheet prints is that they’re significantly more scratch and wear-resistant than most other types of media.

Attributes of acrylic plastic

  • Superior optically clarity and transparency, making it the ideal plastic for high-definition 2nd surface printed images
  • Impact resistance 17x greater than glass
  • Hueless at any thickness
  • Easy to machine to shape (CNC router cutting, laser cutting)
  • Has a high-gloss finish
  • It is a thermoplastic which means it will soften with heat, making bending and reshaping possible.
  • Half the weight of comparable glass by volume
  • 1/3 less expensive than polycarbonate
  • Rigid at all thicknesses
  • Machined edges and scratches can be removed by flame or polished
  • Doesn’t scratch easily which makes it easy to clean and maintain
  • Available in white, colors, frosted, and others

Lastly, it’s the durability that matters.  Acrylic is an extremely rigid and hard material that is much more scratch-resistant and thus easier to clean than polycarbonate or PETG clear materials.  It is a great choice for most print applications but is brittle and can shatter from impact if struck.  While it is 17 times stronger than glass, there are applications where a more impact-resistant clear plastic (PETG or polycarbonate) may be a better option.  If impact resistance isn’t a concern you should consider acrylic because it will impress, and keep its quality, and shine for years and years on end.

Why NGS Printing?

NGS has been producing the highest quality acrylic graphics for over half a century.  NGS offers wide-format screen printing and digital printing services and most importantly, can print white ink using either print method.  This is significant because finding a print supplier that offers both comes in handy when large projects require white ink as a back or primer.  At NGS Printing, we can print white ink on our screen presses in mass volume, then print CMYK using either our digital or screen presses.  This capability often can save thousands of dollars on large acrylic print projects.

Additionally, NGS is home to 3 of the most efficient router cutting machines in the world featuring dual-beam cutting technology and material conveyors.  These digital finishing systems produce cut parts at twice the speed of a traditional fabricator.  What this means for our clients is they receive shorter lead times on large projects and reduced labor costs built into each part without sacrificing quality.

Acrylic is a difficult material to print, cut, and handle.  For this reason, it’s important to choose a vendor that has a background, comfort, and experience working with it.  Therefore, if your project is for printing on acrylic you’ll always want to choose a trusted option.  Our work can be found all around the country, and frequently at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and many, many more.

UV Digital Flatbed Printing on Acrylic

Digital Printing is the process of inkjet printing where microscopic ink droplets fire out of a nozzle in perfect precision then land on the acrylic plastic.  At NGS, we use UV ink exclusively which dries instantly when exposed to UV light and creates no harmful VOC emissions.  Digital printing is the preferred printing method for the printing process of CMYK images on acrylic.  The digital flatbed printing technology is designed to print directly onto the plastic surface.   Furthermore, some digital printing machines like NGS Printing’s Fuji Acuity F printer can print white ink in addition to the CMYK process.  This capability makes printing on clear materials possible!

While digital printing may be slower than screen printing in volume, there is no comparison to the resolution quality of CMYK process images and the cost savings when printing small to midsize projects.

UV Screen Printing on Acrylic

Reserved usually for large projects or special spot color requirements, NGS Printing also offers screen printing on acrylic sheets, which is a different method and yields slightly different results.

Screen printing using UV ink is the process of pushing ink through a mesh screen and onto an acrylic sheet.  The ink is bonded, dried, and hardened after being exposed to UV light.

Projects that have particular Pantone PMS colors, special effects, white, clear, unique characteristics, or is simply a large volume run are commonly best screen printed.  At NGS printing, we offer multiple six-color in-line presses and single-color flatbed machines.  In addition, our digital printing equipment, digital finishing capabilities, and heat bending offerings are just some of the other ways NGS Printing may be able to help provide value to your next acrylic project.

In Conclusion

There are multiple ways to print on acrylic sheets which can create stunning visuals to the material realm in a slick, sexy, and long-lasting way. NGS Printing assures you that the offer includes the highest quality prints on the market that NGS creates using the latest technologies in the printing world.

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