animated man searching with monocular and seeing "searching for growth? let print be the solution"

What is Direct to Substrate Printing?

Direct to substrate printing is a process that applies images directly to the substrate surface.

In printing, a substrate is the base material that the image will be printed on such a plastic film, glass, paper, or other textile products as in canvas printing. Before the advent of substrate printing, the desired effect was achieved by printing labels or vinyl decals that were then applied to a substrate.

PRI Graphics & Signs offers exceptional, large format flatbed printing services. In this post, our Phoenix printers will explore how advancements in direct to substrate printing technology and equipment have rapidly evolved making substrate printing more affordable and practical.

Substrate Printing Process

When you print direct to substrate, it is done using a large flatbed UV substrate printer. The printers we use here at PRI are Canon 6170 models, which can print a very quick speeds and have the capabilities to print white ink and raised texture. This printer can apply ink containing acrylic monomers that can then be bonded together to almost any flat substrate. Once the monomers are applied, the substrate is passed through a strong UV light for curing. The curing process polymerizes (binds together) the monomers. This process forms the desired image and adheres the impression to the substrate material.

You can see how quickly this entire process happens by viewing this video.

excited woman printed on construction fence banner for desert diamond casino

Options for Direct to Substrate Printing

The substrate printing process can be used to print directly onto durable, long-lasting surfaces such as, among others, foam core, aluminum/metal, Masonite, MDF and MDO Plywood.

More flexible materials can be printed on as well including Flexible PVC, Corrugated boxes, Magnetics and Metallics, DiBond/E-Panel/ACM, Styrene, Plexiglass, Ultra Board (in Black or White), and PVC materials.

What Substrate Printing Does for You

A direct to substrate printer provides you with a substantial range of alternate choices to fit the specific needs of your project or business. Whether it’s indoor promotional announcements or stunning outdoor signage you need, direct to substrate printing provides weather resistance, durability, flexibility, and reusability.

printed vehicle car wrap and bike graphics for grid

About PRI Graphics & Signs

PRI Graphics is a family-owned, Arizona commercial print company. Our in-house professionals include a graphics design teams as well as printing experts who are highly trained direct to substrate printing specialists. We can provide you with professional advice and exceptional printing materials, no matter what the size of your project or budget.

Call our PRI Graphics print professionals today at 602-393-3131 or Toll-Free, at 1-877-409-8889. Or, send us an email if you have any questions about the direct to substrate printing process.

Visit this Printwiki page for more information on Textile Printing Substrates.

Visit this blog post to learn more about the Different Types of Printing that is possible.

About the Author

Luke Malone headshot

Luke Malone – Director, Marketing & Brand Management

Luke Malone is a marketing and design expert who is passionate about new emerging trends in digital media and business strategy. A member of AMA with a PCM® in marketing management, he continues to strengthen his knowledge and skill sets in the marketing ecosystem. Prior to joining PRI, he pursued a career in filmmaking and carries on the passion for brand development.