By Cassandra Balentine
Part 4 of 4
From drinkware to grand-scale glass panes, the ability to digitally print to glass opens up many opportunities. Earlier this series discussed the nuances of printing to both flat and cylindrical glass, and the importance and availability of pretreatments.
We conclude with a look at what can be done using this technology.
A cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand was damaged by an earthquake in 2010, and further damaged by another in 2011. These natural disasters devastated its original stained glass rose window.
The Transitional Cathedral, designed by Shigeru Ban, was built nearby in 2013. It is nicknamed the cardboard cathedral due to its extensive use of cardboard tubes in its construction.
To bring back the look of the original cathedral’s stained glass, Metro Performance Glass was approached to process the 12 meter high, glass facade.
The original design called for colored triangles until Metro Performance Glass showed it could do so much more with digital printing on glass. Using photographs of the original rose window, the images were lifted and printed directly onto the glass with a Dip-Tech printer.
Completed in 2013, the Transitional Cathedral features five millimeter double-glazed glass printed on 49 panels, totaling a printed area of 1,265 square feet.
Additionally, the ability to easily adjust the transparency levels gives the glass a stained glass appearance. The new window pays homage to the past through the use of modern glass printing technology.
Over in Poland, Inter-Glass utilizes its flatbed printer to aid in its glass processing application in Krasnik.
With many years of experience with glass products, Inter-Glass was comfortable branching out into printing to meet the growing demands of a customer that wanted custom glass. To achieve this, the company decided to invest in Canon Solutions America’s Arizona 1360 GT large format flatbed printer.
Arizona flatbeds work with various rigid media, such as wooden sheets, plastic, plywood, and laminates. At Inter-Glass, the device is also utilized to print high-quality, durable output on glass.
The Arizona’s versatility, simplicity of operating, lack of necessity for complicated reconfiguration of the flatbed printer, and reliability were determining factors in the glass company’s decision to invest.
Krzysztof Chmiel, Arizona’s operator, Inter-Glass, says that the printing process itself takes just a moment, regardless of the size and type of the medium.
More on Glass
These are just two examples of companies bringing glass printing capabilities in house to meet customer demands. The opportunities are limitless.
Mar2023, Industrial Print Magazine