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How a CD/DVD is Silk-screened

Jul 29, 2008
If you have ever bought or rented a CD or DVD, you have probably noticed the face of the disc looks very crisp and has a very nice look to it. To accomplish this, a process called silk-screening is used. This process is the same type of process used to screen shirts and specialty items.

To silk-screen a CD or DVD, the screening machines have round indentations in a table top for the discs to be automatically set into. The machine is entirely controlled by a robotic CNC and places, screens, and removes the disc all automatically with an operator running the machine. A Robotic arm operates the actual screens and lowers each disc onto the table as it is rotated into position on the table.

A pre-measured color of Ink is applied by a controlled dispenser and then a squeegee spreads the ink across the screen in a smooth controlled fashion which in turn transfers the ink to a target disc. With t-shirt silk screening, many times the squeegee is done by hand but with the discs, it is all operated by an expensive CNC robotics machine.

Once a color is applied to the disc, an automated table rotates the wheel to the next position. It will skip a position to allow for air drying between coats of ink. Doing this allows the machine to print two sets of discs at one time.

An exact measured amount of ink is applied so that there is no dripping or bleeding as it is being spread through the screen with a squeegee. The inks used for the process are specially formulated for silk-screening on to a lacquered CD or DVD surface, after the ink is applied, the discs move to a station on the table that is equipped with UV lamps which cures the ink. After they pass through the UV lamp station, they are removed from the replication press by a robotic arm and stacked onto an output spindle for bundling or packing.

CD and DVD discs that have been silks-creened have the same store bought look to it that all discs in video stores have. That same look can not be achieved with the traditional thermal or ink jet printer and some of the effects like filling in the hub with ink are just not possible. Silk-screening your disc will provide any project a much more professional appearance.
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Industry leader Mediatechnics can help you in all your DVD Duplication and production services.
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