uv-led printing

Digitally Decorating Wood with UV-LED Printing

Bill Leek of Houston, Texas, has over 33 years’ experience in digital decorating system development and graphic design. He has developed several lines of color imprintable products utilizing inkjet, sublimation, and color laser transfer technologies. In addition, he has extensive working knowledge of color management and product durability testing and has consulted for many of our industry’s leading companies. He may be reached at wfleek@jblgraphics.com.

Digitally decorating wood using UV-LED full-color direct printers has become increasingly popular for several reasons. The CMYK, white, and clear inks cure almost immediately when exposed to a UV light source. UV-LED lamps generate little heat. There is no danger of wood darkening or deformation. Full-color and white inks can be applied to darker woods. This allows full-color saturation and contrast against the dark background. As the inks cure in milliseconds, there is essentially no dot gain. Crisp text and detailed graphic reproduction is possible. In addition, the fast setting time allows the inks to be precisely built up in layers to create textures and 3-D special effects.

—Bill Leek