Soft (flexible) products are working their way into the small-format UV print space in many ways, from custom printing on leather gloves, cloth decoration, canvas, small flags, and ribbons, to outdoor wearable gear, soft packaging prototypes, rubberized products, leather padfolios, purses, custom bags, and endless soft and flexible products. As with hard products, all the different soft products have their own challenges. Soft products need to lay flat on the print bed without moving when printing. You will need to build a platen similar to a direct-to-garment (DTG) bed to make sure the area you are printing on is the highest point of the product.
Let’s use a fully assembled leather purse as an example. The purse is not flat – it has seams, handles, zippers, buttons, and in this case, it is 5 inches thick. Select the area you want to print and make sure you can get it flat. Insert a block or use a custom platen to produce a flat area that is suitable for printing. Once the product is flat and secure, you are ready to produce a one-of-a-kind personalized product that your customers will love.
Learn about hard products with your UV printer.