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I would like to print a photo on a 3mm PVC, and my printer doesn't do the trick.

Does anyone know a inkjet printer for plastic 3mm thickness ?

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Unless we have a special coated acrylic surface (as is the case in some printable CDs) there is no way we can make the ink of an inkjet printer stick on that surface.

To still be able to get our digital image on to an acrylic (resp. ceramic, textile, wooden) surface we need to print on a transfer medium. There are the following techniques available for a DIY transfer from a consumer inkjet print-out:

  • special thermal transfer papers.
  • decal printing papers.
  • transparent adhesive foils.

By using mirrored printing we can then transfer the picture by using any of the techniques above.

Some need a heat like a heat pres or an iron to transfer the wax base, or an oven to make the transferred image resistant. Hence the object needs to be somewhat heat resistant too. This may e.g. not be the case with the finish on furniture, so we should test this before we go real.

We also need to take note of that the transferred image may be rather opaque (frosted glass effect) on a transparent acrylic.

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No desktop/office printer can print directly on plastic/glas/metal. Apart from the form factor, their inks just wouldn't stick. They are all made for paper and specially coated substrates like photo paper, sheets of film, discs. You will have to look into industrial flatbed printers that use solvent-based inks, UV-cured inks, or other methods of printing. These are used e.g. in sign making / part labelling where they can print on rigid materials such as acrylic/plastic, metal or wood boards. If you're not looking to start a special printing business yourself, it might be sensible to just look for a company to do the printing for you.

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