Today’s industrial designers are already empowered with visualization technology like never before, thanks to computer software tools and groundbreaking prototyping capabilities, such as 3-D printers. Whatever form or shape today’s designers envision can be rendered onto a computer screen, rotated on two axes in real-time, and printed on both 2-D and 3-D printers.
What designers have been lacking is a decoration methodology for injection molded parts that addresses complex geometries and provides superior graphics quality, while doing so at either low- or high-production volumes. With ZoMazz digital in-mold decoration (D-IMD), these constraints are substantially reduced freeing designers to make more of their visions realities.
Decoration Important To Consumers, OEMs
While a well-designed product was enough for yesterday’s consumers, the constant drive to differentiate product and increase brand awareness coupled with consumers’ need for individual expression renders product decoration vital in today’s market. OEM and consumer interest in decorated products is manifesting itself in initiatives like interchangeable laptop covers, and the myriad of designers and manufacturers of cases for smart phones offering decoration. This demand is driving technology to decorate those parts; however, solutions to date fail in one or more categories: image quality, durability, cost, surface performance, speed to market and scalability. ZoMazz D-IMD addresses these issues, and more.
ZoMazz D-IMD—A Game Changer
ZoMazz D-IMD performance characteristics are what give the designer real freedom of expression. Key performance factors required for a successful IMD program are part-specific so we’ll use a game controller as an example.
For a game controller, the image must be clear and crisp over the entire part, with little to no deformation or breakage on the highly contoured surfaces. The product designer may require photo-realistic image quality, resistance to hand oils and other chemicals, and impact resistance. Traditional IMD, using screen-printed or analog graphics, won’t fulfill the requirements, but ZoMazz D-IMD will.
Since the ZoMazz graphic is created digitally, there are no minimum quantity requirements, nor limited graphics and color possibilities. Printing one is the same as printing 1,000,000. Consider the ramifications under the following scenario. You are commissioned to design a product that will be decorated, but you have numerous designs or variations of the same design, different color palettes of the same design, and so forth. With analog IMD, this would be either prohibitively expensive or would require a prohibitive amount of time, or both.
Now, with the ZoMazz digital printing technology, this is not a problem. Samples of every decoration variation can be provided, identical to production grade, on film rather than paper proofs, and new images are printed on film in hours. This enables a viable design-testing opportunity, and a “time-to-market” advantage that is not achievable any other way.
Also, since the images are digital, the resolution is not constrained by line screens and screen-printing limitations. ZoMazz D-IMD is in fact a revolution in the decoration of plastic parts, for designers, their clients, and consumers wanting to differentiate and express themselves through their possessions.