Business Questions

How much does D-IMD cost?

Pricing for D-IMD film is dependent on the following variables: film type, printing density, square inches of film required for the part, and number of parts ordered. As such, pricing can fluctuate and can only be determined once these variables are given parameters. Please contact sales for specific applications.

How does D-IMD benefit my business?

D-IMD allows the OEM to offer the highest quality and highest performance in-mold graphic available in the market, which is a key benefit. But D-IMD benefits go far beyond that. With D-IMD, the manufacturer can eliminate large, front-loaded commitments to one design, and change designs quickly, easily and with low costs.

D-IMD allows the manufacturer to respond to the demands of the market rather than the demands of suppliers.

For many OEM’s the most important benefit of D-IMD is speed to market.  D-IMD can bring new graphic iterations on a given product to market in weeks rather than months.

What are the costs associated with D-IMD?

D-IMD relies on the same tools and processes used with analog IMD and IML–cavity mold, trim tools and forming tools. Compared to analog IMD and IML, there are no incremental costs to set up the process for a new D-IMD graphic.

Why is D-IMD better than methods that depend upon decorating products after molding?

D-IMD is simpler, easier, faster and more consistent/repeatable, more durable and faster to scale than post-molding direct print lines or other methods for decorating plastic parts.

Can I easily change designs during a production run?

D-IMD allows quick and easy design changes during production because changing a graphic does not require any physical retooling as analog printing does. Changing a graphic is simply a matter of setting up a new digital image and printing more film.

Does D-IMD support true, one-to-one manufacturing?

D-IMD can certainly support one-to-one manufacturing, if the appropriate systems are set up to manufacture and fulfill personalized products

Can I use D-IMD with my current CM(s)?

ZoMazz prefers to work with its own, approved CMs; however, OEM customers often require that ZoMazz work with appointed CM’s already servicing the OEM. In such cases ZoMazz will send in a team to train and approve the new CM.  Therefore, ZoMazz is constantly expanding its approved CM list. Please contact sales to discuss in detail.

Does ZoMazz have CMs in China, Europe and/or United States?

ZoMazz currently has production capacity in the United States, Mexico and China.  Other markets may follow depending on demand

Can we buy short runs of one image, and long runs of another?

Our customers can buy any quantity of D-IMD images that they desire.

Technical Questions

What is IMD?

In-mold decoration is the process of decorating a plastic part while the object is being injection molded. This is done by placing a film printed with the desired decoration into the mold cavity prior to the injection of the resin. Once the resin is injected, the film becomes the skin and an integral part of the molded 3-D object.

What’s the difference between IMD and IML?

According to the In-Mold Decoration Association, IML (in-mold labeling) generally refers to packaging materials, for instance, a yogurt cup. IMD (in-mold decoration) generally refers to higher-value products, for example, a smart phone case. Often the terms are interchanged; however, ZoMazz has standardized on D-IMD, as our decoration solution is generally suitable for higher-value products.

What is the difference between IMD and D-IMD?

IMD films are printed with analog processes, such as offset lithography or screen-printing. D-IMD films are printed via continuous tone, digital output.

How does D-IMD integrate into production?

D-IMD integrates the same way that analog IMD or IML integrates, which is at the time the part is injection molded. D-IMD requires the same tools and injection molding processes as its analog predecessors.

What is the typical failure rate for D-IMD products?

As with any process, failure rates vary by part. With D-IMD, the failure rate is less of a concern to the OEM because typically OEMs purchase finished parts from the CM, and as such, the CM assumes the risk. This is in contrast to conversion decoration technologies, accomplished after the product is molded, which then put the failure risks on the OEM. D-IMD, unlike analog decoration methods, also offers simple and easy recovery when failures occur.

What resins are compatible with D-IMD films?

ZoMazz will engineer films and molding resins for compatibility in the molding process, and to meet the performance specifications required by the molded part.

What films are being used for D-IMD?

ZoMazz currently uses PMMA, PC, ABS, TPU, Nylon and PET films. If you have interest in materials not listed here, please contact us to discuss the application.

Can D-IMD film be engineered for specific properties?

D-IMD films can be configured for specific durability characteristics, such as abrasion resistance, resistance to UV, and chemical resistance. Please contact sales for more information.

What’s the difference between analog IMD and D-IMD?

In-mold decoration is a stable and mature process whereby film is printed, formed and inserted into the injection mold. The film then becomes the skin of the decorated part. IMD films are printed using a variety of methods including offset lithography or screen printing. Each image requires significant setup time and costs, and correspondingly requires a large number of films to be printed to amortize the upfront costs. The D-IMD process still involves printing film that is formed and trimmed, but printing is handled digitally via continuous tone, digital printers. Now the OEM is empowered with tremendous design flexibility to change images or work with shorter-run images, niche-market images, channel-specific images and new business models without significant risk of resources.

Is washout of the graphic at the point where hot resin is entering the mold a problem with D-IMD?

D-IMD rarely, if ever, suffers from “gate burn” because both the image on the film and the film itself are more durable than common analog IMD images that can suffer from such production effects.

Does D-IMD suffer from delamination of the film from the formed parts as can be the case with IMD production?

ZoMazz D-IMD does not depend on adhesives, which is typical for traditional IMD, and therefore has few of the delamination problems associated with analog IMD.

Are there VOCs in D-IMD?

D-IMD color systems are free of all VOCs.

Will D-IMD work with bio-resins?

D-IMD is compatible with the bio-resins with which ZoMazz has experimented. Because ZoMazz has only tested a few bio-resins, we’d need to confirm compatibility with your specific resin requirements.

Design Questions

Is there a limit to the size of the decorated part?

If the part can be injection molded and the film insert can be conformed to the mold, then the part can be decorated using digital in-mold decoration. The largest parts that ZoMazz has successfully decorated are locker doors on office storage systems.

What are the limitations to part geometry?

General limitations of ZoMazz D-IMD are identical to those found in common thermoforming operations. D-IMD will decorate complex curves, negative radius and 180-degree wraps.

How durable are D-IMD products?

ZoMazz D-IMD films have been tested to standards dictated by the FAA, the USDA, and the automotive industry.

How is artwork delivered to ZoMazz, and how is it approved?

Artwork is uploaded to ZoMazz servers, and ZoMazz does all image preparation for printing. Once the image is prepared, it is proofed on film and provided to the client for approval, if required.

Does ZoMazz do special preparation of the client images?

Yes, ZoMazz has certain best practices related to our proprietary printing processes that we use to prepare the image.

What kind of images can be printed?

Any image, from photographs to computer renderings, can be printed.

Does the image break when formed to the geometry of the part?

ZoMazz graphics are intimate with the polymer structure of the films and, therefore, have superior stretch properties as they flow with the films, and the printing does not break as it can with analog printing processes. ZoMazz printed films have been formed for in-mold decoration up to 3- to 4-inch draws.

What about image distortion on 3D-Shapes?

ZoMazz has perfected digital scanning systems for pre-distorting imagery on a flat surface (“distortion imaging”) so that once the image is formed, it will come into appropriate form and focus on the 3D product.  ZoMazz may be among the leaders in the world when it comes to distortion imaging capability.

What is the highest resolution and color gamut available?

ZoMazz prints with Piezo heads and can print in the resolutions available from those heads. The highest available is 2400 dpi, though this resolution does not always offer the best image or cost/performance ratio. Color gamut is the broadest that is available from the Piezo heads and either the CMYK or RGB color gamut.

Does ZoMazz offer metallic finishes?

Yes. D-IMD can provide multiple industrial effects including: silver, chrome, brushed aluminum, mirrored, dichroics, neon and gold among others. These effects can be combined with printed graphics.

What textures does D-IMD support?

With D-IMD, texture can be created by the mold and/or sometimesthe film. Thus, in most cases any texture that is present in the mold will transfer to the part during the molding process.  In some cases, D-IMD films are inserted into the molding process with the texture already in the film and these textures survive the molding process.

D-IMD surfaces can be engineered for superior abrasion and chemical resistance

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