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Pad Printing

Pad Printing Machine

What is Pad Printing?

Pad Printing is the process of transferring ink from an image on a plate to a 3D object. A silicone pad is used to pick up the ink and then drop it on the image. The silicone pad is soft and conforms to the shape of the 3D object.

Pad Printing is the most common print option for 3D objects because it’s a quick and efficient process. One can print a lot of products in a short period of time, making it one of the most cost effective forms of printing compared to all the other ways.

Considerations for Pad Printing


All that is needed is a high resolution vectored logo or image. The image transferred from the ink plate to the object is extremely fine in detail.

The size and shape of your artwork will determine what items will be best for you to print on. In some cases, you may need to arrange your artwork differently to fit the shape of the object you are wanting to print on. More Artwork Information.

Pad Printed - Pens


Due to the nature of pad printing, it becomes difficult to add additional colors. It’s strongly advised to make sure your logo or artwork has been converted to a single color image. In some cases you can get up to two colors, but may be limited in your options.

Type of Material

Pad printing is not effective on fabrics – we’ve tried it. The ink is not thick enough to adhere to it, making screen printing the best form of printing for apparel.

Pad printing works very well on hard surfaced 3D items. Particularly items that are smaller in nature. Large items are difficult because they won’t fit into the mechanism to transfer the ink.

Number of Locations

Pad Printing - Golf Balls

There are limitations to the number of locations to Pad Printing an item. Most items will only allow or have placement for a single location. However, in some cases, there are items that allow for two locations. Having two locations will add to the cost per item.


Having a low quantity of items pad printed is not necessarily the most cost effective way, however, it may be just what you need. The more you do, the less it is item. For less than 12 quantities there are other print options available, like vinyl & heat transfers (provide link)

The same setup that goes into 12 items is the same for 10,000 items.

Pad Printed Stress Balls

Advantages and Disadvantages



  • Largest selection of options to choose from

  • Extremely fine details

  • Longevity for most products

  • Cost effective per piece

  • Larger quantities required

  • Image can wear off on smooth, stainless steel images

  • Difficult to do smaller quantities

Ideal for the following:

  • Any 3D object

    • Golf Balls, Koozies​, Pop Sockets, Badges & Name Tags, Bottle Openers, Bracelets, Candles, Cannabis Products, Coins & Medallions, Fans, First Aid Kits, Flashlights, Glow Products, Hand Sanitizers, Jewelry, Journals, LED Products, Lip Balm, Mints, Noise Makers, Ornaments, Phone Accessories, Speakers, Stools, Straws, Sunscreen, Wristbands

  • Tumblers & Drinkware

    • Water Bottles, Coffee Mugs, Stadium Cups​, Steins, Bottles, Wine

  • Writing Instruments

    • Pens, Carpenter Pencils​

  • Desk Accessories & I.T. items

    • USB's, Power Devices, Staplers, Coasters, ​Phone Chargers, Flash Drives

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