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The Hard Stuff

(August 2012) posted on Wed Aug 01, 2012

Nearly 50 sources of rigid media for direct printing.

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With the continued growth of flatbed- and hybrid-printer usage, it’s no surprise that there’s an increase in the demand for rigid substrates. And media companies have been diligent in keeping up with that demand – providing print shops with an ever-expanding range of rigid options.
To help you track down and select the right rigid media for your clients, The Big Picture has compiled a list of manufacturers and exclusive distributors of print-ready rigid substrates that are at least 24-inches wide. Nearly 50 companies are listed here; keep in mind that, due to space, we typically only provide a sampling of a company’s rigid roster; check their websites for detailed product offerings. And, note that we’ll be covering standard roll media in our September issue as well as specialty media in our October issue.

The Acriglas Clear Impressions line, designed to reproduce the look of patterned glass, is crystal clear and carries textures on one or both sides of the sheet. Eighteen textures are available, including: Brushed, Woven Silk, Mesozoic, Precambrian, Box Mini-Flute, Waffle Iron, Techno, and Morning Dew. Offered in standard sizes of 4 x 6 ft (other sizes are available) and in thicknesses from 1/8- to ½-in. Also available: Acriglas Metallic, Fluorescent, Edge Color, and Lisa substrates. Smooth side is inkjet- and screen-printable.

Advantage Distribution
The company’s Eco Advantage rigid media line includes: EcoFoam PVC (70% recycled content) in white, black, and white/black DigiPrint, all 48 x 96 in. x 3 mm or 6 mm; Earthboard (100% recycled content, compostable, biodegradable), available in 40 x 60-in. sheets in 0.80-in. thicknesses; and Honeycomb Board (made from recycled kraft paper with white, clay-coated facers), available in 48 x 96-in. sheets, ¼- or ½-in. thicknesses. All can be direct digital-printed.

Altuglas International
Available in a wide variety of thicknesses and sheet sizes, its Plexiglas acrylic sheets can be wide-format inkjet printed.

American Fiber Technologies
FiberBrite comprises a line of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) panels, all of which are compatible with solvent and UV-curable flatbed digital printing. The panels, available in a variety of sizes, sheets, and thicknesses, include: FiberBrite Original, ValuePlus, Survivor, and TuffStuff.

American Permalight
The photoluminescent PermaLight rigid media (PVC or aluminum) can be used with solvent inks. Available in various thicknesses and in glossy or matte finishes.