Printing on Magnetic Sheeting

Magnetic sheeting can be the ideal printing media for many reasons. Printing on magnetic sheeting can be tricky though. We’ll try to clear up some of the most common questions in this article.

Can I print magnetic sheeting with my desktop inkjet printer?
Yes… But only the paper-coated magnet made specifically for inkjet printers. Most desktop inkjet printers will feed our thin inkjet magnet just fine. Due to its magnetic nature though, you will need to load one sheet at a time into your printer cassette or bypass tray. Laminating the printed image will help extend the life of the image and protect it from scratches and abrasion. Keep in mind that the ink used most inkjet printers is dye-based. Dye-based inks will fade in just a few weeks outdoors, even when laminated.

What kind of printers are best for printing magnetic sheeting?
The lowest cost equipment for printing magnetic sheeting with long lasting outdoor images are the eco-solvent printers. The most popular brands are Roland, Mamaki, Mutoh and more recently, Epson. HP latex printers are quickly gaining popularity too but be sure your printer has a profile already built to ensure that the heat setting needed to properly cure the ink does not melt the magnet. Both the eco-solvent and latex printers will print directly onto our white Digi-Mag material. Printing on magnet requires head height adjustment and setting printer profiles. Many print and sign shops prefer to print on adhesive vinyl and apply it to the magnet to avoid changing profiles and adjusting the print head height.

Can I print magnet with my tee shirt screen press?
Not really. While you can screen print magnet with just a screen frame hinged on a table, you will need special inks and much finer meshes than those used for shirt printing. There are two types of screen printing inks that work very well on magnet. The first is solvent based. Fumes from solvent printing can get quite strong and the inks tend to dry in the screen mesh. UV inks have no solvent and won’t dry in the screen but they require an expensive UV ink curing lamp system. The UV inks cure in seconds when exposed to this special lamp, allowing you to stack prints immediately. This equipment is being replaced with digital equipment and can be found for a fraction of its original price on sites like Ebay.com and Craigslist.org.