How are clear transparent phone cases printed?3 min read
Transparent phone cases are appealing because of the sleek design and aesthetic. Printed clear transparent phone cases are even more tasteful and uplift your phone in style while keeping it protected.
I did some research to find out the printing process of a clear phone case, and which clear phone cases are durable. An ultraviolet printer uses small micro-dots of ink on clear phone cases. It cures it almost instantly with the UV light. The results are vibrant, finely detailed prints of high-quality, printed with accuracy and speed.
What are the materials used in making clear phone cases?
Usually, when you get a printed clear case, the material consists of a hybrid thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polycarbonate (PC) material. It’s solid, slightly flexible, with rigid sides for better grip and slim in design. The perfect print on a clear case of this type is to use a UV printer with a smooth matte finish.
Designing for a clear phone case
When designing for any phone case, it is imperative to know the dimensions and constraints of the phone case. The phone size is vital, so you know where your designs will be when printed. Also, understanding constraints are essential, so you don’t end up putting a crucial part of your drawing where the camera cut-out is.
I specially design cases for Apple iPhone and Samsung smartphones. They both have different design dimensions, but the iPhone is the easiest to deal with as one design tends to fit size on all models.
When designing clear phone cases, I prefer to leave transparency in my designs too, so the visual appeal of a clear phone case is not lost. If you want to print on the whole phone case and fill it up, for instance, using a photograph, it’s best to consider a different type of phone case.
You can download a design template of the iPhone and Samsung phone case from Printful.
Getting your phone case design ready for the printer
Once you have your design prepped, it is time to get it ready for the printer. Printful uses a UV printer, which allows speedy, accurate and high-quality prints onto a clear transparent case.
To prepare the UV printing machine for the print, you need a jig with a mould template for the phone cases. Place the phone cases into the mould. The mould holds the phone cases in place. It allows the UV printer to get perfect registration, accuracy and delivers the best quality prints. With a UV printer and the right moulds, you can print multiple designs and quantities of phone cases simultaneously. Therefore it is efficient too!
Start initiating the print!
Printful uses a particular UV printing machine when they print onto clear phone cases. The UV printer allows you to print on products with materials like acrylic fast and with precision.
Ultra-Violet lights, also known as UV, is used to cure (dry) ink as it prints instantly. As the printer distributes ink across the surface of the phone case, a UV light closely follows by and is designed to cure the printed ink instantly. Johann Ritter made the first discovery of UV light in 1801. Since then, it has had many applications, including medicine and fashion.
Today UV light is used for but not limited to curing gel nail polishes for manicures to drying ink as quickly as possible. The use of UV light applications rapidly expanded into more industrial and commercial markets, including the creation of stamps, bottles and phone cases.
Small mico-dots of ink is applied to the surface when printing. Because the UV lights cure the ink instantly, the micro-dots do not get a chance to spread—thus resulting in a finely detailed print. Another added benefit to UV printing is the weather-resistant, and it also offers resistance to fading.
How can you print onto clear phone cases without a UV printer?
So there you have it, the process of printing on a clear transparent case using a UV printer. Quick, efficient and highly detailed.
Now that you know the process of commercially printed phone cases, you have a better understanding of the process. Commercial UV printers can cost thousands of dollars and require a considerable amount of space to place. Then there is the added cost of maintenance, ink, UV light replacements, moulded jigs, phone cases etc. So what could you do if you cannot afford that type of investment?
You can use Printful – a print-on-demand company. Print-on-demand has professional printers and workers who print your designs, brand it with your business and send it out to your customers. You can create your own custom phone case business with the high-quality touch of a UV printer using Printful. The best part is that you do not have to worry about investing tremendous amounts of capital.
On top of that, they offer many instruments to help you get started. One of the tools is a mockup generator which creates photo-realistic product images in seconds. You can use these for product images in your online store.
If you are interested in learning more about the resources, I use for print-on-demand check out the resources page.