Forget the cookie-cutter mentality–we’re in the age of personalization. Whether it’s our phones, our home, or our office, we like to make our lives feel unique and reflect our personal style. This new glass trend is attracting the attention of businesses and homeowners alike by breaking barriers and adding yet another aspect of customization to our lives, where the only limitation is your own imagination. Continue reading to learn more…
What Is Digitally Printed Glass & How Is It Done?
Digitally printed glass is a method of using ceramic paint to add images, patterns, or text into flat glass surfaces using ceramic glass printing technology. The process begins with a high-resolution image being sent to a specialized printer mounted on a track, under which glass panels are added. Unique software is used to tell the printer the size of glass pane being used; among other details such as if the image will be in black and white or color.
The printer then copies the image onto the glass precisely using a revolutionary type of ceramic ink. The glass pane is then transferred to an oven for thermal curing. Once complete, the ink will be weather proof, scratch proof, UV resistant, and nearly impossible to remove from the glass. This means it will remain vibrant and damage-resistant for years to come. Accidents can always happen, but luckily, when disaster strikes, repair and replacement is both easy and cost-effective compared to other glass methods.
Where Can Digitally Printed Glass Be Used?
With features such as adjustable transparency and opacity, which are used to create subtle textures or the tiniest of details within a photo, the possible uses for this new glass technology are endless. Here are some examples:
- Home: Imagine adding your family’s beach photo to your shower door or privacy panels with exquisite nature scenes to separate spaces. Try amping up your kitchen with a new back splash (like the one to the right) printed to look like marble that gets people talking while remaining easy to clean and sanitize. Another great option is to have an old, cherished family photo digitized and printed for extra durability.
- Commercial: At work, branding your company logo on the outside windows can make a huge impact. Entire entryways can have a faux brick texture to set a welcoming mood. Or a faux salt aquarium to set the mood in a dentist’s waiting room without the maintenance. Print your store hours right onto the glass door panels and add permanent safety reminders on the bathroom mirrors.
- Schools. Many classrooms can be personalized with fun and contemporary images to keep an open feel while helping to minimize distractions. You can also add soothing scenes or colors to the windows of your classroom to help ease students into productivity.
- Churches: Many churches are known for having beautiful stained glass, but many are starting to opt for digitally printed glass instead. Why? Digitally printed glass can give the exact same effect as stained glass, but it’s easier and more cost efficient to install and it’s much faster, easier, and cheaper to repair.
Expert Tip: Use digitally printed glass to add tint to the windows of your business or home to minimize sunlight and help reduce cooling costs!
Digitally Printed Glass vs. Stained Glass
For centuries, humanity the world over would unanimously agree that few sights are as stunning as a full mosaic of stained glass. Similarly, little could compare to the delicate lattice-work of etched glass. These two kings of glass art worked to instill a sense of royalty, money, and power from onlookers of such pieces. However, as the saying goes, heavy is the crown.
Though they are both beautiful in their complexity, these titans of the glass world don’t come cheap, and don’t hang around for cheap either. If your stained or etched glass is broken, it can cost anywhere between $177-$402 in stained glass repair. Stained glass also needs regular maintenance such as re-grouting of the glass panels, and re-leading of the mosaic itself. Etched glass doesn’t fare any better, with costs being so high, repair estimates aren’t normally listed.