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There’s a different shimmer that metal brings out due to how the material reacts to light. That’s why cars and other objects made from metal seem to have that inherent sleek edge. It’s no surprise that cutting edge photography studios have also considered the benefits of using these types of material. And aluminum seems to be achieving that most preferred status because of its flexibility and it really makes pictures printed on it really look good.

Aluminum PrintLee Silton image redish



This earthly element Aluminum wasn’t just meant to be a convenient wrapping medium for leftovers and other food stuff. After silicon, the Earth’s crust has been found to contain this component in abundant quantities. Aside from packaging items like being made into soda cans, aircrafts and automobiles have made the most out of this strong yet lightweight material. Even a good number of smart phone manufacturers have used aluminum to make their products have that cool yet durable feel.

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The University of Wisconsin has determined that this material is about 8 percent of the Earth’s bulk, so it’s no surprise that this metal gets overlooked often. The U.S. Geological Survey has also discovered aluminum to be quite lightweight, just a third of the weight when compared to copper or steel. Able to resist corrosion and to keep its shape even after repeated use has made this malleable metal much in demand. It can be recycled and is convenient to mold and fold. 
Some drawbacks noticed about aluminum is that the metal oxidizes or loses electrons, which like other metals lead to rusting. But, it doesn’t become as crumbly and flaky like iron oxide. The product of such a reaction which is aluminum oxide actually sticks to the original surface and prevents further decay. This was from other studies collated by the University of Wisconsin.

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Metal and aluminum artwork has been part of the repertoire of Prolab Digital for more than a quarter of a century. This studio has been a staple for Los Angeles residents in acquiring high quality printed art pieces.

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There’s no denying that metal and aluminum artworks have been growing in popularity over the past few years or so. These medium lends an ethereal feel to the images that are rendered on this fascinating surface. That play of light gives another life to what’s printed on it and the movement is different compared to the other usual and commercially available substrates. 
Prolab Digital is more than capable of handling any HD metal printing or aluminum printing project. Their metal printing equipment provides their clients with the most amazing finished product that can be made.

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Their efficient UV flatbed printer can apply the image directly on to an aluminum Di-Bond material of up to 1/8” in thickness. The maximum size for this is 48” x 96”. The file will be reproduced straight onto the aluminum Di-Bond or most probably use the largest Dye-sublimation heat press available here on the West Coast so that the ink fuses diametrically into the metal. This aluminum metal surface gets penetrated by Prolab Digital’s specially formulated printer inks. This ensures the permanency of the image and prevents it from getting scratched out or rubbed off. A more edgy brushed aluminum feel or a glossy baked-on white enamel surface can be achieved on these metal printing and aluminum prints. 

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The Epson 11880 8 Hi-Fi color dye sublimation printer produces these HD Aluminum images. The features of this printer offer the widest color scope and fidelity in the HD aluminum metal printing process. 

This HD Process begins by printing the image with dye sublimation ink to transfer paper. This gets transferred on top of the HD Aluminum media and then subjected to a heat press. The ink gets raised to a temperature 400 degrees that forms into a gas. Through the force of 80 tons of pressure, this them penetrates into the HD aluminum material. The 4 types of HD Aluminum offered at varying sizes from 5” x 7” to 48” x 96” are Brushed Gloss, Brushed Matte, Gloss White, and Matte White aluminum.


Due to its special UV inks and the UV ink-curing light source, this is what sets UV direct printing apart from the rest. This very intense UV light causes quite a chemical reaction and vastly differentiates itself from the run-of-the-mill inkjet process. A UV light source is present on either end of the print-head. As the ink is being sprayed from the jet, there is a present light source that follows this motion which instantly cures the ink and thereby causing it to cling more permanently to the substrate. As the overlapping ink undergoes multiple passes, this is how the image gets built up. The individual layers subsequently get cured through this laying down process. A hard, durable surface develops instantly as these get exposed to these special UV inks from that light source. Any flat substrate can potentially be printed on as a result of that “instant hard” quality. The final image can go from a transparent to an opaque-look through the addition of a white ink option that is available on your UV direct printing system. 
UV flatbed printing or direct-to-substrate printing can also be considered as other terms for the process known as UV direct printing. The final substrate directly receives the ink process, hence the reason for the moniker. Because the ink can become so hardened, a pretty decent surface protection becomes part of the feature. Glass, plex or lamination protection are deemed unnecessary.

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Here are a few advantages when using UV direct printing: 
The ink dots are given minimal room to spread so that causes an apparent dot sharpness and there is great improvement with the color saturation. The actual substrate doesn’t actually absorb any ink. The hardened outer surface of the substrate is where the ink resides when it is hardened.

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With properties such as quick, hard drying, and low absorption, there is significant reduction for the substrate to undergo a chemical reaction. A flexibility in the use of various substrates can then become options in this case. Recycled materials, papyrus, or other surfaces can then undergo such a process because of this unique process.


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Volatile organic compounds don’t become an issue because the special UV inks employed don’t release such compounds. This commends the process as greener and more viable in order to protect our environment and improve air safety standards. 

Inevitable handling, ease of transportation, and subsequent installation are further supported due to the resulting scratch-resistant surface. Savings increase because of a more durable product. You don’t have to be too afraid of people who walk by and wish to take a closer look at the art piece. It’s now made of much sterner stuff. 

The instant curing process also adds to faster production times Your UV print provider saves time because some jobs can even be two-sided. Regardless of the printing process, the set-up time remains constant. 

Additional materials may not be needed as much so that helps to lower the cost. You save on labor as well because there may be no need to provide extra mounting. The surface stands up well so there is no need again to spend for more protection in terms of a laminate or glass. 

Based on the requirement for a certain project, these UV prints can be produced with high levels of gloss or dull finishes. When you choose lightweight alternative substrates, you may also get to save on some installation expenses as well. 

Overall, un-coated stocks and non-porous substrates now become viable options. Take your pick from plastic, glass, metal, wood, ceramic, Formica, heavy card stocks, metallic papers, and much more to meet your unique printing needs. 


Metals never seem to lose their luster over time. Perhaps, that’s why these elements have become such an enduring part of mankind’s history. From the time that iron and bronze were fashioned into armor, and even as the blacksmith deftly crafted this material into effective weapons, metal has always maintained that edge. 

To this very day, we are dependent on metal for our means to function. Our transport vehicles, planes, trains, and automobiles, are encased in this stuff. The very engines in these carriers and the very engines of industry for that matter are very dependent on metal. Through the centuries, that durability and strength has pushed man to even greater heights. Even our technological innovations would not be possible without these essential components that even exist on the minutest levels within circuit boards and chip sets. 

It’s no surprise then that artists have also used this medium to create pieces meant to last beyond even the physical life span of the one who created the work. The initial designer may not be present over time, but the legacy of his or her work lives on. And this especially holds true when metal becomes the material of choice. 

So, when images get printed directly to an aluminum substrate, those same properties also get inherited by the image being produced. A beautiful landscape suddenly becomes even shinier and the details become even more pronounced by the metal’s natural sheen. What one untrained eye would assume to be specks of dust are truthfully depicted as stars in the sky or distant reflections and dreams that hopefully can come true. 

The mystery and magic that alchemists try to conjure through their experiments with metals can now be unlocked through images masterfully presented on this surface. There seems to be an otherworldly glow that comes through the artwork. Maybe because the colors get more pronounced through the ink hardening process. Or the combination of both ink and metal just transforms the picture into something much more than what it was before. 

That natural edge which metal enthuses have influenced photographers and other artists to consider this surface for their visual masterpieces. The bonus effect is that their work gets inevitably protected due to the process involved. The piece gets preserved for more than one’s lifetime and can be treasured by many more generations to follow. 

With anything valuable, there is a perceived high cost to acquiring such items. But, if it’s meant to preserve a thing of beauty that can last for more than a century, that investment cannot be quantified by just mere numbers. The metal is just the means to keep it intact. The artwork brings out those uncanny and enlightening characteristics. With that impressive support, those art pieces will make others see how marvelous the environment can be, especially when captured for that one singular moment. That simple image of a waterfall, or a man-mage infrastructure, these pictures depicting a second in time leads into eternity. That again only adds to the enduring quality that aluminum and metal printing hope to bring out. 


Because Prolab Digital has the means and the knowhow to produce the finest images possible for their clients, you can be certain that the aluminum prints you order can be displayed and appreciated for many, many, many years. The UV direct printing process may seem daunting but the staff is right there with you to guide you through all the twists and turns. Your printing projects will always be top priority and carefully handled by such highly trained professionals. 

Prolab Digital’s Los Angeles team will always be there for you. They can assist you in going through a litany of options that can create the best image for your unique requirements. Because the material is meant to last for quite a long time, the image intended to be placed on it should also contain that same enduring quality. When it comes to appreciating the expression that artists and photographers want to convey, they know their stuff. 


ORDER NOW or try to give Prolab Digital a call through (+1) 310-846-4496 at your earliest convenience. Explore how aluminum prints can be the best option for you. ■

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