digital ceramic tiles header
EDINBURGH CERAMICS   46 BALCARRES STREET   EDINBURGH   EH10 5JQ   telephone 0131 452 8145

Digital Ceramic Printing on Ceramic Tiles:



Digital Ceramic Printing: unique advantages

Various techniques have been tried over many years by those seeking to print unique images onto ceramics. Both direct and indirect application techniques have been employed in the production of images on tiles, usually with the intention of achieving a consistently reproducible effect. One-time-only printing has always been a very specialised field, with disproportionately high set-up costs limiting its usefulness. Now, digital ceramic tiles, ie. unique ceramic tiles produced using the digital print process outlined here, extend the advantages offered by ceramic tiles over competing cladding materials, such as stone, glass or metal.

photographic image on ceramic tile

Digital Ceramic Printing: historical context

Mechanical reproduction processes have been used to increase productivity in ceramic manufacturing since the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Technological improvements relating to both surface design and three-dimensional design were focused primarily on increasing output to reduce the unit costs of making ceramic products. The perennial manufacturing motto, "make more from less", has been applied during every generation involved in making ceramic wares of all kinds, including ceramic tiles. The digital revolution has raised a variety of complex issues for ceramic producers; new digital developments continue to change both the production methods employed and the products created by ceramic manufacturers. These changes are introducing new opportunities for ceramic tiles.

handmade digital ceramic tile

Three dimensional ceramics: digital limits

Digital technology has been widely used in ceramic manufacturing for about three decades, with obvious applications in process control, for example kiln control and firing-cycle management, where the automation of production could lead to more consistent output. A truly digital production process whereby functional three-dimensional ceramic objects could be manufactured quickly, directly from digitised designs, continues to elude the ceramics industry. Perhaps given enough time, nanotechnology will provide the missing process to bridge between computer screen and manufactured three-dimensional ceramic product. Until then, most 3D ceramics including tiles, will continue to be volume-produced by more traditional methods.

digital kiln controller

Two dimensional ceramics: surface design

'Two dimensional ceramics', refers essentially to ceramic surfaces, although it is obvious that any ceramic surface must also have a third dimension of 'depth', and an underlying substrate on which to be fired. The process of designing a ceramic surface requires the consideration of many different issues. No ceramic surface can be properly designed in ignorance of the three-dimensional form for which it is the external face. The intended use of the finished ceramic object and the environmental conditions to which it will be exposed are essential factors in the design of its surface. The resources available to the ceramic product's manufacturer, of materials, equipment and production time, must also be considered at the design stage. Surface design for ceramic tiles requires knowledge of the performance characteristics & durability of ceramic materials and an understanding of the most appropriate production methods and technology.

digital ceramic tiles firing in kiln

Digital ceramic tiles: Edinburgh Ceramics' innovation

Edinburgh Ceramics' advanced digital technology creates a unique digital ceramic surface, fired onto standard-production ceramic wall tiles. As a result of this process ceramic tiles have acquired a durable digital future. Edinburgh Ceramics can digitise any two dimensional design, image, or text, and print it using this specialised new process, in genuine ceramic colours. The digital technology and ceramic materials involved in this process enable the highly skilled ceramicists to design and manufacture visually complex ceramic tiles which are light-fast and waterproof, thereby achieving complete image permanence. Edinburgh Ceramics' digital ceramic tile process is ideal for the creation of durable images for installation in demanding environments. Exposure to direct sunlight, total water immersion, fluctuating humidity & temperature, exposure to radiant heat or frequent cleaning regimes, are all examples of environmental contexts for which these digital ceramic tiles are ideally suited. This new digital ceramic image-making process enjoys traditional ceramic surface durability, while offering extraordinary adaptability for the production of unique tiles, site-specific tile-panels, or client-specific production-runs, from any original design, drawing, photograph, image or text.

digital ceramic wall tiles

Digital ceramic tiles: new opportunity

The reliability of this technology derives from its genuine foundation in tested and proven ceramic materials and processes; the colours used in the digital printing process are genuine ceramic materials which require high-temperature firing, so there are limits to the overall colour range or 'gamut'. Because some of the hues which can be displayed on a computer monitor do not exist as firable ceramic colours, it follows that precise colour matching is not the objective of this technology. The major new opportunity which this technique makes possible is the creation of unique, permanent ceramic images, whether simple or complex, in restricted colours or polychrome, for walls where ceramic tiles would not otherwise be specified, despite providing the most desirable surface finish.

Using this digital ceramic tile process, Edinburgh Ceramics helps clients achieve,
"any image, any size, on any wall ".

detail of digital tiles


digital ceramic tiles sitemap >>

Note: If you would like to create a link to this page,
please copy and paste the line below into your web page's html code.

<a href="http://www.digitalceramictiles.co.uk/pages/digital_ceramic_tiles_05.html">Digital Ceramic Tiles</a>