Methods of printing

Pad printing and dye sublimation.

Regular poker chips with a blank center can be printed by using pad printing. Pad printing (also called tampography) is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a other object, in this case a pokerchip.

Ceramic chips are printed with dye sublimation.

Dye Sublimation, as a process is really very simple. It is the method of applying an image to specially coated ceramics, metals and polyester cloth, using three main ingredients: sublimation ink, heat and pressure.

Sublimation ink is unique in its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form. (Just like dry ice.) The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled with pressure and time. Hard items such as ceramic chips, require a special coating to accept the sublimation inks.

Dye sublimation printing offers a lot more possibilities for designing your perfect poker chip. You can print your design on the whole surface of the chip, including the edge. The edges are often used for printing value’s or text.

View a basic video of pad printing pokerchips in process: