If you want to print your favorite photos or images to decorate your home or business, you may wonder what material to choose to get the best result. Two of the most popular and versatile materials for image printing are acrylic and tempered glass, but what are their differences and advantages? How do you know which one suits your needs and goals better?
Both materials are of excellent quality and have high resistance, so it can be difficult to select between them.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about acrylic and tempered glass prints. Besides, we give you some tips to select the most suitable material according to the type of image, the characteristics of the material, the place of exposure, and the budget available.
What are acrylic and tempered glass prints?
Acrylic and tempered glass prints are digital printing techniques that consist of printing on flat and transparent materials without the need for intermediate support such as paper. These techniques offer many advantages, such as higher image quality, higher resistance and durability, and greater versatility in applications.
There are two types of acrylic printing. The first one consists of printing the images directly on the acrylic sheet. The second process of printing on acrylic involves printing the image on a high-quality paper sheet, which is then placed between two transparent or translucent acrylic sheets. Acrylic is a plastic material that has a smooth and shiny surface that reflects light and gives a bright and vibrant appearance to the printed image. In addition, acrylic allows the creation of a three-dimensional or depth effect by printing on both sides of the material.
The process of printing on tempered glass involves printing the image on a special layer that is placed on the glass, which is then subjected to a thermal or chemical treatment to increase its resistance. Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that has a smooth and transparent surface, which does not alter the color or sharpness of the printed image. In addition, tempered glass is a very resistant material to shocks, humidity, and UV rays.
What factors should be taken into account when choosing between acrylic and tempered glass prints?
When choosing between acrylic and tempered glass prints, several factors should be taken into account, such as the type of image, the characteristics of the material, the place of exposure, and the budget available. Let’s look at each one of them in more detail.
Type of image
The type of image that we want to print can influence the choice of material, as each one has its own characteristics that can highlight or diminish certain aspects of the image.
If we want to print images with a lot of color, contrast, or brightness, acrylic prints can be a good option. This is due to acrylic having a shiny surface that reflects light and gives a bright and vibrant appearance to the image. In addition, the three-dimensional effect of acrylic can create a sense of depth and realism in the image.
However, if we want to print images with soft, delicate, or neutral tones, tempered glass prints can be a good option, as glass has a transparent surface that does not alter the color or sharpness of the image. In addition, glass has an elegant and modern appearance that can work well with this type of image.
The characteristics of the material can also influence the choice of the same, as each one has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of quality, resistance, and durability.
Acrylic prints have a high image quality, as acrylic has a smooth and shiny surface that reflects light and gives a bright and vibrant appearance to the image. Its high resistance allows it to withstand greater impact forces, providing greater safety.
In addition to this, at USA Acrylic, we have advanced machines with diamond-tipped cutters to polish the edges of the sheets. In this way, the final product is much safer to handle. Although acrylic is less resistant to environmental conditions than tempered glass, the acrylic materials and inks we use are highly resistant. They resist the attack of moisture and UV rays, so the quality of the image remains over time.
Tempered glass prints have a high image quality, as glass has a transparent surface that does not alter the color or sharpness of the image. In addition, tempered glass has some advantages, such as that it is very resistant to moisture and UV rays, that it does not scratch or deform over time, and that it has long durability.
Place of exposure of acrylic and tempered glass prints
The place where we want to place the prints can also influence the choice of material, as each one has its own characteristics that can adapt better to certain environments or conditions.
If we want to place the prints indoors, both acrylic and tempered glass can be good options, as both materials offer high image quality and good resistance. However, some aspects should be taken into account, such as the fact that acrylic can reflect too much artificial or natural light and create annoying glare, or that tempered glass can be heavier and harder to hang than acrylic.
However, if we want to place the prints outdoors, tempered glass can be a better option than acrylic, as it is more resistant to weather conditions and UV rays. Acrylic can lose color or deform with excess heat or direct sunlight, which can affect the quality of the image.
Quality of the final image
In general, acrylic prints are sharper and more realistic than glass prints.
The passage of light in the acrylic sheets gives them more brightness and shine, creating a clear image. Additionally, the prints are smoother and sharper. On the other hand, printing on glass is usually more limited in terms of ink colors. Although tempered glass sheets are often of high quality, they may have some imperfections that distort the image.
Besides, the reflective surface of the glass can influence the visual effect of the final image.
Handling and dimensions of acrylic and glass frames
Acrylic frames can be large, even exceeding fifty square feet, due to their weight and high resistance. For this reason, they can be handled and transported more safely.
On the other hand, tempered glass, being easily broken and heavier, cannot be used to print large frames, and its handling is more difficult. Because of this, acrylic is typically the ideal material for large printed frames.
Acrylic is a thermoformable material that is, it can be molded at will by applying heat. That’s why you can create beautiful three-dimensional artwork and decorative and advertising objects.
Certainly, the budget available can also influence the choice of material, as each one has a different price depending on the size, thickness, and finish.
Acrylic prints are usually more expensive than tempered glass prints, as acrylic is a more expensive material and requires a more complex printing process. In addition, acrylic typically has a greater thickness than tempered glass, which increases its weight and price.
In general, tempered glass prints are often cheaper than acrylic prints, as glass is a cheaper material and requires a simpler printing process. Besides, tempered glass frequently has a lower thickness than acrylic, which reduces its weight and price.
Acrylic and tempered glass prints are two digital printing techniques that offer great image quality, resistance, and durability.
However, not all materials are the same, nor do they all serve the same purpose. Therefore, it is important to know the characteristics of each one of them and choose the one that best suits your needs and goals.
To do this, you have to take into account several factors, such as the type of image, the characteristics of the material, the place of exposure, and the budget available. In this way, you will be able to obtain acrylic or tempered glass prints that meet your expectations and make you enjoy your favorite photos or images.
I hope this article is useful to you. If you have any questions, contact us! We will be happy to help you clarify it.