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What type of metal can we print on? How long does printing on metal last? How quickly can Metal Image complete your job? Our FAQ page answers these and other client questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most the questions our clients ask us are about, the type of metal we print on, how long the metal printing will last, and how quickly Metal Image can complete their job. The answer to those questions and many more are below.

How big can Metal Image print?

We have two products for our Anodised Aluminium printing. Each with a different sheet size and printable area.

MetalPhoto: Maximum Sheet Size: 634 x 534mm (Printable Area: 616 x 516mm).

AliChroma (Gauges: 0.50, 1.00 & 1.50mm): Maximum Sheet Size: 1000 x 650mm (Printable Area: 982 x 632mm).
AliChroma (Gauges: 0.30mm): Maximum Sheet Size: 975 x 650mm (Printable Area: 957 x 632mm).

Will a colour black print fade?

No. Our MetalPhoto products offer a lifespan in excess of twenty years in full UV exposure applications.

Print is black only, however the background can be coloured or tinted. Colours and tints will fade depending on the depth of colour and the rate of UV exposure, but the black endures.

Will a colour print fade?

Yes. The speed and degree depends on the depth of colour and the rate of UV exposure.

Light colours and CMYK prints should not be exposed to UV for extended periods of time. If fade resistance is critical we recommend our MetalPhoto product which offers a lifespan in excess of twenty years. Print is black only.

What types of metal does Metal Image print on?

We have chosen to specialise in Sub-Surface printed aluminium but we are able to engrave various metals and plastics. We can also supply Laser Imaged or etched and backfilled Stainless Steel, Polycarbonates and many other paper label types.

How fast can you complete my metal printing job?

We offer you two services:

  • Standard Service is 10 working days from approval of artwork proof or date of re-order.
  • Urgent Service is 2-3 working days from approval of proof or date of re-order. A 30% surcharge applies to urgent services.

Will the printed image rub off?

No. That’s what makes the Metal Image process unique.

The image is sub-surface printed, so the print is sealed beneath a crystal clear layer of Aluminium Oxide, often referred to as the Anodic Layer. The Anodic Layer is up to twenty times harder than a twin-pot epoxy resin. That means your image is protected from abrasion, chemicals and exterior exposure for decades. Read more…

I need some serial-number plates; can you number plates sequentially?

Yes. We can also include alpha-numeric and barcodes. These can be included in bulk as part of the print process or engraved in smaller quantities as you require them.

Can I supply art to Metal Image in digital form?

Yes. We are PC based, the following formats are preferred:

  • All fonts should be converted to paths, lines or curves.
  • Bitmaps should be 300dpi.
  • Copy for botanic, barcode or sequential printing can be in either .doc or .xls.
  • Adobe Illustrator CS6 or lower (.ai or .eps), Encapsulated Post Script (.eps).
  • CorelDraw 2019 or lower (.cdr) or Adobe Acrobat.
  • Portable Data File (.pdf) must be fully editable with no securities.

For more info download our Artwork Specification

Can Metal Image engrave variable information?

Yes, we can engrave your variable information. Just email us your required text. There is no minimum quantity, which allows us to print in bulk then part supply as your production schedule calls them up.

Can the metal be formed or rolled to shape?

Yes. However, there are some limitations to angle and complexity. Any kind of forming of pre-anodised aluminium leads to crazing, or fractures in layer which is visible from certain angles.

Can Metal Image print in white?

No. Because white pigment is so large, it does not penetrate the pore of the aluminium. Our matte finish offers a close-to-white background. Screen printing after the product is sealed is possible; however it will not be as durable as other sub-surface colours.

Can Metal Image print in custom or Pantone (PMS) colours?

Yes, we use the PMS colours. However, when printing on metal these are used as a guide only because the colours are formulated for standard print techniques.

A custom colour match charge of $95 + GST applies per custom colour mixed. No guarantee of an exact match is offered or implied.

Can Metal Image print photographs or full colour images onto metal?

Yes we can via CMYK process for colour, and greytones for black & white.

Please note: CMYK process prints are not recommended in exterior applications.

Can Metal Image cut metal to special/custom shapes?

Yes. Thinner gauges can be die cut and supplied in ‘gangs’ for easy application, while thicker metals are laser cut.

Can Metal Image cut other materials?

Yes. Our Co2 Laser can cut a wide range of materials including stainless steel, carbon steel, plastics, wood and cardboard.