Firehouse Blog

Monthly Archive: March 2017

Save Time & Money by Printing Directly to Rigid Materials

paulnewpicIn the past, if you wanted a rigid print for wall mounting, hanging or an easel stand, you would print to paper or vinyl stock, apply and adhesive layer and run it through a mounting press to adhere it to foamcore, gatorboard or a thicker vinyl. But, today’s flatbed printers can eliminate the mounting stage from your projects by printing directly to many rigid substrates. Below are a selection of our most popular options. If you need a specific material, please let me know and we’ll get it.

SBS Card Stock
SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate), is a high-quality paper board substrate produced from bleached wood pulp. This durable card stock is available in 12pt., 18pt., 24pt. and 50pt. thicknesses. SBS can be printed on both sides. Because of its price point, SBS is ideal for temporary signage. Additional applications include counter cards, tent cards, sign holders and door hangers.

Most commonly seen as yard signs mounted to metal H stakes, corex is a lightweight, extruded polypropylene sheet with a corrugated internal structure. It’s 4mm thick and can be printed on both sides. Corex is a great choice for short-term outdoor graphics such as pole- or wall-mounted signs.

Polystyrene is Firehouse’s most popular substrate for indoor signage. Styrene is a rigid, bright white board available in .015”, .020”, .030”, .040” and .060” thicknesses. Styrene can be printed on both sides and it’s the perfect material for most indoor POP applications.

Foamcore contains a polystyrene foam center laminated on both sides with a white, coated paper stock. That results in a very lightweight board. It is available in 3/16” (5mm) thickness and can be printed on both sides. It’s a great choice for easel graphics, fixtures, short-run standees, tabletop displays and signs.

Gatorboard is a more durable alternative to foamcore. It also contains a polystyrene foam core, but it’s sandwiched with a wood veneer infused with resin for water resistance and strength. It’s available in 3/16” and 1/2” thicknesses and can be printed on both sides. Gatorboard and foamcore are equally suited to most indoor applications, but choose gatorboard for extra durability and dimensional stability.

Expanded PVC Sheets
An extremely versatile material, PVC sheets are much more dense than foam boards. They provide a more durable and moisture resistant alternative for long-term indoor, or short-term outdoor signage. Available in white or black and either 3mm or 6mm thicknesses. PVC can be printed on both sides, and it works well in fixtures, wall mounts or hanging applications.

Clear Substrates
Firehouse offers three clear materials spanning the range of affordability and durability—Acrylic, PETG and Polycarbonate. All are optically clear and will not fade or yellow over time. A blog post detailing clear materials is in the works, so stay tuned.

Corrugated Cardboard
Firehouse prints to white-faced corrugated in two popular thicknesses—1/8” B flute and 1/16” E flute. Corrugated is great for temporary graphics and can be scored and assembled into printed boxes and POP displays.

Paul Meek
Vice President of Operations