All digital direct laser engraving


Online Engine for optimum reliefs

The 3D shaping of print elements is not left to chance with the PremiumProfiler. It uses pre-defined parameters to convert the 1-bit TIFF data not just into two-dimensional imaging data, but also into three-dimensional 8-bit TIFF data, and does so on the fly. Based on tonal value and screen ruling, it calculates the height and shoulder profile of the print elements in halftone images, line art, and text. Reliable correction of parameters is possible thanks to a real-time 3D preview.

To enable the powerful laser to engrave the relief precisely in a single step, its intensity needs to be modulated. The lower the height of a pixel, the greater the depth to which the laser spot has to remove the elastomer and the higher the amount of energy required. The PremiumProfiler assigns a gray step to each pixel. One pixel in the image data corresponds to one laser spot in engraving. That’s why HELL PremiumFlexo delivers “razor-sharp direct laser engraving” for precise undercuts, first steps, and shoulder angles – something that is impossible in other manufacturing processes.

Relief parameters that can only be controlled using direct laser engraving

The digital undercut is a lowering of the printing element below the original height of the printing form surface. The lower the tonal value, the bigger the undercut. It prevents print elements from tilting during rollovers or exhibiting halo effects and also reduces dot gain.

The first step is the vertical part of the shoulder of the print element directly below its printing surface. Unlike a shoulder that widens immediately, it does not print and causes less dot gain, because the ink does not spread as much around the printing area under pressure.

The shoulder profile, that is to say the three-dimensional shape of the printing elements below the first step, can be shaped as a function of tonal value to achieve optimum print results. It produces uniform geometry within the relief, stabilizes highlights by means of widely extending shoulders, and keeps the shadows open with a steep continuation of the first step.