British Columbia-based extra-large format flexible circuit production specialist TF Massif recently used Drytac SpotOn media to support the production of an innovative project that saw printed flexible graphics brought to life through the addition of various components—such as flexible smart LEDs, ePaper, and sensors—which are then programmed to create mesmerizing effects.
Founded in 2017, TF Massif is an incredibly forward-thinking company, developing solutions for some of the most unique applications in the market. Using its technology innovations and green process, TF Massif has developed what it says to be the first product to market to effectively electrify flexible printed graphics.
Until recently, TF Massif had solely been integrating smart flexible LEDs and sensors into printed graphics to bring them to life, with this service being offered to event, tradeshow, and retail clients via its CAPTIVA Innovations marketing arm.
However TF Massif opted to stretch the boundaries of its technology even further on a recent project by partnering with electronic paper (ePaper) specialist EINK to introduce a whole new product offering that not only creates one-of-a-kind effects but also consumes very little power to be activated.
“Smart LEDs emit light and have a pinpoint effect,” said TF Massif President Judith Stewart. “ePaper however is reflective by nature so it is ultra-low power and allows us to create a sense of movement in a whole new way by activating individual parts or segments of the printed graphics, such as shapes and letters.
“The green circuit production process is fully automated using the TFMassif Circuit Fabrication Tool mounted on a Zünd cutter and is as convenient as vinyl cutting. The Flex LEDs, ePaper and controllers are simply placed like stickers, and the final product is powered by either a 5V USB cell phone charger or power outlet.”
However a challenge arose when it came to protecting the circuit on the back of the graphic. This required a self-adhesive film with a unique set of properties that would not impact its performance.
This task was made even trickier as the lamination of the Flex LEDs, sensors and ePaper with standard self-adhesive vinyl would lead to unsightly bubbles.
Having been using Drytac materials in other applications since 2017, TF Massif reached out to the self-adhesive specialist for a solution on this flexible printed graphics project.
It was soon discovered that the dot adhesive pattern on Drytac SpotOn media would enable a clean lamination, ensuring the circuit was protected—the perfect solution.
“The superior adhesive and vinyl compared to competing products ensures that the products are durable,” said Stewart. “The response from our customers has been very positive; they understand that our technology innovation opens up a whole new world, creative-wise. Integrating accent lights, ePaper, and sensors into a rollable poster or banner enables myriad new applications in POP, home and corporate wall décor or branding, advertising, and tradeshow promotion. Customers are always amazed by how thin and flexible the circuit is, and how a few LEDs or ePaper segments can bring a graphic to life in such a unique way.
“Printed graphics can now be active, interactive and even responsive by integrating, smart flexible components. Imagination is the only limit!”