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ADA Signage Built by the Layer

Get into the profitable ADA-compliant signage market while saving time and money and gaining a competitive advantage. How? Use a UV-LED printer.

ADA Signage Built by the Layer

Print Braille Signs with UV-LED Innovations

By Michael Perrelli, Direct Color Systems (DCS)

(Originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Insights.)

Get into the profitable ADA-compliant signage market while saving time and money and gaining a competitive advantage. How? Use a UV-LED printer.

As the market for these direct-to-substrate flatbed printers expands, so do the many ways that users are pushing these versatile machines to new limits. The ability to print full-color, raised images, text, and more onto many substrates lets retailers decorate items in ways they never could before and to save valuable time over other methods. Think of printing and selling custom bottles, phone cases, light and dark T-shirts, and more with one machine. UV-LED printers can accomplish it all quickly and easily.

ADA-compliant signage is no exception. With a click of the mouse, you can print all of the components of an ADA sign—pictogram, raised text, and braille dots—in almost any color onto a variety of noncoated substrates. Print a background color or image, and compliant ADA signs are printed in a matter of minutes! You don’t need to order or store every color of substrate, use multiple types of equipment, license a special technique, or complete a multistep process.

Simple Steps for UV-LED ADA-Compliant Signage

  1. Open an ADA-compliant design file or create one from scratch using your printer’s software and ADA module. Color Byte, DCS’s software, performs Grade 1 and Grade 2 braille translation and features a library of pictograms and symbols—and ready-to-go templates for standard ADA-compliant signage.
  2. Send the file to your printing software (Color Byte RIP, in this case).
  3. Load your substrate onto your UV-LED printer.
  4. Hit print!

Printing time will depend on the size of the sign, the amount of raised text and graphics, the complexity of the art, and other factors. A standard, ADA-compliant 6-in.-by-8-in. men’s room sign will print in 4 minutes and 21 seconds without a background or 5 minutes and 20 seconds when the printer is creating the background as well. And you can be working on another project while it’s printing.

When the printer stops, the sign is ready to be hung up—no drying time or other work necessary.

DCS Moves Forward in Securing Patent for Process to Print ADA Braille

Direct Color Systems (Direct Color LLC) received a notice of allowance for U.S. Patent Application No. 14/780,346 entitled “ADA-Compliant Braille Signage Printer and Method of Printing UV LED Curable Ink Using a Flat Bed Ink Jet Printer.”

The notice indicates that all of the pending claims in the patent application are allowable, directed to various aspects of Direct Color Systems’ printer and process for producing ADA-compliant braille signs efficiently with a high degree of control over dot height and dot accuracy. Issuance of the patent is expected in the coming months.

Save a Step—or 29!

The number of steps needed to create ADA signage depends on who is doing the counting, but by DCS’s count, UV-LED printing saves retailers between 10 and 29 steps over their current method. Talk about efficient!

  • 4 steps for DCS’s UV-LED printer
  • 14 steps for thermoforming
  • 15 steps for photopolymer
  • 33 steps for Raster® system

Michael Perrelli is marketing manager at Direct Colors Systems (DCS), a U.S.-based leader in engineering, manufacturing, and marketing small- and mid-format, direct-to-substrate UV-LED inkjet printers that utilize cutting-edge technology to deliver rich, full-color images directly onto rigid and flexible substrates. Combined with solvent and thermal ribbon printers with related printing supplies, including software, inks, substrates, and accessories, DCS offers unique benefits for the signage, ad specialty, manufacturing, name badge, labeling, and personalization industries. For more information, sample requests, or demo options, contact DCS at or visit Photos and videos of the ADA-compliant braille sign printing process can also be found on Twitter @DCS_US or on the DCS Facebook page.

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