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Inkjet Printing, Inkjet InkJune 21, 2023

How to Stay Relevant by Digitally Decorating Tumblers

Inkjet Printing, Inkjet Ink
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stainless steel tumbler lion

In 2023, the sheer variety of techniques for embellishing drinkware can be overwhelming, with many readily accessible to crafters of all skill levels. While home-based customization options may be unlimited, they can’t match the quality of industrially printed drinkware. Tumblers are a prime example of drinkware that should be entrusted to professionals for optimal results.

Drinkware is particularly finicky when it comes to printing due to its functionality. For example, drinkware, whether it be a glass, mug, or wine tumbler are used regularly and are washed just as often. While washing can vary from hand washing to home dish washers to industrial dish washers, adhesion is a large consideration when it comes to drinkware. UV printing with a cylindrical inkjet printer, paired with an ink series specially formulated for the substrate is one of the best solutions to achieve high-quality, full-color vibrant graphics.

What is a tumbler?

Tumbler is one of those words that is now used so often it has become almost meaningless. Let us start at the basics, a tumbler can be made from a wide variety of different materials such as plastic, glass, powder coated metals, or stainless steel. Most often you will see tumblers in powder coated or stainless steel as these materials are the best for controlling temperature. The vessel itself is typically an insulated cup meant for travel, featuring a lid to prevent spills. A tumbler’s sole function is either keep the beverage inside hot or cold and protect them while you’re on the go.

Tumblers offer significant environmental benefits over single-use water bottles and to-go cups, as they are reusable and reduce waste. Single-use water bottles are a major contributor to pollution and waste worldwide, making it crucial to choose reusable drinkware options whenever possible. By opting for a reusable tumbler instead of disposable cups or bottles, you can help make a positive impact on the environment.

One of the most fun things about tumblers is the shape! They are available in a wide variety of different sizes and appearances. Some can resemble stemless wine glasses, stemless champagne flutes, or even your classic tall glass. Funkier tumbler designs out on the market mimic traditional glasses used for drinks like a martini and others.

Whether you’re sipping coffee or enjoying a refreshing hard seltzer or glass of wine, tumblers offer a convenient option for those on the move. Stainless steel tumblers are especially useful for places like the beach where glass is prohibited, as well as for any other situation where breakable glassware could pose a risk.

Staying Relevant in the Drinkware Market

Designs and logos decorating drinkware does not differ much from other areas. If people are immersed in their favorite Disney+ show, they are more inclined to add it to other aspects of their life, from their car to their apparel to their drinkware. As tumblers can be used in both the summer and the winter, their favorite franchise can stick with them all year long.

Stay up to date by offering current designs of popular or trending television shows, books, or movies. While this may seem obvious and a task upon itself, the reward will be worth it.

UV Printers for Tumblers

When it comes time to decorating tumblers, there are quite a few options. One could decorate with dye-sublimation, but this process results in a lot of excess waste. Another option would be to pad print a logo, but pad printing is limited to a single or few color prints. The next option would be screen printing inks often have to be mixed with a hardener, limiting the lifespan of the ink and resulting in more waste similar to dye sublimation. That leaves digitally decorating a tumbler. There are many UV printers for tumblers on the market to accommodate different run sizes. Inkcups offers the Helix® line to answer your production runs of one- offs to long runs. Learn more about our range of cylindrical inkjet printers here.

Helix® ONE

Helix ONE Benchtop Cylindrical PrinterThe Helix® ONE benchtop cylindrical printer joins the Helix® line of direct-to-object printers in a compact design, complete with state-of-the-art components such as a motor-driven operation with a fully automatic programmable tooling fixture & height adjust and high-precision, robust linear drive. Additionally, the Helix® ONE is equipped with a segmented UV curing unit, which is controlled by software and has a power output of 8W, ensuring that the curing process is optimized for the best results. Other significant features of the Helix® ONE includes the ability to add jettable primer, automatic wiping station, as well as a white and black sub-tank recirculating system.

Compact in size, the Helix® ONE decorates CMYK+W and Varnish on a variety of straight walled and tapered cylinders. The Helix® ONE paired with the LV Series UV ink produces vibrant and intricate images on a variety of substrates including plastic, stainless steel, and powder coated vessels, perfect for decorating tumblers.

Helix New Logo 2023


The Helix®, Inkcups’ flagship machine, is a cylindrical inkjet printer designed for industrial-scale production of cylindrical objects, both straight walled and tapered. With its advanced printing capabilities, the Helix® can produce high-quality and vibrant prints with speed and accuracy, making it ideal for manufacturers in the drinkware industry. Its user-friendly interface and easy-to-use software make it a popular choice for businesses looking to enhance their production capabilities and streamline their workflow.

Double Helix End View New Frame

Double Helix®

Producing twice the output of the Helix®, the Double Helix® direct-to-object printer offers all of the same quality and print innovations at twice the speeds. Enjoy amazing customers with dazzling print designs using mirror print, Lustre Effect, tone-on-tone, photorealistic, and more.



Helix+ field upgradeable machine by Inkcups


Considered the steppingstone between the Helix® and the Double Helix®, the Helix®+ is unique in design. This cylindrical inkjet printer can grow with your business. It begins as a single tunnel machine, with the ability to be field upgraded to a double tunnel machine when demand grows. Print full-color CMYKWW+V graphics on a wide variety of substrates and enjoy standard feature ColorBoost, ensuring the best quality images at faster speeds, forging the previous trade up.



To discover which UV printer for tumblers best suits your needs, get in touch with your local sales representative today by contacting us.

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