British Columbia-based TF Massif, a pioneer in extra-large format flexible circuit production, recently harnessed Drytac’s SpotOn media to support an innovative project that brought printed flexible graphics to life through the incorporation of various components such as flexible smart LEDs, ePaper, and sensors. These components were programmed to create mesmerizing effects.
Established in 2017, TF Massif is renowned for its forward-thinking approach, delivering solutions for unique applications. Through its cutting-edge technology innovations and eco-friendly processes, TF Massif claims to have introduced the first product that effectively electrifies flexible printed graphics.
Previously, TF Massif primarily integrated smart flexible LEDs and sensors into printed graphics to enhance their appeal, primarily catering to event, tradeshow, and retail clients through its CAPTIVA Innovations marketing division. However, TF Massif ventured beyond its established boundaries by collaborating with electronic paper (ePaper) specialist EINK in a recent project. This partnership resulted in the creation of a novel product offering that not only produces one-of-a-kind effects but also consumes minimal power for activation.
TF Massif President Judith Stewart explained, “Smart LEDs emit light and have a pinpoint effect. In contrast, ePaper is inherently reflective, consuming ultra-low power and enabling us to introduce movement in a novel manner by activating individual elements 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, akin to the convenience of vinyl cutting. Flex LEDs, ePaper, and controllers are easily applied like stickers, and the final product is powered by either a 5V USB cell phone charger or a power outlet.”
Nonetheless, a challenge emerged in protecting the circuit on the back of the graphic, necessitating a self-adhesive film with specific properties that would not compromise performance. This task was further complicated by the fact that laminating Flex LEDs, sensors, and ePaper with standard self-adhesive vinyl would result in unsightly bubbles.
Given their experience with Drytac materials in other applications since 2017, TF Massif turned to the self-adhesive specialist for a solution on this flexible printed graphics project. It was soon determined that the dot adhesive pattern on Drytac’s SpotOn media would facilitate a clean lamination, ensuring the circuit’s protection—a perfect solution.
Stewart remarked, “The superior adhesive and vinyl compared to competing products ensure the durability of our offerings. The response from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. They recognize that our technological innovations open up new creative possibilities. Integrating accent lights, ePaper, and sensors into a rollable poster or banner enables diverse applications in point-of-purchase displays, home and corporate wall decor, branding, advertising, and tradeshow promotion. Customers are consistently amazed by the thin and flexible nature of the circuit and how a few LEDs or ePaper segments can breathe life into a graphic in a truly unique way. Printed graphics can now be active, interactive, and even responsive by incorporating smart flexible components. Imagination is the only limit!”