Over the last 18 months we've seen the trend towards digitally printed Braille and tactile signage. The concept behind the technology is exciting, however it's just not there yet in terms of robustness and durability.
Whilst the process is capable of producing a nice to touch tactile system, the adhesion to the background substrate is it's major weakness.
With the trend of UV/3D printed Braille & tactile signs, has come the requirement to replace them.
We have had numerous orders to reproduce signs for people because the tactile elements had either peeled off by themselves, or had been picked off. This becomes an expensive outlay for either the customer at the end, or the supplier when it occurs in their defects period.
UV/3D printed Braille & tactile may have a very useful place in the future if the adhesion issue is sorted. Tactile maps could benefit from the ease of production and the addition of different textures to the substrate to help end users.
However at this point, in our opinion, UV/3D printed signs are only a temporary solution until the adhesion issue is solved.
Here's a couple of the images we've had sent to us. You can see on the aluminium signs that whilst a part may have been picked, you can see the print itself failing and warping. The plain blue panel, once was a Unisex Accessible Toilet & Shower sign!