Just like concrete, stone has an open porous structure that easily absorbs inks. This makes it suitable for coding with virtually any ink-based coding techniques such as Inkjet or contact coding appliances. However, if the stone has a very rough surface, the stencils/templates used in contact coding may wear out. Also, height differences in the surfaces to be printed can cause the print to be “stamped” unevenly or inconsistently. In practice therefore, the “non-contact” Inkjets are by far most commonly used on stone.
For relatively unchanging prints, budget solutions such as Hot Solid Inks and Rollcoders provide good coding techniques for stone. A second requirement for these techniques is that the stone surface is not too rough or has too many surface height differences. The most commonly used coding technique for stone is therefore Hi-Res Inkjet. With this method, prints can be applied by transporting the stones past the print head during production.