What Is A Sublimation Printer: When To Use It
Are you planning on expanding your printing business? While your inkjet printer is reliable for printing text documents, you may want to level up your game by investing sublimation printers.
What is a sublimation printer? You will find out more as you scroll on.
A dye-sublimation printer specializes in graphics. The image quality—shades, hues, and color mixes—is better and more natural-looking than the output of an inkjet printer.
It has a different printing mechanism than that of the inkjet printer too. It got its name from the process called sublimation—the transition of a solid substance to its gas state without being liquified.
When printing, a sublimation printer heats a special ribbon with solid inks. The high temperature turns the solid ink into gas, laying down primary colors and a coating onto the sublimation transfer paper. The gas solidifies on the paper creating accurate images in full color.
Before we discuss the process, we will define some sublimation printing information and terms:
- Transfer paper – A specialty paper used only for sublimation printing. This paper has a special coating that holds the sublimation ink. You can buy this product online or in local printing stores.
- Sublimation ink – A specialty ink; turns into gas through heat applied by sublimation printer. Use sublimation ink cartridges within six months after installation on your printer.
- Substrates. You may apply the image printed on your sublimation transfer paper to other substrates like shirts, keyrings, and other surfaces with poly-coating.
To learn what is sublimation printing, you should be familiar with the steps on how it is done:
- Print the image on a transfer paper using a sublimation printer and ink.
- Prepare your substrate (example: a shirt). Iron the shirt so there are no folds, creases, or moisture on the spot where you will apply the image.
- Put the cardboard inside the shirt. Position it beneath the spot where you will transfer the image. Make sure that the fabric is flattened and tight in position.
- Pre-heat the electric press machine 375o – 400o Fahrenheit.
- Position and tape the printed image on the fabric, face down.
- Using the press machine, heat press the image on the fabric for 2 – 3 minutes.
With the machine’s high temperature, the ink turns to gas. The heat also opens the fabric’s pores. Then, the ink seeps through the material and solidifies it. Remember, you can only use one sublimation transfer paper once.
The image on your shirt will not fade for a long time so long as you did the process correctly. It will only fade when the shirt deteriorates.
What is a sublimation printer? Now that you know the answer, you might be convinced to buy one as it specializes in high-quality printing of graphics and images. There are product reviews online that can help you pick the right sublimation printer for your next projects. Master the sublimation printing process so you can expand your market.