Do you have any idea what is a sublimation printer? Not all people are interested in knowing how sublimation works, although it is one of the most attractive, convenient, and best methods of printing anything. Any person can use sublimation printing when printing their company logos on the adverts, gifts or when they are making customized f gifts for their loved ones or when making their items. However, sublimation will require a particular type of printer and a unique paper and ink.
The sublimation ink is critical as it is the one that does make the entire process completely different from other methods. The printers which use sublimation method are available in several brands. DNP, Sony, Epson, Kodak, Mitsubishi are some of the common brand names that you will always encounter when shopping for the best sublimation printers in the market. All these brands are known to offer printers which are efficient in sublimation printing.
With more and more people researching online on what is a dye sublimation printer, it is essential to know that dye sublimation printing does involve the transfer of an image into a substrate. It uses the sublimation printer and ink to enable it to prints the image into the transfer paper. After that, the paper will be used in transferring the ink to the substrate, which will make the ink to be substrate part that you will print on.
Have you ever asked yourself what is a dye sublimation photo printer, and how does it differ from the other types of printers? For instance, when using the inkjet transfer to print, you will be publishing the ink on the substrate top. Most of the other printing methods do go through all the three matter states, which are gas, liquid, and solid.
How Sublimation Printing Process Work
Apart from knowing what a sublimation printer used for is, it is also essential for one to understand how the printing process works. Apart from wondering what a photo dye-sublimation printer is, I am quite sure that you are also wondering how the process of sublimation printing works. You will first have to print the image on the transfer paper by use of a sublimation printer and ink.
After that, you will have to transfer the paper and have the substrate pass through the heat press, where they will be subjected to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the heat press stage, the sublimation transfer paper and ink will be turned into a gaseous state where they can quickly get through the substrate material. It is very much possible since the heat will emit the gas for sublimation ink and, after that, opens the substrate pores.
After removing the substrate and the transfer paper from the heat press, printing will proceed, and the ink that went through the substrate material will be turned into the solid-state before the pores of the substrate close holding the ink in place. The image you just printed will never fade away by itself when you execute the process of sublimation printing well. However, it can wear out after some time when the substrate drops.
The materials you should have during Sublimation Printing:
- Ceramic tile
- Polymer coated metal
- Polycotton textile
- Polyester made fabric
- The polyester coated aluminum sheet
- Polyester coated plastic
Since you are now aware of what is sublimation printing but not sure if it is good for the environment or not! The entire process is known to produce minimal waste as it does not use water when using heat transfer technology. The type of dyes that are used in the whole process of sublimation printing is also safe and does not have any negative impact on the environment.
Apart from being friendly to the environment, the dye using in sublimation printing is also sustainable, and one will only require a small amount for the entire process of sublimation. Another great benefit that comes with using the dye is that you can use it several times in a process known as exhaust printing. The prints will never be pigmented, although their faded effect is capable of producing designs that are entirely unique.
It is also possible for one to use the transfer papers in making other crafts since they do work well as gift wrappers and stationery. You can also consider going for the substrates that are friendly to the environment in sublimation printing. You can decide to use the recycled polyester instead of going for the new polyester material.
Reasons Why You Should Consider Using the Sublimation Printing Over Other Methods
1. Helps in Saving Time
Apart from knowing what is a digital sublimation printer, it is also essential that you know the process of dye sublimation is very simple when compared to the other conventional printing methods. One just needs to create an image on their machine and then print the copy on a transfer paper with the help of sublimation ink and, after that applying the paper having an image to the decorated item.
By use of the heat press, the transfer paper will be pressed against the surface at 400 degrees Fahrenheit that will make the ink used in the sublimation process to move from the paper to any polymer fibers in the substrate. Within 60 or so seconds, the heat will be removed and transfer paper peeled off, which will leave a complete image with full color on the substrate. The complete process wont take more than 35 minutes.
2. Space Saving
When shopping for the printer for sublimation printing, you need to know that the right types of printers for sublimation printing do use different types of inkjet or toner-based printers. You do not have to go for the large printers just to help you print your various materials. With the advancement in technology, several sublimation printers are small in size and won’t take an ample space.
3. Emits Less Waste
Since sublimation printing does not consist of transfer paper waste since the papers do offer fewer opportunities for re-use. Reduction in waste emission does take place with the ability of the process to produce both long and short runs of the print. The designs can be made to order, or the samples can be efficiently and conveniently produced without wasting substrates or extra materials.
4. Energy Reduction
The sublimation printing technology is ever-evolving, and the evolution does come with a much more efficient sublimation way. The models made earlier did require users to change inks physically to keep on with the printing. However, the most recent models like the Texart XT-640 that allows for switching of ink unattended. The machines will no longer have to run idle until the ink is switched, although there is a chance it can continue running for hours without disrupting the printing process.
Compared to the screen-based processes, the digital inkjet sublimation printing does require minimal print washing. One will get to enjoy benefits like reduced creasing, quick-dry, easy washing when one uses the sublimation ink. These will help in reducing its impact on the environment.
5. It is Cheaper
The analog mode of printing is not that cost-effective, especially when printing small quantities of documents. It is due to the enormous amount of time you will need to prepare the artwork together with the machine for the process of production. In case all you require is one or half a dozen documents to be printed, the use of analog printing will be time consuming and expensive.
In the ’90s, when the inkjet printers were first introduced, the sublimation ink was formulated to work with a different standard of the shelf models. By use of a cheaper printer, a heat press, and a computer, any person will be in a position of producing complete color transfers with lots of ease and cheaply. The final result will be a rapid analog to digital conversion of printing techniques.
6. Production Flexibility
Most of the digital printing methods like sublimation printing are cheap and fast right from the setup stage to the production stage, which makes it a perfect choice when it comes to the creation of personalized and mass production of different custom products.
The use of sublimation printing will yield permanent and beautiful colors that will be embedded in the fabric or substrate instead of being printed on the surface. The fabric images will not crack or even fade away after washing several times. The hard substrates photographs will also not peel, chip, or scratch.
Sublimation Printing Vs. Screen Printing
Not all the printing needs of people are the same hence, this is an entirely subjective choice. To assist you in choosing what will suit your requirements better, we will be looking at some of the main differences between the sublimation printing and screen printing.
- This printing process will dye the substrate to wherever position it has been applied.
- It is a full-color printing process and does use four pigments to enable you to print images using different colors.
- The process makes use of light or white-colored substrate below it. Different colors mix as they are printed on the substrate.
- It is an economical choice if you do have multi-color and low volume print requirements
- The dye sublimation can print high-resolution raster and vector files.
- You will always place or superimpose the ink over the substrate when using screen printing
- You will be mixing the ink to the Pantone color being mixing
- It is an economical option if you will be doing high volume printing
- You will be using the substrate color as the base as you will be applying the ink over it
Essential Things to Consider When Shopping for a Sublimation Printer
Since you are now aware of what is an excellent printer for sublimation, it is imperative that you now know the things to look for when shopping for one. There are not so many features one has to consider when shopping for the sublimation printer. Since most of the features are the same across all the printers. However, we do have some essential features that you need to pay special attention to when shopping for a sublimation printer.
1. The Printer size
When the ink bottles are more significant, you will be refilling them less often. In most cases, you will always get ink bottles with 100,120 and 240 ml capacity. In case you are not printing regularly, you will be okay with the ink bottles having a capacity of 100 ml.
However, when you use your printer for professional or business frequently, then it will be appropriate if you go for bottles with bigger ink capacity. When the containers are more significant, the more you will be able to get from them, and the less frequently you will have to refill or place an order for them.
There are cartridges and ink bottles that have been designed using a few brands and models in mind. For instance, if you are interested in purchasing a sublimation ink, you have to invest in an Epson C88+ printer or an EPSON C88 printer. The sublimation ink of the Jack 400 ml printer will be compatible with the majority of the Epson printers.
Not all the types of sublimation inks will be able to give vibrant colors. In case you are interested in vibrant and bright colors, then you will have to make your selection from particular brands.
4. Long-Lasting and Water Proof
Almost all the types of sublimation ink dyes are waterproof and do last for a pretty long time. They never fade away quickly despite frequent washing. It is, however, advisable that you go through the user manual to see if it is a waterproof and water-resistant ink to be sure that the images you will be making will not fade away quickly.
Your brand will be more flexible; depending on how many more surfaces you can use the sublimation dye. The majority of the inks used in sublimation printing can be used on almost every type of surface and material right from the caps, t-shirts, shoes, mugs, polyester to ceramics. When the ink you use in sublimation printing is more flexible, then you can print lots of things on it.
There are inks used in sublimation printing that comes with extra accessories. For example, tube holders, syringes, and injectors are of great importance whenever you are refilling your cartridges. However, you will not have to use more money to purchase all these accessories, especially when they come with your cartridges.
You are now aware of what is sublimation printing and what is the best sublimation printer currently available in the market. You must choose the correct ink to use during the sublimation printing for the designs you need, especially if you will be running your business from home or making the products on a commercial basis.