Sublimation printing is a popular method for producing high-quality, full-color designs on a variety of materials. Whether you are starting a new business or adding sublimation printing to your existing services, it’s important to have the right equipment to achieve the best results.
Here are some of the key pieces of equipment you will need for sublimation printing:
The first and most important piece of equipment you will need for sublimation printing is a sublimation printer. These printers use special sublimation ink that is use to bond with polyester-based materials when heat is apply during the process.
There is a variety of Sublimation Printer available on the market, ranging from small desktop models to larger industrial printers. When choosing a printer, consider the volume of printing you will be doing and the size of the materials you will be printing on.
Some popular sublimation printers on the market include the Epson SureColor F570, the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500, and the Ricoh SG7100DN.
Popular desktop sublimation printer
The Epson SureColor F570 is a popular desktop Sublimation Printer that offers high-quality prints and easy maintenance. It has a maximum print size of 24 inches and is ideal for printing on various substrates, including apparel, home decor, and promotional items.
The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is another popular printer that is compact, affordable, and easy to use. It has a maximum print size of 8.5 x 14 inches and is ideal for printing on small to medium-sized items.
The Ricoh SG7100DN is an industrial printer that is capable of high volume printing. It has a maximum print size of 11 x 17 inches and can produce up to 29 pages per minute. This printer is ideal for printing on larger substrates, such as banners, trade show displays, and large apparel items.
Sublimation ink is a key component of the sublimation printing process. When choosing sublimation ink, make sure it is compatible with the Sublimation Printer you are using and the materials you will be printing on. There are also different types of sublimation ink available, such as dye-sublimation ink and pigment-sublimation ink.
Dye-sublimation ink is the most commonly used type of sublimation ink and produces vibrant, long-lasting colors. Pigment-sublimation ink is more opaque and is better suited for printing on dark materials.
Popular sublimation ink brands include Sawgrass, Epson, and Mimaki.
A heat press is used to apply heat and pressure to the material and transfer the sublimation ink from the paper to the material. The heat press is a critical piece of equipment for achieving a good transfer.
There are two types of heat presses: clamshell and swing-away. Clamshell heat presses have a hinged top that opens like a clamshell, while swing-away heat presses have a top that swings away from the bottom.
When choosing a heat press, consider the size of the materials you will be printing on and the volume of printing you will be doing.
Substrate materials are the items you will be printing on, such as t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases. It’s important to choose high-quality materials that are compatible with sublimation printing and have a high polyester content.
Common substrate materials include polyester t-shirts, ceramic mugs, and aluminum panels. Make sure to research the materials you will be printing on to ensure they are compatible with sublimation printing.
Computer and Design Software
To create designs for sublimation printing, you will need a computer and design software. Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW are popular options for designing graphics. When designing your graphics, make sure to use a resolution of at least 300 dpi to ensure high-quality prints.
Transfer paper is used to hold the sublimation ink before it is transferred to the material. It’s important to use high-quality transfer paper that is compatible with your printer and ink.
There are two types of transfer paper: light and dark. Light transfer paper is used for printing on light-colored materials, while dark transfer paper is used for printing on dark-colored materials.
A protective coating is used to protect the sublimation ink from fading or peeling over time. The type of coating you use will depend on the material you are printing on.
For example, if you are printing on a t-shirt, you may use a textile coating. If you are printing on a mug, you may use a heat-resistant coating.
Some popular protective coating brands include Sprayway, Heat Transfer Warehouse, and AlbaChem. In addition to the equipment listed above, you may also need a heat-resistant mat to protect your work surface, a cutting machine to create custom shapes, and various tools such as scissors, rulers, and tape.
Overall, investing in the right equipment for sublimation printing can help you achieve high-quality, long-lasting prints and grow your business.