Before getting into the details of a sublimation printer, let’s discuss what is a sublimation printer and why its trend has been rapidly growing over the past few years. However, you need a compatible sublimation printer because these inks won’t work with regular plain sheets and will definitely not help you with the entire process.
- What Is A Sublimation Printer? Complete Operational Detail
- 1. What Is Sublimation?
- Sublimation is a scientific process in which solid substances usually melt and turn into gas. It is a detailed transition procedure involving no liquid state but the gas version against a certain temperature and pressure. You can also call it a solid-to-gas transferring state that various individuals and businesses have used to generate profits.
- 2. How does Sublimation Work?
- 3. Operating a Sublimation Printer
- 4. Properties of a Sublimation Printer
- 5. Ink Tanks
- 6. Easy to Use
- 7. Input and Output trays
- 8. Materials to Sublimate Designs
- 9. Connection with External Device
- Sublimation Printer for Next-Level Print Outputs
- Advantages of a Sublimation Printer
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What Is A Sublimation Printer? Complete Operational Detail
A sublimation printer is a traditional printer used for our regular tasks, including printing docs, photos, scanning, and copying. However, there are some exceptions, like you cannot use regular ink for the sublimation as well as you may need a sublimation paper/transfer paper to print your designs.
Sublimation inks basically set the foundation of the whole process. It is absorbed permanently onto the respective material and delivers the desired performance. These special dye inks turn directly into the gas form after a certain temperature and pressure are used.
Let’s get into further detail.
1. What Is Sublimation?
Sublimation is a scientific process in which solid substances usually melt and turn into gas. It is a detailed transition procedure involving no liquid state but the gas version against a certain temperature and pressure. You can also call it a solid-to-gas transferring state that various individuals and businesses have used to generate profits.
Yes, sublimation is now a business term that designers, beginners, and professionals use to transform their artwork from their smartphones/PCs to various objects, including T-shirts, plates, mugs, etc.
2. How does Sublimation Work?
Since we have discussed what sublimation is and the science behind it. Now, let’s get into how this whole sublimation process can be implemented.
Basically, the sublimation thing is not smooth as it sounds. Though the process involves transferring designs or artwork from digital to physical objects, it requires a special set of equipment to perform the job. The first and most important piece of equipment is a sublimation printer, after the PC and other smart devices. We didn’t focus on smart devices because you can use your smartphone to capture photos, use certain apps to design things, and so on.
Therefore, we will mainly focus on the sublimation printer and its properties in the whole sublimation process.
3. Operating a Sublimation Printer
Operating a sublimation printer is not rocket science. Since we all are familiar with the traditional printers and their properties, using them can save time, energy, and the learning phase. Though many brands like Epson, Canon, HP, brothers, and others are producing some compelling all-in-one printers that can be used for the sublimation process, it really helps with the functionality.
However, we can discuss some common properties of a sublimation printer that would give you a rough idea about its functions and whether you should invest in one or not.
4. Properties of a Sublimation Printer
The printer is not about putting paper sheets into the input trays and pressing the buttons to print the files. It is more than that. Sublimation has given a new job to printers that can turn the tables for your businesses, especially if you have some creative skills.
A printer combines many elements that make it reliable and durable for frequent usage. Here are some common factors you may encounter after getting a sublimation printer.
5. Ink Tanks
Ink tanks, placements, and capacity deserve a dedicated post, but we will discuss its importance precisely here. First, if you are turning a regular printer for sublimation, you should use a cleaning kit to purify ink tanks so there would be no sign of regular ink (it may damage the sublimation process). Secondly, invest in the best quality sublimation ink from famous brands, better try to get the printers’ brand because they would adjust with nature. And then, watch out for the capacity.
High-capacity ink tanks will save you running costs and the trouble of frequent maintenance, cleaning, and refilling. Many brands like Epson manufacture the printers with the EcoTank series that contains ink tanks instead of tiny cartridges. They offer ten times more capacity than bottles or tiny cartridges that demand constant refills.
6. Easy to Use
A sublimation printer is easy to use because it comes with a control panel (varies with brands, models, and advancement levels). The panel contains a display screen and buttons to put your printing requirements or quantity and effortlessly adjust other settings.
7. Input and Output trays
Like inserting plain sheets of different sizes to print your documents, you will also have to put the sublimation printer on the input tray, press the button from the control panel, and receive the print from the output tray.
A special type of sublimation or transfer is used for the process because it’s not about just printing; you will have to use the heat press to transfer it onto other materials.
8. Materials to Sublimate Designs
you can transform your artwork from sublimation paper to t-shirts of polyester or polyester mix material, which can be bags, mats, shirts, aprons, etc. You can also sublimate on ceramic mugs and tiles, Aluminum sheets, MDF coasters, glass sheets, and much more.
However, the material that may not have a polyester coating is not recommended for the sublimation process. People usually try cotton fabric for this purpose, which is highly dangerous and a waste of resources. Also, dark color fabrics are advised to avoid sublimation, and white or pale colors should be used for better visibility of the designs.
9. Connection with External Device
Though the connection options depend on the brands and models, every sublimation printer comes with basic connecting needs. You cannot proceed with the sublimation process until you give the machine designs to put, which can only be possible by pairing it to your smart device.
Traditional printers might include Ethernet or USB, but the sublimation printers are business-oriented and thus offer multiple connectivity options, including wireless alternatives. High-end brands like Epson, HP, Brothers, and Canon offer Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi Direct, some NFC protocols, and some dedicated smartphone-compatible apps for data management and hands-free connection.
So, you can work on your designs, connect the device to a printer, and instantly send a file for printing.
Sublimation Printer for Next-Level Print Outputs
There is a huge variety of sublimation printers available in the market that are now being differentiated into the categories of beginners, affordable, professionals, and high-end businesses. These printers vary in features, printing speed, output performance, input and output sheet capacity, ink tanks, and price.
However, all the sublimation printers produce decent print output with excellent color accuracy and absorption techniques that won’t fade even after the heat pressure.
Advantages of a Sublimation Printer
There are many advantages of a sublimation printer; some of them are:
- It is a multipurpose printer that can perform traditional duties after cleaning the ink tanks
- It ensures low running costs that eventually lead to generating high profits
- It easily connects to different devices via stable wired or wireless options
- It can print on various output materials, including cassettes, paper, media rolls, etc.
- Sublimation helps the printing get integrated into the material that cannot be damaged by scratching, washing, etc.
- Sublimation printers are fast enough to print your designs in high quantities with less printing costs.
This article has briefly talked about what is a sublimation printer and whether it’s different from a regular printer. But it is a device that can be a game-changer for your business if you have been into designing, photography, and creativity.
Sublimation is an exciting but time-consuming process of transferring designs/artworks to compatible materials via heat pressure. But, once you start enjoying its perks and profits, it will amaze you.
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