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How to Pick a Dye Sublimation Printer

So you’ve decided to go into sublimation printing. Congratulations! Whether you’re already into sublimation printing or you want to try something new, we’ve got you covered.

Selecting the right sublimation printer for your business can be a bit overwhelming, with all the things you have to be aware of. But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to get you started. So, let’s get to it.

What Is Dye Sublimation Printing?

To understand what a dye sublimation printer is, you need to know how sublimation printing works. In dye sublimation printing, a heat press is applied to a sheet of transfer paper printed with special solidified inks. We’ll discuss the inks used in sublimation printing later in the article.

What differentiates dye sublimation printers from inkjet printers is how the ink is transferred to the object. When using your inkjet printer, the ink is transferred directly to the object you’re printing on.

However, dye sublimation printing involves more steps. In the beginning stages, ink is applied to a transfer paper and dried into a solid-state.

The second stage is what gives this particular printing technique its name. Then, the solidified inks are transferred to the poly material in a gaseous state without passing through the liquid state. This process is known as sublimation.

Sublimation printers are used for polyester and polyester resin-coated materials, such as jerseys, swimwear, mugs, phone cases, and scarves.

What to Consider Before Getting a Dye Sublimation Printer

We’ve provided you with some aspects to look for before getting a dye sublimation printer to make the selection process easy for you.

1. Usage

As mentioned earlier, dye sublimation printing can be used for various purposes. Therefore, the first thing to consider when getting a dye sublimation printer is what you want to use it for.

Do you plan on printing designs on flip-flops, mugs, or bag tags? Are you aiming for bigger materials, such as pillows and upholstery? Do you want to do high-definition graphics? These are some questions you need to ask yourself before getting a sublimation printer.

2. Number of Ink Colors

The next thing to consider is the number of ink colors. Usually, a four-color printer should be fine. However, if you plan to produce materials that involve fine art or photography, shades of colors are essential. Hence, you might need more than four colors. We’re talking about a six or eight-colored printer.

You can always get an equipment dealer to help you test how images appear with different sublimation printers so that you can choose the best one for you. This comes in handy if you’re new to the art of sublimation printing.

3. Capacity of Ink Cartridges

Another factor to consider is the capacity of the ink cartridges. It would help to keep in mind that a sublimation printer with small ink cartridges will need to be replaced frequently.

This may, in turn, affect your production speed. If you decide to go for such a printer, ensure that you always have spare ink cartridges. This way, you can avoid wasting valuable time, and produce more.

4. Printing Speed

Let’s face it! Working with a dye sublimation printer that has impressive speed is a lifesaver. A higher speed means you’ll be printing more within a short time, which will, in turn, affect your profit positively.

When considering the speed of a sublimation printer, pay close attention to the image size under the speed specs. Large images will take a longer time to be printed than smaller images.

An equipment dealer can aid you in determining which printer is best for you in terms of speed. However, it’d be best if you focused more on quality rather than speed. We get it; you want to produce more, but what use is that if your goods’ quality isn’t up to par?

5. Size

Size is another reason you should decide what you’ll be printing before buying a dye sublimation printer.

This is because you should pick a dye sublimation printer that can print the largest image you’ll need. For example, if the largest design you plan on printing is 12” x18”, a 13” x19” printer would be perfect.

6. Price

When buying a sublimation printer, one of the first things that come to mind is the price. And if you’re starting a new business, you want to cut down on cost as much as possible. However, buying a cheap sublimation printer because you want to save a few bucks may not be a good idea.

You should focus on your long-term goals, and if you want to grow a successful business, the quality of your products plays a significant role. Still, it’d be best if you worked within your budget.

Last Words

Now that you know all about dye sublimation printers, nothing can stop you from picking the right choice that’ll be perfect for your printing needs. If you’re new to the world of dye sublimation printing, recommendations from friends and family who are already in the business are a great way to start.

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