Jesse J Heap & Son, Inc. Located in Irvington, NJ
 
 
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Total Solutions For Dye Sublimation Heat Transfer Printing
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Dye Sublimation Printing Steps (A,B,C,D) Next >>

Frequently Asked Questions - Dye Sublimation

A. General

  1. What is the Total Solutions Package?
  2. What service plan is offered with the Total Solutions Package?
  3. How can I contact you for more information?
  4. Can I use the total solution package to sublimate images onto sports uniforms? (i.e hockey, basketball, baseball, etc)?
  5. Can I use total solution package for sublimation onto glass surfaces?
  6. How does the dye sublimation process compare to screen printing?
  7. Is dye sublimation suitable for trade show booth backdrops?
  8. How does small format sublimation compare to large format sublimation?
  9. What training is offered through the total solution package?
  10. Can the dye sublimation process be used for printing on snowboards?

B. Software

  1. What computer system requirements are required to run the Ergosoft Posterprint or Wasatch SoftRip TX?
  2. What Operating System is suggested to run with the Wasatch SoftRip TX?
  3. What is the advantage of using Wasatch SoftRip TX with my Large format printer?
  4. What support plan is offered with Wasatch SoftRip TX for Textile Printers?
  5. How does Wasatch Softrip handle creating variable data graphics (i.e. customized uniforms)
  6. What file formats does Wasatch Softrip support?
  7. What do I need to check to ensure Wasatch is setup for printing?

C. Heat Transfer Presses

  1. How do I choose the right Heat Transfer Press?
  2. What's the difference between a Rotary Drum Heat press verses Platen Heat presses?
  3. What are the typical life cycles of the heat transfer press heating elements and how difficult are they to replace?
  4. Are there any special considerations as to where the machine should be installed in our production plant?
  5. Which heat transfer presses are capable of adhering a high vision reflective strip to clothing?
  6. Which heat transfer machines do you recommend for printing t-shirts?
  7. What are the advantages of using a rotary Drum Heat Transfer Press?
  8. What sort of service do you offer for the heat transfer presses? Are replacement parts readily available?
  9. Which heat presses do you recommend for sublimation printing for cyclewear?
  10. I sublimate images on tote bags - which press is suitable for my business?
  11. What is the difference between the AIt Press 1550PA vs the AIT Press 1550PLC with Programmable Logic Controller?
  12. I want to print onto poly-lycra but I'm concerned about stretching the goods too much when they pass through the heat press?

D. Ink Jet Printers

  1. What are the advantages of Epson's Piezo Printheads?
  2. What are the main differences between the Epson 9600 & Epson 7600?
  3. What are the print speeds for the Epson 7600 and Epson 9600?
  4. Will the Epson Printer Software properly monitor ink levels when the Sawgrass Inks cartridges are installed?
  5. What are the print speeds for the Mimaki JV4 (JV4-130, JV4-160 & JV4-180)?
  6. Can I switch between dye sublimation inks and regular inks using my epson printer?
  7. What connections do the Epson Printers support and which one do you recommend using?
  8. What maintenance procedures are recommended for my Epson Printer?
  9. How can I increase the drying time of my prints?
  10. What printers are supported by sawgrass's Sublijet and Artainium inks?

E. Sublimation Inks

  1. What type of paper is recommended to use with the Epson 7600/9600 and Sublijet transfer inks?
  2. What are the supported substrates that Sublijet Sublimation Inks can be used on?
  3. What ink cartridge sizes are available for Sublijet digital transfer inks when equipped with the Epson 7600 or 9600 printers?
  4. How do Sublijet Inks work?
  5. Can I use sublimation inks on darker substrates/materials?
  6. Will sublimation work on cotton surfaces?
  7. How can I figure out how much ink I will need for my production requirements?
  8. Can I sublimate on blended fabric with polyester and cotton? How much polyester is required?
  9. How much area does 1 liter of ink cover?
  10. How resistant are the sublimation inks to UV fading?

F. Digital Wide Format Dryer

  1. How should I position the heater in relation to the printer?
  2. How do I determine what level to set the heater at for my substrates?
  3. I use heat sensitive substrates, how can I regulate the heat output of the digital dryer?

 


A. General

A1. What is the Total Solutions Package?

The total solutions package is offered by Jesse J. Heap & Son as a "turnkey" solution geared towards Large Format commercial dye-sublimation printing industries.

The total solution package includes Wasatch SoftRIP TX Software, Epson 9600 or 7600 large format printers, Sublijet Digital transfer inks, Astex Heat Transfer presses, and the comprehensive PartnerPlus warranty and success guarantee. This best-of-breed package guarantees compatibility among the various components of the system.

Additionally, with over 20 years of experience selling and servicing heat transfer presses, Jesse J. Heap & Son, Inc. will provide consulting services, training and installation support for the total solution system in combination with Sawgrass.

We also have a dye sublimation introduction diagram for those looking for an introduction to the dye sublimation process.

A2. What is the PartnerPlus warranty and success guarantee?

As an authorized dealer of Sublijet digital transfer inks, the total solution package includes Sawgrasses PartnerPlus program -a comprehensive plan to fully guarantee SubliJet digital transfer inks against performance issues or defect, and to fully support any printer under Epson warranty when used with Sublijet inks. Sawgrass is a Certified Epson Service Center - the only sublimation provider that can provide legitimate, full-Epson-authorized service program.
PartnerPlus is a comprehensive user support program that provides Sublijet transfer owners the following:
  • Real-time product support including: telephone/web/fax based technical and usage support
  • Sophisticated color management software support and application tips
  • Fully product warranty against any Sublijet ink/cartridge performance issues or defects
  • Full support and service of Epson printers under warranty that are used with SubliJet transfer inks. As an Authorized Epson Service Center, Sawgrass Systems is the only company capable of ensuring success with Sublijet inks in supported Epson ink jet printers.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee for all Sublijet users.

A3. How can I contact you for more information?

Visit our contact page for email, address, and appropriate phone numbers.

The option to request more information online is available through our free catalog request.

A4. Can I use the total solution package to sublimate images onto sports uniforms? (i.e hockey, basketball, baseball, etc)?

The total solution system is perfect for short run customization of apparel and is currently being used extensively to print customized Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, and Hockey uniforms as well as Cyclewear, Leotards, Promotional T-shirts, etc.

As long as your uniforms are made from polyester the dye-sublimation process will work. Several of our customers are currently using the Total Solution process to print Hockey and Basketball shirts.

We've also found that many owners in the paintball industry have found the total solution system ideal for short-run design customizations of uniforms. Jersey's customized with dye sublimation inks can withstand multiple washes and still maintain their vibrant colors.

A5. Can I use total solution package for sublimation onto glass surfaces?

You can sublimate designs or text onto coated glass. The glass needs to have a polyester coating and coated glass is commercially available. Contact us for further details.

A6. How does the dye sublimation process compare to screen printing?

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Dye-sublimation print on polyester material does not affect the hand of the material and is more desirable than screen printing for Home Furnishing & Wallpaper fabrics and the apparel industry. In the United States and Canada dye-sublimation printing is very popular for Window Treatments (curtains & drapes), chair coverings and sheets and pillow cases. The colors are very vibrant, do not wash out and the process is less messy than screen printing which requires messy solvents and dyes.

Sublimation is also very popular with sportswear manufacturers- many printed uniforms (cyclewear, soccer, basketball and lacross) on the market today are done via sublimation. Unlike screen printing, where the ink lays on top of the garment, the sublimation process produces permanent images that will not crack or fade. Also, sublimation infuses the image into the thread of the fabric so that is does not affect the breathability of the garment. Most athletes prefer sublimated jerseys versus screen printing jerseys. Screen printing leaves a layer on top of the garment which affects beathability and the comfort of the athlete.

Dye-sublimation is also cost efficient and very popular for short-run customization of fabrics. Special logos, pictures and designs can easily be created or scanned into the computer. Transfer paper can be generated and custom prints finished in a matter of minutes as opposed to screen printing which requires lengthy time for preparation of the stencil and assembly of the mesh fabric.

A7. Is dye sublimation suitable for trade show booth backdrops?

Dye-sublimation is often used to produce trade show booth backdrops, banners and tabletops. Polyester coated fabric booth backdrops created using the dye-sublimation process offer a great advantages over the traditional booth backdrops which use vinyl. These advantages include:

  • Portability - transporting a fabric booth background is easier, lighter and can result in cost savings on shipping costs.
  • Washable - fabric backdrops can be washed or dry cleaned and tend not to wrinkle as much as vinyl backdrops
  • Higher Quality- vinyl backdrops tend to give of glare while fabric backdrops have a smooth and non-glossy look which is more suitable for pictures and tv shots.

A8. How does small format sublimation compare to large format sublimation?

Small Format Systems Large Format Systems
  • Total startup cost between $2,500 to $6,000
  • Total startup cost between $8000 and $35,000 or greater
  • Prints widths of 8.5" wide to 17" wide
  • Print widths of 24" wide to 63" wide
  • Ideal for entry to mid level businesses looking for an extremely flexible system.
  • Ideal solution for businesses with a specific customization applications that may require short-run productions
  • Output speeds of up to 120 square feet per hour (laser)
  • 30-40 square feet per hour (inkjet)
  • Output speeds of up to 280 square feet per hour (360 x 540 dpi)

Our total solution package is geared towards large format printers

A9. What training is offered through the total solution package?

Every system is covered by the Partner Plus Program - this program features: Telephone/Fax/Web Support, Full Product Warranty and Full Printer Support and Service. [more..]

In addition, Sawgrass offers an comprehensive tech training package which includes a 2 day onsite training session to help you get the package installed and operating efficiently. Jesse J Heap & Son, Inc. can also assist in Heat Press operation and training.

 

A10. Can the dye sublimation process be used for printing on snowboards?

Yes, customers have successfully used dye sublimation inks to sublimate personalized images onto snowboards. The Epson 9800 is well suited for high volume printers as it allows printing both sides of the board side by side on one sheet of paper. The ArtainiumUV2+ inks are also recommended due to their strong UV resistance to fading.

Ensure your snowboard topsheet is suitable for sublimation - it should contain a polyester blend which allows the sublimation ink to properly bond.

B. Software

B1. What computer system requirements are required to run the Wasatch SoftRip TX?

Minimum Requirements

1 Ghz CPU
128 MB Ram

20 Gigabytes Hard Drive
Windows 2000 or XP

Recommended System Requirements

Pentium IV 3.06 GHz CPU or faster
256 to 512 MB Ram *
80 Gigabyte or larger Hard Drive
Windows 2000 or XP

RAM and CPU speed are the two most important factors in determining productivity with Wasatch Softrip and our total solution package. Wasatch Softrip performance is heavily dependent on the speed of the CPU. For customers with high production requirements it is recommended to invest in a Pentium IV 3 GHz or higher in order to gain maximum productivity.

For customers working with larges files (100mb or greater) we recommend 512 MB RAM or higher. With today's low RAM prices and its ease of installation, extra RAM is a wise investment. 1 gigabyte of RAM is ideal in today's marketplace.

Additionally, for maximum productivity we recommend using a firewire or USB 2.0 connection between your epson printer and computer. This would require a firewire or USB 2.0 port - see our section on the different connections that the Epson printer support.

B2. What Operating System is suggested to run with the Wasatch SoftRip TX?

Windows 2000 or XP Operating Systems are REQUIRED. SoftRIP will not run on a Macintosh.

B3. What is the advantage of using Wasatch SoftRip TX or ErgoSoft with my Large format printer?

Before answering this question we need to first understand what software like Ergosoft Posterprint or Wasatch Softrip does. RIP (Raster Image Processor) software acts as the vehicle between your computer and large format printer. It processes your custom digital images and tells the printer how to organize your image - i.e. where and how to place each droplet of ink.

Wasatch SoftRIP & Ergosoft Posterprint prints images much faster then conventional printer drivers. It also provides advances color management tools to accurately reproduce selected colors. Wasatch softrip also helps control ink output, helping prevent ink over-saturation and ultimately saving on ink costs.

In summary, RIP software like Ergosoft Posterprint or Wasatch Softrip saves time, produces clearer and more accurate pictures, provides a superior output without wasted time and media, and is backed with superior technical support.

For further information on the benefits of a RIP view our article on Why RIP?

 

B4. What support plan is offered with Wasatch SoftRip TX for Textile Printers?

Wasatch offers 90 days free technical support with the purchase of their software. This includes:

  • Toll free technical support
  • Email and Fax Support
  • Unconditional 60-day money back guarantee

B5. How does Wasatch Softrip handle creating variable data graphics (i.e. customized uniforms)

Creating graphics that require changing text or graphics for each individual print can be a time consuming process. The total solution package includes the optional Variable Data Printing (VDP) from Wasatch. VDP helps solves this productivity issue by including the ability to create templates for graphics that will automatically insert text or graphics for each print. Read more about the Variable Data Printing option for Sublimation Printing.

This option is ideal for:

  • Sportswear Uniform (basketball, hockey, baseball, etc)
  • Labels
  • Personalized Promotional Materials

B6. What file formats does Wasatch Softrip support?

Wasatch RIP software is compatible with the following file formats:

  • PostScript Level 3
  • EPS
  • TIFF
  • JPG, GIF
  • PNG
  • PSD
  • MrSID
  • BMP
  • PCX
  • PPM
  • PCD
  • TGA
  • DCS2
  • PDF

B7. What do I need to check to ensure Wasatch is setup for printing?

  • Ensure the QUEUE PROCESSING ACTIVE box in the upper left hand corner of the main window is checked
  • Ensure all physical connections are connected securely
  • Make sure the correct printer is chosen from the Setup Menu

C. Heat Transfer Presses

C1. How do I choose the right Heat Transfer Press?

Before deciding on which Heat Transfer Press to choose it is first important to understand the two main types of Heat Transfer Machinery:

Type Examples
Platen Type Transfer Presses Astex model #162/354, 1550PA, 1600, more
Rotary Drum Transfer Presses Astex model #7500, #7616, 7900T, 7300IJ, more

Platen presses are often used for printing on individual pieces such as cut apparel parts, T-shirts, sports apparel, tote bags, etc. Platen presses are also used to print on rigid substrates such as wood, metals and ceramic tiles.

Rotary Drum Transfer Machines are often used to print fabric continuously (roll to roll) and to print large fabric parts such as signs and banners which may be too large for a standard platen press. Drum machines can also be used to print sports apparel and other cut apparel parts. Drum machines are more productive than platen machines for sublimation printing on cut apparel parts and are therefore used when production volume is high. Drum machines are not used however to print onto rigid substrates such as wood, metal or ceramic tile.

Choose the right Heat Transfer Printing Press depends on a number of factors:

1) Types of Product being printed

2) Print Size

3) Production Requirements

If you wish to print full coverage on 60" wide yard goods a Rotary Drum Heat Transfer machine is required. T-shirts, mugs, wood or tile are best printed on a platen machine. Cut apparel parts can be printed on either a platen press or a rotary drum machine. Production requirements often dictate which type of machine is used. Banners and soft signage are often printed on a rotary drum machine.

Use our heat transfer press search to help narrow your heat transfer printing choices based on your printing production needs.

Let us know your application and we will be happy to recommend the right machine for your particular needs.

See our Introduction Guide to Heat Transfer Machines for further reading.

C2. What's the difference between a Rotary Drum Heat press verses Platen Heat presses?

Platen presses are often used for printing on individual pieces such as cut apparel parts, T-shirts, sports apparel, tote bags, etc. Platen presses are also used to print on rigid substrates such as wood, metals and ceramic tiles.

Rotary Drum Heat Presses are often used to print fabric continuously (roll to roll) and to print large fabric parts such as signs and banners which may be too large for a standard platen press. Drum machines can also be used to print sports apparel and other cut apparel parts. Drum machines are more productive than platen machines for sublimation printing on cut apparel parts and are therefore used when production volume is high. Drum machines are not used however to print onto rigid substrates such as wood, metal or ceramic tile.

C3. What are the typical life cycles of the heat transfer press heating elements and how difficult are they to replace?

The electric heating elements are not very hard to change. The side of the heat transfer drum opens up and the element cage assembly slides out. Generally speaking it would take about 3 - 5 hours or so to pull out the element cage and replace the elements.

How long the elements last depends on how often the machine is used. Generally speaking we expect elements to last about 3 to 5 years with normal use of 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Elements (complete set or individual pieces) can be purchased from us.

C4. Are there any special considerations as to where the machine should be installed in our production plant?


We recommend that the machine not be located right against a wall. Room is needed around the machine for servicing and for removing of the element cage. Four or five feet off a wall should be good. You will also want to have room in front of the machine for loading and in back for unloading. The press should also be located where there are no noticeable drafts which can affect its proper operation.

No special venting is required as Dye-sublimation fumes are non -toxic. However, many but not all of our customers do put a hood over the machine and vent to the outside.

C5. Which heat transfer presses are capable of adhering a high vision reflective strip to clothing?

Reflective tape is often attached to garments with a platen type heat transfer press. The following machines are typically used in this process:

C6. Which heat transfer machines are best suited for printing on t-shirts?

For T-shirt printing we recommend the following machines:

  • ELI-600 Manual 16" X 20" swing away press with interchangeable platens and an optional cap attachment
  • EL-800 Manual 20" X 28"  transfer machine with front load reciprocating sliding drawer.
  • 1350PM  16" X 20" air operates swing away with two button close.
  • 1550PA  16" X 20" foot pedal operated model with dual bottom platens

All our Heat presses are industrial grade and have 220 volt single phase electrical requirements except the #ELI-600 which is 120 vold. All heat presses have digital time and temperature controls. For further information check our heat press finder to find all presses suited for t-shirt printing.

C7. What are the advantages of using a rotary Drum Heat Transfer Press?

Rotary Drum Heat Presses are typically more efficient then their platen counterparts. These types of presses eliminate the need for registration marks and garment templates. The garment parts - fronts, backs sleeves can be cut in quantity. The paper is printed in a roll and fed into the machine with the graphic facing up. The cut parts are placed down onto the paper as it is fed into the machine. This is a much more efficient way to run the work.

These advantages make Rotary Drum Presses ideal for production factories looking to operate efficiently in a lean manufactuering environment.

C8. What sort of service do you offer for the heat transfer presses? Are replacement parts readily available?

We have been selling and servicing Astex's line of Heat Transfer presses for 25 years. We offer phone and email support and if necessary can supply on-site technicians for servicing. We also carry spare parts for all our machines and with 25 years experience there aren't many problems we haven't already seen.

C9. Which heat presses do you recommend for sublimation printing for cyclewear?

The following machines are more often used to print cycle wear.

sportswear cut parts
All paper transfers are laid out.

transfer paper cut parts
The transfers are aligned with the cut fabric pieces
pre-cut fabric
All fabric after images are sublimated onto fabric

The printed paper with the various parts of the cycle shirt (front , back and sleeves) is layed down on the heat press input conveyor with the printed graphic facing up. The various cut parts (front, back sleeve) are placed onto the paper and the whole sheet is fed into the machine. The transfer paper and printed parts are separated automatically and the finished printed parts exit out the back of the machine.

C10. I sublimate images on tote bags - which press is suitable for my business?

The heat press recommendation realy depends on your production load and specifications. Generally speaking for low production rates we recommend the Model #1330M which can handle a printing up to 16" X 20". For high volume sublimation runs take a look at our dual platen #1550-PA.

C12. I want to print onto poly-lycra but I'm concerned about stretching the goods too much when they pass through the heat press?

We have customers successfully running lycra without any stretching- the 7360IJ is well-suited for this application. It should be noted however, that there is some operator skill involved in the process. Stretching of goods can be caused by drum speed pulling and the resistance of the cluth on the re-winder being too strong. A skilled operator can recognize these problems and adjust accordingly.

We also will offer to run samples at our shop through the heat press to ensure quality results.

 

D. Ink Jet Printers

D1. What are the advantages of Epson's Piezo Printheads?

Epsons Piezo electric printheads are well-suited for reproducing photographs. They are specially designed to vary the size of the ink droplet to produce a more photo-realistic image. Additionally, unlike other inkjet printers, the Piezo electric printheads do not require heat activation.

Epson Piezo electric printhead are equipped in Epson's large format line of prints and Mimaki's JV4 printer series.

 

Piezo Electric Print heads vary the size of the ink droplet.

 

D2. What are the main differences between the Epson 9600 & Epson 7600?

The major difference between the Epson 7600 & Epson 9600 are their paper sizes. The Epson 7600 has a maximum paper width of 24" while the Epson 9600 has a maximum paper width of 44".

The differences in paper width also translate into differences in sizes. The Epson 7600 dimensions are 43.3"(W) x 22"(H) x 22.5"(D) while the Epson 9600 is 63.9"(W) x 46.4"(H) x 28.2"(D).

The Epson 9600 also includes an optional automatic take-up reel for long unattended print runs. This accessory is not available for the Epson 7600.

D3. What are the print speeds for the Epson 7600 and Epson 9600?

The print speed will vary depending on the print mode being used. The variation ranges from 8 ft2/hr to a maximum of 192 ft2/hr.

"Production quality" prints are ~ 87 ft2/hr.

"Better then photo lab quality" prints are ~16ft2/hr

D4. Will the Epson Printer Software properly monitor ink levels when the Sawgrass Inks cartridges are installed?

Yes. When the sawgrass ink cartridges are installed you will get all the same functionality as you would with normal ink cartridges. This includes the ability to monitor your ink levels with the Epson Software.

D5. What print speeds can be expected for the Mimaki JV4 Printers(JV4-130, JV4-160 & JV4-180)?

There are several different factors that affect print speeds - the most important is the printers configuration settings. Below we list Mimaki's manufacturer's rate speed in square feet per hour for all printer models:

DPI Printer Mode Square Feet Per Hour Output
360 x 360 Standard 252
360 x 540 Standard

178

360 x 720 Standard 138
720 x 720 Standard 100
1440 x 720 Standard 100
1440 x 1440 Standard 26

 

D6. Can I switch between dye sublimation inks and regular inks using my epson printer?

It's not recommended to switch continuously between dye sublimation inks and regular inks - most dye sublimation printers have a printer dedicated to sublimation printing. Notwithstanding, it is possible to switch between regular inks and sawgrass dye sublimation inks.

When switching, it's important to perform cleaning maintenance between the ink changeover. Refer to your epson manual for cleaning procedures.

D7. What connections do the Epson Printers support and which one do you recommend using?

The EPSON 7600 and 9600 support 4 different connections - firewire, usb, ethernet, and parallel, while the Epson 7800 and 9800 supports firewire, usb and ehternet. Most cases USB connection is suitable for most of our customers. Firewire and Ethernet connections are optional connections that incur additional costs.

For a detailed explanation of each connection interface and our recommendations see our epson connections detail section.

D8. What maintenance procedures are recommended for my Epson Printer?

It's important that you protect your ink delivery system from dirt, air and other foreign objects:

  • Keep the covered closed if you are using cartridges
  • Regular nozzle checks. We recommend setting a regular schedule.
  • Clean paper delivery system
  • Check expiration date of ink
  • Store your printer in a low humidity environment. We cannot stress this enough. Customers have experience clogging and banding when trying to print in factories without proper temperature controls.

    Recommended Temperatures:
    Supported Operating Conditions: 65 - 80°F with 40 - 60% relative humidity
    Optimal Operating Conditions: 68-75 °F with 45- 50% relative humidity
 

Epson Ink Nozzle

Ink Head

D9. How can I increase the drying time of my prints?

Some customers, especially those printing with the Mimaki JV4 have found the need for a faster way to dry ink for greater production efficiency. We offer a infrared inkjet dryer which is designed to quickly dry the ink as soon as it exits the printer.

D10. What printers are supported by Sawgrass's Sublijet and Artainium brand inks?

  • Epson 7000/9000
  • Epson 7600/9600
  • Epson 7800/9800
  • Mimaki JV4
  • Roland Hi-Fi Jet Pro
  • Roland Pro II

 

E. Sublimation Inks

E1. What type of paper is recommended to use with the Epson 7600/9600 and Sublijet transfer inks?

Quality sublimation paper is an important part of producing a quality end product. Not all paper is created equally. Sawgrass Technologies has tested their ink on a variety of large format roll paper and they recommend TexPrintXP Paper . The paper is available from widths of 24" to 96" and lengths of 110ft to 250ft per roll.

The paper is recommended for use with Epson, Roland, Mutoh, and Mimaki line of large format printers.

PAPER TIP: It's important to keep your transfer paper in a low humidity environment. We recommend keeping the paper in its original packaging until it's ready for printing.

PRINTER TIP: The Epson printers offer much improved full coverage printing capabilities versus their predecessors. Nevertheless it's usually prudent to figure that whatever page size you use it will have 1/4" unprintable area on all sides.

E2. What are the supported substrates/materials that Sublijet Sublimation Inks can be used on?

Sublijet digital transfer inks can be used on a wide range of substrates. Sublijet has the capacity to print onto any polyester coated surface that can withstand pressure of 40 psi and a temperature of approximately 400°F (220C). These substrates include fabric, wood, ceramic, carpets, metal, plastic, and more.

See sublimation tips section for more information on substrate preparation.

E3. What ink cartridge sizes are available for Sublijet digital transfer inks when equipped with the Epson 7600 or 9600 printers?

Sublijet digital transfer inks are available in 220ml size for the Epson Style Pro 9600 and 7600.

An approved Bulk Refill System is also available for the Epson 7600/9600, Epson 7800/9800 and Mimaki JV4. Bulk ink systems reduce costs, provide stable ink flow for long run operation, and are refillable while printer is in use.

E4. How do Sublijet Inks work?

Sublijet digital transfer inks for ink jet printers use specially formulated heat-sensitive inks that are patented by Sawgrass Technologies.

Sublijet inks are used in a two step process. The inks are first transferred in a non-sublimated (or inactive) state to standard paper using a compatible Epson Stylus printer. Then, using a heat transfer press, the printed image is heat transferred (sublimated) to the final substrate.

Unlike traditional dye sub transfers, Sublijet inks produce a "first generation" print. A "first generation" print means the inks are only sublimated once during the process. Traditional dye sub transfers must perform two sublimations in order to transfer the image to the final substrate. The first sublimation occurs when the image is transferred to special heat transfer paper using a dye sub printer. The printed image is then re-sublimated to penetrate the final substrate. These prints are termed "second generation" prints.

"First generation" prints are advantageous in that they produce a more vibrant, photo quality image for use on a wider range of substrates than "second generation" prints offer.

E5. Can I use sublimation inks on darker substrates/materials?

Sublimations inks generally do not transfer well to darker type materials. Sublimation inks use dye to permeate the material and typically transfer better to lighter colored materials.

E6. Will sublimation work on cotton surfaces?

The sublimation inks are designed to bond to any polymer coated material, and will NOT bond to cotton surfaces. There are polymer sprays available that allow sublimations inks to work with cotton t-shirts, but they typically work best on shirts that are a mix of polyester and cotton.

E7. How can I figure out how much ink I will need for my production requirements?

Jesse J. Heap & Son, Inc can give you an estimate on ink usage with the following information:

  • Length and Width of item that will be printed on
  • Number of items planned to print per week

With this information we can give you a detailed estimate of ink consumption, recommended heat press size, and printer model recommendation. Furthermore, we can give you an estimate on how much money you'd save by using our bulk ink system for ink delivery versus traditional cartridge ink delivery.

E8. How do I setup the 'Long life' bulk ink system?

Details on setting up your bulk ink system for the Epson 7600/9600 are available in our bulk ink instructions section.

E9. Can I sublimate on blended fabric with polyester and cotton? How much polyester is required?

We are often asked this question from clients in the home furnishing industry as they often require to sublimate onto furniture with fabric that is part polyester and cotton. Generally speaking, the higher the percentage of polyester in the fabric the better the sublimation results. At minimum we recommend a blend of 60% polyester - or in other words the majority of the fabric should include polyester.

E10. How much area does one liter of ink cover?

Approximately 1000 square feet, however keep in mind results may vary depending on RIP software, printer configuration settings and ink coverage area.

To estimate bulk ink costs use our bulk ink calculator which will help quantify your ink savings when switching from a cartridge based delivery system to a bulk ink system.

E11. How resistant are the sublimation inks to UV fading?

Like any decorated products, direct sunlight will cause sublimated products to fade over time. Factors that affect fading are temperature and weather - for example an area with more direct sunlight and dry, arid conditions will probably contribute to faster fading.

With that being said, the ArTainium2UV+ inks are specially designed for longer UV resistance. The inks greater resistance is partly due to the inks formulation process which produces higher density of dyes then typical ink manufacturers. This formulation also produces more vibrant color output - read more in sublimation ink section.

F. Wide Format Digital Dryer

F1.How should I position the heater in relation to the printer?

Generally speaking, we have found that placing the dryer heating element approximately 3" to 4" away from the printer to ensure optimal operation. The heating element should be parallel with the substrate. You can use the lever clamps on the heater head and upright mast to adjust the dryer to its optimal location.

Important: Ensure the media is does not come into contact with the heating element.

F2. How do I determine what level to set the heater at for my substrates?

The digital dryer heater has a "power stat" controller which adjusts the intensity of the heat. Depending on the printer speed, type of media, room conditions (especially humidity) and ink saturation levels, the power stat controller will need to be adjusted.

We recommend running some test runs to find your optimal settings.Once your optimal settings have been determined, it helps to create a quick reference chart nearby your work environment for operators reference.

F3. I use heat sensitive substrates, how can I regulate the heat output of the digital dryer?

The digital ink dryer includes an optional auto shut-off. The Auto Shut Off monitors the temperature of the substrate and will turn off the dryer when the temperature reaches a high temperature set by the operator.

F4. What is the maximum heat output from the digital ink dryer?

The element face of the Digi Dri can reach 375 degrees F. The measured temperature at the back side of the substrate, when the dryer is 4" from the face, is less than 168 degrees F.