Dye sublimation is a process where you print your artwork using special inks onto special paper. You then apply this to specially receptive products, e.g. garments or mug, using a heat press. At the correct temperature, the ink turns into a gas and fuses into the product, giving a long lasting, vibrant image.

How to use the Sawgrass SG400 printer and Virtoso software:

  • Login to the Hackspace computer.
  • Make sure the Sawgrass SG400 printer is turned on.
  • Open the image up you want to print (you can transfer the image you want using a USB).
  • Select print.
  • Change the printer to Sublimation Printer.
  • Select print.
  • This will then open Virtuoso Print Manager.
  • Make sure 'Mirror' is ticked under the 'Material' tab.
  • Put a piece of paper in the printer. I used Advantia Laser Printer Films (A4) paper. NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE PAPER IN THE PRINTER WITH THE PLASTIC/SHINY SIDE FACING DOWN.
  • Select print.

How to use the HP3804 Heat Press:

  • Make sure the handle is lifted up.
  • Plug in with kettle lead.
  • Turn the heat press on.
  • The temperature will be dependant on which fabric you are printing on. I found it printed best between 180 - 200 degrees. You can manually change the temperature using the up and down arrows on the left-hand screen.
  • Lay the fabric on the press, with the side you want to press on facing up.
  • Lay the print plastic/shiny side down on the fabric.
  • Pull the handle down until it locks.
  • The amount of time you press for will also depend on which fabric you are printing on. I found it printed best for between 40 - 55 seconds.
  • Pull the handle up. Wait for the fabric to cool for a couple of minutes. Peel off the plastic/paper.

This is how my first press turned out! Image on the left is the print, image on the right is the print on fabric (calico):

As you can see, the image is quite faded, however I rather like the effect!

Here is an example on a polyester high visibility jacket. This was baked for 105 seconds:

  • equipment/sublimation_printer
  • Last modified: 9 months ago
  • by samp20