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Thread: Sublimation

  1. #1

    Sublimation

    Are you guys going to put up a Sublimation Forum? I don't know if there is enough need for it - but working with laser sublimation and laser etching in my business - I have as much fit with both ends...

    Should I just start asking sublimation questions in the Laser Forum?

    Steve
    Steve Beckham

    Epilog Mini 24 with 45 Watt, Ricoh GX 7000 Sublimation, Corel X3, Corel X4 and PhotoGrav, Recently replaced the two 'used' SWF machines with brand new Barudans.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    10,290
    Stephen,

    I do a bit of dye-sublimation and would like for us to have a Forum here just for that purpose. If enough of our Members who are interested in a dye-sub request a Forum we will certainly create one. For now the Laser Engraving and CNC Forum is the best place for dye-sub posts.

    .

  3. #3
    May I suggest we combine dye sublimation with color laser transfer as it is becoming increasingly popular and there are some similarities---as well as differences.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving Graphtec CE5000-60
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5 , Engravlab

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    10,290
    How about a new Sign Making Forum, that might fit dye-sub CLT and a host of other techniques?

  5. #5
    Even better!
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving Graphtec CE5000-60
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5 , Engravlab

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Shelbyville, Tn
    Posts
    1,239
    Sounds good to me too.
    Brian Robison
    MetalMarkers
    Epilog Mini
    Corel V 12
    BMW, Beta, Sherco, Honda, Suzuki

  7. #7

    Laser Sublimation

    Hello All,

    I am interested in getting into Color Laser Toner Sublimation (CLTT). I've been all over the web trying to find useful information about CLTT. The problem I've been encountering is that the sites I've found recommend specific printers but when I go to the mfr's sites, those specific printers are usually discontinued.

    Apparently not all printers have sublimation toners available for them. Which laser printers are good for CLTT and what is a good source for the sublimation toners?

    Whatever help and guidance anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,

    Mike DeRegnaucourt

    60-Watt Epilog Legend 36EXT, CorelDraw X5, Vinyl Cutter, Oki C5500, SE-DC16, AutoCAD, Various Woodworking Machinery & Tools


  8. #8
    Mike, currently, if you are speaking of full color laser sublimation, I believe the only printers available to you are: Konica Minolta, Okidata, and the old H/P model 4550.

    There are several folks using lasers for a heat transfer process using the first two mentioned models and a model from Samsung. With this process, you have to use specific coated paper but you do not have to use coated substrate.

    I personally do the latter, using a older model Konica Minolta 2300DL. I understand that the newer model 25XX is also being used for both processes.

    Doug

  9. #9
    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for the information. Yes, I am talking about full color laser sublimation. I've read that some of the processes permit using plain laser paper without the need for the more expensive specialty papers. Do you know anything about this process? I would prefer to be able to use plain laser paper.
    Thanks,

    Mike DeRegnaucourt

    60-Watt Epilog Legend 36EXT, CorelDraw X5, Vinyl Cutter, Oki C5500, SE-DC16, AutoCAD, Various Woodworking Machinery & Tools


  10. #10
    Mike - you're right about few printers that have toner cartridges available for them. I settled for the HP 4550. Personally - I love it! But part of that is because I've got experience working on HP printers and was able to fix my own twice now. The 4550 is a work horse and made to print 14,000 to 40,000 prints a month (cycle). I've printed about 500 so far and it works great now that I'm up and running. It doesn't like cold weather or humid environments...

    I had to put an additional $300 in mine to replace internal color transfer sheet and tranfer film rollers. When you buy - you will be getting a refurbished machine. You may be lucky - you may be stuck. Ask for a sample print from the prospected purchase - mine had a total print of just over 7,000 on arrival - a mere child for it's age...

    Don't take it lightly - but the good news is that they are only a couple hundred dollars anyway and it's almost as cheap to buy another one and use for parts.

    The expense is the Laser Toner - you'll put $1200 out to start up. You also have the choice to buy regular cartidges (~$400 for all four) to swap so that you're printer can be used for normal printing (can't easily be done with ink jets because of purging lines and stuff). I bought a black to do simple printing like business cards and stuff - great quality printer.

    After you're setup and running - you'll spend $.40 per page in toner and pennies on paper since it uses normal laser printer paper.

    Biggest flaw - you're limited to 8.5 X 11 or 8.5 X 14. Sucks when you want to do something big. It lets you print edge to edge, but sometimes - that's just not enough.

    Works great on Silver and Gold Sublimation Metals - doesn't work well on the white. You sublimate it right through the plastic coating on the metal and peel off both after cooling.

    Doesn't work well on most plastics, FRP and or mugs because it requires lots of cleaning of left over toner. Easily comes off, but adds the extra step.

    Doesn't work well on white material (shirts/shorts). You will have small amounts of blues/greens/reds etc of excess toner that will light up after heating that you didn't notice prior to heating. Ghost toner if you will. No way to defeat it - it gives a slight blue/greyish tint. If you know it's there, it'll drive you nuts - most others don't notice it until it's pointed out. I always use a square, oval or circle around the outer edge of my image and cut the paper to that shape. You'll never notice the extra tint because of the border.

    It's a heavy bugger - you'll pay huge on shipping - hope you don't plan on using it in the basement.

    Drivers are old for it - works well with Win98 all the way up through XP - haven't tried it in Vista.

    Buy the Net Card for it - you will likely want this noisy thing sitting too far away to use a parallel cable and most newer computers don't do the parrallel anymore - it doesn't have a USB.

    Gosh - not much more to add beyond that... Hope that's not info-overload. If you have more specific questions or would like to see samples, please let me know...

    Steve
    Steve Beckham

    Epilog Mini 24 with 45 Watt, Ricoh GX 7000 Sublimation, Corel X3, Corel X4 and PhotoGrav, Recently replaced the two 'used' SWF machines with brand new Barudans.

  11. #11
    Hi Stephen,

    Thank you for all the info. I actually already have an HP Color Laser Jet 2605dn but apparently they don't make sublimation toner cartridges for it. Do you know anybody who has any experience with the Okidata or Konica printers?

    Kind of bums me out hearing about the drawbacks with sublimating to plastics, T-Shirts/Shorts, etc... I wonder if the other brands of printers have these problems as well.

    Another thing that worries me about the HP 4550 is the possibility of folks who carry the sublimation toner for it, discontinuing to carry it since the printer is no longer made. Concerns me a bit about the longevity of being able to use it.
    Thanks,

    Mike DeRegnaucourt

    60-Watt Epilog Legend 36EXT, CorelDraw X5, Vinyl Cutter, Oki C5500, SE-DC16, AutoCAD, Various Woodworking Machinery & Tools


  12. #12
    I think Steve has pretty well nailed it for you but these people can offer some guidance and are very helpful.

    http://colourmagic.info/
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350 Hot Stamping
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving Graphtec CE5000-60
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5 , Engravlab

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Posts
    467
    It really would be nice if there was a sublimation area on the Creek. I've just gotten started with sublimation a few months back, but see already that a dye sub setup is a huge compliment to my other equipment.

    I have an Epson 4800 Hybrid and love it!

    Pinnacle ZX Explorer II
    40W, X3
    Vinyl Express Lynx 24"
    Epson 4800 Dye Sub Hybrid

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    10,290
    Mike,

    I would also like to see a sublimation forum here at The Creek, its a popular subject for me since I started dye-sublimating Corian. We just need to get more people involved in the process...and to attract more sign makers to join us.

    .

  15. #15
    Mike - my understanding on the toner cartridges is that they won't make new ones because of the modifications they had to make to get the 4550 toners to work for sublimation.

    The grain size of the toner for sublimation is larger - therefore they had to mill out the original HP toner cartridges to allow for the sublimation use. That is why they want you to return them for refill. They continue to use the old ones that have already been modified since it is more cost effect for them to maintain and use the existing ones than to remanufacture a whole new line. Of course - that doesn't mean your worries won't come true in the future.

    The colors on "white" issues are a shortcoming of laser toner to my understanding. No matter which you go with - you would see this to some extent.

    Please continue to do research - my last post was my experience - not the professional knowledge you would get from Jack and crew over at Alpha Supply. He has answered 95% of my questions and I think I restated them pretty close to his original comments. The Colour Magic site is related to Alpha Supply...
    Steve Beckham

    Epilog Mini 24 with 45 Watt, Ricoh GX 7000 Sublimation, Corel X3, Corel X4 and PhotoGrav, Recently replaced the two 'used' SWF machines with brand new Barudans.

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