From apparel and personalised merchandise to décor and soft signage, dye sublimation is a great option for decorators wanting bold, highly detailed prints. We review the most up-to-date machinery and equipment from leading suppliers
RA Smart: HP Stitch S500 Dye Sublimation Printer
The HP Stitch S500 is a 100% front operating dye sublimation printer, saving up to 40% on space, says R A Smart, exclusive distributor for the HP Stitch range of printers in the UK and Ireland.
Measuring 160cm wide, it enables users to print both direct to textile and paper transfers, and comes with a built-in spectrophotometer for consistent colour accuracy, adds R A Smart.
“The HP Stitch S500 has been developed with productivity and preventative maintenance in mind. One of the greatest benefits of the S500 is the up-time it offers — for example, end-user replaceable print heads can be changed in a matter of minutes and fully aligned automatically, with virtually no operator input required.”
Users are also able to log on to the HP PrintOS app to view the very latest status of their system, as well as check the health of the printer and install new colour profiles.
Xpres: Sawgrass SG500/SG1000 Sublimation Printers
With low start-up and running costs, the Sawgrass SG500 A4 Printer enables users to create customised products with vibrant HD images quickly, easily and profitably, says Xpres.
“Designed to minimise ink and power consumption, while maximising quality and efficiency, it enables you to create the highest definition images with the lowest per image cost.
“The SG500 has the compact footprint and rugged reliability of its predecessor, the SG400, but has been updated from the inside out. In addition to design improvements such as a single roll-bar, the SG500 is more energy-efficient, prints with higher resolution and offers wifi connectivity.”
Xpres also offers the Sawgrass SG1000 A3 Printer, which it says has “the pro-level print consistency and versatile dimensions of its predecessor, the SG800, but has received the same updates as the SG500”.
The SG1000 prints on media up to 11×17″ with the standard tray, making it perfect for apparel, soft goods and small or medium-sized photo panels.
Roland DG: ZT-1900 Industrial Dye Sublimation Printer
The ZT-1900 is a 1.9m-wide industrial dye sublimation printer, which combines “stunning quality with impressively low running costs to deliver a fast return on investment for your business”, says Roland DG.
“It’s aimed at volume production in high-value markets, including personalised fashion, sportswear, interior decoration and soft signage.
“The ZT-1900 enables reduced delivery times, while delivering high-quality work to the most demanding customers with fast printing speeds and a mirrored CMYK configuration for increased productivity.”
The ZT-1900 features an integrated infrared dryer, plus a 5kg ink container capacity. It works with an optional purchase of Roland DG’s next-generation ErgoSoft RIP software, which the company says offers “improved user interface and enhanced production workflow, with time- and money-saving features to help your business grow”.
I-Sub: Mimaki TS55-1800 Sublimation Printer
The Mimaki TS55-1800 sublimation transfer inkjet printer offers apparel and textile decorators high-speed printing and superior functionality, while enabling long print sessions at a reduced cost, says I-Sub.
Its features include a mini-jumbo roll feeding unit to load transfer paper with a length of approximately 2,500m, which can “significantly reduce the cost per square metre and shorten the downtime, due to the reduced roll change-over”.
The TS55-1800 is available with a 10kg ink supply unit, which further helps reduce the running costs, shortens downtime and enables longer successive operations, such as overnight printing.
In addition, users can add an extended heater, which is installed to the lower part of the standard heater. “This enhances the ink-drying speed, to eliminate still-wet ink rubbing off/stamping onto the printed paper as it rolls up,” explains I-Sub, “thereby reducing waste and stabilising productivity”.
The TS55-1800 also includes newly developed print heads, enabling the Mimaki Advanced Pass System, even in high-speed mode.
Epson: SureColor SC-F100 A4 Dye Sublimation Printer
The SureColor SC-F100 A4 dye sublimation printer is perfect for promotional goods and personalised gifts such as mugs, key fobs, phone covers and other small merchandise items, says Epson.
“With the footprint of an A4 desktop printer, the plug-in-and-play system also meets the needs of textile producers who want to create bespoke products such as small bags, aprons, lanyards and cushions.”
The SC-F100 offers a complete end-to-end printing solution including inks, driver and paper, as well as an Epson Cloud Solution Port platform to monitor print job costs and track usage over time, adds the company. Printing at 600 x 1,200dpi, the SC-F100 comes with Epson’s PrecisionCore MicroTFP print head along with front-feeding, easy-to-change paper functionality (150 sheets).
Other features include an intuitive, tilting 2.4″ screen and wifi connectivity, plus a look-up table for promotional goods, gifts, and rigid substrates.
Under its DyeSubMagic brand and as platinum partners with Sawgrass Technologies, TheMagicTouch (TMT) offers the latest generation of UHD sublimation printers and sublimation inks.
This includes the Sawgrass SG500 A4 and SG1000 A3 models, which feature a re-engineered transfer belt and an upgraded piezo print head for “improved image quality up to 1,200 x 1,200dpi”.
This year, TMT has also introduced a matte version of its UHD signage aluminium panels, together with a new range of socks suitable for full-colour personalisation for the gift, fashion and promo markets.
“These, along with a range of new coated mugs, vacuum bottles and phone pouches, continue to make the sublimation process the most cost-effective option for entry-level personalisation today,” adds the supplier.
Hybrid Services: Mimaki TS100-1600 Dye Sublimation Printer
The Mimaki TS100-1600 printer offers businesses an easy and low-cost route into the expanding dye sublimation sector, says Hybrid Services, Mimaki distributor for the UK and Ireland.
“The 1.6m wide TS100-1600 is an economical solution for creating high-quality fashion, sportswear, soft signage and other sublimated products.”
It has printing speeds of up to 70sqm/hr, and comes with Mimaki’s RasterLink RIP software, allowing users to generate sublimation print-ready files, with mirroring, repeating and resizing as required.
The TS100-1600 uses Mimaki’s Sb610 inks, which are Oeko-Tex-certified and supplied in one-litre bottles, adds Hybrid Services.
“These vibrant inks have high-colour intensity, and excellent rub- and light-fastness, ensuring durability of the final printed product.
“Designed to fit seamlessly into the workflow of decorators, embroiderers, apparel and sportswear printers, the TS100-1600 features a host of Mimaki’s Core Technologies, and is optimised to deliver high-quality output with minimum operator intervention.
“Additionally, a powered take-up system allows for long, unattended print runs.”