Sublimation Ink & Paper
Sublimation Equipment You Need
Except for perhaps buying a vacuum cleaner and dust rag to set yourself up as a cleaning service, we can't think of anything that costs less or gives a better return on investment than producing and selling sublimated products. There is even a good chance you already own most of what you need. The basic tools of the sublimation business are listed below.
Computers - Any computer that will run the programs you want to use is fine. You may want extra hard drive storage space or running-speed if you plan on doing or saving a lot of graphics.
Programs - Many already have programs like CorelDraw or PageMaker, but almost any type of graphics or desktop publishing will work, as long as the program will allow you to print a reverse image. If you do not have a program or want a very simple to learn new one, check out PrintShop Pro Publisher 11. It is a dandy! You can make 99 copies of an original page, when you just need name changes for a large run, it centers text automatically, has more clipart than you could view in a week and about a zillion fonts. Add the facts of having thousands of templates to create regular documents and 11 MB of free web space and it is quite a package.
Dye Sublimation Toner Cartridges - The special toner in this cartridge is what produces the transfers for sublimation. The cartridge itself is custom re-engineered to deliver the toner correctly. Our low cost, high yield, quality cartridges are 120-gram. Some cartridges can be up to 180-gram. One sublimation cartridge will make many, many hundreds of transfers (or thousands of small ones). Don’t forget that by taking the sublimation cartridge out and inserting a regular cartridge, your laser printer can now print ordinary documents.
Scanners - Scanners have gotten so cheap that we have seen them on sale for $69.95. You won’t need one unless you think there will be a need to sublimate a lot of logos on what you do. If you get one you will also need some type of program to import the logos.
Paper - Another plus for the black & white laser printers is that they don't require the expensive, coated paper that inkjets require. Ordinary cheap copier paper like 20lb bright white (about $25-$30 for a box of 5,000 sheets) is what is used.
Printers - The process doesn't require a new or expensive laser printer. You may even have one that will work. If you do have to buy one, a refurbished Hewlett-Packard printer is an excellent choice. Depending upon need (post script, IBM or Mac, dpi output wanted, etc.), prices can range from $249 - $1099. Click Here for a sample list of supported HP printers
Heat Presses - A 15 square inch head is recommended, with pressure controls, automatic timer and thermostat. There are two types: swing away and clam shell. We suggest the clamshell (up & down head operation) type. We became a HIX heat press distributor, to be able to provide these top rated presses at a discount to our customers. Our average discounted price is wholesale, plus 10%. Click here for help choosing the right press or contact us.
Tabletop Metal Shears - (to cut the metal) are also called plate cutters. Again, there are several excellent makes and models. Unless you have unusual needs, a 12" cutter is sufficient. We offer the well-known 9380. It will last a lifetime.
Hole Punchers, Corner Rounders and Notchers - These tools do exactly what the names imply, to the metal plates you cut, with your metal shear. Depending upon what you are going to do, you can probably wait on getting this tool. If you decide you need this highly versatile 3-in-1 tool, the 9353, does combinations of all three needs.
The next page is the last page of our tour, there we will summarize the information we have given throughout the tour.