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Acrylic Sublimation Explained

Acrylic is a type of transparent solid plastic having perceptible clarity which makes it profitable to fabricate and hence efficient for sublimation on it. Sublimation to acrylic can be very advantageous as they come in a variety of different styles and shapes. In this article, we are going to instruct you step-by-step how to perform sublimation on acrylic.

All Materials You Need:

Acrylic dye sublimation printing

There are the following required tools that you will need for this process.

1.     Sublimation Printer:

A sublimation printer performs the art of transferring motifs or designs onto the acrylic model. These are special types of machines made specifically for dye-sublimation printing purposes.

2.     Sublimation Inks and Paper:

These two blood brothers keep company to the printer. Sublimation paper catches the ink and releases it onto the acrylic material. The ink converts the dyes from solid into gas to permeate the acrylic blank. It is important to keep in mind that regular inks do not work with sublimation paper

3.     Acrylic Blanks:

Acrylic blanks are the cheapest and most diverse materials in the sublimation-dye industry. They come in a variety of styles and structures. It is the best decorative material for any event or festival and a memorable present surprise to gift your friend.

4.     Heat Press Machine:

The final requirement, that cuts the finishing line to our end product is the heat press machine. It applies heat and pressure onto the material so that the design becomes permanently imprinted on the acrylic.

The Acrylic Sublimation Printing Process:

Acrylic blanks are the game-changers in the sublimation-print industry. Customizing and personalizing acrylic blanks either for economical uses i.e affiliate marketing, making a profit, or for your personal desires i.e decorating houses, gifting partners, pursuing your hobbies, and interest in arts is as easy as any other material sublimation. The process is quite simple.

  •   Once you are ready to imprint your acrylic blank by the sublimation printer, the sublimation ink under heat and pressure will turn into a gaseous phase.
  • This will allow ink to penetrate the pores of the acrylic blank so that once it solidifies, the design will appear permanent on your blank.
  • Regular ink doesn’t have the ability to sublime, which is why proper materials should be prepared.

Best 5 Places To Buy Acrylic Blanks:

1.     Amazon:

Needless to say, Amazon is the World’s most popular product selling site. Extensive categories of acrylic blanks with over 60000+ shapes and in all sizes can only be found at Amazon. Their after-sales include a worry-free warranty, packaging, and delivery shipment to address which is convenient.

2.     Etsy:

From tiny minions to large LED frames acrylic blanks can all be found in Etsy which provides great customer service, shipment on time and no question asked return policy. Etsy provides a quality product, with good ratings at affordable prices.

3.     Heatpressnation:

Heatpressnation provides sublimation products with a polymer coating. This unique feature enables the pores to open and ink to penetrate the acrylic blank for a permanent and vibrant end product. Their sublimation is used on 100% polyester products and keeps a strict check on the shipment’s safety.

4.     Bestsub:

Bestsub endeavors best acrylic gifts with competitive prices. They have a large inventory, provide print in-house services and facilities to customers, and exports products directly to more than 200 countries. Their work is mostly based on acrylic keychains, shaping into many types of equipment.

5.     Sublimet:

Sublimet covers an in-depth study about the functional needs of customers along with facilitating them with good services. Their constant progress in research and scientific contributions have advanced them to include 3D sublimation in their products display.

Tips:

  • Follow the instructions thoroughly.
  • Maintenance is the first factor to keep in mind.
  • The temperature should be kept at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pressure and moisture level should be controlled.
  • It is advised to perform sublimation printing at least once a week to keep the inks flowing and the printer head from drying out.
  • Use good dyes to increase longevity.
  • Match your print size accordingly to the acrylic blank for perfect printing.
  • Safety measures are to be controlled from the start to the end.
  • Acrylic blanks have extensive forms (acrylic sheets, keychains, signs, blocks, and many more). So, profit yourself by fulfilling customer’s demands and opinions and make the best use of this material.

FAQs:

Can a regular printer be used for sublimation printing?

It is possible to convert regular printers for sublimation printing. However, the idea coincides with the compatibility of ink with sublimation ink. Leftover ink can hamper the quality of print which is why brand new printers should be converted.

Is acrylic polyester?

The acrylic blank is made from non-toxic polyester resin.

What if the printer head dries out?

It is an easy fix both by manual labor and can also be done through computer built-in software for cleaning printers. It is recommended to clean printheads at least 4-5 times.

Bulk ink system or cartridge system. Which is common?

Ink tanks or bulk-ink-system are less expensive as they are without a print head, having only a bulk bag filled with ink to supply the printer.

Is there a difference between acrylic and plastic?

Though they belong to the same polymer family. Plastic is even a larger family for many other synthetic materials and acrylic is the only mixture of monomer and polymer.

Is it safe to use wet sublimation prints?

No, sublimation paper should always dry from the start for accurate printing. When paper is wet, all sublimation dyes can’t be used on it.

How to dry your sublimation paper?

The functional part of the sublimation paper, the coating which handles the drying of paper has a portion with small holes for water removal.

What other functions does the coating perform?

Removing water is one of its functions. Besides this, it is responsible for absorbing dyes, creating consistent blooms, and brings the print head closer to the paper for better printing.

Why is glass considered below acrylic?

Acrylic, being lighter is more convenient for shipment. Acrylic has good tensile strength and stiffness whereas, glass is more fragile. This is also why acrylic is more expensive than glass.

What is sublimation tape?

It is a heat-resistant tape, specially made to cover or protect images onto hard material. Because it is heat resistant, the tape will not melt when heat is applied to it and perform its function accurately without leaving any residue.

What is spray-on adhesive?

It performs the same function as sublimation tape but is used on lighter substrates. Though, printing can be done with or without it.

Conclusion:

Acrylic blanks have gained huge credibility in the business and domestic sector because nowadays many businesses, institutions, and companies make use of acrylic blanks for their growth and development.

If you want to make a good and presentable acrylic design for your business or yourself then use our techniques and the instructions which we’ve provided for you.

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