Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '18

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50 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 support team can offer insights into the depth of knowledge that exists and offer confidence in the purchase of a sublimation system," he adds. In addition to technical knowledge and end-user support, sources contend that buyers should look to a seller that offers holistic support in terms of business man- agement. While tracking down a quality printer at a price that fits a shop's budget is important, finding a seller that provides some foresight for things like expansion and growth is also important. What a shop should avoid is simply amassing an arsenal of equipment without logically planning how it will all fit together. "As your business grows, you need your equipment to be uniform, and your production flow to run smooth," explains Jeffrey-Andersen. "You want to work with a dealer who is an expert, and one that can help you set up your shop correctly." Shop Requirements If a shop already has a workspace where they're designing or decorating other prod- ucts, they can typically integrate a sublima- tion production line into their workflow without much disruption. Beginners with a desktop printer and heat press can usu- ally operate with a space that runs between 6-by-6 and 4-by-9 feet, depending on the size of the heat press. For sublimation printers, shops will want to ensure they maintain a moder- ate temperature and low humidity. These components help ensure the printer achieves optimal performance and output. "Sublimation paper tends to ebb and flow with its environment," says Ellston. "Paper will absorb moisture from the air, and too much humidity can cause issues with color shifting." Adding an air conditioner in a humid environment, or a humidifier in a dry environment can help balance out these variables. Regarding electricity, standard 16-by- 20-inch heat presses usually use 120V power, but having the press on a separate circuit from the printer is recommended. This helps avoid any issues with power draws, and ideally sets shops up for expansion down the road if they decide to upgrade to a larger heat press. Sublimation offers an outlet for shops to transform themselves into a one-stop shop for all products and services their existing customers need. (Image courtesy of JDS Industries) Heat press: A device used to press transfers onto fabrics and other substrates through an adjustable heat setting, time and pressure. There are generally three designs: swing-away, drawer and clamshell. Specialized presses are also available for odd- shaped products, such as mugs or hats. CMYK: Stands for the three primary printing colors of cyan, magenta, and yellow plus black (K). Desktop printer: In the sublimation industry, these are printers as large as 24˝ wide. Dye-sublimation: Printing process in which an image printed with specially-formulated inks is transferred from a carrier sheet to a polymer substrate. Sublimation: The process of changing from a solid to a gas with- out passing through an intermediate liquid phase. Jig: A positioning tool used when working with non-flat or oddly shaped items. This ensures that the items are positioned cor- rectly when running multiple items with the same files. Large-format printer: Printers typically 44˝ and larger. Usually used for all-over printing or cut-and-sew applications, as well as photo panels and other large signage. TERMS

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