Awards & Engraving

March '19

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20 • A&E MARCH 2019 Q uality is job number one that we all can agree needs to be exe- cuted with sublimation, but we as producers and decorators can only work with what we have from our client or design resolution. The good news is there are a few best practices you can follow that will help. Let's discuss those as well as look at a few projects to help illustrate them. PRACTICAL POINTERS Growing up in the industry, we started at 360 DPI (dots per inch) as a sufficient resolution considering flesh tones was the main reproduction in the late '80s. In today's world, we have cell phone cam- eras that are 5.0 mega pixel and higher. I still feel that 360-plus is a great resolution for printing; the key is the designing and color factor. When reproducing sublima- tion, I strongly suggest doing test prints on standard laser or inkjet printer for proof. We need to remember all substrates are not created equal, but we do know that 400 F is our general temperature with any brand of heat press for sublimation transferring. With the temperature in play, we need to focus on substrates. For example, let's look at aluminum (metal). This requires a 400 F tem- perature for 45 to 65 seconds for time (always remove any protective film before pressing)… or does it? The answer is yes, but when we turn to jewelry, plastic lunch boxes, and cell phone case covers, all of which have the aluminum insert metal, do we still go with 45 to 60 seconds? No. With this particular metal, the gauge thickness is thin. We call these "insert products": when you take the sublimation metal and apply it to the substrate in a result that gives you By Michael Kaminsky Michael Kaminsky has been involved in the sublimation industry for over 25 years, and is a frequent instructor at conventions and contributing writer in magazines. He has watched the industry evolve before his eyes and is so excited to be part of its growth and technology with input on research, development, and so much more. He can be reached at Step one (pressing ceramic tiles): When pressing ceramic tiles, start with applying the correct settings, including mirroring an image. ALL IMAGES COURTESY MICHAEL KAMINSKY Step two: Ceramic tiles take longer in press — press at 400 F for 5 minutes. Sublimation Best Practices TECHNIQUES TO EXECUTE QUALITY SUBLIMATED PRODUCTS

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