April '23

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4 8 G R A P H I C S P R O • A P R I L 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S U B L I M A T I O N new ink pack mid-print for uninterrupted printing," Check explains. To support consumer demand for a wider color gamut, Epson incorporates multiple ink configurations in selected dye-sublimation printers, including the SureColor F10070H, and the SureColor F9470H, which includes fluorescent pink and fluorescent yellow for exceptional color saturation and brightness. And, the SureColor F6470H features multi- ple ink configurations so customers can select what best fits their needs, including light cyan and light magenta for smooth photographic output; fluorescent pink and yellow for bright and high visibility customized apparel; or orange and violet for vivid colors with an expanded color gamut, he says. Canon began making dye-sublimation printers a few years ago because it saw the opportunity presented by the soft sig- nage market. Many of its customers that were using Canon Colorado and Arizona UV presses were outsourcing dye-subli- mation jobs to other companies. Canon offers the 10' DGI FH-3204 and 10' DGI FT-3204X hybrid dye-sublimation sys- tems that can switch between paper trans- fer and direct-to-fabric printing. e 64" DGI POSEIDON and 10' DGI FH-3204 are fluorescent capable. Fluorescents are in big demand because they "add value for customers. ey add a little pop to an image," Ingraham says. The high-volume 64" and 126" MS Impres dye-sublimation printers offer fast production speeds and can print on trans- fer paper as well as direct to fabric. The COVID pandemic had a terrible impact on the dye-sublimation industry, since 80% of all digital printing on poly- ester soft signage is dye-sublimation and many in-person trade shows were canceled for three years. "We are already seeing 2023 is going to be a much better year for dye-subli- mation as a whole, especially in the soft signage area where it was hurting before," Ingraham says. e cost of fabrics and papers has gone up because of inflation, but the price of inks on the large-format side has come down. Ingraham says that the market is on a downward trajectory when it comes to cost of entry. Small shops can get a printer for as little as $130. "I am cautiously optimistic; 2023 is already better than 2022," he says. "We will probably see 5% to 10% growth over- all in the market. at's my hope but a lot depends on other factors. Inflation, wars, balloons." StratoJet has two dye-sublimation print- ers: the 66" Piranha and the 126" Piranha XT. Singh says that dye-sublimation is slowly cutting into the screen-printing industry because it is less work-inten- sive and offers more color options. e amount of space needed for screen print- ing is almost three times what is needed for dye-sublimation. GP (Image courtesy Canon Solutions America) (Image courtesy Epson) One of the biggest changes of late is the move to new and better print heads, which are coming in and reducing the per-square-foot cost of printing. New dye-sublimation inks are also being introduced all the time. (Image courtesy of Epson)

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