Awards & Engraving

August '17

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66 • A&E AUGUST 2017 SUBLIMATION AND UV-LED FULL-COLOR SOLUTIONS By Kevin Lumberg We have been working with sublimation for a long time, and in that time we've run across some useful tips that can help the everyday sublimator. Some tips can help save time, and others can easily solve a problem that can be downright frustrating. We will try to help you avoid falling down as much, and share some of the better tips we have come across. STAY CONSISTENT Probably the most important factor in getting consistent results with sublimation is to stay consistent in your processes. There are three real controllable variables to sub- limation: time, temperature and pressure. All of these are important, but we want to focus on temperature. First, periodically check the temperature of your heat press to make sure it is func- tioning correctly using a thermocouple. Just because your temperature gauge says it is running at 400 F doesn't mean that the platen is actually 400 F. This is especially true if you are using an older or second- hand press. Our first tip is that before you start to press any products, close your heat press for a couple of heating cycles to make sure that the bottom platen of the press is preheated. If you do not, your first pressing will not get as hot as any subsequent pressings, and your colors will be different. This can be especially important when you are working with a product for the first time. If you press and test a time and temperature on a blank item for the first time, and you do not preheat the bottom platen first, the heat of the press would be different and cooler through a pressing cycle as compared to a production run 3 TIPS TO HELP The Everyday Sublimator ALL IMAGES COURTESY KEVIN LUMBERG Jumpstart the bottom of your mugs to get a better sublimated image from top to bottom. W ith sublimation, as well as other technologies such as en- graving and UV-LED, it seems like we are always learn- ing. And oftentimes, as you start with each technology, it can feel as if we fall over a lot. You pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and press onward. We learn new things every day from people that we interact with. Whether at trade shows, training seminars, or in the process of technical support, we learn from each and every transaction, and we learn from some innovative people.

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