Awards & Engraving

October '17

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SAWGRASS VIRTUOSO VJ628 FLEX INK SET Nowadays, sublimation printers, such as Sawgrass' Virtuoso desktop printers and Epson's F-series wide-format printers, tend to be quiet workhorses with excellent reliability, amazing detail, and outstanding color—all utilizing four channels of ink (CMYK). Sawgrass has introduced the new FLEX ink set for its mid-format Virtuoso VJ628 25-inch roll sublimation printer. This printer was created out of a partnership between Mutoh and Sawgrass and sports an 8-channel ink system (CMYK plus four more colors) and a state-of-the-art vari- able droplet print head. The FLEX ink set throws the kitchen sink at sublimation printing by combining the standard Sub- liJet HD CMYK colors with an expanded gamut of blue and orange or pink and yellow fluorescent spot colors. UPDATED BLACK The black included in this set is the new state-of-the-art XF Black that was created through a partnership with Henry Wilhelm (the world's foremost expert on image permanence), Sawgrass, and Chrom- aLuxe. Using this ink set in the production of ChromaLuxe panels extends the indoor color stability and consistency over a life- time, and should benefit the longevity of other substrates as well. MORE GAMUT IS BETTER Adding blue and orange process colors with CMYK provides a much larger rainbow of colors. This is quite useful for hitting Pan- tone or hard-to-match team colors. You have a choice of operating the printer in the tra- ditional CMYK mode or taking advantage of the extended process color gamut that the additional colors provide. SUBLIMATION THAT SHOUTS Lastly, the FLEX ink set includes fluo- rescent pink and fluorescent yellow spot colors to jazz up your artwork and stand out from the crowd. As Steve Jobs used to say, "Be insanely different!" CHROMALUXE GOES OUTSIDE For the past 20-plus years, sublimation has been mostly promoted as an "indoor technology." Sublimated products enjoy an (almost) infinite life when placed indoors but fade over time when placed outdoors. In addition to fading caused by the sun's damaging UV rays, images transferred onto outdoor products can un-sublimate/outgas over time due to exposure to high tempera- tures (heat put the dyes into the product's coating, so heat can also take them out). I tell folks that items such as auto license plates will have an outdoor life of about 18 months. Around this time, photographs start to fade (causing easy-to-notice shifts in gradients and skin tones) and graphics begin to lose their pop, although sometimes it is difficult to detect unless you have a duplicate original to compare it to. A few years ago, Unisub began a project to extend the outdoor life of its Chrom- aLuxe metal. Their solution was to create a new generation of sublimation coatings that would allow ChromaLuxe products with photographic images to last four to five years outdoors and those with graphics to last seven to eight years outdoors. Why is ChromaLuxe Outdoor a great choice? 1. Graffiti/chemically resistant and easy to clean 2. Scratch resistant 3. No lamination required 4. Full-color photographic quality To achieve this long life with the new ChromaLuxe Outdoor metal, you must use By David Gross Advances in Technology Road to Sublimation Success: W hat I love about sublimation decorating is that it keeps me in a state of constant amazement. Some folks might think of the sublimation process as a miracle, but I prefer to compare it to gravity: it's not something everyone fully understands, but we have nevertheless learned to harness its power. Sublimation is an expansive force that continues to provide endless developments, opportunities, improvements, and even a few major breakthroughs. This article highlights some of the exciting new advancements in our world. 30 • A&E OCTOBER 2017

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