Today there are not so many people who have never encountered original and bright prints made on T-shirts, caps and cups. All these images are made using special equipment – a thermal press, which is a device equipped with a heating element and a control unit (mechanical or electronic).
The principle of operation of the heat press is quite simple. The transfer of the image to the product, in other words, thermal transfer, occurs as a result of heating of special paper for sublimation printing – under the influence of high temperature, a picture or photo applied to it is “transferred” to the workpiece. In other words, an image is selected to be transferred to a cup, T-shirt or other item, and printed on a conventional printer using special sublimation paper and ink. After that, the resulting workpiece is fixed on the product with thermal tape, placed in a heated thermopress and pressed by the heating element for a certain time (depending on the material of the product). Under the influence of high temperature, sublimation transfer occurs – as a result of a chemical reaction, the ink passes from a solid to a gaseous state and is “reprinted”, fixing well on the product. Thus, using a heat press, you can apply bright, high-quality and durable images to almost any materials, both natural and artificial, – metal, glass, ceramics, plastic, textiles and others.
Types of heat presses – which one to choose?
Heat presses not only come in different shapes and sizes, they also differ in characteristics and purpose. For example, to apply an image on a T-shirt, you need a heat press with a flat thermoelement, and for cups with a cylindrical one. There are also universal devices that are sold complete with replaceable pads for different workpieces. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.
Flat (tablet). The most popular and widespread type. It can be used to thermally transfer photos, pictures and ornaments to, bonfires, ceramic tiles, also great for making your own Tshirt and promotional items and other products with a flat surface made of glass, metal, fabric and other materials suitable for sublimation printing.
Depending on the method of moving the heating element, flatbed heat presses are divided into two types:
How to choose the right heat press – 6 main points
Most buyers are often lost, not knowing what parameters to choose a heat press in order to purchase really high-quality and reliable equipment that will fulfill all the tasks. Below are 5 main criteria to look out for when buying a device:
In addition to the above criteria, one must also proceed from the tasks assigned to the equipment. If the equipment is purchased to create a small amount of advertising and souvenir products, the optimal solution is a universal heat press with replaceable nozzles. In the event that the volume of production is small, but narrow-profile, for example, printing only on cups, buy a mug press.