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Self Adhesive Vinyl Crafting Ideas

 

Dye Sublimation Crafting Ideas

1990s Tshirt Tutorial

Creating Face Masks Using Sublimation Guidelines

1960s Mug Tutorial

1950s Coaster

Christmas Ornaments

Sawgrass Baby Shower

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Meghan's Heat Press Kitchen Ep. 1

"One Design Three Ways" Viewers' Choice

"One Design Three Ways" Christmas edition

Create, Print, Press! With Sawgrass Printers And EasySubli Ink

How to Sublimate Ceramic Tiles

How to Sublimate onto Glass

How to Sublimate on Neoprene Fabric

How To Sublimate an MDF Plaque

 

Dye Sublimation How To Guide

Setting Up The SG500 - PC

Setting Up The SG500 - Mac

SG500 Bypass Tray Installation

How To Install Sawgrass Print Manager on a Windows PC

How To Install Sawgrass Print Manager on Mac OS

Halloween Printer Maintenance

 

CreativeStudio 4 Walk-through

Dye Sublimation Important Information

What is sublimation

Sublimation is a digital printing process that uses heat and pressure to put ink into a product instead of on it. It utilizes a special dye and a molecular bonding process to apply and permanently adhere HD images, graphics and photos to polymers and polyesters at a sub-surface level. 

How is sublimation different from other product decoration

Other printing processes utilize chemicals called binders to bond their inks to the surface of a product.  Binders are present in the ink and/or paper (for transfer processes.)  Over time, the binders will break down and the ink will crack, peel and fade. In contrast, because sublimation bonds at a sub-surface level rather than on top, it provides a high-quality image that won’t crack or peel. And in the case of apparel, it will not fade when washed.  Sawgrass sublimation inks are HD and provide stunning graphics and photos, something most other decoration processes cannot achieve.
 
With sublimation, images can be applied to thousands of different products including mugs, signage, bags and apparel, and to many different materials including ceramics, wood, metal, polyester and glass.


What do I need to get started

Sublimation requires a graphics program, a sublimation printer, sublimation inks, sublimation paper and color management software.  Sawgrass provides an integrated solution that includes all of these elements, each of which has been engineered to work hand-in-hand to deliver high-quality images quickly and easily.  In addition, you will need a good quality heat press.  Our products are only available through a global network of authorized dealers.  The Sawgrass Dealer Network sells complete startup packages so you can get everything you need in one place.

 How do I choose a printer and heat press

The most important question is: which products do you want to make?  Printers come in different sizes in terms of the largest image they can produce.  The Sawgrass line includes three different printers.  The smallest, a desktop unit, can handle up to 8.5” x 14” (22cm x 35.5cm) media.  The next size up, also a desktop unit, can handle up to 13” x 19” (33cm x 48.3cm) media.  The third unit, an industrial 8-color system, prints on 25” (63.5cm) wide roll fed paper. 
Your heat press must always be larger than the largest image you can print with your printer.  For example, if you bought the printer that can produce 13” x 19” (33cm x 48.3cm) media, you would need at least a 16” x 20” (38 cm x 50 cm) heat press (a standard sized unit in the industry). 
You should also consider a swing-away heat press rather than a clamshell heat press as it can handle thicker items such as wooden plaques, ceramics and more. To handle cylindrical objects, such as mugs and drinkware, you'll need a mug press, 3D heat press or convection oven.

What types of surfaces are good for sublimation

Sublimation only bonds to polymers and polyesters.  However, there are more than 1,000 sublimation-ready “blanks” available in the marketplace, meaning they already have a polymer coating.  This includes products made of wood, metal, slate, glass, acrylic, ceramics, hard plastics and more.  In addition, polyester and polyester blend fabrics can be sublimated.

How can CreativeStudio help with design

CreativeStudio is a design software created by us, specifically for sublimation, and is included free with the purchase of any Sawgrass printer. It includes thousands of royalty-free designs, images and product templates,  which means you don't have to worry about commercial licenses or wasting time searching the internet for beautiful imagery. No graphics experience is needed - you can get started as soon as you get your Sawgrass printer! 
To access even more designs, CreativeStudio offers a monthly and annual membership program.

How do I print on fabric

Sublimation will bond directly to most polyester fabrics using the standard Sawgrass inks and transfer papers.  Sublimation will not bond directly to cotton, but there are special transfer papers that will allow Sawgrass inks to bond to the surface of cotton fabric. In addition, Sawgrass has partnered with Siser to produce a special edition of our sublimation inks, called EasySubli, which can be used to print on Siser vinyl. This vinyl can then be applied directly to fabrics such as cotton and dark colored polyester.  Sawgrass routinely works with partner companies to develop new applications for sublimation in terms of fabrics and non-fabric products.

How do I print on a mug

Because a mug is round, it will not fit in a traditional heat press.  There are three solutions for sublimating a mug. The first is to use a mug press, which has a cylindrical heating element. The mug is placed in it and the unit is clamped shut around the mug. 
The second method is a convection oven (not a microwave nor a standard kitchen oven where you will prepare food). A special wrap is applied to the mug, which holds the transfer against the surface of the mug. The mug is then placed in the convection oven for “pressing”. 
The third is to use a 3D heat press, which utilizes heat, vacuum and wraps to sublimate rounded products such as mugs.
Each method has different settings for time, temperature and pressure that will vary with the equipment and the product, and these setting should be available with the products.

Does it matter what ink/printer I use

Very much so! All inks are not created equal. Think about a paint store. You have good quality paints that provide superb and accurate color that can last for many years, and then you have the low cost paints that do an OK job at best. You also have different paints for different surfaces. With sublimation, higher quality inks like those produced by Sawgrass provide more accurate color, a wider gamut (range) of color and higher quality images on each and every job, always.
Sawgrass makes the world’s only desktop printers engineered for sublimation from the ground up. The printers were designed for the ink and ink for the printers - both were made purely for sublimation. In addition, the software for color management and CreativeStudio were also designed specifically to work with Sawgrass inks and printers. It is the only integrated system available for sublimation. 

Important Self Adhesive Vinyl Information

Cutting and Weeding

Initially perform a test cut on the material. Peel back the cut vinyl and check the cut to ensure that the blade has just marked the silicone layer of the release liner. Then look at the reverse (printed) side of the release liner and check that an impression of the cut is not visible on the reverse of the liner. If such a mark can be seen, the cut is too deep and can will cause paper de-lamination when weeding as well as premature blade wear and damage.

It is important to remember that the choice of cutting weight and depth is dependent on the film type, with cast materials requiring the least pressure and speciality materials such as polyester and reflective vinyls the most. For general guidelines refer to the plotter’s manual. Certain speciality materials such as fluorescent and reflective vinyls and sandblast vinyl will require a greater blade angle and a slower cutting speed, as will materials with a polyester face film.

When weeding, short sharp snatches can often prove the cleanest method, particularly where text has sharp serifs. Correct cutting will save weeding time. Cutting and weeding can prove difficult in cold or hot conditions and it is important to weed the graphic shortly after cutting to avoid adhesive bleed that will make weeding difficult, particularly in hot conditions

Applying Sign Vinyl Decals

The following is a recommended method for accurately aligning and applying sign vinyl decals.

  1. Once the decal has been cut and weeded, and application tape applied, it can be offered up to the substrate and carefully aligned in its final position.
  2. Apply a 50mm tab of masking tape to fix each end in place horizontally. Apply a third strip of masking tape vertically across the centre from top to bottom; the tape should extend above and below the decal and fix it to the substrate.
  3. Start with the right hand side of the decal and cut or tear the 50mm strip of masking tape, leaving half on the substrate. Turn the right hand side of the graphic back on itself. Peel away the silicone release liner, cutting it at the centre point where the vertical masking tape fixes the decal to the substrate, and discard. When peeling decals away from the silicone release liner always try to keep them as flat as possible and peel back the release liner towards you. This will reduce the chance of damage to fine details or serifs.
  4. The first half of the decal can now be lightly applied by holding it taught and using the two parts of the 50mm masking tape tab to align it perfectly. Squeegee down firmly.
  5. Remove the vertical strip of masking tape and repeat for the left hand side of the decal.
  6. Finally remove the application tape by peeling away at 45° to the direction of the text and 180° to the surface.
  7. Air bubbles can be removed by puncturing with the tip of a scalpel.
  8. This method of application can be modified for large graphics (in excess of 2m). Apply vertical strips of masking tape at two, three or more intervals. Cut the graphic half way between these points to form smaller panels and proceed as described above.

 

 

Self Adhesive Vinyl - How To Guide

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Important Information Regarding HTV

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HOW TO CUT SISER® HTV ON THE CRICUT MAKER

HOW TO CUT SISER® HTV ON THE CRICUT JOY

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HOW TO APPLY P.S. FILM & GLITTER 2 USING THE CRICUT® EASYPRESS™

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