Sublimation 101- Suggested Settings

Posted by Melody Thornton on

SUBLIMATION & ACRYLIC

So what is it? Sublimation involves the transfer of ink onto a material through a combination of heat, pressure, and time. By heating up the ink and the material, the ink is able to become a gas and bond with the material, before quickly cooling back down to a solid. This allows for a permanent image to be applied to the material.

Why do it? Sublimation is a great way to add custom and colorful designs to your laser cut and acrylic products. By printing the design onto a transfer paper and then pressing it onto acrylic sheets, the design becomes part of the acrylic instead of just being printed onto it. This makes for a super durable and long-lasting design.

How? Generally speaking, when you sublimate you follow the directions on the paper you're using. In addition, sublimation, like everything in the craft world, is not a cut and dry process or a one size fits all experience. You will have to do material testing. For those who want the easy answer though, we recommend starting with 385 degrees, 45 seconds, light pressure. Work your way up to 400 degrees, 60 seconds, & heavy pressure, and find what you feel gives you the best results.

When sublimating acrylic it is important to remember that acrylic will warp and bend when heated. For best results work in smaller pieces, and cool your project between heavy objects immediately after removing from the heat press. You can put it between a stack of heavy acrylic, or in a second heat press that is off.

I've grabbed some screenshots from popular sublimation paper suppliers that should help you get started as well!

suggested settings for sublimation 1suggested sublimation settings 2suggested sublimation settings 3

 

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