Can You Sublimate on Acrylic? Ans is yes ( Step-By-Step Guide)
Sublimation is a printing technique that transfers artwork onto materials such as fabric, wood, metal, and plastic. This technique prints images on the paper before being transmitted to the targeted substrate. This process produces long-lasting prints that won’t fade or crack over time. One common material used in sublimation is Acrylic – but can you sublimate on it?
The short answer is yes! Acrylic is an ideal substrate for sublimation since it has a smooth surface that allows for sharp details and bright colors to be printed. Acrylic does not require any pre-treatment before the printing process, making it perfect for quick production cycles. When heated with a flat heat press, the ink from the special paper transfers into the Acrylic, creating vivid prints that will last for years without fading or cracking.
What Is Sublimation Printing, And How Does It Work On Acrylic?
Sublimation on Acrylic is a great way to bring vibrant images, logos, and text to life. It’s an ideal material choice for businesses needing to create signage, awards, or promotional products quickly and effectively. Acrylic is an extremely durable plastic that can be used in various applications, making it perfect for sublimation printing.
Due to its fairness and discernible clarity, Acrylic, a solid translucent plastic, is one of the ideal materials for sublimation. Additionally, Acrylic is one of the best surfaces for the dye sublimation procedure because of its high polymer content. Because Acrylic has a larger polymer content, there is no longer necessary to use different polymer coatings, which lowers the total price of the sublimation procedure.
Acrylic is dye-sublimated using acrylic templates or acrylic papers. Extrusion acrylic and cast acrylic are the two types of Acrylic. Cast acrylic is preferred in the sublimation method because it performs better thermally than extruded Acrylic. Being more resistant to heat and having a higher melting temperature, it is suitable for temperature distribution in dye sublimation.
Cast acrylic can easily withstand such extreme temps during the sublimation procedure, which takes place on Acrylic at a temperature of about 356 ℉ for 60 seconds.
Benefits Of Sublimating On Acrylic For Customization And Decoration
The benefits of sublimation on Acrylic are vast; the process allows for the transfer of complicated graphics onto the material with sharp details and true-to-life colors. It also offers high-resolution print capabilities without any bleed-through or loss of color vibrancy.
Additionally, it has excellent fade resistance when exposed to sunlight or harsh weather conditions over time. The result is a professional product that stands out from competitors and provides long-term durability and quality presentation value.
Sublimation on Acrylic offers several benefits, making it an excellent choice for businesses seeking long-term advertising solutions. When used with dye sublimation inks, this type of printing enables images to be transferred directly onto the surface of the substrate without fading or cracking over time.
Additionally, since Acrylic is naturally resistant to UV rays and moisture damage, businesses don’t have to worry about their printed graphics losing color or becoming damaged due to weather exposure.
Is Acrylic Suitable For Sublimation?
Sublimation is a popular method for transferring designs onto various items and surfaces. But is it doable to sublimate on Acrylic? The answer is yes, but there are some important considerations you should be aware of when using this material.
Acrylic is a type of plastic that can withstand high temperatures without melting or deforming. Therefore, it’s ideal for use with sublimation inks and transfer paper as they require temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to set the design into the material. However, note that not all forms of Acrylic are suitable for use with sublimation because special coatings are required to ensure the image stays put after being heated.
Needs For Sublimation On Acrylic:
The following things are required before you can start sublimating on acrylic substrates.
- Sublimation Printer
- Sublimation ink and paper
- Design software
- Heat press
- Butcher Paper and Heat Tape
Step-By-Step Guide To Sublimating On Acrylic: Materials, Equipment, And Technique
Examine the dimensions of your print as a first step. The paper print’s size needs to be adjusted to meet the size of your area. To suit the Acrylic, adjust the output picture’s size in the application. Remember that the Acrylic must be bigger than the sheet printing.
Eliminate any protective material covering the Acrylic in the following step. Discard any sheet or coverings since heat can lead to print wrinkling or tenderness. Prior to printing anything on Acrylic, set the print there.
Before placing it between the bends of the paper sheet, set the trimmed print on the acrylic sheet and attach the corners. Place the acrylic piece at the bottom, with the colored sublimation paper over it and facing downward.
For a predetermined amount of time, heat them. The ideal heat press temperature range is between 370 and 400 degrees. The time depends on the kind of heater and the acrylic sheet size, but it usually lasts between 45 and 60 seconds.
After the specified amount of time, take the Acrylic out of the heat press. The clean Acrylic will now receive the image transmission. Take off the paper chart, and place it somewhere to cool. After that, clip the extra paper.
Some paper will frequently stick to the acrylic. To loosen the paper, submerge the acrylic piece in freshwater for a little while and then wipe it clean. Enjoy using your brand-new acrylic printing.
Troubleshooting Common Issues With Sublimation With Acrylic
The following are typical issues with sublimation that you will almost certainly run against as you work your way to perfection.
A close pressing relationship between the special paper and the blank result is necessary for sublimation. Ghosting will occur if the paper slides around or is not tightly pressed on the material.
Ghosting is when an image becomes fuzzy and is frequently identified by varying effects on the sides or outside of them. It is known as gassing out when you get an ink “burst” outside the print space.
The surface and transfer paper need to fit together tightly in this situation. Using heat-resistant tape to hold the imprint to the surface is a smart idea. Keep hold not to tape over the image space since this frequently lowers the image’s quality. Additionally, use the least amount of tape possible because you’ll want to be able to swiftly and eliminate the transfer after pressing.
You are likely experiencing banding troubles if you see lines of absent ink in your outputs; jammed printing nozzles are the most typical source of this problem. Whether you like it or not, all ink, not just sublimated ink, fades out with time. If it takes place inside the printing, the ink flow will undoubtedly be impeded, and the output will show streaks of missing ink.
Implementing your printer’s head cleaning option regularly to flow a tiny amount of ink through the heads periodically is the quickest solution to this problem. As long as you keep the printer turned on, it is achieved for you with Virtuoso and Ricoh printers. However, you must manually clean the head of Epson printers every so often, which requires pressing a button.
Unwanted effects may emerge from adding moisture to the sublimation operation. When heated to 400 degrees during manufacture, that moisture can turn to steam and figuratively push the ink far from its original surface. Color changing, image fading, and irregular transfer of filled areas are a few issues linked to moisture.
Protecting the paper against water penetration is the initial procedure. You need to keep your paper in a dry location as a precaution. Plastic bags with zippers are not recommended since they tend to trap moisture inside.
If moisture is on the paper, push it for a short while. Never press it. Simply put it to the heat. The heat emitted by the press should aid in the removal of the majority of the wetness.
Output Colors Are Incorrect
As there are several pieces of picture rendering equipment engaged in the process, each with a different manner and spectrum of color management, the issue of color misfit is typically not the outcome of a flawed system.
First of all, the printer prints in the CMYK method while the computer monitor displays images in RGB mode. Additionally, with sublimation, the color that prints out is not the actual one because it will change during pressing.
Instead of depending on the colors seen on display, choose the colors for your artwork using this chart. You will know how it will seem when it gets off the press, even though it may not appear correctly on display.
You should install the Creative Studio Print And Color Manager, which offers the same features as PowerDriver if you’re running the Creative Studio system.
A RIP program, which offers incredibly good options for regulating color and controlling output, can be worth the investment if you wish to perform more excellent color management.
Transfer Lines On Apparel
As a result of pushing the sides of the transfer sheet into the fabric, you may finish with transfer lines and faint lines in the fabric that match those edges. The shirt fibers’ dissolving along the transfer sheet’s margins is what causes them. In terms of embroidery, transfer lines resemble hoop marks but are everlasting.
Try fiddling with your heat press’s settings as your first step in avoiding transferred lines on the fabric. Consider lowering the temperature to 385 °F and the compression to a very light setting. Another option is to reduce the crucial period from 60 to roughly 35 seconds. Gradual adjustments are advised because significant deviations from the default settings could degrade the quality of the final product.
To avoid lines from appearing, many sublimation employs a procedure that involves a sheet of extreme heat foam during manufacture.
The article “Can You Sublimate On Acrylic?” concludes that it’s possible to sublimate on Acrylic with a special heat press and correct materials. An appropriate heat press, such as a swing-away or clamshell type, will allow you to safely and effectively imprint full-color images onto acrylic surfaces.
However, using the right temperature and pressure settings for your project is important. It’s also best to practice on scrap pieces of Acrylic before attempting larger projects. Finally, make sure that the materials you select are compatible with the sublimation process to ensure successful results every time.
An important takeaway from this article is that sublimating on Acrylic can be done successfully if done properly.
Can acrylic yarn catch fire?
Acrylic yarn is highly flammable because it has Acrylonitrile which catches fire quickly.
How do you print on transparent Acrylic?
You can use a translucent white spray coating to sublimate on transparent acrylic blanks. In order to improve the clarity and visibility of the sublimation prints, you can also spray an opaque white layer on the transparent Acrylic.
How long do you press sublimation on Acrylic?
Sublimating on Acrylic usually needs 60 seconds or more at the 400 F temperature.
On acrylic keychains, is sublimation possible?
On acrylic keychains, sublimation is possible. Acrylic is a solid material with a high proportion of polymers, making it an excellent choice for dye sublimation. Several acrylic templates in various shapes and sizes are available for printing and usage as keychains.