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Wide-Format Digital Dye Sublimation

(January 2009) posted on Mon Jan 12, 2009

Fabrics printed with sublimation inkjet technology make up a fast-growing and lucrative market within the wide-format-graphics industry. From trade-show displays and banners to upholstery and architectural graphics, you’ll find dye-sublimation prints hanging around everywhere. This overview looks at equipment and ink options for dye-sublimation printing and how you can use the technology to produce unique graphics for a variety of applications.

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By Lori Leaman

The Roland Hi-Fi Express FP-740 74-in. sublimation transfer printer comes with the optional HeatWave BU-1 high-capacity ink-delivery system, which accepts Roland’s SBL2 sublimation inks. Oransky explains that this sophisticated bulk-ink system addresses the need to monitor the delivery of high volumes of ink consistently and without interruption, and it allows the device to execute maintenance cycles automatically with the printer’s auto-maintenance capability.

Media-cutting devices also may be included, such as an automated hot-knife slitting machine, handheld knives, and electric scissors. All of these options can be found on the d.gen HC-200 or GO printers offered by Graphics One, LLC.

Safety features are critical, especial-ly when using fabric printers equipped with large heaters. Many printers ensure user safety with emergency stop switches, enclosed heating elements, reversible motors (in the event that a foreign object gets into the media-feeding path), and hand-operated loading rollers for loading transfer paper and media.

Most fabric-printing systems come with RIP software equipped with functions for color management, such as creating color profiles and saving them in a database and designating the ink limit of each color set in the printer. The RIPs also provided tools for layout, editing, and printing functions, such as resizing, nesting, tiling, spot-color replacements, auto/manual layout, variable data printing, and other features.


Make your mark with sublimation

Sublimation inkjet printing technology provides a unique opportunity for print shops to expand their product offerings to existing clients or enter a new market they may not have considered before. Whether your shop is small or large or you plan to focus on a specific application or offer a broad assortment of fabric graphics, sublimation inkjet printing offers something for everyone interested in exploring and profiting from this booming market.



Wide-Format Sublimation Printers and Ancillary Equipment and Supplies

d.gen International Inc.


DigiFab Systems


DuPont Imaging Technologies

(ink supplier)




Graphics One LLC


Hewlett Packard Co.




Mimaki USA Inc.


Mutoh America Inc.


Roland DGA Corp.


Sawgrass Technologies

(ink supplier)




Splash of Color




US Sublimation/PrintVillage, Inc.









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