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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to begin making dye sublimation plaques and am not sure if this is the forum on which to ask my questions. Do you only discuss tshirts here, or can I also get advice on purchasing equipment for making dye sublimation plaques and the like? Please let me know if I'm in the right place...

Thanks
John
 

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We did awards for 9 years by sulbimation and just recently got into engraving to round out our offerings
Not sure what your starting with but of course you will need a heat press (get a swing type)
printer with sublimation ink and software to creat layouts
Johnson Plastics has just about everything but there are many others out there
The NBM show is in Indy this week and is a great place to get exposed to all you will need.
 

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Hallo and welcome to the forum! While the site is "t-shirtforums", there is plenty of other information about non-tshirt embellishment going on. Dye sublimation remains quite the same whether you're making a plaque, or a t-shirt.

You will need:
A printer that can accept Dye Sub inks (Epson being the most commonly used and affordable)
Sublimation paper
The special sublimation ink
A substrate (generally has to have a special coating on it for the ink to bind to when it's in gaseous form)

Johnson Plastics, Coastal Business Supply, and Conde all have a wide variety of systems and substrates.

Johnson is unique in that they can supply custom cut aluminum or fire resistant plastic.

Coastal has great customer service, a very decent price, free shipping after like $100 or $200, and being a member on here gets you a 5% discount (see the "Exclusive Discounts" forum).

Conde has the most variety in sublimation substrates in my opinion, so if you're looking for something really unique, they probably have it for you to sublimate on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies. So, if I attend the tradeshow in Indy, will I be able to see pictures printed, placed on plaques, heat pressed, and view final products. This, as well as discuss with Johnson, Coastal, etc.. my goals and needs? That's what I'm after, a sort of "eyes on" experience before pulling out the checkbook for a couple thousand dollars. I need to know what equipment & software I need, how much each printing will cost, and what kind of time will need to be invested into each picture plaque I make. What do you think...

John
 

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I saw both Johnson and Coastal at the ISA show in March at Vegas, so I'd imagine they'd be attending NBM as well. Both were pushing the different things you can do with dye sub and had good samples. I ended up buying an Epson C88 from Coastal at the show, think I spent around $650-700, came with two packs of sub paper, bulk ink system, four bags of ink (CMYK) and an additional free bag of ink (was Sawgrass's show special).
 

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I have heard from our crew that the show is going well. Hope everyone that can will visit.

The three companies mentioned are excellent companies. I think all of us have booths. I would love here from someone at the show. Like what is new or unique.

I would always be cautious about "buying" at the show. I like to study and ask for advice (like this forum).
Any real company will extend show specials for at least next week after the show. (I know we will).

As far as plaques, I do them two ways: unisub or wood with metal. Sometimes I will layer the metal
to give a rich look like gold then white (with the white being slightly smaller than the gold).

Unisub is quick and simply. We now have some interesting versions like a fraternity/sorority paddle and
megaphone plaques.
 

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Worked with David Gross from Conde and Tom Johnson from Johnson Plastics. Both are great to work with and will go out of their way to help you out.
 

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Hello, I'm new to the awards business. I'm a screen printer. I want to get into the awards and trophy business, I have a sublimation machine and a heat press among other equipment. My question is how in the world do I put the letters on the plaque metal and what cheap beginner metal cutter would you recommend ? I have a plaque that someone brought me to duplicate and I'm wondering what and how was used to place the words on it. Someone told me they use a Brother P label maker, I want to know can it be sublimated and if so how as well. The pic is attached to this message thanks....
 

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