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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I am planing to make station for sublimation of pictures on ceramic tiles. Im not sure yet which method is the best, which one is most cost effective and which one is cheapest to start with, so II need yours help here.

From what I have been reading so far there are few different options - inkjet (gel) and "laser" printers. I would concentrate this post on laser printers as i find that way most interesting, but i could be wrong so please correct me if so.

Ok. I saw on some website that some regular laser printers can be converted to be sublimation printers. Requirement is that printer has separated fuser unit similar as copier machine setup or LED prineters setup. However I could not find any instructions on how to convert these office printers to be used for sublimation so if anyone has some points please direct me in right direction.

I couldnt find exact list but I know that some models of OK and Xerox could be used for this purpose as well as Ricoh C250DN printer.

Does anyone knows more about this?
 

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Greetings,

I am planing to make station for sublimation of pictures on ceramic tiles. Im not sure yet which method is the best, which one is most cost effective and which one is cheapest to start with, so II need yours help here.

From what I have been reading so far there are few different options - inkjet (gel) and "laser" printers. I would concentrate this post on laser printers as i find that way most interesting, but i could be wrong so please correct me if so.

Ok. I saw on some website that some regular laser printers can be converted to be sublimation printers. Requirement is that printer has separated fuser unit similar as copier machine setup or LED prineters setup. However I could not find any instructions on how to convert these office printers to be used for sublimation so if anyone has some points please direct me in right direction.

I couldnt find exact list but I know that some models of OK and Xerox could be used for this purpose as well as Ricoh C250DN printer.

Does anyone knows more about this?
I have had both inkjet and color laser sublimation.

You can get sublimation toner for laser (mainly OKI's) however, be aware of;

1. There is no longer any cost saving with laser toner since the Sawgrass patent keeping inkjet ink prices high has expired.

2. There is residue remaining on hard substrates (the base toner that the dye is embedded in) which should be removed, this requires chemicals and elbow grease = time.

3. The resolution of the inkjet is superior, it may not matter for line art but you won't get "photo quality" from the lasers used for laser sublimation. The older KM lasers you could, but those models are no longer made that can take the sub toner carts.

But here is a link for you. I used their toner many years.

http://www.atttransfer.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you kindly.

I have been reading a lot of articles about this method - and a lot of "companies" have been doing pretty much same thing;

- some Russians who print developer solution directly to ceramic tile with modified inkjet one color channel at a time and than apply laser sublimation dye manually with brush,

- some Italians who print developer solution with inkjet on paper and than (same as Russians) apply color manually, one color at a time and finally apply some (later to be transparent film) solution with airbrush. They than use old phototransfer technique to transfer image to ceramic surface and bake it,

- some South Africans who made developer replacement in each of OKI tonner and so they print out whole thing in one go (interestingly they remove baking unit from machine) than they do same thing as Italians but in one go - so here advancement is actually printing in RGB mode rather than CMYK which gives far better results,

- some guys from Ukraine and Germany who modified Ricoh C440DN - but also some other units with replacement developer unit and modified baking unit (most probably with playing with heat sensor sensitivity). In this setup they used 5th color for fixation solution so they get automatically what others are being doing manually. They added scratch resistant gloss finish with lumination as an optional feature. So improvement here is 5th color - confirmed RGB print and addition of automatic fixation unit - most probably trough additional alpha channel...

- and some Americans in the end who made special toners for C250DN and give whole print automated solution - Im not sure of technology behind it, but it aint cheap one as one color toner costs as two C250DN units lol.

All these "companies" figured out same method where only difference is type of developer unit is being used and level of automation. They all hide information about modifications for printer units and they sell these modified printers at sky rocket cost. However some dye only manufacturers - I would say original makers of dyes, in their manuals have recommended temperatures for color fixation as well as color baking. With a bit of playing around with printer and colorimeter an proper modification with correct ICC profile could be made. Chemistry behind their technology include some old solutions used in film based photography development, and some used in lithography and tampon printing. So everything is available and with lowering costs of this type of laser printers this could be interesting field to explore.

Some advantages may be - no nozzle cleaning (easier maintenance) and no need for special transfer paper (for some solutions).

Some main disadvantages are - not much data about instructions on how to make these modifications is available, but hidden in component manuals of dye making superpower manufacturers and manufacturers of copier machines, and still expensive technology as low cost printers come with only 600dpi horizontal resolution.

I hope my observations and information digging will help someone in future.

Thank you kindly mgparrish, I would want you to stay longer on this thread as I will look more deeply into inkjet world now.
 
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