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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do Vinyl, Oracal and HTV. I also do Rhinestones.
I am looking into possibly doing some sublimation. But I have QUESTIONS! I searched for some of them but didn't find all my answers so I am asking them here

I am going to try to stay away from doing sublimation on material as I keep reading horror stories. Need different stuff or paper if its dark colors. Only certain types of materials, sometimes it presses to light, etc. I know I won't be able to escape it totally cause I deal with alot of RVers and they like those cloth signs they hang out on those small metal stands. That have their name on it and some design or picture...but I am going to avoid it as best I can. So any tips would be greatly appreciated for when I need to do material. We will do mugs, ceramic tiles, keychains. I wanted to do plates but I don't have a plate press unless I get requests for it alot...we are not going there.

So to the questions.... Which is better and or best?
Sub Printers, Especially that we won't be doing alot till it catches on...I don't want to waste ink constantly to keep it primed and nozzles clear. I was at the Houston ISS show and I saw 3 printers, Epson, Sawgrass and Oki. Okie is out...to expensive, at least the ones I saw. Of course they all swear their machines don't clog as long as you use it once a month.

What is a GOOD mug press?

What kind of paper and ink refill do you all recommend?

Recommendations of where to buy wholesale supplies and products. Products I mean things like blanks in mugs, keychains. I also want to do puzzles, I have a KNK cutter that is set with a puzzle pattern to cut, just not sure what kind of material I should use or where to get it?

I THINK, my last question is...does sublimation go on metal? Like metal drinking cups, like RTIC cups and the same process as mugs?

Thank you for any help you can help me with. Much appreciated
 

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What is a GOOD mug press?
It seems that the most popular one--and most highly recommended--is the Geo Knight.



However, this is a $750 item. You can find cheaper, but you won't find better.

Recommendations of where to buy wholesale supplies and products. Products I mean things like blanks in mugs, keychains. I also want to do puzzles, I have a KNK cutter that is set with a puzzle pattern to cut, just not sure what kind of material I should use or where to get it?
Conde is one of the biggest suppliers out there. They have mugs, keychains, dog tags, puzzles, and lots (and I mean lots!) of other stuff that you can sublimate to.

I THINK, my last question is...does sublimation go on metal? Like metal drinking cups, like RTIC cups and the same process as mugs?
Conde has those, too. They have a few, here is only one example:



That being said, you can take the more expensive mugs and coat them with polyester so that the dye sub ink will work. And other items for that matter. There just has to be polyester so that the ink can work.
 

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Dye sub works best on white or near white and only works on poly fabrics or coatings. For fabric, you would want at least 80% polyester (the non-poly threads will not accept the ink, degrading the final image). If the fabric is not white, your ink will co-mingle with the ink already in the fabric and dark fabrics, you will see little if anything of your image. Dye sub ink is fairly translucent.

For mugs, I use Coastal, as they have flat rate shipping ($9.95) and free shipping for orders over $149. Shipping mugs is expensive. I use wraps and a dedicated oven for the mugs, rather than a press and that works well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Bryan and John

No feedback on printers? Need info on printers please. Anyone!?

John, wraps look awesome as I have seen them but I live and travel around USA in a motorhome and we only have a convection oven.
 

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Thanks Bryan and John

No feedback on printers? Need info on printers please. Anyone!?

John, wraps look awesome as I have seen them but I live and travel around USA in a motorhome and we only have a convection oven.
I dye sub probably two to three times a month. I use an Epson WF 7610 and use Cobra ink. I swap out the ink out with pigment when I am not printing dye sub (I have two sets of refillable cartridges). This works well for me. You do have to clean the printhead with each swap.
 

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This is what I use in the UK.

Halogen Mug Oven available with 4 or 8 standard 8cm mug wraps

I can esily fit 4 mugs with wraps in at once and get great prints, top to bottom, and handle to handle. Takes up very little more room than a mug press.
You don’t want to use your food oven. I bought a large toaster oven at Walmart and it works great. It is 12” high, 14” deep and 20” across. I have easily done four mugs and it would no doubt handle six (I just don’t like doing that many at a time).
 

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This is what I use in the UK.

Halogen Mug Oven available with 4 or 8 standard 8cm mug wraps

I can esily fit 4 mugs with wraps in at once and get great prints, top to bottom, and handle to handle. Takes up very little more room than a mug press.
You don’t want to use your food oven. I bought a large toaster oven at Walmart and it works great. It is 12” high, 14” deep and 20” across. I have easily done four mugs and it would no doubt handle six (I just don’t like doing that many at a time).
No, don't use your food oven. The sublimation gives off fumes, and there's also the chance of getting 'specks' on your mugs from debris floating around inside the oven.

The halogen cooker I use (see link above) was bought specifically for sublimating mugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is very interesting webtrekker. Wonder if it is available in the USA. I will have to look in to that.

John, I couldn't use my regular oven if I wanted to. We don't have one. A convection oven works much differently than a conventional gas or electric oven so I don't think it would work anyway. And thank you for your info on printer. Guess info about dye sub printers is sort of secret as no one seems to want to share info on it.

As for a toaster oven. We actually had a fullsize one and it took up alot of room in our storage bay. I have seen the mug presses and they are pretty small. Was thinking I need like a 5-1 I think it is called. So that various size/shape mugs will fit.

Thanks all,
hope more will come soon
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I dye sub probably two to three times a month. I use an Epson WF 7610 and use Cobra ink. I swap out the ink out with pigment when I am not printing dye sub (I have two sets of refillable cartridges). This works well for me. You do have to clean the printhead with each swap.
John I am just curious, do you not get like a cross contamination between the two different types of ink as you change them out? Also can I ask who you recommend getting ink and cartridges from please?

BTW, you are so right with the price of shipping mugs being very costly!
 

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John I am just curious, do you not get like a cross contamination between the two different types of ink as you change them out? Also can I ask who you recommend getting ink and cartridges from please?

BTW, you are so right with the price of shipping mugs being very costly!
I use Cobra ink (cobraink.com). I bought the ink and cartridges from them and am happy with the ink. Make sure you get their ICC profiles for the ink to get the colors right.

I run a printhead cleaning each time I swap the cartridges and that works fine. Every once in a while I have to run an extra cleaning or two, when I go back to pigment (based on a printhead diagnostic print). It isn't the most convenient. If I printed more, I would dedicate a printer to the dye sub. I mostly just do mugs (my fiance sells them at her studio and also uses them for promotional stuff). I occasionally do a metal print. I don't do dye sub on fabric anymore. I really don't do t-shirts anymore. I do a fair amount of heat transfer (pigment inks) to canvas panels for a specialized applications (paint your pet, paint your toys, etc.). I have a large format printer for that (an HP Z6100 60").
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I use Cobra ink (cobraink.com). I bought the ink and cartridges from them and am happy with the ink. Make sure you get their ICC profiles for the ink to get the colors right.

I run a printhead cleaning each time I swap the cartridges and that works fine. Every once in a while I have to run an extra cleaning or two, when I go back to pigment (based on a printhead diagnostic print). It isn't the most convenient. If I printed more, I would dedicate a printer to the dye sub. I mostly just do mugs (my fiance sells them at her studio and also uses them for promotional stuff). I occasionally do a metal print. I don't do dye sub on fabric anymore. I really don't do t-shirts anymore. I do a fair amount of heat transfer (pigment inks) to canvas panels for a specialized applications (paint your pet, paint your toys, etc.). I have a large format printer for that (an HP Z6100 60").
Not sure what the heat transfer pigment inks to canvas panels process is. Paint your pet? We do alot of HTV vinyl and sticker vinyl Oracal 651. We use to do alot of Rhinestones but it has lost alot of energy for us. We do the Oracal on mugs and things like that but it limits you. I would like to do mugs, cups, keychains, metal license plates, yard flags. We are full timers, living in a 40' motorhome, We have a 15x15 heat press, hat press and a KNK Zing Orbit cutter.

But even with all that we can't create enough picture or effect type product. We work alot with resorts and tourist gift shops and they like pictures on some things. Sub seems to be the best way to go. I just at this point don't know how much business I will truly get out of it. Could be my best seller, could turn out to be a here and there thing they order. Some may order stuff that they can use for give aways.

So trying to get (like most) the best bang for my buck without it buying a headache too. On the same thought, I don't want to waste alot. I don't know what is required to keep any of the printers at a holding happiness. (print a page a day, a week? Print 5 pages a week?) If not a real lot, I can print off inexpensive things with our name on it as give away. We are asked from time to time to go into sway bags...so I am always looking to make something small to put in there.

Hard choices. I also know there are a variety of inks out there. I am not sure one from another and best in price too.
 

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Not sure what the heat transfer pigment inks to canvas panels process is. Paint your pet? We do alot of HTV vinyl and sticker vinyl Oracal 651. We use to do alot of Rhinestones but it has lost alot of energy for us. We do the Oracal on mugs and things like that but it limits you. I would like to do mugs, cups, keychains, metal license plates, yard flags. We are full timers, living in a 40' motorhome, We have a 15x15 heat press, hat press and a KNK Zing Orbit cutter.

But even with all that we can't create enough picture or effect type product. We work alot with resorts and tourist gift shops and they like pictures on some things. Sub seems to be the best way to go. I just at this point don't know how much business I will truly get out of it. Could be my best seller, could turn out to be a here and there thing they order. Some may order stuff that they can use for give aways.

So trying to get (like most) the best bang for my buck without it buying a headache too. On the same thought, I don't want to waste alot. I don't know what is required to keep any of the printers at a holding happiness. (print a page a day, a week? Print 5 pages a week?) If not a real lot, I can print off inexpensive things with our name on it as give away. We are asked from time to time to go into sway bags...so I am always looking to make something small to put in there.

Hard choices. I also know there are a variety of inks out there. I am not sure one from another and best in price too.
If you print a couple of times a week. It will probably be fine. Cobra also offers a head cleaning syringe. You should get one of those, in case it plugs up (you run some distilled water through the head).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I use Cobra ink (cobraink.com). I bought the ink and cartridges from them and am happy with the ink. Make sure you get their ICC profiles for the ink to get the colors right.

I run a printhead cleaning each time I swap the cartridges and that works fine. Every once in a while I have to run an extra cleaning or two, when I go back to pigment (based on a printhead diagnostic print). It isn't the most convenient. If I printed more, I would dedicate a printer to the dye sub. I mostly just do mugs (my fiance sells them at her studio and also uses them for promotional stuff). I occasionally do a metal print. I don't do dye sub on fabric anymore. I really don't do t-shirts anymore. I do a fair amount of heat transfer (pigment inks) to canvas panels for a specialized applications (paint your pet, paint your toys, etc.). I have a large format printer for that (an HP Z6100 60").
John can you explain what ICC profiles are and what is required? Thanks much
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It seems that the most popular one--and most highly recommended--is the Geo Knight.



However, this is a $750 item. You can find cheaper, but you won't find better.

Conde is one of the biggest suppliers out there. They have mugs, keychains, dog tags, puzzles, and lots (and I mean lots!) of other stuff that you can sublimate to.

Conde has those, too. They have a few, here is only one example:



That being said, you can take the more expensive mugs and coat them with polyester so that the dye sub ink will work. And other items for that matter. There just has to be polyester so that the ink can work.
Bryan how do you coat the items with polyester. Like the mugs or stainless steel dog tags and similar silver finish items?
 

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John can you explain what ICC profiles are and what is required? Thanks much
An ICC profile is a color profile for the ink. It basically calibrates what you see on the screen with what is printed. Cobra offers ICC profiles for free with their ink. How to use the ICC profile depends on a few things, like computer operating system you are using (Windows / Mac) and the graphics application you are using (Photoshop, Corel, etc.). You can easily look it up, as there is a lot of information on YouTube and other resources. With a Windows PC, you want to make sure you turn off color correction in the Windows print driver and then select the ICC profile in the graphics application you are using.
 

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Bryan how do you coat the items with polyester. Like the mugs or stainless steel dog tags and similar silver finish items?
It is best to just buy them already coated. Applying it your self is very difficult. Many suppliers offer sublimation ready products.
I put links to Conde in my other post. There are other suppliers also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I ask cause I have about 7000 (literately) stainless steel dog tags. I use to print on heavy 98 white paper. Had a template on my cutter and cut them out and glue them on. But it is a process. Thought Sub Lim would be quicker and faster. But I don't know how it would work. If it will work without putting poly on them first.
 
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