Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ
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    General Questions

    We do indeed. All made for Coreldraw and free for all our customers.

    No, you can purchase any part of the system you desire or require.

    Almost everything can be run off an invertor or solar system but for the larger heat presses a generator is better so as not to deplete the batteries too quickly.

    Without a doubt, the laser systems. As there no inks to block on the heads the laser systems win hands down here. You can leave a laser off for months and the 1st print is perfect.

    1st is laser followed closely by sublimation. As laser can print on both coated and uncoated products (with reduced durability) it can print on practically anything. Sublimation needs special coated substrates which although they number in the thousands is still less than laser.

    Sublimation, followed by DTF.

    Sublimation produces accurate colour with incredible skin tones in very high quality. DTF quality is a little lower but as it’s only for printing fabrics and fabrics by their very nature are course, only a trained eye can see the difference and then only with difficulty.

    Sublimation if decorating synthetic fabrics cannot be beaten. The print cannot even be bleached out and is part of the material. All sports clothing, umbrellas, most cloth banners and all synthetic garments are decorated with sublimation.

    On cotton fabrics DTF is far more durable than any other technology even matching and often beating silkscreen printing (the process uses for decades on an industrial scale)

    There is neither an ink nor a paper which can produce the exact colours required without colour matching. Without colour matching not only are colours wrong when printed but skin tones are awful and not even close to life-like. Users of desktop printers are unaware of this as the colour matching is embedded in the print driver and has been written for the exact model of the printer as well as the ink the print manufacturer supplies and the media being printed on. Different media results in subtle colour shifts, so when a desktop printer is set to plain paper vs glossy paper for instance the embedded profile for each paper type is used by the printer driver, all invisible to the user.

    When a different ink type is used (say the user elects to buy refilled ink instead of using the ink from the printer manufacturer) the colours change – Sometimes subtly, sometimes less so.

    With sublimation these changes are even more noticeable. A black skin tone comes out purplish, a white skin tone reddish and so on.

    For this reason all sublimation printers should come with colour matching specifically for the ink used, the transfer paper used and the product being decorated.

    Sawgrass printers are one of the very, very few desktop printers on the market that come with this advanced colour matching as standard.

    How To?

    You will need

    • A sublimation printer loaded with sublimation inks
    • Colour matching software
    • Sublimation transfer paper
    • A coated mug and either
    • A mug press or
    • Our heat shrink bags and an oven

    Without a coated mug nothing will transfer. The coating is a thin layer sprayed on the mug that accepts the sublimation ink.

    You print the paper with the image in reverse, apply to the mug fixing it in place with heat tape and then either inserting into the mug press or putting it into a heat shrink bag followed by the oven and leave it for a preset time and temperature and within minutes you have a stunning finished product.

    You follow the same process for almost all products. The press will change according to what you want to decorate (mug shaped items need a mug press, flat items a T-shirt press, plates a plate-press, pens a pen-press, caps a cap-press and so on).

    Ceramic mug can be decorated with the sublimation transfer process if they have a sublimation ready coating on them. Mugs printed this way are not very resistant to UV and if the coating is scratched the print will be damaged. They can also be directly printed with a UV printer with a rotary attachment but the process can be cumbersome.

    The most common way that commercial mugs are printed is with ceramic decals. A waterslide decal is printed either with a specialised industrial inkjet printer loaded with ceramic inks (inks comprised of ceramic particles), a laser printer with ceramic toner, or silkscreen (again with ceramic inks). The decal is released in water and then applied to the mug at which point it’s fired in a kiln at 800-1200C. The ceramic ink bonds with the ceramic glaze of the mug and forms a permanent bond. The print is practically impervious to UV light and impossible to scratch off without chipping the glaze of the mug off too.

    This process is very cheap (with the exception of the laser toner process) if the volumes are high enough and is the way mass produced mugs are decorated.

    Ceramic tiles can be decorated with the sublimation transfer process if they have a sublimation ready coating on them.  Tiles printed this way are not very resistant to UV and if the coating is scratched the print will be damaged making this process suitable only for indoor and decorative tiles. They can also be directly printed with a UV printer but again the print is not impervious to scratching.

    The most common way that commercial tiles are printed is with ceramic decals. A waterslide decal is printed either with a specialised industrial inkjet printer loaded with ceramic inks (inks comprised of ceramic particles), a laser printer with ceramic toner, or silkscreen (again with ceramic inks). The decal is released in water and then applied to the tile at which point it’s fired in a kiln at 800-1200C. The ceramic ink bonds with the ceramic glaze of the tile and forms a permanent bond. The print is practically impervious to UV light and impossible to scratch off without chipping the glaze of the tile off too.

    This process is very cheap (except for the laser toner process) if the volumes are high enough and is the way mass produced tiles are decorated.

    You will need:

    • T-shirt paper for the printer type that you are using and colour of the shirt you want to decorate (with the exception of the DTF printer you need a different media for light / white shirts and for dark / black shirts)
    • a T-shirt press and
    • a T-shirt.

    You print onto the transfer paper, apply to the shirt, put into the press and you’re done.

    You follow the same process for almost all products. The press will change according to what you want to decorate (mug shaped items need a mug press, flat items a T-shirt press, plates a plate-press, pens a pen-press, caps a cap-press and so on).

    You need:

    • T-shirt transfer paper specific to the printer type you intend to use
    • A heat source (A T-shirt press is best though some papers can be used with a home iron though results aren’t always perfect),
    • The shirt and
    • The correct transfer times and temperatures for the paper you are using

    In the case of a sublimation printer, if you’re decorating a synthetic fabric shirt you use the standard sublimation paper. If you are decorating a cotton or dark shirt only then is T-shirt specific paper required.

    While both a DTF printer and UV-DTF have the word “DTF” in them they are not interchangeable.

    • The plain DTF printer prints with fabric inks which are cured with heat once a powdered adhesive is applied to the print, whilst
    • The UV-DTF uses a ink which is cured by UV and is not suitable for adhesion to fabric. Once the ink is cured it rolls through a laminator that applies a glue to the print to make stickers. A UV-DTF print prints stickers and NOT fabric.

    Waterslide film consists of a thin clear or white thin coating which is applied to a thicker base release paper. This coating creates a film which has a water based adhesive on the back (in contact with the release paper). If printed with a laser printer the paper can be ducked straight into water, if printed with inkjet a clear water based lacquer need to be sprayed onto the printed side before the paper is put into the water as inkjet is water soluble and will just wash off without this extra step.

    Once in the water the thin film that’s been printed separates from the base paper and can be removed and applied to pretty much any non-porous substrate. The film usually has water activated adhesive on the back which allows the decal to adhere to the item. Once dry the glue holds fast.

    If the product decorated has a sublimation coating on it, then baking the item in an oven will improve the bond. Spraying a clear water based lacquer over the printed film will further improve durability. Printable tattoo is the same item usually with an adhesive applied over the film which helps it adhere better to the skin. Candles and ostrich eggs are two common commercially available products decorated with this product.

    Any polyester and polyester based fabric as well as products that can withstand at least 160C for 30 seconds that have an Acrylic Urethane / Polyurethane type coating applied to them.

    Acrylic items don’t need to be coated and some wood items have a coating embedded in them during the manufacturing process which is suitable for sublimation.

    There is a limitation to white and light-coloured products, as sublimation inks are not particularly opaque and there’s no white sublimation ink to use as a base layer for transfers to dark items.

    Transfer paper is generally but not always printed in reverse and should come with printer settings, transfer time and temperature settings for that specific paper.

    The paper is printed, applied to the item being decorated and often adhered with heat resistant tape. It’s then placed in the heat press for the specified time and temperature as stated on the instructions and just like that it’s decorated.

    • With sublimation technology after applying a suitable sublimation coatings (these coatings can usually either be brushed or sprayed on),
    • with a UV printer or
    • with a UV-DTF printer or
    • with an inkjet printer
    • T-shirt transfer paper (as long as the wood is smooth),
    • or with a laser printer and suitable hard surfaces transfer paper.

    A heat press is required for all processes except the UV printers and in the case of sublimation, inkjet and laser you need to stick to white or light woods.

    A further way that can be used is waterslide paper though again the wood needs to be smooth for best results and clear water based lacquer will need to be applied to the wood post transfer once the waterslide decal is dry.

    Computer Related Q & A

    Yes a computer is essential. Can be Mac or PC but a PC is more versatile for this kind of work because there’s a wider variety of software and plug-ins for PC.

    You do. We supply Coreldraw essentials with our systems which will do more than you need plus extra. If you want even more powerful software you can upgrade online to the full version or use any software you prefer.

    Whilst many of the functions like transferring the image onto the product can be done by anyone with a little training, you will need to have someone who is computer literate to generate / print the artwork.

    We have a lady who offers Corel training specifically for use with our systems for a small charge payable directly to her.  Contact us for more details

    Why Buy From JG Electronics?

    We were the first company to sell sublimation technology in Southern Africa in the early 1990’s when it first came to market and the 2nd company to sell heat presses, inkjet and laser transfer technologies. We were awarded the agency for Sawgrass sublimation inks in the early 1990’s – An agency we have to this day.

    We used to manufacture our own heat presses right here in South Africa as well as coat our own sublimation products – Who else can claim this? This proves our technical expertise.

    33 years and counting in business, our track record speaks for itself.

    We are the company that customers who have bought cheap products elsewhere run to when they have problems – This says a lot.

    We have the widest range of printable consumables in Southern Africa. You can buy directly from our online shop or instore from one of our 3 brick and mortar shops located in JohannesburgCape Town and Bloemfontein.

    It’s in our best interest for you to be successful as we make our money from consumables.

    We provide Training Manuals, Training Videos, business guides, templates, marketing material, marketing guides, ongoing support and personal training (at our offices).

    As the importers / sole agents/distributors for the items we sell you’re dealing with the source.

    We sell products based on their reliability and quality first and foremost.

    • If we cannot repair something locally we don’t sell it.
    • All the products we sell are imported legitimately and have verified safety specifications and licences for you and your family’s protection.
    • We are NOT the cheapest, which is why we have quality stock and spares readily on hand.

    You need:

    Both Epson and Sawgrass manufacture sublimation specific desktop printers and there are lots of Epson printers that have been retrofitted to use sublimation inks though some users have great success with the retrofitted models and others not. On the large format size there are printers from pretty much all the printer manufacturers.

    Anyone who is afraid to sell or doesn’t like dealing with people should not invest in a system.

    Payment Related Q & A

    Yes, we have the following credit options available.

    1. You can finance through Mobicred and pay online. They offer easy repayment options and allow you to finance up to R50 000 per purchase. You can find more information and easily apply online by following the link below.
      mobicred1
    2. You could alternatively make use of our Lay-By option which allows you to purchase goods interest free and pay it off over 6 months. Your consultant will assist you with the quick and easy application.

    Your success is our success (as we make our money little by little over a long period on the consumables), so if you have a problem, please call/email us, so we can solve it for you. Please note that we cannot give support on products or equipment not purchased from ourselves though.

    Absolutely, we highly recommend you come in before you spend any money.

    You will sit down with one of our trained sales staff, and discuss your needs. You will then be given advice on which system best suits your needs, and the equipment will also be shown to you.

    Printer Related Q & A

    If you are doing large volumes and speed is of the essence, the laser is by far the fastest, able to churn our over 20 prints a minute.

    The larger format DTF systems can churn out 4-6m2 an hour which is also quick but laser is still quicker.

    A sublimation print by comparison will print 1-4 pages a minute depending on the print resolution selected.

    We strongly discourage the use of non-Sawgrass ink cartridges in your Sawgrass SG400/500 or 800/1000 printer.  The reasons for this are:

    • To properly fill cartridges of this type requires technical skills and specialised equipment to prevent contamination with air or foreign particles. This equipment is VERY expensive and not widely available meaning that the company doing the refilling is unlikely to have this equipment.
    • The inks being put into non-Sawgrass carts or being used to refill carts are unlikely to have the UV inhibitors  (which prevent the print from fading prematurely), anti-fungal additives (fungus growing in the ink is a very real problem which destroys print heads which are very expensive to replace), simply because they are hard to add to the ink (requiring specialised equipment) and expensive.
    • The inks are not profiled for the printer and paper being used which often results in colour accuracy issues which often results in jobs being rejected by the client.
    • Inks expire and no one has any idea whether the inks being used are fresh or not. Expired ink also damages print heads.

    Because of the potential issues listed above, the use of non-Sawgrass ink cartridges will therefore render the printer warranty null and void.

    Check if Sawgrass Print Manager is running, if it is not running, double click on the Icon on the desktop.

    You are printing directly to the Sawgrass/Ricoh printer and not using the Sawgrass Print Manager (SPM). SPM not only manages the quality of your print, but also the colour so always print using SPM.

    Blocked nozzles appear as missing dashes/lines on the nozzle check print out. Below is an example of a complete nozzle check as well as a bad nozzle check. A sign of blocked nozzles will be lines throughout your prints.

    Nozzle check 2 1

    This articles assumes that you are using genuine Sawgrass ink cartridges that are within their use by dates.  Should you be using expired or non-Sawgrass ink cartridges, we strongly recommend they be replaced prior to commencing the below procedures.

    In order to bring back these missing lines, we would recommend performing the following:

    • No more than 3 head cleans, each followed by a nozzle check
    • No more than 2 head flushes, each followed by a nozzle check
    • Print a couple of PRN's to get the ink flowing, followed by a nozzle check. The PRN can be printed from the SPM menu > Printer Utilities > Full Page Full Bleed.
    • If the nozzle check is still not satisfactory with limited improvement, then the next step would be to clean the capping station with some hot distilled water. We would recommend cleaning the filter in the capping station until the fluid evacuates relatively quickly from the suction cup. As a result you may need to clean the capping station multiple times. Once the capping station filter is clean, perform a head flush followed by a nozzle check
    • Perform an ink charge as a last resort. Please be advised that this will use approximately 20% ink.

    Please note, that in order to reduce unnecessary ink consumption, it is recommended to perform the head clean or head flush on the relevant head, this will either be head 1 (Cyan/Black) or Head 2 (Magenta/Yellow).

    The Nozzle check, Head clean and Head flush options can be accessed through the printer menu > Maintenance.

    Should the above instructions not resolve the problem, please submit a ticket with our technical support team for further assistance.

    When you purchase a new printer, no ink is present in the ink tubes, only the quality control fluid, therefore the printer will need to perform an initial ink charge. Upon inserting your set of initial starter cartridges, the printer will use the ink to fill the ink tubes, print head tank and print head.  As the set of cartridges that initially comes with your printer are only starter cartridges, this means that your ink levels will be a lot lower than expected and you will therefore not be able to print as many pages as you might expect prior to having to replace them.

    The ink used during the initial ink charge is however not lost and remains in the printer.  Once your initial set of cartridges has depleted, the next set you insert will show a level of 100%.

    Colour issues can be caused by various reasons. In this instance, black pressing green is caused by one of the following-:

    The black cartridge has expired: The first thing to check if the black is pressing green is whether the expiration date on the cartridge has passed. The expiry date is located on the end of the cartridge as well as on the white label located on the side. If the cartridge has expired, we recommend it be replaced for a new one. You will then need to flush the new ink through the ink tubes and print head. To do this, you may print 10 black PRNs. You can access this through the SPM menu > Printer utilities and select the full bleed option.

    If you have recently replaced your ink cartridge and are now experiencing blacks pressing green, it could be that your previous ink cartridge was expired. If this is the case, then we would recommend you also print 10 black PRNs in order to flush the new ink through the lines.

    Not printing through the Print Manager or incorrect settings: The issue could also be caused by not printing using the Sawgrass Print Manager or, if you are printing from a software other than Creative Studio, incorrectly configured settings. If you are printing from either Photoshop, CorelDRAW or Illustrator, you may verify the correct settings using one the colour settings articles.

    Enable ColorSure palette: Depending on the paper and substrate you are using ,you may find that enabling the ColorSure palette under the Colour tab option in the Print manager settings can resolve this issue. When enabled, the ColorSure palette will lay down a bit more ink than normal in order to achieve a darker black.

    Poor quality substrate or paper: Another cause for this issue could simply be that the paper and/or substrate you are using is not of high enough quality. Some substrates do not have a thick enough polymer coating in order to achieve a finished product of high quality.