Printers Overview

A sublimation printer is a printer with sublimation inks loaded. There are very few printer brands on which sublimation inks work.  This is due to the way the print heads and ink delivery mechanisms operate across the different brands.

There is however a massive difference between a printer built specifically for sublimation inks and a printer modified for use with sublimation inks.  A printer modified for use with sublimation ink loses its guarantee as a soon as 3rd party ink is added to it.  Also, a printer modified for use with sublimation ink does not have the hardened ink feeding mechanisms or print heads required for long term reliability.

An important issue with sublimation printing is that colour profiles must be supplied by the ink manufacturer for the inks that you are using.  Many companies selling you sublimation ink will claim that no profiles are required - This is a clue that you are dealing with a company that has no clue what they are selling.

Sawgrass™ was the first printer manufacturer who specifically manufactured small format desktop sublimation printers.

Sawgrass™ printers come with advanced colour matching software specific to the inks, printer, media and substrates used for sublimation.

We supply the Sawgrass™ SG 500 sublimation printer and its bigger brother the SG1000.

Full technical support, servicing and repair is supplied by JG Electronics locally.

When combined with the Forever range of transfer papers, an OKI colour laser printer/copier provides the opportunity to print a much wider variety of products than a sublimation print system can. However, it is not a direct replacement for sublimation.

A laser printer uses dry toner, which when transferred sits on the surface of the printed item.  The toner is thicker than a sublimation or inkjet transfer which means that colours are richer which is perfect for logos and solid colours. When transferring onto a clear glass substrate the ink is more opaque (less see through) and text can be printed finer.

Coupled with the Forever papers, a laser printer can transfer onto both coated and uncoated substrates (though washability on uncoated products isn’t great) and can also transfer at much lower temperatures.

A laser printer can be used for both transfers and standard paper printing.

As the toner is NOT water-soluble, a standard paper sticker printed with a laser printer will not run or smear when wet, so laser printed labels are great for wine bottles, sports bottles and so on.

There are some downsides to the laser transfer process laser printer but these are easily overcome by adding a sublimation printer to your print solution (a sublimation printer costs nothing in the whole scheme of things).