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The Road To Sublimation Success Full Throttle: Move Over Epson!

The Road To Sublimation Success Full Throttle: Move Over Epson!
T hree things: computer, printer and heat press. These are the main components of the sublimation transfer process. Every year that goes by we see changes and advances in these three areas. Computers get better, faster and (unlike most other things) cheaper (check out Moore’s Law sometime at Intel’s website). Software advances include CorelDRAW® X4 (version 14) and Adobe® Photoshop® CS4 (version 11). Heat presses have gone digital. What about printers? I personally think that the printer component of the process, with Epson being the only desktop choice, has offered the least variety and has been the slowest to evolve.

Why have we always used Epson printers for desktop sublimation transfer? Three reasons: they are inexpensive, they are easy to buy, and Epson has been the only major name to use piezo print head technology. Piezo printing technology vibrates the ink out of the nozzle instead of boiling it out like thermal drop-ondemand technology does (used in most other brands of inkjet printers such as HP, Canon and Lexmark). Since sublimation inks are heat-activated, boiling the ink out of the nozzle just won’t work— but vibrating it out does. This is why piezo print heads are so important, and why Epson is the dominant printer manufacturer in this industry. That is, until several months ago when things changed radically for the better—and will never be the same again.

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