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Sublimation - Conde Systems - 27 Years Expert Experience
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Sublimation Success . . . by Failing?

Sublimation Success . . . by Failing?
Many times we are told that the path to success is through failure. We learn that we cannot truly progress unless we have hit a few bumps in the road. This ideology applies perfectly to our business of sublimation.

In its most basic form, the sublimation process is always the same: design, print, and press. However it may take a lot of practice to get to the point where this process is repeatable. Even with the great guidelines provided to us by our vendors and fellow dye subbers, we must learn by doing.

I ordered a large sample kit of dye sub products along with the purchase of my equipment. It was a complete sample across the entire dye sub spectrum; shirts to mugs, aluminum to MDF, and tiles to mouse pads. Each product came with great instructions. I was batting 100% for the first eight or ten pieces that I produced; a couple awesome mugs, some mouse pads, and even a photo slate. They were perfect each time.

I was on a high of success, and then I got my first order. It was only two mugs. I followed the steps down to the tee: Design, Print, Press. To my surprise, the first mug came out terrible. It was dull with patches of color bleed. It was simply not good. So, I pressed the next one. Again, the same terrible results. "OK. We have a problem", I thought. I double-checked my settings; temperature is good, pressure is good. I printed two more sheets and the output looked great. I triple-checked my time, temperature and pressure settings and pressed the third mug – garbage. What was I missing?

It was a simple mistake. I was forgetting the protective paper. I had used it to set up my mug press pressure and left it with my setup mug. On the fourth (and fifth) mugs I applied the protective paper and the finished product turned out great. So, lesson learned. And now I keep a sticky note on the mug press to remind me to not make this mistake again.

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