Awards & Engraving

December '16

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66 • A&E DECEMBER 2016 SUBLIMATION AND UV-LED FULL-COLOR SOLUTIONS Sublimation By Kevin Lumberg & TJ Kvilhaug It will be a general overview for those of you that are wondering if you should upgrade your press, as well as for the newcomers to our world looking for what to get—hopefully this column will help with your decision. DESKTOP SUBLIMATION In the desktop world there are two separate styles of presses, swing presses and clam presses. Many of you are familiar with one or both of them but not necessarily in relation to sublima- tion. Let's start with the clam press. The clam press is named that because, well, it looks like a clam. It has the fixed top heat platen that opens up at an angle. These presses are a good entry point into sublimation as they are lower in price and there isn't much to them mechani- cally. They are a lot lighter in weight than the swing presses, so many people who travel doing their sublimation at fairs and shows use these to ease the stress of moving heavy equipment items. However, like anything, they do have their drawbacks. Being that it's a fixed heat platen, the heat is hovering right above where you set your product. This can potentially be dangerous if you aren't paying attention as you can easily burn the top of your hand on the heat when setting something up. The second main drawback is that you are going to be somewhat limited to the thickness of product that you can put in there. You can place thicker items in the press but you may get a different pressure depending on the model as there can be a pinch point in towards the back of the press that will give you different pressure between the front and back. The second style of heat press is a swing press. Swing presses are popular among sublimators because of their ease W e spend some time every now and again in this column going over the new equipment options that are available. However, most times we only cover the printers. This month we decided to talk about the different heat press options that are avail- able in the different areas of sublimation. We'll go over the small-format presses and large-format options, as well as some mug presses. Heat Presses… What's the Difference? With its light weight and lower entry cost, a clam press like this one is perfect for just starting out in sublimation or if you are looking to have a mobile business. ALL IMAGES COURTESY KEVIN LUMBERG AND TJ KVILHAUG

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