Awards & Engraving

February '18

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34 • A&E FEBRUARY 2018 SUBLIMATION AND UV-LED FULL-COLOR SOLUTIONS By Kevin Lumberg & Sean Stewart SMALL FORMAT Small format, also known as desktop format, is a great entry-level system, enabling users the opportunity to get into sublima- tion for a low initial investment. For those that aren't aware, sublimation is a poly- specific technology, which means all of the thousands of hard substrates available to be sublimated have been through a polyester coating facility, and the garments or fabrics have a 50 percent or higher poly content. The polyester in the garment is directly related to the color retention you will receive. We get a lot of customers using 50/50 garments because those give you a vintage look, whereas others want the pop of 100 percent color retention, in which case there are a number of lines made specifically for sublimation and high- or all-poly content. Small format traditionally refers to any- thing below the 24-inch width mark and has come a long way over the years. These systems are no longer a throw-away after six months or a year. The SG400 and SG800 printing systems from Sawgrass now have the small-format sublimation world in a less-mess, less-maintenance, happier world than the days of the Frankenstein bulk ink systems and daily head cleanings of yesteryear. The small-format printers use the same technology as the wide format, so the capabilities are only limited by the size of the paper that you can run. On the SG400, you are limited to an 8 1/2-by-14 and 8 1/2-by-21-inch width with a bypass tray; on the SG800, you can run up to 11 by 17 inches, and with a bypass tray, 13 by 21 inches. The small-format systems are a great way to test your market and are also great S ublimation, as many of you know, is a versatile technology and a great add-on to any awards retail business. We want to talk about the progression once you're in sublimation and help you make sure you're growing right. Sublimation is a tech- nology that you can get into for as little as $1,000 on the desktop or small-format systems and can go as high as tens of thousands of dollars for the wide- or grand-format systems. Following, we discuss a few of the popular platforms and the primary uses or applications that they lend themselves to. SUBLIMATION: The Progression from Small to Wide Format A spectrophotometer enables not only maintenance by doing linearization but also allows the building of custom profiles for individual substrates as well as dialing in the color on not only the printer but also computer monitors. ALL IMAGES COURTESY KEVIN LUMBERG AND SEAN STEWART

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