Awards & Engraving

2012 Sublimation Report

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I strongly recommend investing about $50 in a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). And while you are at it, get one for your computer. Printers don't like power fail- ures and tend to go a little crazy after a power failure. In regards to connectivity and driver installation, I recommend hooking the printer directly to your network. I don't recommend using the Epson CD, as drivers tend to change often. Instead, download and install the printer's driver and remote panel utility from Epson's site. Once the driver is installed, I rec- ommend going to the utility menu of the Epson driver to access the Remote Panel option. Here you can upgrade the printer and Ethernet firmware. This is important, as Epson continues to make improvements. Next, I recommend running the auto printhead alignment utilities. Access them through the front panel. Refer to my video at www.condetv.com for detailed instructions. Continue by installing our (2) ICC pro- files (speed, quality) and configure the driver or install the PowerDriver. Next, configure your application's color settings to match either the ICC profile or PowerDriver. If you are going with the Wasatch SoftRIP, install it and then configure with our Print Environment. I would do a set of test prints and then print my color charts for matching spot colors. See our Condé videos for instruc- tions on generating color charts. REPORTS FROM THE ROAD There's no doubt in my mind that these new printers will join our Sublima- tion Hall of Fame. We have offered both of these printers for about a year with impressive success. In addition, we have run several of these printers in Condé's Print Services Department. We've made several items for the Mardi Gras organi- zation that I'm a part of here in Mobile, Alabama. (See Image 4) SHOULD YOU UPGRADE? As I write this article, you can get a 7700 and a set of Sublijet E inks for about $3,300 (with nice Epson instant rebates). If you have an Epson 4800 or 4880 and only go through two sets of 220ml ArTainium carts (8 carts x $220/ 220ml cart x 2 sets = $3,530), you would have paid for a 7700 with inks and still have money left over. The math gets a little tricky on the page yield (two set of 220 ml vs. one set of 350 ml) but my gut feeling is the 7700 wins due to minimal ink wasted during head cleanings. I welcome your feedback and questions at dgross@conde.com. SR David Gross is president of Condé Systems Inc., of Mobile, Ala. He can be reached by email at dgross@conde.com. Dye-Sub Has Gone Viral If you haven't noticed, dye-sub decorating has gone viral. Why viral? I think it is an alignment of several things: Printers, inks, heat presses, substrates (imprintable products such as mousepads and iPhone covers), and the fact that each of these categories has become very reliable and cost effective. Over the past 20 years, I've seen steady improvements in each of the categories, but the real growth and "magic" has been with substrates. We now have thousands of prod- ucts that can be decorated in a matter of minutes. Photo-oriented gifting has exploded, and photography on metal is the rage. Where will it stop? I think that's sort of like asking Thomas Edison what's next after electricity. Sublimation decorating is just getting started! If you haven't noticed sublimation decorating has gone viral, just check out our video channel at www.condetv.com and see more than 500 videos. For those that want to read my other NBM articles on past sublimation topics, including my now famous 101 tips and tricks for sublimation success, check out www.conde.com/nbm. Spring 2012 43

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