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What Is Dye Sublimation Printing?

color wheel 2Dye sublimation printing is a method of printing very high-quality pictures at home. It differs from other common types of printing, such as inkjet, because it does not print colors as individual dots, which can be noticed by looking closely at the image, but as solid colors, since it creates a smooth gradation around each pixel, making images – especially digital pictures seem much more realistic.

A dye sublimation printer works by rolling a transparent film in which are embedded solid red, blue, yellow and grey dyes – the four main colors used in printing. When the print head passes over the film, it heats up, which evaporates the dyes which, in turn, permeate the surface of the paper.

Another advantage of dye sublimation printing is that its prints are ready to handle as soon as they exit the printer, differently from other printing methods that require you to wait for them to dry. They very seldom break, due to not moving much, as the print head doesn’t have to go back and forth over the media, and it is a very clean process, since the dye doesn’t enter a liquid stage in any moment of the printing process.

Compared to most other methods of printing used by mammothimaging.com, however, dye sublimation printing does present some drawbacks. For one, it’s not a hundred percent precise; due to using a gas, a small amount of ink is always diffused before being absorbed by the media. This is not a problem when printing photographs, but becomes an issue when working with graphic design or other uses which require more precision.

Another drawback of dye sublimation printing is that it requires a print head and the colored panels have to match the size of the media which will be printed on, and they require the media to be made of very specific  materials in order to work properly – making them much less flexible than the majority of other printing methods.