If you want to start with large format sublimation, you need to have a professional heat press. You can find a lot of different brands on the market, so this means that it is very difficult to know which ones are the good ones.
You can only have optimum results if the pressure and temperature is equal all over the heat plates. Those 2 parameters are very important, because, when sublimating large format ChromaLuxe panels, you want the colour everywhere equal.
You can perform 2 easy to made test to know if you have a good heat press
Print out 9 times a square panels (5x5cm) with 100% cyan colour. Put those 9 panels on your heat press (see image 1). Sublimate them together with the settings you would normally use.
Let them cool down and lay them all next to eachother. Now check if they all have the same colour. Do check them in a room with good daylight colour and switch the 9 panels, so you are sure all 9 panels are equal in colour.
Image 2 = OK. Image 3 = Not OK.
Another test is to put 2 ChromaLuxe panels on your heat press, that are slightly bigger than your press, and press again one solid colour. Again, after sublimation and when the panel is cooled down, check both ends (upper and down), to verify if colors are equal.All steps in the sublimation procedure are important. When you’re not getting the results you had in mind, testing all different elements is key, so see which one influences your sublimation process. Start with these tests! They might give you some answers!
Steven Roesbeke has a huge experience in the graphical industry with a lot of expertise in color management and output solutions. Since 2013 he is the Technical Support Field Engineer at Universal Woods EMEA. Read his technical blog posts to discover helpful tips & tricks and learn more about the do’s and dont’s of (large format) sublimation. You can always contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org