Jimmy Lamb, education manager at Sawgrass Technologies, lists three reasons why product decorators should always choose high-quality inks for sublimation production.
You Will Protect Your Printer
Sublimation inks must be manufactured with a given printer in mind. Not every inkjet printer can process sublimation ink. For example, some print heads use heat, which can cause premature gassing of the dye solids in the ink. Additionally, head jets, pressure systems and internal tubing must be able to handle the inks without having their composition degraded in the process. In the same vein, bulk inks, while less expensive, can introduce air bubbles and contaminants into your printer, which can not only reduce the quality of your print, but also irreparably damage the hardware. Choosing high-quality inks in closed cartridges, then pairing them with printers designed for sublimation printing, ensures you get the most value, and life, out of your printer investment.
You Get Reliable Colours Print After Print
Some manufacturers of bulk or off-brand sublimation inks provide colour profiles for their inks. Many do not. If a manufacturer does offer colour management tools, they come in the form of ICC profiles, which do not take the specific printer, substrate and paper into consideration when formulating colour output. A high-quality ink will have more advanced software that takes into consideration more than just a colour profile. Accurate sublimation colouration is dependent on many environmental factors that simple profiles cannot compensate for. Therefore, RIP software is essential for high-end and wide format image reproduction. At the desktop level, a high-quality ink will offer a RIP-like programme to help account for as many environmental factors as possible. This ensures colour accuracy and consistency.
You Reduce Time Spent Troubleshooting
Because high-quality inks deliver consistent colours, closed cartridges make printing quick and easy. The printers these inks are used in are made for sublimation production, ensuring you spend more time printing, pressing and making money. You quickly swap out cartridges instead of filling empty ones and cleaning up spills. You don’t have to continually reprint to clear banding, smudges or stray ink marks from your paper. You don’t have to spend time adjusting colours in your graphics software and wasting paper and blanks until you get the colour you want. Instead, your production cycle is seamless because all components of your system work together to generate high-quality prints.