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-   -   Dye Sublimation printers????? (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/digital-camera-photo-editing-352/4309310-dye-sublimation-printers.html)

Raymac 05-23-2006 02:21 PM

Dye Sublimation printers?????
I make a lot of inkjet waterslide decals quite successfully but now want to upgrade to one of the Dye-sub or Thermal Inkjet printers [dont know the difference]. Does anyone know if the less-expensive printers such as the Kodak printer docks would produce good decals? Could waterslide paper be used in them? Would the colors be less transparent than inkjet? Do they print white?

Any help appreciated

NCBrit 05-24-2006 06:17 AM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Aren't the Kodak print docks regular inkjet? With dye sub, the dye is part of the paper pack, so I would assume that the waterslide paper won't work.

marwen1 05-24-2006 08:18 AM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????

Can you describe what your process is for your decals? I, too make them but I use as thin of a MEDIA as I can find for my EPSON 1280 printer. ( I NEVER use anything but Epson media in an Epson machine, Canon with Canon, etc. )

There are two different ways for the ink to lay down onto your media. The use of your ink jets "firing" actually heats up your ink.

Then I use a small 3M laminator (12") (cold) 2ml plastic on top and and ahesive on the back side.

In fact, that is 100% of the manner how I label my adhesive products. (CA, epoxyies, ect.)

Dye Sub on the other hand is a good system of printing, but personally, I feel I have more control over my colour profiles with the ink


Raymac 05-24-2006 11:28 PM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Up to now i have been printing with a regular Canon inkjet printer onto waterslide decal paper.....I clearcoat it with clear laquer and stick it on.....it works fine but as you know, inkjet wont print white and the ink is too transparent for some applications. I saw a Kodak printer dock in action the other day and was impressed with the quality of the colors. The system uses a cartridge with three color film in it.....I believe the colors are transfered onto the paper by heating the dye on the film, The paper makes three passes through the printer, then a fourth pass to put on a clearcoat. I dont think there is any ink involved at all. I could'nt help but think it would make beautifull decals !!

Miniflyer 05-29-2006 05:36 AM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Raymac, you cannot make dyesub decals, it will not work. You need a solid ribbon thermal transfer printer such as the Alps 5000 or the Oki DP5000 in order to make decent decals. I have bought an Alps 5000 a while back, and put down quite some money for it. Figure $500 up for something that's not total trash (nr. 1 reason for sale on ebay...)....
Also the ribbons run quite expensive (between $5 and $10 per color, 5-8 colors per set, about 30 pages per ribbonset)....so unless you are printing an awful lot of decals, this investment won't be worth it.
(Oh jes...jpg files won't really come out on these...you need a good corel vector image for thermal transfer decals...a lot of work because you will hardly get your hands on them and need to draw them all up yourself).

The cheapest way to these types of decals is to draw them up in corel, and get the file to someone who already owns one of these. Many printshops have them, also quite often small companies doing t-shirts. Listren around, and then have them print up your finished files. That way you will not have the trouble and expenses of the printer....and if they charge you between $15 and $20 per US Letter page, you'll be off really well and probably will never come out as expensive as when buying (even a used) printer.
If you want i can also print them for you, i only charge material price.

Hope this helps
best regards

Raymac 05-29-2006 12:33 PM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Thanks for the reply Hank.....I understand that the "professional" dye sublimation printers are the right way to go to do the job but I agree that it is too expensive and impractical for my purposes. The new Kodak series 300 and 500 printers, however, are advertised to use the dye sublimation technology.....and they are inexpensive. t\They are not an inkjet, they do use a thermal transfer film and they obviously WILL handle JPG files. If they will print a JPG photo from a file on my computer why would they not print a decal that is a JPG file just as well? Maybe the decal paper would not be compatable with the machine? I guess I'll just have to buy one and try it !!

Miniflyer 05-30-2006 02:50 AM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Raymac, i think you overread a very important point, the dye sub mode will NOT work, no matter what type of printer you are using. The decal films do not properly accept the dye sub inks, and Alps even warns that this can seriously damage the printer head. Forget dyesub, it sounds really nice in theory but will not work FOR DECALS (it's perfect on paper!). Believe me, i've tried out most of this stuff because i've done so many decalsets already.....

You need the standard solid ink ribbons as used in Alps, Citizen and Oki, and you need a printer which has overlay-functions. Your kodak printers do not offer these ribbons, you cannot make usable decals. Save that investment....

And of course you "can" print jpgs. However they usually have a slightly dithered background, and the printer will be very very happy to print that right on the film and make it visible on the plane. Also with jpg you will always get an all-white background (or whatever color the background is), loosing the advantage of opaque colors on a transparent underground.
With vector images you can use the overlay-functions to make only those areas white(or colored) that need to be, because it has clear color/no color definitions for the entire document, and not the pixel information for each and every spot on the graphic (there is even color information for the "no color" areas, thus making the printer print color on there.....to put it in simple words).
(There are a few conversion programs for pixel-to-vector, but they all require serious reworking of your graphics. For a full decal sheet i am busy for about 1-2 weeks on the PC!)

So buying such a printer for non-vector graphics is, simply said, a pure waste of money. You'll be a lot happier staying with your inkjet printed decals and cutting white masks for the areas neccessary, or printing with your inkjet on white carrier medias.

Best regards

Raymac 05-30-2006 12:11 PM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Ok Hank, I believe you. I dont understand it all but If you are saying that the Kodak machines will not accept decal papers I can understand that. It sounds to me like the Kodak system is not the same as the dye sublimation system. Thanks for the help.

Miniflyer 05-31-2006 02:07 AM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
Raymac, i just read a review of the Kodak 500 type printer...it is a regular thermal dyesub printer. Perfect for pictures, impossible for decals, it is definetly not decal-compatible.

Best, easiest and cheapest way to decals will be to draw them up (or have them drawn up), and have them printed by someone owning a solid ink ribbon printer (Alps or Oki).

Best of luck

marwen1 06-06-2006 03:42 AM

RE: Dye Sublimation printers?????
If is't worth anything at all to you, KODAK merged with ENCAD a few years ago. I currently have one of ENCAD's LARGE FORMAT PRINTERS. Even with it being as old as it is, it still turns out a pretty darn good image. A lot of it though, has to to do do with the MEDIA you're printing on. The harder the surface, the better the bleed it seems. But then again, I have a CANVAS print I made and it's awesome. Other canvas prints "suck! LOL


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