The 3D Lab’s dye sublimation printer has been popular as of late, in conjunction with the flat-bed and mug heat presses. The printer is a run-of-the-mill inkjet printer where we replaced the ink with special dye subliation ink that prints onto special paper. The printouts are basically iron-transfer sheets of yesteryear.
In this case, a community member used ceramic mugs with a special coating for sublimation. The printout is taped face-in on the mug’s exterior, then placed in the heat press for several minutes at 400 degrees. We learned that the residue heat can oversaturate the ink (causing banding), so we place the mugs in water immediately after pressing. It’s a great way to get full-color, high contrast photos and designs onto mugs and tumblers!