You will need a printer capable of printing with dye-sub (DT) ink and a heat press. Before buying anything, work what out exactly (and how much of) you want to sublimate. There is little point in buying a wide format printer for example and 5in1 heat press, if all you want to produce is few printed coffee mugs. You may find it easier to start small and upgrade as your business grows.
Printer: Must be inkjet (eg Epson, Brother, Ricoh). Any model will do, as long as there are refill friendly cartridges available for it. If you can afford A3 Epson printer, they're generally better built and will last much much longer.
Tip: If you only need to sublimate few things every now and again, want to save few dollars and already have an Epson printer, there is no reason why you couldn't use it for regular printing as well as dye sublimation. All you need then is a second set of refill friendly ink cartridges (& dye-sub ink set).
Heat press: What you want to sublimate will determine what type and size press you need. Basic models start from around $200 or you can spend as much as several thousand dollars on a fully automatic high volume press. Multi function (3in1 and 5in1) units take up less space and cost less than buying individual units. Work out what you NEED !
Note: We no longer supply heat presses due to prohibitive freight costs.
Ink: DT (direct transfer or sublimation) ink is unique and you can not use "normal" inkjet ink. It will not transfer. There can be considerable differences between sublimation inks from different sources. Some inks sublimate at higher temperatures than others, which can make them unsuitable for certain (heat sensitive) applications. Contact us for more info or to buy Direct Transfer (DT) ink.
Paper: Good quality DT ink should transfer pretty well from plain (copy) paper and that's really all you need for many applications. If you need higher colour intensity and/or better resolution, use sublimation paper. You will also need some heat resistant tape for attaching the transfer to your blank (masking tape works ok).
Tip: High resolution paper works almost as well as sublimation paper and is cheaper.
Other supplies: The range of blanks available for sublimating is huge these days and includes mugs, glasses, plates, key rings, aluminium board, puzzles, mouse pads, bedding, bags, baseball caps, towels, t-shirts, tiles and many more.
Contact us for more information.