New to Makerspace! Looking for Sublimation help :)

Hello! My name is Brad. I’m new to Makerspace. Looking for some one to show me around the printing area to familiarize me with all the machines. My schedule is pretty flexible. I will also need classes/instructions to run the equipment. My main goals are

A) Produce a sticker
B) Print images onto a cloth and vinyl material
C) Overall understanding of laser printers and how to adjust the settings for the ink to transfer to different types of paper better.

Looking forward to meeting everyone!


Dye sublimation will do part of one of your wants. With dye sublimation you can put images on performance fabrics (polyester). I’m not sure exactly what your cloth and vinyl material is, but a lot of vinyl product can’t withstand the high temperatures used in dye sublimation. Dye sub can also be used to decorate lots of other substrates, as well. I am in the process of redesigning my Dye Sub 101 class to make it easier to teach. It currently take both my wife and I, and her schedule is massively booked these days. The printer for dye sublimation uses ink jet technology, it is not a laser printer, and it is only for printing dye sub transfers.

For stickers, I assume you want to learn to use the vinyl cutter. I don’t currently see any classes on the calendar, but there are usually a couple a month. Calling @talkers, are you planning a Vinyl Cutter and Button class soon?

Laser printers use dry toner, not ink, and the only one we have at the Makerspace is the copier outside the Interactive classroom. I’m not sure how adjustable the settings are on it. What kinds of paper are you trying to print on that are causing you problems?

Thanks for your quick response! I have a Ricoh Laser jet printer at my office that I am having issues with getting the setting right. I print on a glosstex card stock. After around 10 prints the toner fails to adhere to the paper in some areas.
For the stickers i am wanting to infuse an image on the sticker and then cnc cut the sticker out. I was under the impression sublimation was the way to achieve the image on the sticker material. (like a car wrap sticker) but only 4"x5"

Glossy card stock is not generally good with laser printers. What is happening to you is the normal results. Laser printers lay down a layer of toner which then gets heated to fuse to the paper. With glossy cardstock the toner doesn’t fuse as well because the surface is slicker, and as the paper goes through the rollers of the printer the toner flakes off. There isn’t much you can do settings wise to change the physical process that is occurring.

For stickers, what you are describing is generally done using printers that print with either solvent-based inks or latex inks, not dye sublimation. You can get adhesive products for dye sublimation, but they tend to be more expensive that the vinyls that are printable with a solvent or latex printer. For example, Condé sell a product called MATES Adhesive Plastic ( that can be printed and then cut. A 10-pack of 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of white MATES is $33.19, plus shipping. Stickers created this way will not be UV stable, and will fade overtime if used in an outdoor environment. FYI, car wraps are definitely NOT done with sublimation.

1 Like

Not sure the process for printing images on vinyl, but vinyl is the preferred heat weld material in the fabric/textile world. Applying heat to the vinyl in sufficient temperature and duration will cause it to “melt” and fuse when cooled. This is generally vinyl coated fabrics used in signs and not the adhesive vinyl rolls the space has - I don’t know exactly what they would do when headed and pressed, but I would guess the adhesive would bleed everywhere and stick to everything touching it and come out a gooey mess.

1 Like

Just added. Will appear on the calendar in 3 days.
Fri Jan 11 6pm — 7:30pm
Mon Jan 14 12pm-1:30pm

We are looking for new printers. Still up in the air if ink jet, solvent, or latex printer. Ideally, this will meet all your requirements.

1 Like

Sorry posted this response to the wrong person earlier…Sounds great! Appreciate the info. I would be interested in still learning the sublimation process for textiles. Is there a good time and day to go up there to get shown around the printing area and start getting trained on some of the equipment?

With any heavy or gloss papers/card stock you have to be able to get into the control settings from you software and specify the type of material you are printing to. Regular paper would crispy fry at the heat levels required for thicker paper, but as you have experienced, the heat level for regular 20# stock is not sufficient to bond the toner to card stock.

By software, I mean whatever you are using to produce the image/file you want to print. I mostly printed stuff from the Adobe Creative Suite, and all the settings were deep in the print settings.

1 Like

Thanks for the info :slight_smile: