Sublimation on Ceramic?

Has anyone pressed ceramic sandstone car coasters? The directions I received stated to use a towel in between the blowout paper and the transfer. Is this really necessary? Thanks!

I have pressed ceramic Christmas ornaments. I did use a rubber pad (they make a special one like a mouse pad) between the press top plate and the substrate. I assumed it was because you need a fair of pressure for those substrates and I didn’t want to crack/break the object.

However, the Dye Sub page on our wiki explains,

Products like slate or ceramic tiles need to be pressed with a green heat conductive pad to help the paper conform to the shape of the item, and to evenly heat them.

Are you using something like SubTHAT! to transfer your image, or is the tile specifically intended for dye sub?

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I’m doing coasters. The blanks are made for dye sub, but only call for light pressure.

When we do ceramic coasters we will either not use anything at all or press them into a silicon pad. Seems to work both ways.

A couple of sheets of paper towel instead of the bottom blowout paper will help equalize the pressure. Those tend to have a pretty flat surface, and will work okay in the flat press. however, I would recommend using the vacuum press for these.


Thanks Cary! The closest thing I can find on the wiki page is ceramic tiles, so would I do these the same at 200 degrees for 5 min for one coaster?

That would be my recommendation for the vacuum press.

One more question lol… I wrote down that I should add 30 secs for every add’l item, but do I keep the temp the same for multiples?

I’m not doing dye sub, but have been using the press pretty regularly to mount paper on to 4" x 4" ceramic tile with no issues. I have a laser cut jig base out of Masonite that holds 12 tiles in a 3 x 4 array that fits nicely into the 16" x 20" press. When pressing I use a 16 x 20 silicone baking sheet directly on top of the tiles, with an additional 6 sheets of freezer paper as cushion. Haven’t had a single broken tile or harm to the press plate or Teflon pad.


I do the same tame for 1 or 6 items: 5 minutes for ceramics.

Temperature the same, but yes, I’d add 30 seconds per additional item in the 3D press.

We’ve done a ton of 4.25" coasters and the modifications we do are to simply place the tile face down (away from the heating element). We’ve used the regular paper at MS for top and bottom and watched the amount of pressure we’ve used when sublimating multiple tiles at one time (they can crack when you load on too many tiles). Also, do an entire batch of your item if at all possible. Slight variations in pressure / heat can make your Monday tiles look different from your Tuesday tiles.

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I’m about to do the same thing, but I’m slate sublimation coasters. I have 4 to do. I also need to do a picture onto a metal plate and a wine tumbler that are made for sublimation. Has anyone done any of those before?

Do we have one of hose green heat pads? They’re not cheap and I’m only doing this for a few gifts, so don’t want to spend a ton of money on a pad.

For the slate coasters, the 3D vacuum press will do a better job than the flat press with the green pad. The metal plate will work great in the flat press. For the wine tumbler you will need a wrap, which you should be able to get from the source of the tumbler.


Johnson’s plastics now has a heat shrink that you can use instead of the silicone wraps. Then use the 3d oven or a convection oven.

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I actually got some and that’s what we used. The wine tumbler came out ok. It’s hard to explain, but around the area where it bulges the most and then starts to go in again as you get to the bottom, it didn’t get enough pressure in that area. It’s looks good, but is a little (almost) smudged in that area.

I got another one and I’m going to make it a little smaller so it doesn’t hit that bulge area. I’ll retry it after I get back from vacation in a couple weeks.