Going to make sublimation press

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motoman
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:52 am
Location: Ukraine

Going to make sublimation press

Post by motoman »

Hello,
I am on the way to build sublimation press.
First, a bit of reflection on the matter.
Having seen pneumatic and vacuum and calender presses in action (I mean that entrepreneurship that provide such services in my country) . I more prefer pneumatic despite the fact that companies that I appealed for help could press only at 180 -200 degrees cesium.
Company that makes sublimation at vacuum press use lamp heating and it is really hard to control the temperature and it causes uneven pressure.
Calender press burns the material and move material too fast through the drums.
Also I have been talking to Isosport tech support, they told that their press has hot and cold press. And they hot press at 3 bars.

So, the idea is to create something that can create such pressure.
Let me shear my ideas.
In my plans is to combine pneumatic and vacuum press in one device.
Vacuum will work as temporary holding to prevent after press deformations.
And pneumatic will create enough pressure for sublimation.
May be I will try somehow to apply cold plate, but not sure yet.

As for frame construction, I think something similar to ski press might be created.

I did not go much into the details and just gather information. I read a few topics but still need some critics from the side.

Thanks

amidnightproject
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Post by amidnightproject »


Allianceskis
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Post by Allianceskis »

Hi amidnightproject

how much pressure are you putting through that thing and what time and heat are you using because I'm about ready pull my hair out trying to get the combination right.

Also what type of blanket are you using under the top sheet, it looks quite thick.

I've got a 5mm silicone rubber mat but it seem to thermally expand a lot when pressed and i feel its a part of my problem why I'm getting wrinkle and crease marks in my top sheet.

thanks a lot

motoman
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:52 am
Location: Ukraine

Post by motoman »

Here is ours sublimation press. Easy and fast to work. Not that I planned to make, but still works good.
Nice uniform pressure. Instead of foam we use plywood. Works great.
Instead of heat blanket we use hot plate made of nichrome wire.
Image

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chrismp
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Location: Vienna, Austria

Post by chrismp »

Pretty hefty looking press. Can you give some details on the heat platen? Is it insulated nichrome wire inlaid into a channel in a base plate covered with a metal plate?

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Akiwi
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Location: Olching (Near Munich) Germany

Post by Akiwi »

Looks pretty Impressive!!
I am nobody. Nobody's perfect, so I must be perfect.

motoman
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:52 am
Location: Ukraine

Post by motoman »

This device is twice lighter then our press for boards)) But yes, it is still looks heavy) Since we need to sublimate our bases we need big pressure, that is the reason why the frame is big.
You are almost right. It is sandwich of nichrome in the mica covered with two stainless steel plates. Energy consumption is 4 kW.
Also before this plate we did quite good heat plate made of tube heaters attached to metal plate. There was some heat gap between heaters around 5 degrees centigrade, unless this device required to much energy, so we quit this idea.

motoman
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Location: Ukraine

Post by motoman »

I will send the picture soon.

motoman
Posts: 243
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Location: Ukraine

Post by motoman »

Here is the picture of our heater construction
Image

Minga
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Post by Minga »

To all you sublimation guys: do you all use RIP software for your printers? That shit is expensive :?
And did you get ICC profiles made or did you just figure out the color management by trial and error?

Got a nice printer for cheap, now it s time to build a press again :D

Hannes

amidnightproject
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Post by amidnightproject »

The biggest reason for a RIP is consistency for reproduction or large runs.

If you are a weekend builder and don't do multiples of the same thing then the best thing is to print directly out of your graphic software and 'learn' your printer.

What I mean is, if your printer tends to over saturate blues, make a blue adjustment layer to take a bit of the blue out of the print ahead of time. Same with red, or green etc.

You can also do this in the advanced printer settings of most printers and create a custom ICC profile. It's not overly difficult. Just time consuming and often confusing.

TLDR; I print on a wide format every day. We use commerical RIP software that cost a few grand. And while the features are extremely useful for us as a production house, it's not a necessary expenditure for casual or even light production use.

mammuth
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Post by mammuth »

If you like to dive into it ghostscript can be very useful
Tom

amidnightproject
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Post by amidnightproject »

Allianceskis wrote:Hi amidnightproject

how much pressure are you putting through that thing and what time and heat are you using because I'm about ready pull my hair out trying to get the combination right.

Also what type of blanket are you using under the top sheet, it looks quite thick.

I've got a 5mm silicone rubber mat but it seem to thermally expand a lot when pressed and i feel its a part of my problem why I'm getting wrinkle and crease marks in my top sheet.

thanks a lot
I think im at 60psi at each cylinder. They are 2" so whatever that math works out to be. It's a fair amount of pressure.

As for temp, I'm right around 300 to 315F and anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes.

That's just cotton batting layered up. It helps reduce the inconsistencies in the system.

Minga
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:05 pm

Post by Minga »

@amidnightproject
Thanks for your answer. I just talked to the guy selling the elvajet inks in Germany. He told me that to get superior color results I probably need to get some colormanagement software. Also, to use only CMYK instead of all 8 colors of my epson printer I need some aditional software. Do you agree and do you know of decent software capable of that?

Cheers,
Hannes

chrislandy
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Post by chrislandy »

You need a proper RIP (Raster Image Processing) software

You can occasionally find them used (licence) but a lot of them use a dongle - or at least the older ones anyway.

I use Colorgate ProductionServer on my solvent printer, but I got that with my printer.

Others include Onyx & Caldera. I think there are Epson specific and also some free (crap) ones, but you get what you pay for

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