View Full Version : Corian Dye-Sub Project - Peek-A-Boo

Keith Outten
05-20-2006, 7:53 PM
The photograph below is of a 20" by 14" piece of Dupont Glasier White Corian that was dye-sublimated with a black and white photo called "Peek-A-Boo". The process involves a special ink that will transfer into the Corian approximately 2 to 3 thousandths of an inch deep. Basically the print is placed in contact with the Corian and placed in a heat press, the ink then transfers after a suitable soak time.

This process is applicable to signs and photographs, color works extremely well also. A Corian dye-sublimated product can withstand up to 30 years of exterior service expoesed to UV without fading and is impervious to hot and cold weather, rain sleet and snow.

After dye-sublimating several small projects I found a company that sells wider paper by the roll. This allows me to press larger projects up to the limits of my printer and heat press. After the photo was dye-sublimated the Corian blank was cut to size on a table saw and the edges routed with a roman ogee bit on my router table.

I wish you could see this plaque in person, the detail is just incredible. The plaque photo was taken with a Canon 10D and just the camera flash, the plaque is sitting on my ShopBot . Photo credit - Jamie Hayes of Hayes Fisk-Taylor Photography in Richmond, Virginia. This photo was a Kodak Elite Award Winner. (Photo duplicated with permission) The original photograph was a 25 megabyte digital file.

Special thanks to SMC Member Ken Dolph for all the help and guidence he gave me while I was learning to dye-sub Corian. Ken is SawMill Creek's resident expert on the subject and was really nice to take his time and share his knowledge.

Click on the thumbnail pic for larger view.

Lee DeRaud
05-20-2006, 8:02 PM
Keith, when you say "heat press", just what kind of temperature and time is required? Will a regular photo dry-mount press work?

Ah, reality just slapped me: this also involves a special printer, yes?

Keith Outten
05-20-2006, 8:13 PM

You must have a printer that is capable of using a dye-sublimable ink that is heat transferable. Mine is an Epson 1280 using Artanium ink cartridges. The heat press must be able to provide 320 degrees F.

Special note to Ed Lang...Ed you must add Corian dye-sub plaques to your business list. I haven't had one person who held this in their hands that didn't say WOW!

Ed Lang
05-22-2006, 8:23 PM
Special note to Ed Lang...Ed you must add Corian dye-sub plaques to your business list. I haven't had one person who held this in their hands that didn't say WOW!

So Keith,
What makes you think I will find this special note to me?:D

Looks like I'll need to make another trip to see you and Jackie so I can see the process.

Better count the ink and Corian before I get there!

And after too.

Brent Vander Weil
05-22-2006, 8:33 PM
Keith... I have to say the pic looks fantastic... I can just imagine the real life view... What kind of a price tag does a dye-sub process setup cost? I am not familiar with it other than the little I have read... but it looks like a fantastic result....

Max Green
05-23-2006, 2:12 AM
Keith, wow I sure do enjoy seeing your work. you really get the creative juices flowing. LOL

Would you mind sharing your process working with the corian? is it much different than working with the sublimated plastic coating?

also do you know how much the cost of corian I remember you memtioned that your source for corian is bartering, but can you give me an idea what kind of pricing it is?

Carla Lange
05-23-2006, 10:28 AM
I agree, Dye-Sub produces a colorful and beautiful project. However the special ink is VERY expensive, and you have to have a special printer (I think only Epson brands work) transfer paper, and a heat press. I stopped doing Dye-Sub and went to the laser engraver because if you don't use your printer often the ink jets will dry up and plug. I have 2 Epson 1280's with plugged heads and for the life of me I can't get them cleaned. That's costly. I finally gave up. I know the laser will also be costly to repair, but the frustration with the printers was more then I could handle. Just my opnion....

Carla Lange

Dave Jones
05-23-2006, 10:38 AM
There's a variation on sublimation printing now that uses low cost color laser printers (about $300) and their standard color toner. You still need transfer paper and a heat press.

Brent Vander Weil
05-23-2006, 11:26 AM
Dave... I would be interested to learn more about the color laser dye-sub process... I have unlimited access to an HP4600 color laser printer and if all I have to to is buy the paper and heat press... I would definately give this a try....

Have any good sources for the color laser dye-sub process?

Dave Jones
05-23-2006, 1:04 PM
I've never done it, but am seriously considering it since it sounds pretty straight forward.

These guys sell a transfer paper for use with color laser printers. They said they like the Okidata $300 printers, but it sounds like it will work with a range of printers. But there are different types of color toners and some of them do not work. You might want to call them and ask about the type of printer you have.


They're not the only one with the transfer paper. Just one place that I heard about.

Dave Fifield
05-23-2006, 2:06 PM
Keith - did you wipe my reply to this thread or am I cracking up? I swear I wrote a reply to it last night....

Dave F.

Michael Wells
05-23-2006, 2:45 PM
Hi Guys,
I have been doing Dye Sub for quite some time now, using both an Epson C88 ($79) and an Epson R1800 for the larger stuff. About the only thing I hadn't tried is Corian, but believe me, this afternoon looks good for that!!! And I will tell you this... there are some impressive pieces that I've done using both the laser and sublimation together. I know, I know... photos please.... Okay, I will dig some out and put them online for you!

I also just got back from the Project Sublimation Workshop in San Diego and got the latest on the process. You can get to the site at http://www.projectsublimation.com/ which is run by John Barker from Sawgrass Inks, who makes both Sawgrass and Artanium ink. Great hands on program.

Also, if you are interested, my best suppliers list is getting pretty long, but you can get a complete setup, with ink, C88 printer, heat press, and a bunch of other goodies for under $1400.00 at Transfer-it.com . Tell Buck or Jesse that Big Mike sent you, and they will treat you right. The setup that they sell is enough to put you into business in sublimation!

Keith Outten
05-23-2006, 8:09 PM

I think Michael has covered the price for a starter system pretty well. I know that you can get a 16" by 20" heat press for about $895.00 and an Epson 1280 is in the neighborhood of $400.00. You will need Artanium ink cartridges, the best price I can find for the Epson is $200.00 and I found 13" wide by 100 feet long roll paper for $30.00 recently. Honestly the price is relatively cheap considering the value of the process in new work and I guarantee it will knock the socks off of your customers, friends and family.


The Corian dye-sub process is actually very simple. Print your photo or graphic then place the print on top of a Glasier white Corian blank and put it in your heat press. Bake at 320 degrees F for 20 minutes, when you remove your plaque you will need to place a flat board and some weights on top of it untill it cools down.

Since I am in the sign business Dupont has certified me to purchase their solid surface materials. I doubt that I can quote my wholesale price publicly, let's just say it is under $300.00 per sheet. Standard sheet size for Corian is 1/2" thick by 30" wide by 145" long. The price sounds high but just think how many plaques you can get from a single sheet :) You can normally get sink cutouts for free at your local counter top shops. My retail for dye-sub plaques is just over $1.00 per square inch but if you consider how much a nice frame and matt costs for a photo the dye-sub photos start looking very competitive. Then you need to consider that they won't fade and are suitable for exterior service as well.


I had the same problem with ink drying at the heads at first because I purchased the bulk ink system and it was just too much trouble to keep clean and working. I dumped the bulk system and went back to the cartridges, so far they are working well.

Dave Jones,

I just read about the new color lasers that will dye-sub, this is much cheaper but I can't say anything about quality until I see one and can compare.

Dave Fifield,

Nope, I haven't seen your response to this thread and I haven't deleted any either. Post your response again I would appreciate any feedback or opinions you have on the subject.


It seems you and I are 180 out, I have only used Corian and haven't had time to try any of the more traditional materials yet. For what it's wotth I have purchased from Alpha Supply (http://www.alphasupply.com/) and found their web sites to be very informative. They also have a site with info on the new dye-sub laser printers.

Jeff Lehman
05-24-2006, 9:33 AM
Hi Guys,
you can get a complete setup, with ink, C88 printer, heat press, and a bunch of other goodies for under $1400.00 at Transfer-it.com.

Are you sure about the website address for them? www.transfer-it.com (http://www.transfer-it.com) is a "domain for sale" type page.


Aaron Koehl
05-24-2006, 3:24 PM
I agree, Dye-Sub produces a colorful and beautiful project. However the special ink is VERY expensive, and you have to have a special printer (I think only Epson brands work) transfer paper, and a heat press. I stopped doing Dye-Sub and went to the laser engraver because if you don't use your printer often the ink jets will dry up and plug. I have 2 Epson 1280's with plugged heads and for the life of me I can't get them cleaned. That's costly. I finally gave up. I know the laser will also be costly to repair, but the frustration with the printers was more then I could handle. Just my opnion....

Carla Lange

I would say, that we didn't have the best of luck with the bulk ink system (drying up, clogging, etc). However, in regards to the current price of the inks and cartridges-- while it may be expensive for Tshirts and low-margin projects, it's not expensive at all when considering higher end products such as Corian plaques. It's actually quite profitable

Michael Wells
05-24-2006, 8:43 PM
Sorry Jeff, it's www.transferit.net (http://www.transferit.net) now. I also use www.conde.com (http://www.conde.com) for supplies as well as about fifteen others. Each one has it's own best deal.

Carla Lange
05-24-2006, 11:06 PM

That's nice to know. I've been out of it for quite awhile. Glad the prices have moderated a bit. Maybe I should look into it again, but with my laser printer and transfer paper.

Thanks for the info..

Carla Lange

Keith Outten
05-25-2006, 7:45 AM
I have a dozen or so Corian Dye-Sub projects in the shop that I am working on now. Although this technique is a bit pricey it isn't for everyone. Most of my customers are commercial businesses and the cost doesn't seem to be a big issue. Part of my business plan is to stay away from jobs that the traditional sign shops and laser engraving companies in my area provide. I expect this is why I haven't tried the more traditional dye-sub materials, I am always looking for something different and the reason is that my competitors are already there. I have no interest in competing on price point so I look for new products and techniques that my competitors don't provide.

I also find that these types of projects are excellent for breaking the ice when marketing a new client. The large corporations are the most difficult to get your foot in the door, having something unique to show them generally will get you into a decision makers office or at the very least a meeting.

A little research into a companies past will generally provide some kind of graphic or slogan that can be beneficial. If the company has been in business a long time I frequently look for very old newspapers and reproduce their advertisements. Remember that if your company is a new startup you don't have a commercial resume', you will often will be excluded from bidding large projects. The ability to produce something that your competition can't may get you an opportunity to compete even though you are new to the business.

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-25-2006, 5:59 PM
Keith...I question the 30 year life of the sublimated corian outside in the environments. The inkjet sublimation product has not been able to withstand much more that a few months of UV exposure.


Keith Outten
05-26-2006, 6:06 PM

The 30 year figure is just what I have read, obviously it is a techical guess based on some kind of formula and lab testing. I don't know any other material that is normally used for dye-sub that is simular to Corian so the results could very well be a very long exterior service life span. Since the ink doesn in fact penetrate the surface it would seem possible.

I am willing to bet that it will easilly outlast paint and the more traditional color techniques :)

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-27-2006, 11:43 AM
Keith, I only mention what I have learned from over 4 years in the sublimation market. It is dangerous to be selling a product and over stating it's real life. There are many of us that have been searching for a way to lengthen the UV life of the process, from multiple overcoats to various substrates. The entire process of sublimation is that the gas generated from the combination of the ink and heat, will penetrate into the product, or, below the surface.

Keith, perhaps you could share where you read such information, I for one would be greatly interested in such a life span...it would open up a huge market.

I would like to suggest that anyone wanting to get into sublimation to corian, search out hard data before talking about 30 years life on the image.


Michael Wells
05-30-2006, 2:39 PM
I have had some pieces outdoor usage on wood, metal and sandstone (none in Corian) and even in some diect sunlight with no appreciable loss for better than a couple of years.

I spray the pieces with "Frog Juice" before exposing them and I found that really extends their life. I don't know about thirty years, but hey, if I can get signage for 5 years, I consider it a winner!

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-30-2006, 3:33 PM
Michael...as always with UV, exposure is the key. In the northern hemisphere, we tend to get longer life..go south and it starts to diminish considerably.

Yes, I have played with Frog Juice and here in the NW, I too have had good luck for 2-3 years.

I guess my point was that before one sells a product for outdoor use and indicating an extended life such as 10,15,or 30 years, one should find solid testing results to back it up.

Sublimation can be a great product, fustrating at times (but what isn't?), and the results can be stunning.

I've been playing with the OEM laser transfer technology for the last two years and that has some interesting results also. I like it for wood much more than the dye sub.


Hilton Lister
05-30-2006, 3:45 PM
Is it essential to use Artainium Ink? Will the Sawgrass brand not work?
Pressing for 20 minutes is about 20 times longer than I have ever used before, and I would have to find a way of disabling the alarm on my press which goes off after a maximum of 35 seconds.
I agree with others about the difficulties involved with Sublimation. It's hardly worth the time with the print head blockages, colour matching and fading. I no longer push the process unless I can't do the job any other way and I have been doing it more than 6 years. (Obviously not too well)

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-30-2006, 5:29 PM
Hilton...I would expect Sawgrass to work just as well as the Artanium...especially now that they are both owned by Sawgrass and there is some speculation that they are in fact, one and the same. They are even packaged in the same plant in Colorado.

I must have missed the 20 minutes...that seems like a very long time. I have not had opportunity to try Corian so I really can't speak to that issue.


Keith Outten
05-30-2006, 7:10 PM
I can't find the link to the Corian dye-sub information but I am still looking.

The 20 minute time is correct, it takes that long to get Corian soft and pliable. I believe the softening of the entire piece is relative to the depth the ink transfers.

This is also the time/temp that Corian takes for thermal bending.

Doug Jones from Oregon
05-31-2006, 12:37 PM
Keith...20 minutes to get soft and pliable....what happens to the overall shape of the piece then? Does it distort?


Michael Wells
06-02-2006, 1:56 PM
A little insight to the Artanium/Sawgrass mystery..... Sawgrass purchased the artanium brand and it is a lesser quality ink, in that the suspended dye particulates are fewer in number. That came from John Barker at the Sawgrass seminar I was recently attending in San Diego. John is the one who runs Project Sublimation for Sawgrass.

Both inks are very high quality, but for certain high end pro jobs the Sawgrass reportedly is a better choice. They are definitely NOT the same ink! They do react differently, have different profiles for the printers, and the color is slightly different for each.

There are several other inks on the market, some as good, some worse, most less expensive, but it's all just trial and error to see what works on what. I am currently trying a chinese Dye Sub Ink that is about a third of the price of Artanium, but the results will tell.

As far as the time it takes to get the corian to accept the ink, Keith, the trick is to get the corian to the correct temp. It needs to hit about 400 degrees and then the time is relevant to the ink for gas sublimation, not the substrate. So if it takes 20 minutes to get the corian to 375-400 degrees, then that is where the sublimation takes place. Hence the time situation.

That is why polyester shirts are at 30-45 seconds as opposed to ceramic cups at 2 minutes or more. If you sublimate from the back, such as with ceramic tiles it can takes 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the press, for the heat to get all the way through the ceramic to sublimate the ink. Conversely, sublimate the same tile face up (not always possible due to the edge configuration) and it may only take 2 - 3 minutes.

Okay, you have to attend Johns class for the rest! Hehehe

Keith Outten
06-02-2006, 6:28 PM
Keith...20 minutes to get soft and pliable....what happens to the overall shape of the piece then? Does it distort?



You bet it distorts since the Corian gets about as soft as a wet noodle. I place my Corian blank on a stiff backer so that when I remove it from the press it doesn't droop as I transfer it to a metal plate to cool down. I then place another metal plate on top of the Corian blank with weights on top of it to keep the Corian blank flat.


I believe that Ken Dolph told me to never exceed 350 degrees F as Corian will start to degrade. The soak time of 20 minutes is also a detail that I got from Ken and the combination has worked perfectly so far. There is almost no information concerning dye-sub of Corian anywhere that I have been able to find. My experience has been to experiment but I have never wandered far from the info that I received from Ken.

There is a magazine article that I saw yesterday that had a plug for a company that was supposed to be the first to dye-sub Corian in the USA. I will try to find the article and post what information it contains. Dupont has several new brosures on the commercial use of Corian that are also informative, mostly architectural stuff.

Michael Wells
06-04-2006, 3:09 PM
That is why the press time is so long then, Keith! At 350 it is going to take quite a whil for the sublimation to occur! I'll try to get some corian from some of the local fabricators here and experiement with it a little. Maybe the distortion can be used artistically to my benefit!

David Lavaneri
06-04-2006, 7:18 PM
Hi gang,

I've been involved with sublimation (ink jet and HP laser printer) since 1999.

While the price of ink has increased, there are lucrative areas of endeavor, (as Aaron and Keith point out), that take the sting out of ink prices.

Almost without exception, those areas involve getting away from the traditionally-thought-of products, like T-Shirts and other "novelty" items and onto the higher-end, custom-made products, that those of you who are involved with woodworking and laser engraving, are in a good position to capitalize on.

Cross-platform techniques (combining multiple disciplines, in a single product) will enable you to produce unique items, that those locked into a single process can't.

Imagine a custom-made, wooden plaque board, with a sublimated Corian inlay. Add some attractive laser engraving and "Boom" (the sound of a unique award or gift item hitting your market).

While Sawgrass Technologies (Sublijet) and Tropical Graphics (ArTainium) are more heavily-marketed, there is a third, lesser-known company, Texas Original Graphics (Sublibrite) that deserves mention.


I have no affiliation with any sublimation supplier, including TOG.

If less is more, the price of TOG's sublimation ink, means more money stays at home. :)

Keith Outten
06-04-2006, 10:23 PM

Do you have any information concerning the Corian dye-sub technique? Anything you have to share would be appreciated.

David Lavaneri
06-05-2006, 1:33 AM

Most of my work has been in the areas of ceramic/glass tiles and sublimatable metal; mostly for awards and gift items; although, during my time as a sublimator, I've tried most of the commonly-used substrates, i.e. fabric, mousepads etc.

I don't have much information on sublimating Corian. Over the years, I've heard of people trying it, but it hasn't really kicked in; probably because of the somewhat specialized equipment needed for its fabrication and finishing.

The average sublimator, from what I've seen, prefers to buy "off the rack" substrates.

It used to be, where you could approach Corian fabricators (counter tops etc.) and get their "scraps" for free, or relatively inexpensively.

Probably, because of those requests for scraps, the fabricators are finding ways to use the remnants themselves.

The sample you showed is very impressive, with regard to clarity of detail in the image. Because Corian isn't a commonly-used substrate, that fact, is all the more reason to experiment and find out-of-the-box uses for it.

Sounds like you're already on that track.

Probably the closest thing to Corian, I've seen used, (which I'm not sure are being made anymore) are the "Old World" tiles, which were man-made, (polymer?) cast tiles, resembling travertine marble, including voids in the surface, adding to the aged, old world look.

Like Corian, the Old World tiles, (after pressing), were very pliable, which meant it was possible to shape the tiles around a post, or give them a slight bend, to create a free-standing item.

Are you fabricating the Corian yourself? I assume, with your woodworking experience and equipment, that you are.

I don't know if it's still in existence, but there was another form of faux stone material, called Avonite, which IMO, was prettier than Corian. Corian has a speckled (granite-like) appearance, while Avonite had more of a "swirly" (marble-like) appearance.

Keith Outten
06-05-2006, 7:41 AM

I am authorized to purchase Corian so I am using material left over from projects mostly. I also have a local top shop that I am fortunate to be able to pickup their cut-outs as well. I have been experimenting with Corian dye-sub for almost six months, my technique is improving in fact I made huge progress this weekend. The quality of my dye-sub photos improved about 100% as I learned a few tricks lately and I still have a few things to experiment with in hopes of making even more progress.

I fabricate my own Corian plaques both simple shapes and those I produce on my CNC router. I also have been experimenting adding laser engraved text and graphics plus CNC scroll work to some of my dye-sub projects but I must admit I don't have as much time to spend doing R&D as I would like. The process is facinating and the results are getting me lots of attention in my local area.

I believe that Avonite is a resin based product and I'm not sure how it may react to dye-sub but I have a couple of scrap pieces and hope to find the time to try it in the near future. Although I have used a couple of the Corian colors for dye-sub I normally stick to glasier white because the colors remain true, however the use of other colors has merit for text and graphics in sign work.

I am starting a new project soon, a local top shop is building a very detailed vanity and I have been asked to provide thermal bending and some dye-sub work on the project, possibly some CNC work as well. The vanity will have a 30 inch radius on the front edge and towers on each end. There will also be a large Corian oval mirror to compliment the project and most likely a few accessories made from the same color Corian to dress up the vanity.

Like most people I stayed away from solid surface materials for a long time with the mind set that it was just too expensive. These days I don't even give the cost a second thought, the cost of the material isn't a concern given the market prices for this kind of work. I have also learned that the cost of ink isn't an issue, time is the big concern as I learn to improve my final prep tecniques the process gets more time consuming but the quality is just awesome.

David Lavaneri
06-05-2006, 11:49 AM

Wow! I guess fear isn't a factor for you :)

Sounds like some interesting projects in the works. Looking forward to seeing the results someday.

Have you tried hi-release transfer paper with Corian?

Textprint XP would be one brand. Hi-release papers, as their name suggests, release much more dye to the substrate, than what I would call general-use transfer papers, such as Accuplot.

Dramatically better results on ceramic tile, with regard to crispness of image and vibrancy of color. I wouldn't know what to expect with Corian.


Keith Outten
06-05-2006, 2:01 PM
Thanks David for the tip, I will place an order for Textprint XP ASAP and give it a try. The goal is the absolute best quality I can obtain...short of buying a vacumn heat press :)

David Lavaneri
06-06-2006, 12:08 PM

I'll live vicariously and await the results of your hi-release paper/Corian combo. :)

Thinner coatings on a substrate are sometimes overwhelmed, by the amount of dye hi-release papers deliver, leading to "cockeling" which takes on the appearance of raindrops on the hood of a freshly-waxed car.

You probably won't encounter that anomaly with Corian.


Harry Radaza
07-22-2006, 12:12 AM
hi kieth,

I recently came across a dealer for heat presses with the ink, printer, transfer paper etc.

We don't have Corian ( I think ) here in the philippines. I've seen the die sublimated result of the heat press on regular tiles and it looked great. I was wondering if combining laser engraving with die sublimation would come out as I imagine it - an engraved photo with full color ?

The only hitch I can see would be in aligning the engraved tile with the printed transfer paper with exact size of the artwork. but if guides are made it might be doable.

Have you tried this?

Larry Robinson
08-01-2006, 12:37 PM
Keith, I would like to thank you for presentation on dye sublimation at the Shopbot Jamboree in April. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of enhancing the capabilities of the Shopbot.

My question is has anyone used the Alps printers. I know that the printers are not made any more, however, the cartridges can still be bought. As I recall, these printers produced had a high quality output and I thought that they could be used for sublimation. Further, they were known for their fade resistance compared to ink jets.


Bruce Larson
08-02-2006, 12:38 AM
I am very interested in the long term UV performance of the Corian substrate. As has been mentioned before, UV resistance has been the limiting factor in dye sublimation marketing.
Refer to some of the work that Bison coatings has done over the years to see that this a very expensive proposition if a failure results.
Dupont has a tech paper that describes dye sublimation on Corian, I don't have the number handy, but it can be found in the Corian technical publications.
I haven't tried Corian, but am watching your experiments with great interest, and hope that this may be the answer to long term UV stability.
I have been doing tile murals on various different tiles, but am careful to make sure they are used only indoors, and in a non-direct sunlight setting.
One somewhat different, little-known substrate is cultured marble as is used in bathroom sinks and showers and tubs. It colors very well, but needs to be carefully handled to avoid warping. UV resistance is still an unknown factor however.
Keep pushing the envelope Kieth, and you may open the magic door which the rest of us have been either too timid or have no clue about the other substrates out there, to explore.

Michael Wells
08-02-2006, 2:05 PM
Bruce, I will let you know soon about the durability in UV exposed substrates. I have a little experiment ongoing, because I am setting up to do an airbrushed job on a car hood. Amidst the airbrush will be several photographs placed on the hood with a sublimation method. The area is first sprayed with Frog Juice, then a UV resistant clear coat will finish it up. The airbrush paint is Waterbased Auto-Air.

The sample metal sheets that I did earlier, all but two, showed no deterioration so far, with about 6 months exposure. One of them did have a breakdown of the clearcoat. That was one that I did with an off-brand clear. The other one, without the frog juice, showed obvious lightening of the colors in the dye sub areas.

I will try to keep you posted and also get some photos up when the car is done. I also have a couple of motorcycle airbrush jobs coming up with the same technique if this works. Then you'll see my famous face on all of the custom car and bike magazine! Hehehee

Keith Outten
08-03-2006, 7:40 AM
hi kieth,

We don't have Corian ( I think ) here in the philippines. I've seen the die sublimated result of the heat press on regular tiles and it looked great. I was wondering if combining laser engraving with die sublimation would come out as I imagine it - an engraved photo with full color ?

The only hitch I can see would be in aligning the engraved tile with the printed transfer paper with exact size of the artwork. but if guides are made it might be doable.

Have you tried this?


I have combined laser engraving and dye-sublimation in the same project. Alignment of the two processes can be difficult or not depending on the graphic but I have found that most of the time you can engrave first and use the project outline to align the dye-sub paper for the second process. This is assuming that you cut your plaque shape first, even if it is just a rectangle or simple shape. The last steps would be to rout the outside edge treatment and polish.


My little speech at the ShopBot Jamboree was a last minute type of thing. Bill decided to give three or four ShopBotters five minutes to share what they are doing with their CNC machines. I chose to discuss dye-sub and routing plaques because they are both techniques that entry level ShopBotters can use to start making money right away. There are always advanced ShopBotters who show projects that someone just starting isn't ready to attempt. Rarely do you hear anyone share information about how the new ShopBotters can start making a profit so that was my message. Don't wait until you acquire advanced skills before you get in the game, there are lots of projects that are easy to accomplish on the ShopBot that are very profitable.

Sorry, I can't help with the Alps printers as I have never heard of them. I'm still new at this dye-sub stuff and have a lot to learn but like routing plaques I have found it quick and easy to learn enough skills to get started anyway. I currently have a backlog of small photo plaques to dye-sub on white Corian, enough work that it is clear that there is a large market for this type of work.