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Tom Cullen
06-04-2007, 10:06 AM
I saw a few threads referencing a process called CLTT. What is this ? would someone care to elaborate.

Much thanks
Tom

Tom Cullen
06-04-2007, 10:50 AM
Just now found my answer:

CLTT is short for Color Laser Toner Transfer. It utilizes the toners that come with the laser printers, not specially formulated sublimation toners or inks.

It works quite well for coasters and tiles, but the limiting factor is that the largest size you can print (limited by paper size) is 11 X 17, so 12 X 12 tiles are out. The largest that can practically be done are 8" X 10"

Mike Null
06-04-2007, 11:04 AM
Tom

I think there are several other threads relating to this so a search might turn up some better info but here it is short and sweet.

CLT is color laser toner, the extra T is for transfer.

Using a color laser printer made by Okidata or Konica Minolta and commercial transfer paper supplied by MagicTouch or Cactus Graphics you make your images. They are normally mirrored and you apply the image to your substrate via a heat press.

There are several kinds of paper for different substrates but the two most common are for hard surface and for fabrics.

This process should not be confused with dye sublimation which is quite different and requires a polymer or polymer coated substrate.

The CLTT process is one I've been using for several years for name tags, awards, t-shirts, brass plates Etc. It is reliable and easy to use. It is also not expensive. A printer can be purchased for as little as $300. You must have a heat press.

Some people do mugs with this process though I do not.

Besides the features I mentioned earlier you can use this process on virtually any substrate so it's very versatile.

Tom Cullen
06-04-2007, 12:36 PM
Thanks Mike,
I've been wanting to branch out a little from the usual granite/marble lasered tiles and thought this CLTT process might just be the ticket. It sounds a lot less expensive than the sublimation process I was looking into. The printer sounds very reasonable as does the heat press. So far I'm thinking of buying the ,Knight 12X14 Jet press Swinger, heat press JP14. Looks like a good price ( under $500 ) and easy to use. This whole CLTT process looks a lot more inviting to someone on a budget than the sublimation end, It would be worth the small investment. How do coaster's on tiles hold up? do they scratch or fade given the expected usage?

Thanks
Tom

Mike Null
06-04-2007, 12:46 PM
Tom
My printer is an older Panasonic and I do not do things which I suspect are going to get hard wear. But Mick Eminger at Cactus Graphics will provide some samples for you and I believe you'll be impressed. He uses the two brands I mentioned earlier and I believe that they may have a toner that adheres better than mine.

Dave Jones
06-04-2007, 4:26 PM
If you're going to do items that might be close to the edges of the heat press you mentioned, you might want to get a slightly larger one. I haven't done any of this yet, but in reading up on both sublimation and CLTT, it sounds like it's best to have a heat press that isn't right at the height or width of your maximum item, but is larger since the heat won't be as good right at the edges.

Mike Null
06-04-2007, 5:26 PM
It is also critical to have both foam and silicone pads which tend to spread the heat of the press more evenly without burning the paper.

Larry Bratton
06-05-2007, 8:53 PM
Tom:
I am into CLTT. If your on a budget, an Okidata 3400 laser printer is OK. About $400.00. If you have a couple of hundred more, go for a Konica Minolta 5450 Magicolor, about $600. I use Cactus paper, $58 a hundred sheets for hard goods. I have a more expensive heat press. I could have gotten by with something cheaper but it's a nice press, Hotronix 16x20 Swingaway digital about $1500.00 The silicone rubber pads are kind of pricey. I just bought one that covers the whole heat press platen for bigger items, about $150.00. Transfers to 8x10 pieces of aluminum etc need to be covered, so I just covered the bases with one big enough for the whole press. I have done transfers so far to metal, wood and leather. We also bought some mug wraps and we did a few mugs. It works good. Post baked the metal stuff we did and no way would it scratch with your fingernail. Very hard finish.
Hope this wasn't too long and good luck with it if you get into it.

Martin Boekers
06-05-2007, 10:54 PM
I'm intrigued with the CLTT. I do dye sub now, but it is expensive and haven't had consistant luck with full color photo sublimation. Am I right to think that the transfer will look pretty similar in color as the copy? Also if I do mugs (standard glazed that you can by pretty cheaply) will it hold up to dishwashing? I use a Zerox Phaser 6300 (toner based) for short run publishing projects and was curious if that will work. Any help with this as well as time and temperature involved would be appreciated!

Thanks

Marty

rick woodward
06-06-2007, 6:55 AM
Larry
Could you post some pics of the transfers on wood? I been wanting to get into this for some time but just cant afford it yet. Also, what didnt you like about the okidata? I can get the Okidata c5500n here for $600. Havent looked around here for the other one you mentioned.thanks.

Larry Bratton
06-06-2007, 12:36 PM
Marty:
Contact Mick at:
Cactus Equipment & Supplies, LLP
463 28 Road Unit A
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-241-3011 Local 970-244-8475 Fax Toll Fee 800-440-6847
mick.eminger@gmail.com (mick.eminger@gmail.com)
I think he has been testing the Xerox printers and I'm sure he said they work. Tell him I told you to call him. It's a toll free and Mick is very helpful. Good guy.

Larry Bratton
06-06-2007, 12:46 PM
Rick:
I didn't do this one, but here's an example. I think Mick at Cactus did this one.
The Oki didn't print some blues the way I needed them. Plus the 3400 is more of a consumer printer than others. The KM gives excellant results and is about the same price as the 5500n you speak of. You can get it from Printer Showcase http://www.printershowcase.com/ in Atlanta.

rick woodward
06-06-2007, 11:21 PM
thanks for the info , i had done some research since i read your original post. The link you gave is the best price yet. That pic of the transfer on wood looks real good. Appreciate all your input, i think i will follow your advice on the 5450. I see you have a warthog, i have a shopbot alpha. Might see if i can locate your phone number and give you a call sometime. I also see you have enroute. I went with artcam pro. Just got an email from enroute. Kinda curious.

AL Ursich
06-07-2007, 12:16 AM
Just got my Konika 5450 today and have a 16 x 20 GK swinger heat press. Paper showed up too. Time to get to work.

That color wood plaque sold me.

AL

Martin Boekers
06-11-2007, 9:21 PM
Thanks for the info Larry, I'm in the middle of a big project right now but I will definetly drop him a line!

Thanks

jack Halley
07-15-2007, 10:37 PM
Tom:
I am into CLTT. If your on a budget, an Okidata 3400 laser printer is OK. About $400.00. If you have a couple of hundred more, go for a Konica Minolta 5450 Magicolor, about $600.

Larry or other users,
Are there any minimum usage problems with this machine(Konica Minolta 5450)?
If it was seldom used does the toner dry up or create problems?

Has anybody had multiple problems with the machine or the process?


The same question with the paper?

Thanks in advance---

jack Halley
Forsyth,Mo.
Pinnacle M 30w

Mike Null
07-16-2007, 8:24 AM
This is one of the real advantages of the CLTT system. The toner does not dry up or clog. While cartridges are expensive they last a long time.

Another is that you can get consistent color results.

There is an issue with durability on hard surface items but I use it for name tags and haven't had any complaints.

I don't use it for mugs but if you decide to do that use a matt rather than gloss finished mug and do not use the dishwasher. (I just ran a test of the matt finished mug and got through 5 dishwashings before the image began to degrade.)

jack Halley
07-16-2007, 10:38 AM
Thanks Mike! That's what I wanted to hear!
jack Halley
Pinnacle M 30w

Harry Radaza
06-26-2008, 11:50 AM
I'm also very interested in this process. Does anyone know of a link which describes the process in detail? I already do have a heat press. I just need the transfer paper. I know there are transfer papers for fabric which I should probably not use if my material is shell or wood. For shells or wood, what type of transfer paper should I then use?

is this the right process ?

1) print on transfer paper using ordinary laser color printer (toner)
2) heatt press

and thats it?

Larry Bratton
06-26-2008, 7:06 PM
I'm also very interested in this process. Does anyone know of a link which describes the process in detail? I already do have a heat press. I just need the transfer paper. I know there are transfer papers for fabric which I should probably not use if my material is shell or wood. For shells or wood, what type of transfer paper should I then use?

is this the right process ?

1) print on transfer paper using ordinary laser color printer (toner)
2) heatt press

and thats it?
Harry:
That's pretty much it. To get all the info you need, do a search here, BUT I suggest you call and talk to Mick Eminger at http://www.cactus-equipment.com/ He sells the paper, and is a CLTT guru. He can tell you all about the best printer to use, heat and pressure settings etc etc. Have fun, it's a neat process.

Harry Radaza
06-28-2008, 8:20 AM
a few more questions (dumb one's I think)...

Can I just use ordinary transfer paper ? (the kind they sell here are the ones used to dye sub for mugs)

I noticed for the transfer paper for fabric you peel off the backing. For the ordinary materials, there is nothing to peel off... is this normal ?

what are the temp/time settings for the press?

Will ordinary inkjet work ? Or I DO HAVE TO USE laser color (toner) printer?

If done correctly, the process should work with shell, wood, acrylic, right?

Larry Bratton
06-28-2008, 5:58 PM
a few more questions (dumb one's I think)...

Can I just use ordinary transfer paper ? (the kind they sell here are the ones used to dye sub for mugs)

I noticed for the transfer paper for fabric you peel off the backing. For the ordinary materials, there is nothing to peel off... is this normal ?

what are the temp/time settings for the press?

Will ordinary inkjet work ? Or I DO HAVE TO USE laser color (toner) printer?

If done correctly, the process should work with shell, wood, acrylic, right?
Harry:
The transfer paper has to be the kind for CLTT transfers.
Whatever the instructions say is normal.
With Mick's paper you get temp/time settings for different things. He also has a list on hand with all kinds of tested settings for various things.
No..inkjet will NOT work. You have to use a modern laser printer that uses the newer types of toners. Konica Minolta and Okidata both make fairly inexpensive printers that use the right kind of ink. I don't think either company actually supports the process, so your kinda on your own in that dept.

I don't do a lot of CLTT, as I am very busy doing sign work, but it works on most anything that you can put in the press. It works on wood, fabrics, plastics, metal, leather, tiles or ceramic stuff. You can do cups with it, but some say if their washed in the dishwasher a lot it won't stay on there like regular sublimation. There is paper for fabric and one for hard goods.
CALL MICK!

Harry Radaza
07-03-2008, 9:50 AM
anyone ever tried laser engraving + CLTT ?

Laser engrave an image. Then print exact same image for CLTT. If you can align it correctly, could this work?

Mike Null
07-03-2008, 10:15 AM
Harry

I've been doing CLTT for some time now (about 8 years) and I agree with most of Larry's points. My machine is 8 years old so the toners of that time were just fine. I use MagicTouch paper exclusively and am very happy with my results.

There is a difference in transfer papers so I would ask everybody for samples.

Larry Bratton
07-03-2008, 6:17 PM
anyone ever tried laser engraving + CLTT ?

Laser engrave an image. Then print exact same image for CLTT. If you can align it correctly, could this work?
Harry,
I made some wooden business cards. I laser engraved part of it and used CLTT to put a color logo on it. It's kinda tricky, but with a little trial and error you could possibly make it work. The combination of the two processes can make some great looking items. Awards and plaques are pretty big I understand.

Harry Radaza
07-13-2008, 1:13 AM
I finally received my items from mick at cactus. I tried several small stuff and was very excited by the idea of being able to transfer color!

A few thoughts I have. The color transfer gave a shiny effect. Not exactly what I wanted but can still be doable for certain applications. I was looking for a flat effect. If you transfer and do not cover the whole material with transfer paper (cutting the tranfer paper too small to just fit the image) then there will be a visible mark on the material from the process.

I am wondering if transfer paper from other suppliers will give a flat effect and not shiny. Anyone care to shed light on this?

I also noticed that the colors after the transfer are somewhat dull and toned down. It doesn't seem to be as vibrant as I was hoping for.

The material has to be flat. Any small dips and curves and there wont be a transfer on that material. I am wondering if the DCT water decal transfer paper from magictouch uk is the answer to transferring onto curved surfaces?

I am experimenting right now with combining laser engravings and cltt to hopefully get a somewhat colored engraving effect. first few results turned out ok .... but will have to do more on it.

Mike Null
07-13-2008, 8:09 AM
Harry

I use MagicTouch paper but most of the finishes I get I would call satin rather than glossy.

The water slide decals are for very smooth items like porcelain, glass or objects with a perfectly smooth surface. Water slide decals do not require heat.

Unless you are using a white material as a substrate your image will be devoid of white and that will alter the color reproduction.

Transferring the image requires both heat and pressure and unless you have a means of applying that equally to the entire surface you'll be limited to flat images.

My most frequent use of CLTT is for name tags. I make an outline 1/8" larger than the name tag and center my name tag within that. You will get the full transfer with no marks or lines.

Larry Bratton
07-13-2008, 6:45 PM
Harry:
I tried another brand of paper..maybe it was Magic Touch..don't recall, but it wasn't as good as Micks.

Which printer are you using? That makes a difference. I have a Minolta and an Okidata. To me the CLTT from the Oki is more vibrant than the Minolta. Both are good.

Harry Radaza
07-13-2008, 8:49 PM
samsung clp300 here. Mick said he has the same printer too and it works good for him.

I did not take into account the fact that no whites are printed.... that could be why. I was using a somewhat dark substrate.

So far so good though. I can see several applications for this. Really still trying to get good results with laser and heat pressing. can't so far. It seems I would have to engrave really shallow so as to be still able to have the substrate have the effect of being engraved with color.

Also, my clam shell heat press doesnt seem to press evenly if it is a large surface. I might have to experiment with rotating it after 1 minute press.