View Full Version : Sublimation heat pressing tile advice

Tom Cullen
01-07-2008, 12:15 PM
Hi All,
I was thinking of expanding my business to cover heat pressing color images onto sublimation tiles. Would anyone care to give me advice on how to start out with this? I would need to know exactly what would be required to start off in this area, how hard is it to pick up? what would be the starting cost's ( medium cost heat press) tile cost 12x12 , ink , transfer paper etc. I know the general principal, are there any sites that explain how to do it. is it even a viable business venture and what would one charge for a 12x12 tile.

Thank you all in advance


AL Ursich
01-07-2008, 3:50 PM

That is a 2 hour answer....

I do some Sublimation with a Epson R1800 and bulk ink. I have a 16 x 20 swinger press. A Tile will suck the heat from the press so a bigger press will help with cool spots.

I belonged to ara.org and attended a few training classes as a member. Steven Spence has a great Video as to the how too. He taught the first class I attended 6 years ago.

Johnson Plastic hooked me up with the equipment, I deal with Don Shaw at 800-334-0427

There are other groups doing training too.

I have not done tiles yet.

Good Luck,


Mike Null
01-07-2008, 4:54 PM

I'm going to move this to the Sign Design forum where dye sub is now located.

I recommend a search on this forum and also checking out the dye sub forum elsewhere.

David Lavaneri
01-08-2008, 11:39 AM

Keep in mind, that in order to press 12" tiles, you'll need a heat press with at least a 15" heat platen.

That's because the edges of heat presses run cooler than the inner area.

Naturally, you'll need a printer with a printable area larger than 12" wide.

Not all Epson printers have been embraced by sublimation suppliers, so it's best to get in touch with them, i.e. Texas Original Graphics, Johnson Plastics, Coast Graphic Supply, Alpha Supply, (and a long list of others, who basically sell the same stuff) to see which printer models will suit your application.

On the topic of Texas Original Graphics (TOG); they're due in court with Sawgrass Technologies this February, to determine if they'll be able to continue selling sublimation ink.

Sawgrass Technologies (ST), (Makers of Sublijet ink and their subsidiary Tropical Graphics, makers or ArTainium ink) claims a patent on the ink jet sublimation process, but TOG claims prior art, in that, they sold sublimation ink for ink jet printers before Sawgrass laid claim to the process.

TOG isn't looking to break the ST patent, which would open the worldwide market (once again) to inexpensive ink. They want to exercise their right to sell sublimation ink and retain their position as the third-tier player (least expensive between the three brands) in the sublimation ink business.

David "The Stunt Engraver" Lavaneri

Tom Cullen
01-08-2008, 2:54 PM
Thank you guys' for taking the time to give me some pointers, very much appreciated. I do have one other question, how would you do a tile mural using 12x12 tiles. Say for example I want the mural size to be 36"x36" , how would I break up the image to process the printing one section at a time? and how difficult is it to lay a tile heat press it and make sure that each tile will fit together to make the mural? I'm talking about tile registration, so everything fits together perfectly. How would this be accomplished? I would imagine just laying a tile on the transfer paper and trying to get a precise fit( with an image going across so many tiles) would be very tricky.

Thank You

Nick Cardone
01-09-2008, 10:35 AM
Hi Tom,

There is some useful info on dyesub.org under Articles & Reviews that cover dye sub tile and how to set up the mural printing in Corel Draw...

Hope this helps you out..



joe daley
01-11-2008, 5:19 PM
I run a 6 press dye sub business-- would be more then happy to help you out getting set up- we do tiles for Lowes Home Improvement Center here in Florida-- once you have the basics down right- they will come out abolutely stunning.
Drop me an email at: sales@palmports.com and I'll email you my phone number if you want to discuss your eneds