Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
Sublimation printing is a fantastic method of printing. You may print on a variety of various surfaces and achieve stunning results. Can you sublimate on acrylic yes you can, sublimation on acrylic surfaces is one method for achieving creative results.
Sublimation printing on an acrylic surface is gorgeous and sharp, and it perfectly fits the description of a spectacular decoration or accessory item.
Sublimation on acrylic has a similar nature and essential appearance to other comparable surfaces. Because of how nice these artifacts can seem when sublimated, it is a fairly profitable and efficient business. So, with this article, you will learn all about the acrylic sublimation printing method.
Table of Contents
What Is Acrylic? And What Acrylic Item We Sublimate On?
Acrylic is a transparent solid plastic that is one of the best substrates for the sublimation of its transparency and perceptible clarity. Also, acrylic is rich in polymers, and therefore it is one of the most suitable substrates for the dye sublimation process. The higher polymer content on the acrylic eliminates the need to apply separate polymer coats and reduces the overall cost of the sublimation process.
Acrylic blanks or acrylic sheets are used for dye sublimation on acrylic. Acrylic comes in two varieties: extruded acrylic and cast acrylic. Because cast acrylic has superior thermal performance to extruded acrylic, it is used in the sublimation process. It has a higher melting point and is more heat resistant, making it appropriate for heat transfer in dye sublimation.
The sublimation on acrylic time and temp is roughly 180 degrees Celsius or 356 Fahrenheit for 60 seconds (one minute), and cast acrylic can simply tolerate such high temperatures during the sublimation process. Cast acrylic is cut or molded into sheets or blanks of various sizes and thicknesses before the sublimation printing and heat transfer process.
What You Will Need For Acrylic Sublimation:
Before you can begin sublimating on acrylic surfaces, you will need a few items of supplies. Let us go over them:
1: Printer Sublimation, Unsurprisingly the best sublimation printer for your sublimation is the most significant requirement for any type of sublimation printing. When choosing a sublimation printer, try to make the best possible decision. If you already have one, that’s one item off your shopping list.
2: Sublimation ink and paper, like sublimation printers, are required for sublimation printing. Sublimation printing requires the use of special sublimation paper and high-quality sublimation ink. There are lots of options out there for sublimation ink and paper where you can get it.
3: Acrylic, Because we will be printing on acrylic, you will need an acrylic surface or item. You can choose either a white or translucent acrylic surface. A translucent acrylic surface can also be used to create a background with vinyl. Because cast acrylic is suitable for sublimation, it should be used instead of extruded acrylic.
4: Design software is required for designing and altering the size of your print. You can avoid this by purchasing a ready-made print, but if you want to do it yourself, you can use many different types of design and sublimation design tools for editing and modifying the size and other aspects to your preferences.
5: Heat press, A heat press is required for pressing the print onto acrylic or any other surface. The standard heat press machine is the most commonly suggested. However, an easy press can be used with little loss in outcomes.
6: Vinyl is not the most important item. You can use a vinyl background or translucent acrylic as a more clean attachment surface. A colored vinyl can also provide you with a vibrant background to work with.
7: Butcher Paper and Heat Tape, When doing sublimation printing, a heating tape is always useful. It helps to hold the paper and the surface together, and the resistance feature ensures that the tape is not harmed by heat. Butcher paper is a useful addition as well. It protects the print paper or the acrylic surface from the heat from the heat press.
Also Read: how to remove sublimation ink from shirt
Sublimation on Acrylic:
As explained previously, the basic steps are very similar to wood, canvas, or other types of sublimation done on such materials. Following are the steps which will help you how to sublimate on clear acrylic and how long to sublimate on acrylic.!! Let us get started:
The very first thing you should do is go through the size of your print. You must adjust the size of the paper print so it fits the size of your surface. Change the size of the print picture in the software to fit the acrylic. Keep in mind that the paper print should be larger than the acrylic. If the print paper size is smaller than the acrylic surface, this prevents indentations from showing on the acrylic.
The next step is to remove any protective sheeting that may be on the acrylic. Remove any such sheet or covering because heat can cause wrinkles or softness in the final print. Place the print first on the acrylic item where it will be printed
Place the cut-out print on the acrylic blank and secure the corners with tape before inserting it between the folds of the paper chart. Assemble the acrylic object so that it is at the bottom and the printed sublimation paper is on top, facing down.
Press them using a heat press for a specified amount of time. We recommend keeping the heat press temperature between 370 and 400 degrees. The time will vary based on the type of heat press and the thickness of the acrylic blank, but it is normally between 45 and 60 seconds.
After the time has passed, remove the acrylic from the heat press. The design will now be transferred to the blank acrylic. Remove the paper chart and set it aside to cool. Then, trim the excess paper.
It is usual for some paper to adhere to the acrylic. Dip the acrylic object in water for a few minutes to soften the paper, then rub it clean. Have fun with your new acrylic sublimation.
Sublimation on Blank Keychain:
Following are the steps how to use sublimation keychain blanks
- Place the blank on top of your design and place it face up on a straight surface.
- To secure the blank to the paper, use a small amount of heat tape.
- Lay down blow out paper on your bottom platen and place the ready to sublimate key tag blank on top, design facing down.
- Cover it with blow out paper Your finished product should now be sandwiched between two sheets of blow out paper.
- Press with medium pressure for 55-60 seconds.
Allow your blanks to cool completely. If you’re going to put them together in groups. Always insert the opened plastic clip first into the metal keychain. Then, secure the key tags. This is far more convenient than wrapping the plastic clip around the metal keyring and keeps everything looking fresh.
Sublimate on Acrylic Ornaments:
Can you sublimate on acrylic ornament’s? transfer an image onto curved acrylic objects, such as mugs or ornaments, you’ll need a curved sublimation acrylic sheet and a curved heat press.
The procedure is straightforward, and the following materials are required: To transfer an image onto a curved acrylic object, such as mugs or ornaments, you’ll need a curved sublimation acrylic sheet and a curved heat press. The procedure is straightforward, and the following materials are required:
- A sheet of curved sublimation acrylic
- A thermal press that curves
- A photograph printed on sublimation paper
- A scrap of cardboard
After getting the required material now follow these simple steps to achieve your desired result.
- Print your image on the sublimation paper.
- Cut the image to the size of the curved acrylic sheet.
- Place the image face down on the curved sublimation acrylic item.
- Place the cardboard on top of the image and heat press at 375 to 400 degrees for 45 seconds.
- Remove the cardboard and let the image cool.
Acrylic sublimation is a simple and effective method of sublimation printing. Beautiful images can be printed on acrylic blanks, and the results are clean, sharp, and fascinating to look at.
Acrylic may be made into décor objects via sublimation printing, which you can gift to others or place in your homes to make them look even more appealing. You can also use this to make picture frames.
Sublimation acrylic blanks are quite popular among people because of their distinctive and lovely appearance, which is why companies and local markets are always looking for such things.
As a result, acrylic sublimation is a good starter business alternative. Acrylic sublimation is a fantastic type of art. After reading this article now you have the answer of can you sublimate on acrylics.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Reputed University, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.