Creating original cups by sublimation technique is fast, simple and, best of all, very profitable.
If you are not familiar with the technique of sublimation, we will explain it in a few words:
- Choose a design or photo from the ones you have on your computer
- Print it with an inkjet printer that you have the cartridges changed by the ink sublimation. You need a special paper for subli if you want perfect colors.
- Then cut the image and stick it to the cup with a special adhesive tape that resists heat.
- Put the cup on a special iron or oven, wait for the marked time and … ready!
This is the summary technique, but to ensure profitability it would be convenient for you to take some time to listen to a few tips that we detail below.
- Choose the cups well . There are cups of various qualities and prices and at first glance they look very similar. The secret is that they have a good polyester coating, that covers the entire surface evenly and that resists washing and the passage of time. Also the quality of the colors varies a lot from one another. Unfortunately the differences are only appreciated by doing tests. The seriousness and reputation of the supplier play an important role at this point.
- The inks and the papers used are also important, not all of them give the same result. You will also have to do tests, but do not change cups when making them: if you have problems you will not know if it is due to the ink or the cup.
- The correct fixing of the paper to the cup depends on the adhesive tape used and the skill of the person doing it. It is about the paper covering the cup without leaving wrinkles. Any slack allows the movement of the paper and the drawing will be blurred or shaded. Beware of some adhesive tapes, which leave stains on the image or do not resist temperatures.
- Depending on the usual runs, it is recommended to use a plate of individual cups or a cup oven . In both cases, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding time and temperature. In any case, due to the aforementioned variables (cup, ink, paper), it is advisable to adjust these recommendations to your particular case if you see that you are not achieving the expected results.
- If you usually have orders of more than 100 cups, you need an oven to achieve a reasonable productivity , or the production will absorb you leaving your business unattended. It is highly recommended that you buy an additional tray and the necessary clamps to fill it, so that you can prepare a tray while you have another one inside the oven. This way you could get to make about 150 cups per hour, almost double what you would do with a single tray, and far from the less than 10 cups per hour that you would make with an iron.
- When considering the times, take into account the influence of environmental conditions : in winter the cups will be cold when put on the iron and the times will be extended to achieve the optimum sublimation temperature.
- The pressure should be medium, just to ensure that the paper is well attached to the surface of the cup. If not, the images will lose clarity.
- When you finish printing the cup, it is recommended to cool it by filling it with water or by submerging it (DO NOT do this with glass ones!). In addition to ensuring that sublimation is stopped and no stains will occur when removing the paper, production is streamlined by facilitating the handling of the cups.
Almost everything said about ceramic cups is also valid for cups and glasses made of glass, plastic or metal , with the exception of times and temperatures, which should be consulted in each case. In the case of plastic cups, it is convenient to use a piece inside the cup that prevents deforming by joint action of temperature and pressure.