Dye Sublimation Printers
Print on almost any surface and produce your own goods with dye sublimation printers. Whether you want a new phone case or a uniquely designed top, you can print anything you want via dye sublimation from brands like Canon, Sony, Kodak and many other ID card printer brands.
Dye sublimation is a process that means dye is transferred onto materials using heat, and as such can print onto materials like plastic, card, paper or fabric. Novelty items are often printed using dye sublimation for this reason, meaning that most phone cases, plaques, banners, signs and coffee mugs will have been printed with this process.
CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow, overlay) or CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key/black) colours are used for dye sublimation, resulting in a clear overcoating for the print, protecting the dye from UV light and moisture. This means colours from dye sublimation print are long lasting and unlikely to fade. Only one colour is laid at a time during the print, to give more accuracy for each print.
Comparison to inkjet
Inkjet printers are the most common type of printer, as they are generally cheaper than dye sublimation and more ink efficient, as once you have done a print via dye sublimation printer, you can't reuse the same dye panels. However, dye sublimation produces truer, more vivid colours to inkjet printers due to the nature of their print.
Cleanliness is also more likely with dye sublimation printers, as there will be no liquid inks to clear up due to spillage during the printing cycle. Prints also dry up a lot quicker with dye sublimation, as they are dry and ready as soon as they leave the printer, whereas inkjet prints need to be left to dry to avoid smearing.
You also have to replace parts less often with dye sublimation. Due to there being fewer moving parts for dye sublimation during each print in comparison to inkjet, you can save more money and time by needing repairs less often.