Prints using an ink that will adhere to polyester when pressed with heat. You can make t-shirts (light colored over 60% polyester content) mugs (for sale in space) or other flat sublimation blank items. If bringing in sublimation blanks, you must bring in a receipt for the item that includes details about the material. Be sure that the images to be transferred are mirrored before printing to make sure they transfer as originally designed. Create sublimation prints that can be applied to various objects using files found online for free or your own original text, imagery, or designs.
Geo Knight Mug Press DK3
Used to heat press mugs to transfer sublimation ink. This press is designed specifically for mugs meant to be sublimated on (sold in space). Create custom mugs to personalize them, label them, and apply images for an occasion or gift.
Geo Knight Clamshell DK16
Used to heat press large flat items to transfer sublimation ink or other heat-transfer materials. Fabric or t-shirts must be over 60% polyester content and light-colored. Create custom shirts with your original designs for fashion, to commemorate special events, or celebrate a special occasion.
What is Sublimation?
A dye-sublimation printer prints a special ink onto a special type of paper. The ink (or dye) can then be heat-transferred onto polyester materials or materials with a polyester coating, called “sublimation blanks.” Through this process, you can create designs and heat-transfer them to t-shirts, mugs, bags, puzzles, and more.
Sublimating a Ceramic Mug
Sublimating a T-Shirt or Flat Object
*Samples outside of this list may not reflect the capabilities of the machine, design files needed, or materials approved for use in our space.
Machine use is free and time limited. Some materials available for purchase. If you are bringing your own materials, they must be compatible with the machine—see Approved Materials List.
Terms to Know
Substrate – surface or material upon which you are transferring sublimation ink
Sublimation Blanks – blank items specifically produced for the sublimation process
Bleed – design process that has color going beyond the area that the final item will take so that no white or undyed space is left after sublimating.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
Use of the heat press equipment is free. Sublimation paper (printing included) is available for purchase.
Does this machine require training?
Before you can use the sublimation printer or mug heat press, you must:
1. Have a MidPointe Library card.
2. Have completed and submitted an Innovation Pointe waiver. Waivers can be completed in the space during normal hours. Minors MUST have a parent or guardian sign in-person.
3. Complete the Heat Press Competency Badging by reviewing the assigned materials and demonstrating competency with an Innovation Pointe staff member. Competency Badging Curriculum for review can be obtained from an Innovation Pointe staff member. Must be 10 years or older.
How do I plan a successful project?
Think about the image that you want to use or create. Sublimation is dye process, not a heat-transfer, so the dye is being added to whatever color your sublimation item starts as—this is why most sublimation items are white. Dying a black or dark grey will not show the added color, and some colors mix from the original color with the added dye. Think about what you would like to sublimate and the size of the item you will be working with. If you are planning to sublimate onto a t-shirt, think about the placement under the heat press. Nothing can be put under the heat-presses that has a low melting temperature, including plastic buttons, decals, or “tagless tags” on t-shirts that are rubbery (100% polyester).
What materials can I use in the machine?
Materials used for sublimation must be made specifically for sublimation. Fabric or t-shirt material must be 60% or more polyester (without decals that could melt onto the press). Other flat items, or sublimation blanks must be purchased already able to be sublimated (with a polyester coating). All mug press items must be purchased from Innovation Pointe to ensure compatibility.
How long do I have to use the machine?
Patrons have 1 hour on the machine; for longer projects, patrons can reserve time.
How do I reserve the sublimation equipment?
To reserve equipment for a longer or more complicated project, you must schedule a consultation with staff. Once staff has approved the project, they will schedule your reservation.
Reservation times are: Wednesday 5:00-9:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, Sunday 1:00-5:00 PM.
Patrons are limited to one reservation per week.
What should I bring?
Design: A design that fits on our sublimation paper (11×17”, 8.5×11”, 4×9.5”), saved as a PDF file stored eitherin your email or on a USB Drive. You can also create a design on our computers at Innovation Pointe using Adobe Illustrator.
Materials: Sublimation blanks. Innovation Pointe will have limited stock of coasters, mugs, water bottles, travel mugs, puzzles, 4″x9.5″ paper, 8.5″x11″ paper and 11″x17″ paper available for sale. T-shirts or fabric material must be a minimum of 60% polyester and light in color (preferably white or off-white) in order to work correctly. Any non-fabric material you plan to sublimate onto must be created specifically for sublimation purposes (search “sublimation blanks). Patrons must bring with them receipts for any outside materials as proof of the material suitability.
What are the specifications of the machine? The sublimation printer is CYMK only—it does not print white.
Condé Systems’ Tori Blackmon shows how to image a variety of products using dye sublimation transfer. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0Z8GnGNKXLtsltFzxTZJZ70_YkqrEyhM