Customization these days has become an art, and people are selling their art in several different ways. Moreover, people are making vast amounts of money through this dynamic art. Besides, there is exponential growth in sublimation businesses. It is due to the unique ways of customizing t-shirts, mugs, keychains, beanies, caps, and others.
Can you sublimate on acrylic? yes, you can If you are a DIY person or want to start your sublimation business, this guide will tell you several ways to sublimate on acrylic.
Sublimation On Acrylic
However, sublimation printing is an excellent method to print on various surfaces. Also, you can obtain breathtaking results through the entire process. You might wonder if you can sublimate on acrylic? Of Course, you can! When you sublimate on acrylic, you get creative results. You create multiple decoration pieces with this kind of printing as it gives sharp results.
However, sublimation on acrylic is the most cost-efficient method to print your designs. On the contrary, it is undoubtedly a profitable business.
You will be excited to read more about sublimation in acrylics below.
Can You Sublimate On Acrylic?
Before going ahead with the methods to sublimate acrylics, you must know some basic knowledge about acrylics. Let’s have a look below
What Is Acrylic?
Acrylic is a solid plastic that is transparent that is an excellent base for sublimation. The acrylic is known best for being transparent and truly clear. The best thing about acrylic sheets is that they are weather resistant. Interestingly, acrylic contains a high amount of polymers. The sublimation process usually requires extra coats of polymers. Still, when the process takes place on acrylics, there is no such need because the acrylics already have increased amounts of polymers. This decreases the overall cost of the entire process.
Types Of Acrylics
There are two forms of acrylics:
- Extruded acrylic
- Cast acrylic
Cast acrylic is majorly utilized for the sublimation procedure. The reason behind its use is its thermal performance is way better than extruded acrylic. Moreover, cast acrylic has an increased melting point and is highly heat resistant. Due to this reason, it is perfectly suitable for the heat transfer process in dye sublimation.
Materials required to sublimate on acrylic:
Following are the materials that are necessary before you start with sublimation printing on acrylics:
- Glass substrate
- Printed transfer
- Opaque white spray
- Heat tape
- Sublimation printer
- Teflon sheet
- Heat press machine
Ways To Sublimate On Acrylics
The art of sublimation has gained a lot of popularity these days, and people are more into sublimation printing since then.
Furthermore, there are a few processes through which one can sublimate on acrylic:
- First of all, you need to select a particular design that you need to print on the acrylic sheet. However, if you choose a geometrical shape with a symmetrical design, it would become easier for you to measure
- Now know the measurements of the design you have selected. You need an acrylic sheet bigger than the size of your designs so that the design is incorporated easily. An acrylic sheet smaller than the design would not ensure the desired results
- Make sure to use a good quality sublimation paper larger in size. Moreover, before you print the actual design, centralize the design on the sheet, so it becomes easier for you to substrate later
- If you place your prints over a commonly used fireplace, be mindful that the temperature may influence your artwork to look older more rapidly.
- Then the next thing you carefully need to do after taking the print is, pre-warm your acrylic sheet. You need to apply heat to the back of the acrylic sheet. This additional process is done so that it becomes easier to reshape during the heat transfer process.
- Now, make sure to substrate the heat transfer paper along with fixing it. However, you need to reinforce it on the acrylic block. Besides, be sure to place the printed size paper facing downwards. You will also require a heat-resistant tape so that heat transfer paper get fixed
- Now take the heat transfer paper and place the Teflon sheet on it. Increase the temperature of the heat transfer machine to 200 degrees celsius. Now put the heat transfer on the acrylics substrate for approximately 100 seconds. You now need to apply some pressure on the sublimation coating, so it easily incorporates the acrylic
- Now take off the heat resistant tape. To make your design even more prominent, apply an opaque white spray on the side where you have got your design printed.
- Cover the block’s edge with the help of a tape
- Identify the printable side and apply the translucent coating on both the printable sides
- Now set your oven at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes and cure the translucent coated side
- Now sublimate on the acrylic as discussed above in method 1.
Ways To Sublimate On Curved Acrylic
If you are on the verge of creating curved images, acrylics are the best base that helps you do so. Acrylics have to soften properties that help to form the best-curved images.
However, to form curved images, you need to use thin acrylic pieces. After these pieces are pressed, they become softer and malleable to convert into curved shapes easily.
Let’s see how you can sublimate the curved acrylic:
Step 1: When the acrylic is flat, tape its edges, it is because when you will do so with curved pieces, it will give you a tough time.
Step 2: Before starting the sublimation process, use translucent spray and apply it to the printable side.
Step3: When you are done with the application of the spray, now you need to cure your print by placing it in the oven at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Now ensure the application of printed transfer and fix it with the help of a tape. Now put on a heat press temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit for 100 seconds.
Step 5: After completing the heat press process, instantly remove the paper and place it in shape former, so it obtains the desired shape. Ensure you do so before it cools down; otherwise, you will not get the desired shape. Make sure to use hand gloves to ensure safety.
Step 6: Now cover the lid of the shape and hold it upside down. Now put some weight above it and weight for 15 seconds.
Step 7: Your print is complete. You can now remove the setup since the print is cooled down and hardened to remove.
My Final Thoughts
If you have no idea how can you sublimate on acrylic? or how to sublimate the acrylic? this article must be a great deal of information for you. Furthermore, the article revolves around the two most straightforward methods to sublimate acrylic. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, a business owner, or a DIY expert, you now have a better idea of doing sublimation printing on acrylics.
However, it is a wonderful opportunity for people who have this art and can easily sell their acrylic sublimation products. You can quickly get acrylic sheets in different sizes and thicknesses.
So give your project a unique look through sublimation on acrylic. It makes your project worth it. However, you can not only achieve a unique design, but it is one of the most cost-effective ways of creating a design.