Sublimation is simplifying the way printing works on hard materials. When it comes to materials like glass, sublimation is a technique that handles printing without any complication. If you have a sublimation printer with you, you may encounter a question – can you sublimation print on glass?
In this article, you will learn about its feasibility and we shall also take you through a step-by-step guide on how to sublimate in different types of glass materials.
Can you sublimation print on glass?
Sublimation printing on glass is feasible but needs expertise due to the fragility of the glass. Ensure you have the right glass material in hand and a design to print on it.
Sublimation on glass is not easy as it is done on fabrics or other materials, because glasses are fragile. As the sublimation printing process involves heat-press, more chances of the glass becoming broken due to heat or sometimes due to excess heating of glass the printing image quality may get affected. So, when we decide to sublimate over the glass, we must make sure we choose the best glass material which can withstand the heat.
Note. Usually, tempered glass is used, as it is hard and sturdy, compared to normal glass and can withstand more heat.
Sublimation over glass is mainly done for imprinting pictures on photo frames, mugs, etc but it can also be used to design the glass plates. Different machines are used for designing to avoid damage to the material as well as design.
TIP: To protect the glass from breakage, it is good to use a heat-resistant pad, that can protect the glass from overheating.
How to sublimate on glass?
Sublimation can be done over any size and shape of the glass. All we have to see is that the glass should be of good quality, and it must be resistant to heat.
We shall see the step-by-step procedure to sublimate over a glass sheet.
- Glass (tempered, preferably)
- Design in soft copy
- Sublimatin sheet
- Printer with sublimation capacity
Select the image
Select the image that you have to sublimate and with the help of photoshop software, align it to the correct size of the glass sheet on which you are going to print.
Note: The size of the image completely relies upon the printer’s idea as, the complete glass can be used for printing, or a small part of the glass can be used. There is no standard size for images.
Print the image over sublimate paper
Print the image over sublimate paper and check once with the glass sheet for size, before using a heat press.
Pasting image on glass
Make sure that the image is pasted over the glass.
For example: If you are going to print over mugs, the image must be pasted over the area where it has to be printed, and if you wish to print on a thin photo frame, the image must be pasted behind the glass so that it gets imprinted appropriately.
Set the temperature
Once this is done, we have to set the temperature and time in the heat press machine.
Note. Usually, the temperature will be 300 degrees F, and the timer will be set for 2 minutes.
Place the glass sheet
As the machine gets heated up, place the glass sheet upside down and adjust the pressure manually by closing it.
Printing is over
The heat press machine will alarm us with a sound, once the 2 mins are over.
Remove the glass
Slowly remove the printed glass, as it will be hot we would suggest you use a cloth or gloves while removing the glass.
Remove paper behind the glass
Once it cools down, remove the paper which is stuck behind the glass.
Once it is cleaned, you could witness the wonderful result of sublimated image over the glass sheet.
What is the ideal glass sublimation temperature?
The ideal temperature used for sublimating a glass is usually set between 200-300 degrees F. This range is preferred as glass objects break above 200 degrees F while tempered glass withstands heat up to 300 degrees F.
Setting the temperature in a heat press machine during the sublimation process is a very much important factor, as it is the only way your image gets printed over the glass properly. If the temperature is too high, they are more chances of the glass getting broken, or sometimes it melts and creates a fog by which the image won’t be printed appropriately.
Temperature setting also depends upon the quality of glass you use, when you sublimate over a good quality glass, that is when the glass is not fragile and heat resistant, the temperature can be set high compared to the poor quality glass. Temperature differs for different types of glass, and using the ideal temperature best-sublimated images are seen over the glass.
Can I sublimate on clear glass?
Sublimation on clear glass is feasible and a lot simpler, cost-effective, heat-resistant, sturdy, and transparent to get your output as planned.
Clear glass is sturdy and yeah sublimating a clear glass is easy compared to other types of glasses. This is mainly because of the clear glass texture. It is manufactured in a way that it is completely transparent, can be used for creative designs, and is mainly more resistant to heat when compared with other types of glasses.
If you are wondering how to sublimate on clear glass, here is a guide for you.
Set the base ready.
Clear the dust off the glass completely, and paste a white sheet on the area where the image has to be printed. (The white sheet is printed because, clear glass has a transparency nature and while sublimating, if we don’t use the white sheet, there are more chances that the image may get printed on another side also)
Stick the image.
Stick the image over the white sheet and make sure it is pasted completely.
Set temperature and timer.
By setting the appropriate time and temperature, that is 2 minutes and within 300 degrees F, the image gets sublimated over the glass.
Allow it to cool.
Once it cools down, the sublimated clear glass will be ready to use.
Tip: Always use heat gloves to remove the glass from the heat press, as it will be extremely hot.
Can you sublimate on glass tiles?
Sublimating on glass tile is simple and adds luxury to the home and you need minimum materials to get that done. Perhaps, it is also an excellent business opportunity to pursue.
Glass tiles are a wonderful option for replacing ceramic tiles. They are used for designing homes, business areas, etc. When we compare a glass tile with other glass types, it is sturdy and resists heat to the maximum limit. The process of sublimating a glass tile is similar to that of sublimating over the glass and here is how it is done.
- Blank glass tile
- Protective paper
- Heat press machine
Step 1: On a blank tile, align the image that has to be printed.
Step 2: Once the image is aligned, place the image upside down on the tile and paste it over the tile with tape.
Step 3: Use the protective paper to make sure that the image doesn’t get affected.
Step 4: Manually adjust the pressure on the heat pressing machine.
Step 5: Once it is ready, allow it to cool down, and using gloves after some time remove the tile.
Step 6: Sublimated glass tile is ready to use.
How to laminate and sublimate glass?
While sublimation is a boon to us, lamination adds a feather to its cap. Let’s get started to know how lamination and sublimation are done over the glass.
Select the image.
Select the image that is to be printed and make sure that this design is printed according to the shape of the glass.
Get laminate paper ready.
Place the image over the glass, and cut the laminate paper according to the size of the glass.
Place matte side of sheet on glass.
Lamination paper has two sides, glossy and matte side. Place the matte side of the lamination sheet and using the heat press, make sure it gets stuck over the glass.
Cut excess paper.
If there is any excess lamination paper, cut it out and place the image over the glass.
Manually adjust pressure.
Adjust the pressure manually by closing the heat press machine and setting the timer for 2 mins.
Allow the tile to cool.
Once it is done allow some time for it to cool down, and after it cools down laminated sublimated tile is ready to use.
Tip: For wonderful results, always use white opaque glass, as opaque glasses produce the best output.
Sublimating a glass is simple and cost-effective and it is feasible on clear glass. As the need advances, sublimation is becoming possible on glass tile and other kinds of glass substances with no hassle.
In fact, sublimating on a glass jar or a mug is considered a great business opportunity since it is quick, colorful, and lets you earn a fortune.