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DD's DyeMax - Pondering, Pontificating, Guessing Wildly

This is going to be a ramble of sorts but there may prove to be some useful tidbits.

Started dyeing a while back. Always loved the different techniques and what not that you can use to create a sweet dye. Nothing beats being able to put a straight image one off on a disc though. I always thought it would be the final step in the journey of disc dyeing :) Being able to put anything on a disc would be sweet.

Dyeing is a long process when you start getting into multicolor stuff, and you still dont come close to photo quality.

Started talking to some friends that do screen printing, signs, shirts, etc...

Sublimation is a no go because of the heat. Tried it and really pooched a disc. :)

You cant achieve photo quality even with a multi-color screen print. Then you have thickness issues, abrasion resistance, etc.. to deal with.

Pad printing would work to a certain extent if you were using solvent inks. But still no where near photo quality.

Heat transfer could work could work I think if it were introduced in the molding process???

The key is DTG (direct to garment) or direct to substrate printing.

These printers will print on an item of varying thickness, and shape within reason. Though they are designed primarily to print shirts and textile based products. To do this they use pigment based inks that adhere to the fibers in textile based products. This will not work for plastic, and other materials that are synthetic or non-porous in nature.

The key is solvent inks in one of these setups. Solvent inks will adhere to glass, metal, plastic, just about any thing. Not all dtg printers will accept solvent inks though. Solvent inks are corrosive in nature and will clog print heads, and generally screw up your printer if its not made for it.

Many of these printers are dual compatible with both solvent and non solvent inks. Though the one detraction from many of these systems is their capability to lay down white ink. For some reason white ink is troublesome for these set ups. It can be done but it takes maintenance and alot more cost. You can work around that though if you start with a white disc, or just work your design/image knowing that you cant have white in it.

Long story short I know these printers are the key.We printed one in a tshirt printer and it looked money. But then promptly rubbed off. The only thing that limited me was the funds. The units are pretty pricey, the ink is insanely expensive($600+). Once you get the printer paid off they claim its under $1 a print.

Here are some links to check out and further your quest.

This is the cheapest one I ever found that was compatible with solvent inks. Still $2500 though.

Heres a crazy expensive one that you could crank out mad amounts of plastic with, and then if you were bored you could print on cookies as well!

Heres a couple youtube videos that might prove to be informative as well.
Start searching around and theres plenty of info on these printers if you look hard enough.

Have fun!
Peace and Love.
^ That's what I was saying about Sepiax ink. It's a water based resin ink, similar to solvent inks. Sepiax is a "direct-to-anything" ink. It's really durable and UV resistant. I'm almost positive it's this or a solvent-based ink.

I've screen printed on discs too...haha not good!
Sublimation like this is what most people are aware of, and it would be a no-go. But this video that I linked to in an earlier post shows sublimation transfer using Flexifilm onto a plastic iphone case. The machine operates at a much lower temperature than the "heat press" machines used in most print shops.

Of course, this video from the sidebar shows the same iphone case being run through an actual printer.

Until someone can convince Jeremy Rusco to spill the beans about the Dyemax secret method, it's still up for debate. But I don't think it's fair to say that newer, low-temperature sublimation methods should be ruled out.
Does anyone know how accurate sublimation printing is at color matching?

I guess DD has trouble matching the color blue...
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