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Sublimation VS UV Printing: Which is right for you?

Release Time:2024-06-05

Sublimation vs UV Printing: Which is Right for You?

Which is better, a sublimation printer or a UV printer? Which one is more suitable for me? I believe that as the early stage of business partners must have a lot of such confusion, please follow the AGP editorial article continue to look down it, I believe that by the end of this article will be able to solve your confusion!

1.What is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing mainly uses disperse dye ink for printing. Sublimation transfer printing is one of the simplest digital printing processes using the sublimation properties of disperse dyes to diffuse the ink into the interior of the fabric and color it after high temperature and high pressure.

2.What is UV Printing?

Ultraviolet rays are used to dry or cure ink during the printing process. It is ideal for printing on a variety of materials such as wood, metal, and glass. In addition, UV printing is ideal for industrial and outdoor applications because it lasts a long time and does not fade!

3.Differences between Sublimation Printing and UV Printing

·Differences in Printing Materials

Sublimation transfer printing is mainly used in textile industries such as pillows, swimsuits, bedding, curtains, sportswear, carpets and floor mats.
UV printing can cover almost any surface and material, but in addition to textiles, such as glass, metal, doors, wood, trophies, notepads, key chains, mobile phone cases, glass doors, desktop glass and other products.

· Color difference

Sublimation printing is the process of transferring ink from paper to fabric. It can print photo-realistic quality, but it is limited to light-colored substrates and cannot print white.

UV printers can print on any dark and light-colored substrates with excellent gloss and fine details.

4. Cost comparison

We know that cost is an important factor for you, so we want to help you make the decision that best suits your budget.

· UV printing cost: There are four main factors to consider in terms of cost, the price of the UV printer, the cost of UV printing consumables (ink and other consumables), energy cost and labor cost.

· Sublimation printing cost: Its starting cost may be slightly higher, and you need a sublimation printer, sublimation paper, sublimation ink, image processing software, cutter and heat press.


5. Impact of the two processes on the environment


UV printing does not produce any waste gas or waste water. The consumables required are UV inks, which are a relatively mature ink technology with almost zero pollutant emissions. Generally, no volatile solvents are added, so it is more environmentally friendly than other types of products.

Thermal sublimation transfer printing does not require post-processing such as evaporation and washing, which saves water resources and does not discharge sewage. Thermal sublimation ink does not affect human health, is not easy to burn, has stable ink properties, bright colors, and has little pollution to the environment. It is known as an environmentally friendly green ink.

6. The use and maintenance of the two printers are different

UV Printer

(1). Maintain the print head. The print head is the core component of the printer and requires special maintenance.

(2). Calibrate regularly. Calibrate the UV printer regularly to ensure printing accuracy and quality.

(3). Keep the equipment stable and place the UV printer on a stable ground to avoid vibration and collision.

Sublimation printer

(1). Keeping the equipment lubricated and the oil circuit unobstructed is an important maintenance direction for thermal transfer printers.

(2). The print head of a sublimation printer is a key part of print quality and needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it working properly.

(3). The fixed table of the sublimation printer that contacts the paper and ink also needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it in normal working condition.


7. Future market trends of the two processes

· Sublimation printing: The sublimation printing market is moving towards a fragmented market as market leaders rely on diversified product portfolios and product development to gain advantages. The number of local players is also increasing, making the market more competitive.

· UV printing: UV printing is a relatively promising industry with a relatively good future market and will definitely replace traditional printing in the near future. UV printers are often used in many different industries, including packaging, signage and industrial printing. They are extremely effective and adaptable printing solutions, and we are here to help you find the solution that best suits your needs!


8. Choose the right method based on your needs

·Material: If it is polyester fabric or polymer coated items, then sublimation is a better choice; if you are dealing with a wider range of materials, then you should choose UV printing.

·Quantity: Sublimation printing is better suited for smaller batches of realistic prints on items like sportswear and pillows, while UV printing is better suited for advertising projects because the UV process can print on almost any surface.

·Cost: You need to consider the initial investment for each method as well as the ongoing costs.

·Durability: Both methods provide long-lasting results, but sublimation printing is more expensive.



Both sublimation and UV printing have their own advantages. Your ultimate choice will depend on your specific business needs, the materials you use, and your budget. A deeper understanding of the advantages of each method will help you make an informed decision and ensure that you get the high-quality, durable prints you expect.

Contact Us:

If you have any questions or need further help choosing the right printing technology, please feel free to contact us. Our team will advise you on the options that best suit your business needs. Feel free to share your opinions and experiences in the comments below.

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