Dye Sublimation Vs. Inkjet Printers
Depending on your needs, you can use an inkjet printer or a dye sublimation model to print your own photos and other graphical materials for your business. A dye sublimation printer focuses on graphics, whereas an inkjet printer can also print correspondence, spreadsheets, and other standard text documents. While the image quality of the best inkjet printers is comparable to that of dye sublimation printers, the latter produces more natural-looking shades and colour mixes.
An inkjet printer prints by spraying microscopic droplets of liquid ink from the cartridge’s nozzles. The droplets hit the paper, dry, and form tiny dots of black, cyan, magenta, and yellow colour as a mechanism moves the cartridge back and forth across the page. By precisely controlling where the dots land, the printer can produce a wide range of colours. A dye sublimation printer operates by heating a special ribbon that contains solid inks. Without first liquefying, the ink sublimates, or turns into a gas. The process coats the paper with varying amounts of three primary colours and a clear coating. The gas condenses on the page, producing full-color images. The clear coat prevents smudging of the ink.
Dye sublimation printers, like traditional chemical photographs, produce images with a continuous range of colours. The inkjet printer, like a computer monitor, uses primary colour dots; if you magnify the image, you can see the primary colours, but the colours physically blend with dye sublimation. However, the best examples of each technology produce visually appealing results, so the choice is based on personal preference and factors other than image quality.
An inkjet printer only uses as much ink as is required to create an image or printed page; any leftover ink from one print batch will be used on subsequent ones. In terms of ink efficiency, the dye sublimation process is less efficient: the printer transfers only a portion of each of the ribbon’s three primary colour panels to the page. Some ink will invariably remain on the panel and will not be reused.
Specially coated paper, cards, or other media are required for dye sublimation printers. Dye sublimation printers produce novelty items such as printed T-shirts and coffee mugs in addition to postcards and photo prints. Inkjet printers can print on copier paper, envelopes, labels, and other common office supplies. For photo printing, inkjet printers accept specialty paper with matte or glossy finishes.
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