Some Detailings about Dye-Sublimation Printers
The advent of digital photography led to the entry of this technology into the mainstream, forming the basis of many of the standalone, portable photo printers that surfaced in the second half of the 1990s.
The printing process employed by true dye-sublimation printers differs from that of inkjets. Instead of spraying tiny jets of ink onto a page as inkjet printers do, dye-sublimation printers apply a dye from a plastic film.
A three-pass system (featuring solid dyes in tape form on either a ribbon or a roll) layers cyan, magenta, yellow, and black dyes on top of one another. The print head on a dye-sub printer uses tiny heaters to vapourise the dye, which permeates the glossy surface of the paper. A clear coat is added to protect the print against ultraviolet light. Although this method is capable of producing excellent results, it is far from economical. Even if a particular image does not need any one of the pigments, that ribbon segment is still consumed. This is the reason it is common for dye-sub printer compatible paper packs to contain a transfer film capable of producing the same number of prints. In addition, dye sublimation inks need a paper that allows the ink to remain on the surface of the paper.
Nowadays, a number of inkjet printers on the market are capable of deploying dye-sublimation techniques. The cartridges in such printers spray the ink, covering the page one strip at a time. The print head heats the inks to form a gas, controlled by a heating element that reaches temperatures of up to 500° C (higher than the average dye sublimation printer). A big difference in the results with dye-sublimation technique is that because the dyes are applied to the paper in gas form, they do not form distinct dots with a hard edge like inkjet printers. Instead, the edges are softer and blend into each other easily. Additionally, the infusion of the gaseous dye into the paper yields a more colour-fast picture.
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