Key points of sublimation heat press
In addition to delivering heat, the upper platen also produces pressure on the substrate. It’s critical that the platen is flat, even and constructed of quality materials so that it doesn’t “give” during the pressing process.
Inconsistent or uneven pressure will affect sublimation quality, leading to color imbalance, imperfect details and possible ghosting.
Lower-quality heat presses tend to be made with less-substantial materials to save on cost. For most other applications, pressure is not a major factor, so an uneven platen will have little, if any, effect. But it is a critical aspect of high-quality sublimation.
When choosing a heat press for sublimation, focus on the size, shape and thickness of what you want to produce. Size obviously is a major factor, since the heat press must be large enough to completely cover the area being decorated. Curved items, such as mugs, require a different pressing methodology than flat items, and thick substrates require different solutions than thin ones.