Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.


Dye-Sublimation Printer

What Does Dye-Sublimation Printer Mean?

A dye-sublimation printer is a printer that works by heating
ink and then depositing it on a surface. The term arises from the misconception
that the ink goes from solid to gas without going through a liquid phase, or
sublimation. Dye-sublimation printers are used for printing photos and designs
on solid objects.


Techopedia Explains Dye-Sublimation Printer

Dye-sublimation printers work by heating solid ink so that it can be deposited on a solid surface, such as plastic or ceramic. These printers are used for printing photos and ID cards, as well as for printing on things like coffee mugs and T-shirts.

Dye-sublimation printers use a special overcoating instead of black with the other standard ink colors, so dye-sublimation uses the CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow, overcoating) system, though some printers do use black ink. The inks are deposited on the surface one color at a time. Dye-sublimation printers produce continuous tones compared with inkjet printers where the tones can vary with dithering. This makes reproducing photos on dye-sublimation printers much more accurate than with inkjet printers.


Related Terms