Sublimating a tumbler or a shirt is quite common and almost everyone in the sublimation printing field knows how to do that. But sublimation on plastic cups is something that not many people know. Very few people know the right way to do this and I personally have searched on the internet but sadly didn’t find any guide or step-by-step guide on which I can say “oh man that’s just awesome”.
So let me fix this and tell you the perfect way of sublimation on plastic cups and all the info I will provide will be based on my personal experience. Let’s first talk about the accessories needed for that.
Accessories Required For Sublimation On Plastic Cups
Here is the list of accessories needed for sublimation on plastic. You can find all these on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or any other store.
- Sublimation Printer – For printing the image that you wanna sublimate.
- Sublimation Ink – it is one of the most important accessories that make sure to use good quality ink from a well-known brand.
- Plastic Cup – Use good quality plastic cups and if possible then use thicker ones. They will give much better results.
- Heat Transfer Machine For Cups(mug press) – Specifically needed to transfer the printed image on the cup.
- Sublimation Paper – That is needed to transfer the image from the printer to the paper and then the plastic cup. I recommend using sublimation paper rather than heat transfer paper.
- Heat Gloves – These are required to hold the plastic cup when they are heat pressed. Because heat pressing plastic cups will be very hot and it’s difficult to hold them with a bare hand.
- A Round Piece Of Anything and a Tape – This is needed to be put inside a plastic cup while heat pressing it so that due to heat it won’t change and lose its shape. And a tape is required for taping the edges of the paper with the cup.
Step By Step Guide To Sublimating The Plastic Cups
Step No.1: Step one is to print the image on the sublimation paper using the sublimation printer. But before that make sure to add the sublimation ink to the printer and just for a reminder make sure to use good quality sublimation ink from a well-known brand. Also, adjust the size of the image on the paper according to the dimensions of the cup.
Step No.2: Cut off the extra paper and put the image on the plastic cup and tape the edges of the paper using heat resisting tape. And put the round-shaped piece in the plastic cut so that it won’t lose its shape while heat transferring.
Step No.3: Once the printed paper is tied with the plastic cup with the help of tape. Put the cup into the heat transfer machine for 60 seconds at 320 temperature. And before that preheat the heat press machine at 280-300 temperature for a few seconds.
Step No.4: Once the heat pressing is done, using heat gloves hold the cup and remove the pieces of tape and paper from the cup. Let the cup cool down to room temperature and boom! Here you have your own sublimated plastic cup ready just in a few steps.
Tips On Sublimating The Plastic Cups
- Never sublimate on a plastic cup with a high temperature or more than the required temperature. It can lead the cup into melting.
- Always use high-quality plastic cups. You can get one from Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, or any other retailer.
- Recommended place to buy a plastic cup for the sublimation is dyetrans. Check on their website and you will find many options there.
- Always use the heat gloves to hold the cup after heat pressing and transferring the image is done. The reason is that at that time the cup would be very hot, and using heat gloves is the only solution to hold that cup at that time.
Sublimation on plastic cups is doable and really a fun process once you have the right accessories and procedure to follow. You can use these sublimated cups to gift your loved ones, use them as a festival theme such as Easter or Christmas, print the cartoony images on them to make your kids happy, and do a lot more with them.