Guide to Aluminum Sublimation in 2022

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Sublimation businesses are growing day by day, and many beginners looking to start a business are going towards sublimation printing. A big reason behind it is the vast and diverse application of this form of printing. You can do sublimation on fabric, wood, glass, canvas, etc. One of the most popular is the Aluminum Sublimation.

Aluminum blanks are an excellent surface for the sublimation of images or prints. They are pretty popular among people for their clean, sharp, and beautiful appearance. You can set up an Aluminum sublimation business that can be pretty profitable. Aluminum sublimation’s basic setup and process are entirely similar to canvas or wood sublimation.

This article has discussed the process and equipment you will need for professional-level aluminum sublimation in detail. So let’s jump into the details.

What You Need For Aluminum Sublimation:

Just like every printing process, you require specific equipment. For sublimation, most of the equipment is the same for every process. The main difference is usually seen in the surface on which the sublimation occurs. For Aluminum sublimation, you will need the following items:

Sublimation Printer: 

The most obvious equipment is the sublimation printer. A good quality sublimation printing means good quality results. Some printers are purely made for sublimation, such as Sawgrass printers. Others need to undergo conversion before they can be used for sublimation printing, such as Epson printers that are more suited for beginners. Go through a guide and know your needs and goals to get the best sublimation printer.

Sublimation Paper & Ink:

Just like a special printer is needed for sublimation printing, you also need special paper and ink for sublimation printing. Several brands are in the market with excellent quality sublimation ink and paper. Essential equipment for sublimation on any surface.

Aluminum Blanks:

This is sublimation-specific equipment. As we discuss aluminum sublimation, you need aluminum blanks, also known as aluminum photo blanks. Remember to purchase aluminum blanks that are sublimation ready as normal cannot be sublimated due to the absence of a certain polyester coating or covering.

Heat Press Machine:

Heat pressing is the primary method that leads to the transfer of prints onto the surface. For heat pressing, you need a good heat press machine. You can also go for an easy press as it is more portable. Try to buy a heat press that can be adjusted for all settings, such as the temperature, pressure, and timer.

Support Accessories:

These items make the process easier and result in more efficient working and better results. This includes silicone or protective sheets, heat-resistant tape, gloves, etc.

Process & Working Of Aluminum Sublimation:

With our knowledge of basic equipment is complete regarding aluminum sublimation, let’s discuss the process or the working of aluminum sublimation.

Setting Up the print:

The first thing is adjusting the image that you are looking to print. Adjust the image size according to the space you have with your aluminum blank. This can be easy if you know the paper size that is most suited in terms of size with the aluminum blank you have. Create and edit your image in whatever you like with editing software.

Getting your blank ready:

Now we move to our aluminum blank. The first goal is to remove any extra covering or coating present on the blank. You can use an alcohol paper to remove any residue or invisible marking on the blank. Check the sides and see which one is the printable side.

Putting the surface & print together:

You now print your image onto the sublimation paper with your blank ready. Take the print and put it together with blank. Put the image side onto the printable side of the aluminum and use heat-resistant tape to stick them together. The tape will keep them in place.

Pressing the image:

After putting the surface and print together:

  1. Move onto your heat press machine.
  2. Set the machine to around 380-400 Fahrenheit and the time to 60 to 65 seconds with medium pressure.
  3. Take a protective sheet of paper such as butcher paper or silicone sheet, and put them on both sides of the blanks when you put it in the heat press.

The sheets prevent the heat from damaging the print paper or the blank.


An aluminum blank can be sublimated with prints or images with clean and beautiful results. Just remember to use aluminum blanks that are ready to be sublimated.

Usually, most people sublimate it for around 60 to 70 seconds, but if you want to be extra sure with the transfer of ink, then you press them for up to 90 to 120 seconds.

Yes, you can sublimate on metal surfaces such as aluminum, but you need to be sure that the surface has some form of polyester coating. Without the coating, there is no proper surface for the transfer of the ink. Use metals that have a polyester coating.

In sublimation printing, we use heat to transfer ink into the surface instead of on it. As the molecules turn into a gaseous state, they properly merge with the surface, making the results or prints permanent on the surface with no breaks.

The sublimation business is one of the most popular startup businesses right now. Many people are seeing the potential sublimation printing has in the form of business. Sublimated t-shirts, frames, metal blanks, ceramics, etc., are trendy among people. Its wide application is what makes it excellent work for business.

The quality of your printer heavily influences your final prints or images, but that is not all. Sublimation ink and sublimation paper also play a significant role in supporting the printer’s performance.

Final Words:

Whether it’s aluminum sublimation or any other form of sublimation printing, you will surely see why it is such a fantastic platform for business. Aluminum is undoubtedly a metal that is suited to sublimation printing. The ready-made blanks can easily be sublimated. You will see the beautiful results you can get with sublimation printing on aluminum. This beauty and sharpness attract the audience and make sublimation printing such an appealing business model.

Invest in this with confidence that it will lead to a successful small-scale business. It is an easy printing method, and beginners can quickly adapt. With more and more practice, you will master the art. With full hope that this article ends up helping you, we will conclude this.

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