If you love to decorate or make t-shirts or you are merely looking for ways to show off your artwork, you must have considered purchasing a heat press machine. With a heat press machine, heat printing is possible on many surfaces, from shirts to mugs to different types of fabric. There are many different types of heat press machines that you can buy depending on your requirements. There are four major types of heat press machines available to purchase, and each of these models ranges in price and function although they are similar in design. If you are new to heat transfer machines, these are your options;
Clamshell Heat Press Machine
This is one of the most popular types of heat press machines available for sale and the shape of the machine is as its name implies. The clamshell machine can do heat printing on varying surfaces; you can use it to transfer your artwork to boxes, shirts, mugs and many other items. The machine also opens like a clam and its design is a little different from that of the other models. It comes with a hinge that separates the lower platen from the upper platen, and it opens and closes like a clamshell.
It does not deliver a high amount of pressure due to its design, so the machine is not suitable for heat printing on thicker fabric. There are two categories of the clamshell, the manual and automatic machines. When using the manual press, you have to open and close it by yourself. However, the machine is quite compact and portable so if you have a small storage space, it is the ideal heat transfer machine to buy, and a great advantage of this particular model is that it is affordable.
Swinger Heat Press Machine
The upper platen, the heating part, of the swing away machine swings away from the lower platen which is the surface where you place your fabric. Because of the swinging function, you can quickly move your material on the lower platen without getting hurt or burned which makes the machine safer to use. You can use this machine for a lot of items, both those with many substrates and thick fabric; this is the one advantage that it has over the clamshell machine. With the swinger heat press, you do not need to buy extra accessories such as a mug press or hat press; heat printing on any item with all the functions and features the machine possesses is an option. The swinger is popular for both private and commercial use, and it is easy to operate. However, the machine is quite large and will take up more storage space than the clamshell.
Draw Heat Printing Press Machine
The draw heat machine has some similarities to the swing away model, the difference being that the lower platen where you place your device swings towards the operator which makes it easy to place your item on the platen without sustaining injuries.
This particular model also has a movable work surface so one needs to be careful when placing items on it or the design will shift out of place before the heat transfer works.
Sublimation Heat Press Machine
The sublimation model is fast becoming one of the most popular models of heat press machines because it can easily transfer high-quality digital designs on to shirts. The way the machine works is that the coloring that is in the transfer paper does not stain your fabric when the surface of the transfer machine presses down.
This flaw is common with all the other models listed here except the sublimation machine, and this makes it one of the most useful heat transfer machines you can use to design when heat printing your items.
The machine also features a broad surface so that it becomes so much easier to print on large fabric and items like sweatshirts and sweatpants making the sublimation model the one with the widest variety of functions.
Transfering designs, especially graphic designs on material or garment is not the most straightforward task even when you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. It takes a lot of practice to get it right finally. If your product or material is not in good condition, chances are you will botch the transfer. For the heat transfer to work, the temperature must be correct, and you must apply the right amount of pressure to the material you want to press.
Some of the most common problems that you may encounter when you start to use the machine are;
Ink seeping through the garment
Discoloration of the material that you are pressing
Peeling of the design
You can solve these problems by; setting the right temperature for each material and ensuring you use the right temperature range for the fabric you are pressing. Applying the right amount of pressure on your heat press and reduce or increase as needed. Preheating the material to release moisture and wrinkles that can prevent adhesion and tighten the pressure so that the design sticks to the shirt or material.