Dye sublimation printing has always been chosen for its high-quality photographic images. This process uses thermal heat to transfer different amount of colorized dye pigments from a film or carrier ribbon to a printing surface where the dyes are attached through chemical bonding.
Placed inside the printer is a rolled transparent film which has a repeating pattern of yellow, magenta, cyan, black, and white panels. These panels contain dyes that are sensitive to thermal energy in relation to the basic colors utilized in subtractive printing.
The combination of varying amounts of dyes allows for the creation of any color in the spectrum. All the way from white (absence of any dye transfer) to black (complete transfer of all three dyes).
The thermal printing process also makes use of the clear and black panels but in a slightly different way known as “mass transfer”. In this method, a plastic resin is transferred (rather than a dye) when the right temperatures are reached on the carrier ribbon. The black resin is used for applying barcodes and text on the colored image whereas the white (or clear) panel is used to apply a protective coat over the printed images.
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