In this world of evolving technology, where new advancements are made every day, there are now more printing opportunities available than ever before! As new techniques are discovered and implemented, the array of possibilities grows for business owners or individuals printing for personal hobbies or events. The question is, however, what is the difference between inkjet printing and sublimation printing?

How an Inkjet Printer Works:

Inkjet printers create a picture composed of little dots of ink, so small that you can’t see them with magnification. This explains, however, why an image printed by an inkjet printer may look grainy if you look at it close-up. These dots can have different colors so that when you view them all together, it creates an image like the ones you see printed. Depending on the brand of printer you use, they may have different methods for getting the ink on the page, but the general idea remains the same throughout all companies. An average inkjet printer can print what is called 600 dpi, or dots per inch, which is quite a few dots in a small space, but it is doable since these dots are so incredibly small!

How Dye Sublimation Printing Works:

The word “sublimation” gives a hint as to how this process works, as it means to heat something up to turn it into a vapor, and then turn it back into a solid. This is what these printers are doing as they create an image on a page. The colored pigments that are in films within the printer are heated and released onto the page, where they then solidify again as they cool down. The pigments mix to create the perfect color necessary for the specific image being printed, which creates a very vibrant, true color.

What is the Quality Difference?

For photographs and high-resolution images, sublimation printing offers the best quality between the two, due to a couple factors. One of these factors is that the dye used in sublimation printing is mixed to get the exact right color, whereas in inkjet printing, the color is achieved by mixing different colored dots. The true color of the sublimation dye allows for a higher-quality colored image. Another factor is that the dots produced by inkjet printers allow for white gaps between the ink, and while this may not be visible to the naked eye, it does make a difference in the resolution of an image. A great benefit to sublimation printing is that its color is continuous, rather than broken up by white spaces like the inkjet printing is.

The type of printer you use will depend on what you need printed, what material you need it printed on, and other factors specific to your personal needs. If all you need a printer for is document printing, then an inkjet printer will serve you just fine. However, sublimation printing allows for such a wide variety in photographs and high-resolution images, so if you think it may be for you, consider using it for your next project!