Dye Sublimation FAQ’s

If you want to know more about Dye Sublimation Printing then take a look at the links below or the Frequently Asked Questions on this page. If you’ve got a question of your own then use the live chat or contact us.

All Dye Sub Photo Printers use a ribbon instead of an ink or toner cartridge. This ribbon contains three coloured panels (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) and a clear part of the ribbon which is used as a final coating. This final coating protects the image and depending upon print settings gives a matt, semi matt or gloss finish to the photo.

It’s this final coating which protects the image and is touch dry the moment the print leaves the printer. You can actually take a photo that has just been printed and wash it under the tap!

Do you need different media for Matt or Glossy Prints?

The media is the same for both Matt and Glossy prints. It’s a printer setting that dictates the finish on the print and not the media. Very old Dye Sub printers did have different media but that was a long time ago and all current printers today have one type of media.

How easy is it to change the media?

Changing Print Media in a Dye Sub Printer is quick, easy and a clean process without any mess. Take a look at this video on loading print media in a photo printer.

I have paper left over when the ribbon is empty.

This is normal. There is always slightly more paper provided than is needed. Just discard the unused paper and roll. Media should always be changed completely with the paper and ribbon being changed at the same time.

Do I need special paper to printer panorama photos?

No, the media used to print panoramic prints is the same media. The printer however must have the ability to print Panoramic prints.

How long can Dye Sub Media be stored?

Dye Sub Media doesn’t usually have an expiry date and as long as it is stored correctly would last many years and maybe even decades. We have personally used media that was 10+ years old without quality issues.

How should I store my media if I have changed print sizes?

Media is changed easily throughout printing, but best to keep unused media in the original box. Always store away from dust. Some newer printer support rollback technology which allows multiple print sizes (usually 8×6″ and 6×4″) to be printed for 6×8″ media. All without wastage. Even printer without this technology can usually still print 6×4″ photos from 6×8″or 6×9″ print media.

I’ve heard the ribbon can get torn. What should I do if this happens?

Very occassionaly when your printer is moved from a very cold area into a very warm area condensation will appear on the paper roll within your printer. If you attempt to print when the paper roll is damp the ribbon will tear and the printer will stop printing.

The solution is usually very simple, join the ribbon with a small piece of sellotape and wind some of the ribbon onto the take up spool. The take up spool is where the used ribbon is stored. You may lose a print or two but when the printer has acclimatised to the normal ambient temperature your printer will continue to work. Drying the paper roll may accelerate this process which usually takes 30-60 minutes.