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George Knight DC16

Heat presses are machines that use heat and pressure to apply graphics, and are a great solution for printing on tiles. This tutorial gives some tips to get you started with heat pressing on tiles on many types of heat presses, including Geo Knight presses.

Because tiles are solid and flat, printing on tiles requires a press that applies even pressure when closing. Swing-away presses like the DC16, DK20S and DK25S from George Knight are great heat presses for printing on tiles.

Ideal settings vary with specific materials. It is important to find a tile that is suitable for heat transfer. Porcelain, ceramic, and glass are commonly used for heat pressing. Be sure your tile can withstand the temperature required for a heat transfer.

A special type of paper called "heat transfer paper" is often used as the medium for transferring an image to your tile. To use transfer paper, the next step would be to get the image you'd like onto the transfer paper. Typically, you'll need to reverse the image (make it mirror image) using image-editing software so the image prints properly on the tile. Check to see what kind of printer ink is best for the material you are printing on and your transfer paper. Once you have the image printed onto transfer paper, trim the paper to fit the tile (a utility knife or scissors should do the trick).

Turn your heat press on, and set it to the proper heat and pressure settings. Be sure to wear heat protective gloves when touching the tile and press once it heats up. Ideal settings vary with specific materials and inks, so be sure to check with your heat press and ink manufacturers to determine how hot to set your heat press, and how long to press the tile. Once the press has heated up, we recommend putting a padding material such as Nomex felt on the bottom platen, and placing your tile on top of the padding. Then, position your artwork as you'd like it to appear on the tile. Be sure the side with the ink is in direct contact with the tile. Often, it is also recommended to place a layer of protective paper on top of the transfer paper.

Now you're ready to go ahead and press to transfer the artwork onto your tile! When your tile has been in the press for the proper amount of time, open the press, remove your tile (don't forget the protective gloves), and set aside to cool. Follow any instructions specific to your transfer paper when removing the transfer sheet.

Visit our Learn page for more information on heat pressing, or feel free to Contact Us with any questions or requests for special projects. We would be pleased to provide a solution.

Learn more about the DC16, DK20S, and DK25S from George Knight.

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