Introduction to Thermal Transfer Printing.

Thermal transfer wide format printers are like giant wax transfer printer, a variant of desktop dye sublimation printers sold also by Kodak and Seiko Instruments. The Sprinter from Matan is such a printer. I would guess that the cost for the coloring is high and the printers themselves seem to be in the $150,000 range. But you can get a SummaChrome thermal transfer printer from Summa for under $20,000.

Thermal transfer should not be confused with thermal printheads such as Hewlett-Packard or Encad (Lexmark) thermal printheads.

Thermal transfer printers are rarely shown at trade shows. We don't see them often at sign shops either. Yet people ask about them, wondering whether such a large format thermal transfer printer would be good for their sign shop. Thus we are in the process of preparing reports on the various kinds of sign printers, for indoor use, solvent ink printers for outdoor use, and thermal transfer printers.

For additional information and for help making your decision, ask for the "FLAAR report on signs, posters, banners" (specify whether for indoor signs or outdoor signs in the rain and sun) or for the FLAAR report on "Piezo vs Thermal printheads, fact vs fiction, pros and cons of each kind of inkjet printhead."


Most recently updated August 02, 2001.