Thursday, June 5, 2014

Heat Presses for Transfers--Swing Away or Clam Shell

One of the major factors impacting successful paper transfers is the type of heat press being used. There are two main types of heat press for garments transfers:  swing away and clam shell.

Clam Shell Not Recommended
We find that many of our users have already purchased clam shell heat presses and expect to be able to use them with garment transfer. The explanation for this is clam shell presses tend to be lower cost. Clam shell units also take up less space generally than swing away heat presses. How do clam shell presses work for transfers? We have found over the past few years that using clam shell presses for transfer applications is problematic and we do not recommend them. Our first question when a user is having transfer issues is, “what style of heat press are you using?” In many cases we can tie the issue back to the use of clam shell presses.

Swingaways Best for Transfers
Graphics One recommends swing away heat presses for doing heat transfers, especially for garment transfers.  This is especially important for use with the the GO UNO or the OKI 920WT or 711WT printers. The reason for this has to do with where and how the pressure is controlled, along with heat consistency. The swing aways generally use pressure from the center of the platen ensuring that a user has consistent pressure across the platen. In addition we find that swing aways, because of their price points, usually have better heat control and offer consistent heat not offered by clam shell presses.

Which Brand?
Graphics One offers the Metalnox EL600 listed at $1,595. There are other units as well from very reputable companies including Insta Graphics and Hotronix. Hotronix offers one of the best swingaways called the Air Fusion. This unit is highly recommended for doing transfers and is priced at $3,500 and above, depending on the configuration. 


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