Donek Snowboards Topsheet Dye Sublimation

Donek Snowboards Topsheet Dye Sublimation

HI I’m Sean Martin President and Founder
of Donek Snowboards. Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about how we print the
graphics that go on top of the boards that we build. We use a process called digital
dye sublimation this process involves digitally printing our artwork on paper and then laying
that paper in contact with our plastic substrate our top sheet applying heat and pressure and
that heat and pressure transfers the ink that’s on the paper into the plastic. We use an inkjet
printer to print our graphic onto a piece of paper like this and the paper we use is
a special type of paper designed specifically for dye sublimation this paper holds the ink
on the surface as opposed to absorbing it so that when we heat the ink out it actually
comes off and goes into the material the ink is a sublimation ink now what is sublimation?
Sublimation is something that we all learned about in high school in science class but
probably forgot about its actually a process by which a material goes directly form a solid
to a gas it does not exist in a liquid state the material you’re probably most familiar
with that sublimates is dry ice. Okay I’m gonna give you a little demonstration of what
happens to the inks when we heat them out. So this is a piece of paper with some of our
dye sub ink printed on got a heat gun here I’m just gonna heat it up and what you’re
gonna see happen is the ink is going to disappear and unfortunately there’s a little too much
of a breeze generated by this gun to be able to see the color gases coming off the paper
but you’ll definitely see them go away you know I’ll zoom in on this but I’m gonna
move it around a little bit this thing gets pretty hot and it kind of hurt my thumbs and
you’ll have to excuse that but we’ll go ahead and give this a shot.
(Sounds) Okay so you can see that most of the color
has disappeared from this piece of paper the yellow and red seems to go away fast the blue
stripe here in the middle tends to go black I’m not sure why but the blue goes away
and it leaves behind a little black stripe and almost all the black has disappeared as
well and really what’s happening when we’ve got that material right against our piece
of plastic spread it against that piece of plastic instead of just going off into the
air its going directly into the plastic and the pores of the plastic allow it to penetrate
and the ink becomes a permanent part of the plastic once it cools and it actually goes
very deep into the plastic so when you scratch the top sheet you don’t remove the graphic
you just put a little scratch into its surface. Okay so what I have is here is a one of our
computer set ups that prints the artwork for us and I’ve generated a little sample piece
of artwork to print for you and basically it contains stuff that you might put in a
custom piece of artwork if you wanted to design your own artwork. Or we might do it as well
basically it’s got some photographic elements and vector elements or illustrated elements
essentially I’ve got a photo of my family and one of the top sheets that we already
print so I’m gonna go ahead and hit print here let’s see gotta make sure a couple
things are set right and I believe everything’s good so that’s gonna start coming out of
this print right here next to me and we’ll go ahead and transfer that in a little bit
and you can see what it looks like see the entire process at least on a smaller scale
how it works. Okay so that’s finished printing will go ahead and cut it off the printer here.
Okay so there’s the artwork and I’m gonna go ahead and transfer that next and you can
see how it all works. Okay so got my clam shell press their all heated up to about 350
degrees we’ve got our sample graphic print right here. And I’ve got a piece of top
sheet material about the size of the sample graphic what I’m gonna do is lay it on top
of my artwork just to position it make sure there’s no dust on it and IM gonna set it
inside our clam shell press here. Close that up, leave it closed for about sixty seconds
the reason I’m doing this on a small scale is that the process that we use for transferring
full size snowboards top sheets utilizes the exact same principals but it is proprietary
and we don’t want our competition seeing exactly what we’re doing there so this is
basically exactly what we’re gonna go or very similar to what we’re gonna do out
there the piece of equipment that we use is something we designed and we don’t want
everybody else to know about it so basically what’s going on right now is that ink is
essentially evaporating or sublimating off of the surface of the paper and penetrating
the pores of that plastic and dying it so let’s see we got about ten more seconds
here and then we can pull this thing out and you’ll be able to see what it looks like
there’s sixty seconds right there now pull off the paper you can see theirs no ink left
on it its almost all gone, and this stuff is gonna be real hot so we’ll see what I
can do here. Alright yup a little too hot for me to handle, let’s do this. So, that
artwork is transferred into the top sheet once its cooled we can laminate it onto the
top of a snowboard if we want to and we’ve got our graphic. Hopefully you found this
video informative as far as how we do things. If you’re interested in designing your own
custom artwork hopefully it’s shown you what is possible and thanks for watching.

Antonio Breitenberg

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9 thoughts on “Donek Snowboards Topsheet Dye Sublimation

  1. PAYBACK118 says:

    Very informative. Thank you.

  2. saul vol says:

    Very informative.What kind of printer do you use for sub printing? thanks

  3. Juho Lehtoranta says:

    what is that topsheet material?

    And thanks for a very good video i hope that i can now build my own snowboard

  4. Chris Ellem says:

    hi, what temp is your gun set at in the test.. my sublimation ink didnt move at 130 degrees celcius..thanks

  5. xiaofei zhang says:

    what kind of printer are you using?

  6. Camila Saavedra says:

    Hi Sean!
    Thank you for this video, it was interesting and helpful!
    I do production for a clothing brand called The Elder Statesman and we dabble with Sublimation ourselves. I would love to custom make my own snowboard graphic and provide you guys with artwork. Would that be a possibility?

    Please let me know [email protected]


  7. benzito says:

    "We don't want our competition seeing exactly what we're doing there. So, this is basically exactly what we are gonna do…" Hahaha

  8. сноуборд says:

    Shawn! hi! how much will it cost snowboard width 30.5 cm length 160cm, knapton twin

  9. IClausius says:

    I heard something about graphics shrinking when applied to snowboards in this way, but it doesn't seem like that happened at all in the family pic example.

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