Posted in Digital Printing Business

What Is A Heat Press Machine?

The heat press is a machine used to add designs to fabric. It is used by consumers, nonprofit organizations and businesses to make T-shirts and other projects. Information about how the heat press works, the different types and how to operate it is covered below.

  1. Significance

    • The heat press is a machine designed to imprint a design or graphic on fabric, such as T-shirts. It is done with the use of heat and pressure that is applied for a set period of time. The heat press can be used to put designs on coffee mugs, plates and other promotional products. There are both manual and automatic heat press machines. They are also called heat transfer machines. Digital models have opened up a new markets for putting designs on mouse pads, glass and ceramic tiles. Since 1960, they have been a big part of the fashion industry. Most heat presses have an aluminum upper heating element because this metal is a great conductor of heat. With digital technology and advancements, the heat press will continue to be an important tool to businesses in the future.

    Function

    • Most heat presses use a flat platen applied to the fabrics that the design will be placed on. This applies heat and pressure to the fabric when transferring the design or graphic. There is a clam shell design that opens just like a clamshell. It is popular with vendors because it simple to use and saves counter space. The swing away design model opens and swings away from the lower heating platen. The swing away style machine is popular with athletic groups that print numbers on fabric and businesses that make wooden plaques and ceramic tiles. There is a drawer style press that has a plate that is pulled out like a drawer in a dresser. When it is pulled out, it opens away from the heat so that you can prepare the graphic to be applied to the fabric. Many machines use an aluminum heating element with a heat rod or wire attached to this element. These machines are a big part of the garment industry.

    Types

    • Many businesses start out with a manual press machine and eventually switch to an air automatic model. The air machine is easier to use and provides the muscle to apply the pressure to the heat platen. It saves money on shift work as workers are less tired from doing these themselves and produces more merchandise for the business. Many large volume businesses use more than one machine. The automatic transfer shuttle press is a machine for high volume production. Garments can be continuously loaded onto the lower load platen to be pressed by the heat platen. While one garment is being pressed another can be loaded on this for an eight-hour period.

    Features

    • The clamshell model is usually smaller than the swing away heat press. The swing away model reduces the amount of steam that rises and hits the operator in the face. It also reduces the risks of his getting burned during operation, which is another plus. A heat press can have two types of control–analog or digital. The analog control is a knob that you turn to a certain position on the numbered grid. A digital control is considered to be more accurate and more expensive in price. With a manual guide, your main guide is touch. Some manual presses have a numbered guide to set this pressure. The air machine has a dial to set pressure on fabric.

    Size

    • The two sizes of heat elements for a heat press are 15 by 15 inches and 16 x 20 inches. This will depend on the specific manufacturer of the heating press. Knowing the size of your artwork or design helps in selecting the proper heating press for your work. Many stock transfers fit the 15 by 15 inch heat element. There are over-sized heat platens in 30 inch by 40 inch available for large textile and stock transfer work. They are often used in sign and tile businesses.

Source: What Is a Heat Press eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4678615_what-heat-press.html#ixzz1QTHVpM5n

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