In recent years, heat presses have become a popular tool for sign makers, especially those who specialize in custom work like we do at FASTSIGNS® of Louisville, KY. Let's take a closer look at heat presses and how we use them in sign making.
What is a Heat Press?
A heat press uses high temperatures and pressure to transfer images or designs onto a substrate (material). The most common substrates used with heat presses are fabrics, like t-shirts, but we also use them on materials like wood, metal, glass, and ceramic.
What Parts Make up a Heat Press?
A heat press typically has three main parts: the upper platen, the lower platen, and the control panel. A platen is a flat metal plate where heat is generated. The upper platen is where the substrate is placed and then heated using steam or dry heat. The lower platen is what presses the substrate to apply pressure. And finally, the control panel allows you to set the temperature and pressure settings along with the timer.
How Does a Heat Press Work?
Most heat presses use steam or dry heat to transfer text, images, and designs onto a substrate. Steam-heated presses use water to create steam. This steam is then circulated through the press to heat the upper platen. Conversely, dry-heat presses use electric coils or infrared lamps to heat the upper platen.
Once the upper platen is heated, pressure is applied to transfer the image or design onto the substrate. The amount of pressure applied will vary depending on the substrate being used. For example, thinner substrates like t-shirts require less pressure than thicker substrates like wood.
What Types of Signs and Graphics are Made with a Heat Press?
One of the most popular uses for heat presses is t-shirt printing. T-shirts are a great substrate for heat presses because they are relatively thin and easy to work with. Plus, there are endless design possibilities when it comes to t-shirt printing.
Another very popular use for a heat press is in making banners. Banners are typically made from vinyl, which is a notoriously difficult substrate to work with. However, heat presses make it much easier to transfer images and designs onto vinyl.
Another common use for heat presses is for making custom mugs and glasses. Mugs and glasses are made from thicker glass or ceramic material and heat presses can apply images to them for customization.
Heat presses are also used to make wood signs. A heat press easily transfers images or designs onto wood substrates.
At FASTSIGNS® of Louisville, KY, we specialize in custom sign making. We use the latest technology, including heat presses, to make high-quality signs for our clients. If you need a custom sign, give us a call today! You can also stop by our location on Fern Valley Road next to Kentucky Auto Body Supplies.