How To Tackle Multiple Sublimation Tumblers For Production
Have you ever had to customize a batch of sublimation tumblers with a single mug press? While that’s definitely possible to accomplish with such a setup, production can start to look cumbersome when that batch is at the larger amount, or when you’re under a tight deadline.
Now what if you could customize several tumblers at once? As a solid alternative to sublimation oven wraps, HPN’s SubliCraft line now includes sublimation shrink wraps ready for some of the most popular blanks like can coolers and skinny tumblers. By using the 4.9" x 9.8" shrink wrap for tumblers, it’s possible to use a number of these with your tumblers to cook through a sublimation-exclusive convection oven setup.
Other than having a sublimation printer with paper around to print your transfers, the key items to have when using SubliCraft shrink wraps are 11 to 20 ounce sublimation tumblers, a heat gun to shrink the wraps, and a decently sized convection oven specifically for sublimation. As we always advise, it’s best to use an oven exclusively for sublimation due to the gaseous nature of the application process. In terms of the best oven for sublimation tumblers, anything ranging from countertop to wall sizes will suffice as long as they can reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
For demonstration, we’ll be sublimating 4 tumblers through a small single-shelf oven. But by using a 2-shelf or larger oven, you can easily cook more shrink wrapped tumblers and stay within the set amount of time. Now let’s assume that you’ve already prepared and printed your designs to go on your tumblers. It’ll just be a matter of preheating your oven to the proper settings, then trimming and attaching the transfers to each of your tumblers.
But before attaching your transfers to tumblers, this is a good time to preheat your oven to about 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on our testing with our oven, 356 degrees is a good base for SubliCraft’s stainless steel tumblers.
As your oven heats up, you can start tightly wrapping and taping your transfers onto each of your tumblers. And with all the tumblers prepared, you may insert them into one SubliCraft shrink wrap, which will then be secured by heating them up with a heat gun until the wrap fully shrinks.
Be sure to always wear heat resistant gloves, like HPN’s Pro Grade Protective Gloves, when handling actively hot items. After this, you’ll need to slide your wrapped tumblers inside another shrink wrap and heat gun them again for extra protection against oven rack burns.
With your tumblers now double wrapped, you may load them inside your oven to cook for at least 6 minutes. As we’ve noted before with sublimation oven projects, your settings will vary depending on multiple factors related to your oven. For instance, you may need to lower your temperature if you start to see the shrink wraps peeling too soon while cooking them. To be sure your items can be sublimated cleanly, it’s best to complete a test run of them first to determine what settings adjustments need to be made before locking them in.
As soon as your oven reaches time, take your tumblers out with heat resistant gloves and allow them to cool down for 30 to 50 seconds. You can also take them elsewhere to completely cool down if you prefer to peel them without gloves.
Once your tumblers have cooled down, you may peel the wraps and transfers out of each of them and they are now sublimated with your design from top to bottom. Due to how SubliCraft shrink wraps work, you can see that the transfers have been cleanly applied onto the surface of the tumblers without any noticeable outgassing or ghosting. These wraps have been designed to give users a peace of mind that their transfers are tightly applied onto the blank item, without any loose space present. We should also note that much of this process will also apply to sublimation can coolers, as long as you use the 7.5" x 5.1" shrink wraps instead. And by taking advantage of both a tumbler press and this sublimation oven setup, your efficiency in completing a larger scale production of tumblers only increases, allowing you to complete them sooner than later.
If you’re interested in sharing your custom sublimation tumblers with us, alongside an emerging community of heat transfer enthusiasts, be sure to check out our HeatPressNation Creators Facebook group at heat.press/FBgroup. But to learn more about SubliCraft shrink wraps and other tools and supplies, please visit us at HeatPressNation.com. For any questions, you can contact a MyExpert representative at support.heatpressnation.com.