Dye sublimation printing is one of the highest quality printing methods available today. You can essentially print images or text with this method on a variety of objects; from paper, fabrics, plastic, metal, ceramic, etc. It is extremely versatile yet highly effective on any medium.
This process requires heat to essentially transfer all the dye required in an image onto the paper or whatever object you choose. In terms of computer printing, dye sublimation printers will apply heat to the ink so that it starts to vaporize. This dye will print onto the paper, basically reaching the entire surface of the paper to create the image. This allows the image to look completely consistent and full-colored.
The use of heat to infuse the entire surface of the paper is why most photo printers utilize this dye sublimation method. When you want to print a photograph, you want to make it look as realistic as possible. Dye sublimation allows for every single pixel of the image to be printed, and will produce a quality akin to that of film photographs.
Dye sublimation printers do take some time to print one image. This is because it prints every image in several layers while simultaneously heating the ink. It might be a nuisance, but this process is essential to producing the highest quality print. Most of these printers will have four or more different base colors that will print in layers until the desired colors are achieved. This is a necessary step to creating a vibrant and realistic image. After the image is printed, the printer will also place a laminate layer over the color so that the entire image stays intact from various ways of damage.
If you’d like to see just how high the quality of dye sublimated photos are, compare an image printed with this method to one printed with an inkjet printer. You will notice the considerable quality difference between these two popular printing methods.