There are a number of printing options available when considering printing on to different materials.
Sublimation printing is a common print process used to print on materials such as mugs, fridge notes, mouse mats, flags and phone cases. Sublimation ink converts from a solid to a gas without becoming a liquid with the use of heat and pressure.
When printing on ceramics, metals and cloth the items have to have a sublimation coating on them for the process to work. If printing on to 100% polyester such as a mouse pad or puzzle, no sublimation coating is needed.
UV Printing is another printing option that is still considered as one of the newer printing options available.
There is very little difference between the printing process for UV printing and conventional printing other than the inks and the drying process associated with those inks. However, the benefits of UV over conventional printers are plentiful.
Conventional printing uses solvent inks that often need additional spray powders to help with the drying process. Colours can become diluted and less bright as they are absorbed into the paper and can take a lot longer to dry. They are unable to print on materials such as plastic, acrylics or foil.
When using a UV printer the ink dries through a photomechanical process. The inks are exposed to ultra-violet lights as they are printed. This process turns the ink from a liquid to a solid with minimal evaporation of solvents and practically no absorption of the ink into the paper stock. Because of this process a UV printer enables you to print practically anything using UV inks.