Telescope Cap

While it’s not the awe inspiring magical piece one usually sees in this forum, it was made on my Glowforge. I needed a end cap for my telescope to keep dust, dew and critters out while I waited for the clouds to part. I cut 3 rings of oak plywood that were just snug enough and glued them in a stack. The last piece was clear acrylic, which I sublimated the image onto and glued to stack. Now I can stargaze “To Infinity And Beyond”.

49 Likes

That looks really nice! Did you engrave and then paint the acrylic? Or was that image printed and pasted separately under the acrylic? (I don’t understand when you say you “sublimated” the image.)

3 Likes

It’s a process where the color is transferred from the printer to the material by a carrier, like transfer film for vinyl, but with ink/dye vs. a physical material. Kind of “print your own heat transfer decals”…

2 Likes

No engraving. Sublimation printing is a heat transfer of ink. When the proper temperature and pressure is reached, the ink gases out and is permanently bonded to the substrate. Usually it is white polyester, but I have been playing around with acrylic. This particular print was done on the back side of clear and then paint with white (there is not white inks).
I have an engrave in the machine now that I am going to attempt to sublimate with a solid mahogany color. It is of one of my Neapolitan Mastiffs. I’ll post a picture if it come out.

6 Likes

That is really cool. I will have to do some research into that process, it looks very useful!

So how much does a dye sublimation printer cost? I’m gonna go broke buying toys…

6 Likes

Just like a regular printer, how much do you want to spend.

You need a mechanism to apply the prints to your material, which can cost far more than the printer. Or less, if you have simple needs (like T-shirts…)

1 Like

The great thing about sublimation printing is that virtually any Epson inkjet can be used. You just use sublimation ink. I won’t get into it on this thread as it’s not a Glowforge topic. But feel free to message me and I will share everything I know (not much btw :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

5 Likes

I did not know that.

Damn… Rabbit-hole looming…

(A friend and I did a little sublimation printing many years ago, but it required a special printer.)

5 Likes

Get a Sawgrass400 or 500 to start learning and you will soon be upgrading to bigger and better machines.

1 Like

I use an Epson 7620 and 7710. They are higher resolution, larger paper size, cheaper ink and less expensive printers than the Sawgrass (Ricoh) printers. Do not use HP printers, they won’t work!!!

@djfb

2 Likes

Thanks. Are you planning to print directly to media? How do you feed it to the printer?

You print onto special paper with special ink.


The image is then transferred to your desired media through heat and pressure. For flat objects I use a t-shirt press
For mugs and cups,
it takes a mug press

6 Likes

Sublimation is super easy to get into these days. Epson printer, ink, paper and a heat press can be had for around $200 or less of you snag a sale.

3 Likes

Ok, I thought I was wrong. Pretty cool.

1 Like

The light at the end of that rabbit hole is a train…

3 Likes

And you would know this, how? Inquiring minds want to know! :crazy_face:

1 Like

Great setup you have there thanks for the inspiration.

2 Likes

for me it was the Orange Blossom Special, that Orange Blossom Special
Rollin’ down the seaboard line

2 Likes