For digital ceramic transfer printing on a laser printer we recommend using a lightweight waterslide decal paper as this helps with the fusing of the ceramic toners to the decal paper. Ceramic toners are not as easy to fuse as standard toners and it's important to run the printer on a thick paper setting and if necessary increase the fusing temperature. A lightweight decal paper such as our Unical155 with its specially formulated toner receptive gum coating will assist with the fusing process.
Waterslide decal papers for digital ceramic printing can be quite expensive but if you purchase your ceramic toners from us we'll give you the decal paper for free. (Offer applies for the whole of 2019 and subject to review thereafter)
After printing your ceramic transfers you will need to apply a lacquer coating over the ceramic toners in order to fix the toners in place and to act as a carrier for the transfer. These over print lacquers have traditionally been applied by a screen printing process and this is probably the best method for getting reliable flawless firing results. However if you don't have access to a screen print facility then the next best option is to laminate this lacquer layer.
Our founder Robert Smith successfully applied for a patent (GB9820352D0) for this method of producing digital ceramic transfers using a laminated lacquer layer. Over the years since our lamination products have been refined to get the best possible results from the process. On offer are both fluxed and clear versions of a covercoat laminate in both A3 and A4 sizes. If you're not familiar with the term 'fluxed' this merely refers to the fact that the covercoat contains a 'glaze like' material which will give a glossier finish to the transfer after firing. It does however leave a visible outline around the cut edge of the ceramic decal. Most of our clients prefer the 'clear' version when applying ceramic decals to china or porcelain but for ceramic tiles which are decorated to the edge the fluxed version is more often chosen.
FotoCeramic is a supplier of digital ceramic printers and digital ceramic systems for printing custom ceramic transfers or decals using a laser printer and special ceramic toners.
The ceramic digital printing system uses a standard colour digital printer. Printers such as the Ricoh SP C440 and the larger Ricoh SP C840 printer can be used for this purpose.
To be suitable for digital ceramic printing the laser printer must be toner based and use a two component technology.
This means that it must have a separate developer unit containing the toner and a carrier.
To convert the digital printer for printing custom ceramic transfers the colour developer units containing the carrier must be emptied of the original developer and replaced with a ceramic developer containing ceramic toner and the metal carrier. The developer units can be easily removed from the printer.
They are then taken apart to separate the photosensitive drum from the developer unit.
The developer unit is opened and the original developer is removed. Usually a toner vacuum cleaner is used here to remove the last remnants of the original developer. The new ceramic developer containing ceramic toner is then added to the unit, which is then reassembled and put back in the printer. Each developer unit should be removed in turn and the carrier replaced with a new carrier containing ceramic toner. FotoCeramic is supplier of the ceramic developers in which the carrier and ceramic toner have been mixed in the correct proportions for the digital printer.