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3M Enters the Dye-Sub Market

(November 2003) posted on Thu Nov 06, 2003

Featuring STC E-Stat Toners, L&P Fabrics


Despite years of market forecasts showing electrostatic technology on the decline, many early adopters have continued to use their e-stat printers for dye-sublimation work. 3M, which pioneered the use of e-stat printers for wide-format color graphics in the early 1990s, has spent the past year developing a dye-sublimation solution for the Scotchprint ? Printer 2000, incorporating toners from Specialty Toner Corp. and fabrics from Leggett & Platt Digital Technologies.

"The Scotchprint Printer 2000 has proven itself a dynamic dye-sublimation solution," says Paul Acito, global sales and marketing director for 3M Commercial Graphics Division. "That kind of production speed and incredible image quality weren't possible before. It makes the Scotchprint Printer 2000 an excellent dye sublimation solution for current machine owners, textile printers, and others."
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As part of its entry into the dye-sublimation market, 3M has secured exclusive rights to distribute Leggett & Platt's VirtuPrint fabrics to the large-format graphics industry. Seven fabrics are currently offered in the line, including knits, woven, and non-woven materials in a variety of weights and finishes. All of the fabrics are receptive to electrostatic image transfer, and graphics produced on them using 3M's printer and toners pass NFPA 701 Test2 flammability requirements.

Beyond the soft signage market, 3M has worked extensively with Specialty Toner Corp. to develop dye-sub imaging onto fabrics, metal, wood, ceramics, and more. "Dye sublimation is for real, and we expect to be serious players in the global market," adds Alex Cirillo, vice-president of 3M Commercial Graphics. (3M Commercial Graphics: www.scotchprintgraphics.com)


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