How To Print On Aluminum Sheet | The Easiest Way [2022]

how to print on aluminum sheet
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Do you want to print your designs and images on an aluminum sheet? If yes, Great Idea! This way, you can give your images a professional and eye-catching look.

Aluminum is an excellent metal and provides a level of stability and life span without being rusted. Even printing industries have been using aluminum as a primary material for printing wall frames.

But the question is how to print on aluminum sheet. Well, it’s not that easy. You have to be very careful when printing on aluminum sheets.

Little errors lead to poor results and can make you disappointed. But don’t worry, below I have outlined super simple and easy steps to print on aluminum.

Just read from start to end, and you’ll be printing on aluminum sheets like a PRO. Let’s get started!

Methods To Print On Aluminum Sheet

There are many methods to print on aluminum, like UV PrintingScreen PrintingDigital PrintingSublimation Printing, etc.

As you see, many methods exist to print on an aluminum sheet. But the technique I am using today is Sublimation Printing. So you might be thinking, what is sublimation printing?

Let’s briefly discuss what sublimation printing is and how it works. If you don’t want to read about sublimation printing, click here and jump directly to the step-by-step guide on printing on an aluminum sheet.

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing is a process that transfers prints on blanks using heat. It’s the most well-liked and widely used printing method.

According to Coastal Creative, “sublimation printing is much more durable and can produce high-resolution prints in any shape.”

How sublimation printing Works

The overall process of sublimation printing is very straightforward. Firstly, the image is printed by a sublimation printer on sublimation paper.

And then transferred to the blank using the Heat press, Cricut press, or Tumbler press.

However, some steps of sublimation printing are slightly different for different blanks, like sublimation on tumblers is different from sublimation on nylon.

How To Print On Aluminum Sheet: Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s get into the step-by-step guide on printing on an aluminum sheet. There are just seven steps.

So, carefully read and implement all the steps, and you’ll get the perfect result.

Required Things

To print on an aluminum sheet, you must have the following things in hand.

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1. Sublimation Printer

Firstly, you’ll need a sublimation printer to print on sublimation paper. Sublimation printers are printers filled with sublimation inks.

You can’t use a regular inkjet printer for sublimation. But you can convert an inkjet printer into a sublimation printer. Or you can buy a new sublimation printer.

These sublimation printers can be the perfect choice for beginners. And for sublimation inks, I recommend INKXPRO ink or Hippo ink.

2. Sublimation Paper

Secondly, you’ll need a sublimation paper on which the image will be printed. You cant use plain paper for sublimation.

Using plain paper gives the lowest result. So always use the best sublimation paper to get bright and vibrant results.

Although I recommend using a 120g sublimation paper.

3. Aluminum Sheet Blank

Thirdly, you’ll need an aluminum sheet blank. Many aluminum sheets are available on Amazon, Etsy, and other marketplaces.

You can get any of them.

4. Heat Resistant Tapes

After that, you’ll need heat-resistant tapes to fix the image with the blank. This avoids movements during sublimation.

Movements during sublimation basically create two copies and ruin the entire process. So always use heat tapes to avoid movements.

5. Heat Press

Lastly, you’ll need a Heat or Cricut press to transfer the image on the blank. Don’t forget the Teflon Sheets; you’ll also need them.

Step #1 [Removal Of Protective Layer]

First, take the aluminum sheet and carefully remove its protective layer. Make sure not to scratch the sheet while removing the coating.

removing protective layer from the aluminum
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Step #2 [Aluminum Sheet Cleaning]

Clean the aluminum sheet with alcohol. Alcohol removes the stickiness on the sheet. If you don’t have alcohol, you can also use body sprays or perfumes.

First, spray a little alcohol on the sheet, then wipe it down with tissue paper.

Note: Use light hands while cleaning the aluminum sheet.

cleaning aluminum sheet
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Step #3 [Fixing Image With Aluminum]

Align the aluminum and the image. First, place the image, then align the aluminum on it, and finally, fix them with heat tape.

Make sure you cover the entire aluminum above the image.

aligning aluminum sheet and image
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Step #4 [Heat Press Setup]

In step 4, turn on and prepare your heat press. Set the temperature of the heat press between 350 to 360 degrees.

preparing heat press
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Step #5 [Heat Press Arrrangements]

When the heat press is heated successfully, place the aluminum sheet on it. I recommend placing white paper at the base of the heat press to avoid image printing on it.

Then place the aluminum sheet above the white paper in such a way that the aluminum faces the bottom of the heat press.

arranging items on heat press
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Step #6 [Heat Pressing]

Place the Teflon sheet above the image and close the heat press. Let it sublimate for 60 to 65 seconds.

It is the property of aluminum that it transfers heat very quickly, so 60 seconds would be enough for this process.

leaving for sublimation on heat press
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Step #7 [Final Results]

When done completely, open the heat press and remove the Teflon sheet first. Don’t touch the aluminum sheet! Your fingertips might burn from the hotness of aluminum.

Instead, carefully transfer it to your table with a cloth or something. Take the image off the aluminum by removing the tapes. And you’re done. Congratulations!

printed aluminum sheet
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Let’s Make The Aluminum Sheet Hangable

If you want the printed aluminum sheet to hang on the walls of your room to decorate them, you can easily do it.

  • Take a piece of plastic or wood, some two-sided tape, and a small plastic or metal sheet with a small hole on the top.
  • Stick the two-sided tape on both sides of the wood.
  • Then paste the small holed sheet on one side of the wood and the printed aluminum sheet on either side.
  • Press them with hard hands.
  • And finally, hang it on the wall of your room.
making aluminum to hang
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Video Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you print on aluminum foil?

    Yes, you can print on aluminum foil. You only need a laser printer, aluminum foil, paper, and glue sticks. First, cut the aluminum sheet to the size of the paper, then stick them both with a glue stick. After that, put the glued foil and paper in the laser printer and print your image in the same way you print on regular paper. And you’re done.

  • How to print photos on aluminum?

    First, print the photos with a sublimation printer on sublimation paper. Then transfer it to aluminum by using a heat press, ensuring that the temperature of the heat press should be around 350 to 360 degrees and the pressure should be medium.

  • Are aluminum prints durable?

    Yes, aluminum prints are very durable and last for years. Aluminum is one of the finest metals that can last for a long time without being rusted.

Final Words

Phew! Now you have learned simple and easy steps to print on aluminum sheet. And I am pretty sure you have got the answer to the question, i.e., how to print on aluminum sheet.

Printing on aluminum sheets is one of the most popular options when it comes to professional and nice-looking printing. So, go ahead and create beautiful designs and patterns on aluminum sheets.

Just keep in mind all the steps, and you will get unexpected results. In case you find any problems or issues, comment down below. Or Tweet @printertip.

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About Shoaib Saqib

Hello there! It's Shoaib, the creator of PrinterTip. I am a printing expert and have worked in the printing business for more than five years. I have completed tens of thousands of printing tasks and have an extensive understanding of secrets. And I love writing about printing, mostly Sublimation Printing.

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