The Art Of Sublimation - How The Surfer Gets Its Image

The Art Of Sublimation - How The Surfer Gets Its Image

Published by Elev8 Presents on 8/20/2019

The

art of vaporizing gets Elev8ed when the art of sublimation is introduced.  Sublimation will not enhance your vaping experience, but it will enhance your home, and in a since it will also enhance your vaping experience as you will have a work of art sitting right in front of you.

For over 10 years now 7th Floor has been making the sublimated series of Surfers they call the Wave Rider Series (WRS).  Before this process they would laser engrave the housing, but with the introduction of sublimation a million new designs are possible with an array of colors not available in laser engraving.  

What is the sublimation process?

Sublimation -  Is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase, without passing through the intermediate liquid phase.

Step 1-

The first part for us is to make sure we have tubes that have been powder coated for our sublimation process.  This is a very in depth process that only a hand full of powder coaters are able to preform.  

The first step is to clean the housing in an acid to make sure they are very very clean and no contaminants are on the aluminum when the powder coating process is started.  

Next the tubes are hung on a rack and electrically charged +.  The powder is then sprayed onto the tubes with the powder having a - charge so that powder sticks to the tubing.  Once the tubes are coated with white they are baked at over 400 degrees.  

The tubes are taken out of the super large oven and are then wet sanded to make sure they are extra smooth for a mirror like finish.  After the wet sanding they are washed again, hung, charged and sprayed with a special clear sublimation powder that will allow the ink to penetrate it once it heats up a second time during the sublimation process.  The tubes are again baked, carefully taken down, inspected and wrapped in tissue paper to protect them until we are ready to sublimate them with the art.

Step 2-

Getting the art is one of the most important things in the process.  If the art is bad, the print will be bad.  We provide a PSD template that anyone can work on if they have a copy of Photoshop.  The higher the resolution the better the image will come out.  We recommend a minimum of 300dpi as our printer can print up to 600dpi creating a very crisp image.  

Chris Getting The Artwork Ready

When you decide to get a WRS you can pick from a large array of Silver or Super Surfer WRS units featuring some really amazing art, or you can get your own Silver or Super made just for you.

Step 3-

Printing the art is performed once the artwork has been approved.  To print the art we use a special sublimation printer that uses special sublimation ink, that prints on special sublimation paper.  Combined the printer, ink and paper allow the sublimation process to happen with the special powder coating.  The art is thoroughly looked over for any imperfection, once approved on to the next process.

Chris Carefully Putting The Sublimation Paper On The Tube

Step 4-

Wrapping and baking the tubes is a learned process that took us nearly 100 units to finally figure out the perfect process.  The printed paper is wrapped around the tube using special heat tape and proper alignment.  

The tubes are then put in a convection oven at a specific temperature and specific time that is a trade secret to Elev8 and 7th Floor.  Once the tube and art reach the specific temperature and time the magic happens.  It happens fast too!  If we leave the paper on for 30 seconds too long, the tube is ruined, if we take it off too soon, the tube is ruined.  Good thing we have this figured out!!

Step 5-

After the tube has cooled the unit will go onto the production floor to be built.  Each unit is masterfully crafted in the Colorado Springs warehouse.  If you are in COS and want a WRS please feel free to place the order and schedule 

a time to come see it built for you.  No other vape company puts the love into their vapes like 7th Floor and Elev8.



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