Who said that you have to keep plain acrylic pieces in your house? With a heat press machine present on your premises, all you need is to broaden your imagination and create captivating designs on the surface of acrylic pieces, as they can be heat-pressed.
Due to being a form of plastic, printing acrylics on a heat press requires a careful procedure. If the guidelines aren’t followed properly, there is a high probability that you will only be disappointed with the results.
So, if you want to keep your heat-press as well as your acrylics safe from getting damaged, carefully read and follow every bit of information shared below.
Can You Heat Press Acrylic?
Yes, you can heat press acrylics, but only if the following requirements are met. Whether you heat-press acrylic apparel or acrylic cups, the following conditions apply to all acrylic objects.
Covering With Parchment Paper
It is critical for you to cover the acrylic from both sides with parchment paper. The presence of parchment paper will create a barrier between the platens of the heat press, and the surface of acrylics. This will keep the acrylics from getting damaged and sticking to the platens of the heat press. In addition to that, it is crucial that you only use parchment paper and not any other variation, such as Teflon paper.
Pressing For A Short Time
Another condition that plays a major role in deciding whether you can successfully heat press acrylic or not is the time settings. You need to make sure that you do not set the time on your heat-press higher than 5 to 6 seconds. As stated above, acrylic is a form of plastic, so it has a chance of melting if exposed to heat for a longer period of time. Therefore, whether you are heat pressing acrylic cups, or acrylic plates, you only press them in your machine for a maximum of 5 seconds. If you press your acrylics for a longer period of time, then you may damage the piece as well as the platens of your heat-press.
As acrylic comes bearing the risk of melting, you need to make sure not to set a temperature too high on your heat-press machine. Normally, for other materials, the temperature of the heat press can be set upto 450°F, but not for acrylics. Acrylics are sensitive to high temperatures, so you need to make sure not to set the temperature of your heat press higher than 300°F. If acrylic is heat-pressed at a higher temperature, the only thing that will come out of the heat-press will be a melted piece. Even if you are heat-pressing acrylic apparel, the temperature and the time need to be set according to the sensitive nature of the material.
Using HTV Stickers
When you are heat-pressing acrylic, only use HTV stickers or heat transfer vinyl stickers. These stickers get transferred to the surface of acrylic even at a considerably lower temperature. Despite being pressed for a shorter time, and at a lower temperature, the result is always amazing. Therefore, HTV stickers should be used for acrylic. Any other type of sticker will require a higher time, which will only damage the acrylic.
Despite common opinion, acrylic can be heat pressed. The material looks beautiful when it emerges from a heat press. However, the result is only stunning, if acrylic is heat-pressed under a few conditions. If the requirements are not met, then you will not be able to successfully heat press acrylic. The article above contains all the factors that determine whether you can heat press acrylic successfully or not.