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Types of Heat Press Machines
It is important to know the basic types of machines based on their features and uses. The clamshell heat press and the swing-away heat press machines are the two basic types of heat press machines available today, even though there are several kinds of variations with different brands but they still operate on similar mechanisms. It is important to know the pros and cons of each before you make your final decision.
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The Clamshell Heat Press Machine
It is designed in similar shape to the shell of a clam. In this case, the top of the platen will open up before the application design and substrate are placed on the bottom platen and the top platen is closed. It offers a single-step heat press application and saves time. It is portable with a less operational workspace. It is also reliable and mostly recommended for beginners to start with.
It is very simple with no multi-step process; hence it saves time. Due to its vertical top platen design, the heat press machine will require much less space. Since the machine is portable, you can take it anywhere you want and use it to demonstrate or work on different crafts such as fabrics. It is ideal for producing a bulk of crafts within a smaller time frame.
It is not suitable for thicker fabrics like leather, metal, and mats. It can be quite dangerous when in use, hence you need to pay careful attention or get your hands burnt. It offers less precision when compared to the other type of heat press machine. It can create uneven pressure on thicker fabrics due to its closing action. It provides a limited layout view; hence you must be careful.
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The Swing-away Heat Press
This heat press machine is also known as swinger because the top heating platen simply swings from the lower platen to the sideways once it lifts away. With the sideway swinging action, you will get a full view of the lower area, hence you can rearrange the substrate and your design. The designing here will require a larger work surface but the machine offers more safety against the heated platen. This machine offers much greater precision and also distributes pressure evenly during operation.
It offers greater accuracy when compared to the clamshell option. The machine makes it easier to set up your substrate and design. There is even distribution of pressure over the platen. It allows a full view of the layout area. It is also great for printing on thicker fabrics, unlike clamshell heat press machines.
The multi-step process of this machine will require more time to complete. The swing-away mechanism will require much space. The machine can be quite complex to work with, especially for beginners. This heat press machine costs more than the clamshell machine. Last but not least,will give you more insight on how to use heat press machines more efficiently.