IKONICS Enters Sublimation Market with SubTHAT! Products

Discover how the sandcarving company is branching out into this profitable market.

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IKONICS Corporation is expanding its imaging options with the launch of SubTHAT!, a patent-pending transfer film that allows customers to sublimate non-treated hard substrates such as acrylic, aluminum, glass, ceramic, stone, and wood.

“Dye-sublimation is an exciting new market for us and we are entering it with a unique patent-pending technology that gives the customer capabilities beyond what are currently available,” says IKONICS CEO Bill Ulland.

Released on October 10, SubTHAT! is a break-through sublimation transfer film that has been in development for approximately a year, according to IKONICS Imaging Marketing Manager Michael Sullivan. “Around a year ago, we started back-and-forth discussions with JDS and looked at needs within the sublimation industry,” he tells A&E magazine. “We began developing a heat transferable film for hard substrates that would be a no-mess transfer.”

As a sandcarving equipment and photoresist film manufacturer, Sullivan says the company’s decision to branch into the sublimation industry is an extension of its broader mission to offer customers different imaging options, in addition to the screen printing products it currently offers. “Sublimation is drawing upon another section of imaging. It seems like the perfect fit for our manufacturing (operation) to meet the customers’ needs,” he explains.

As a distributor of IKONICS photoresist films, JDS was the perfect fit to fulfill orders domestically, according to Sullivan. “When it comes to customer and technical service, it just made sense for us to work with them because they have an established sublimation team,” he notes, adding that demonstrations will be available at the JDS booth in future trade shows. “They go to trade shows and do sublimation demonstrations all the time, so it was really a perfect fit for us and our relationship that already existed (before SubTHAT! launched).”

As IKONICS enters the sublimation market, the company is always exploring new ideas to better serve its customers. “We’re excited to add another component of imaging to our company and definitely see that growth potential. There are a lot of sandcarving people that may not do sublimation and a number of sublimation people that may not have sandcarving machines. The same is true for screen printing. Each of these (applications) gives a different type of look and feel,” Sullivan says. “Our research and development department is always trying to jump ahead of the game and find out what people need before they come asking for it. We don’t have anything specific right now, but we’re always exploring a few different, new things within all of our divisions.”

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