The Ultimate Buying Guide: Mug Press Machines

Approximately 235 million cups of tea and coffee are drunk in the UK every day. That’s a whole lotta mugs! And that doesn’t include the creamy hot chocolates, healthy green teas or mocha-frappe-soy-latte-chinos. Whatever you drink, we’ve all got a favourite mug for our cuppa and the chances are it was decorated using a mug press machine.

Making customised mugs may look like a simple process, but even if you already own a mug pressing machine, you’ll know there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to putting photos on to a mug… First things first, how does a mug press work?

Well, the internal heating elements produce high temperatures and the pressure components provide the firm force needed to transfer the ink onto the surface of the mug. All of our PixMax mug printing machines use these features, but in different ways, so you can decide what’s best for your printing business.



Making a printed mug in the 11oz Mug Heat Press

The PixMax 11oz Mug Press is our most popular heat press for 11oz mugs. Pressing one mug at a time this simple but sturdy unit holds the mug on its side, whilst the large pressure handle pushes the heating pads against the mug. You can then change the time and temperature on the right hand control panel for precise settings up to 999 seconds and 430ºF.

Despite the fact that this quality machine will only transfer one mug at a time, you can also swap and change these with our various mug attachments which come in 5oz, 7oz, 12oz and 17oz sizes; so you’ve got the freedom to press all kinds of mugs and cups. Overall it’s a compact machine at 31.5cm wide and 28cm deep, so it won’t take up much room in your office, studio or home.

This mug press is great for making printed mugs in a small business or as a part-time hobby, so if you’re looking to produce a lot of mugs fast then this probably isn’t the one for you - but have no fear our other mug pressing machines may be exactly what you’re looking for.



Multiple personalised mugs with the 5 in 1 Multi-Mug Press

Our 5 in 1 Multi-Mug Press is a relatively new addition to the PixMax family. With 5 separate mug presses built into one unit, it can print way more than our standard mug press. Each 11oz press has individual temperature controls up to 400ºF and adjustable pressure handles so you have complete control over how each design will transfer onto the mug.

It works on a similar level to the PixMax 11oz Mug Press, using a handle to push the hot 11oz mug element onto the mug, applying the pressure and heat needed for most types of transfer. Both mug presses are really popular with mug printing businesses because they give you total control over the pressure, too much pressure can damage the heating element and not enough pressure will make your design blurry or faded.

This multi-functioning mug press can help you power through all those customer orders, perfect for making novelty and promotional mugs on a daily basis. It’s a great upgrade model, so if you've already got a single mug press and you want to be able to do more mugs then this is the mug printing machine for you!

Although it might seem like a bit of an investment compared to the single mug press, there’s plenty of up sides; mugs can be made faster, happy customers will have their mugs on time and you’ll make a tidy profit.



Get the 3D Sublimation Machine for endless mug pressing

This next machine is a game changer.

The PixMax 3D Sublimation Machine is the ultimate combo heat pressing machine, capable of printing onto all sorts; including plates, phone cases and mugs. Just by looking it at you’ll notice it doesn't have any pressure handles, that’s because the silicone and secret internal vacuum creates all the pressure you will need.

Each mug needs to be secured inside one of the silicone mug clamps giving it the firm and even pressure that your design needs to transfer onto the mug, before sitting in the base of the machine which can hold up to 12 x 11oz mugs. Then the upper and lower heating elements inside the machine provide the temperature which can be set on the front facing LED control panel. Four of these mug clamps are kindly included with this machine and we also sell extras if you want to press 12 mugs at once.

Our 3D Sublimation Machine really is all singing, all dancing and perfect for large businesses who want to use sublimation transfers to print a lot of photo mugs on a daily basis. It is quite a large machine, maybe not so great if you’re only pressing a few mugs a day at home or in an office, but you will have the option of pressing onto other items too.



But what on earth is sublimation?

If you’re a first timer you might be wondering what this sublimation malarkey is all about. Most of our PixMax products are geared towards dye sublimation printing, because we've found that it’s the best way of transferring any design onto an item, be it a photograph, drawing, logo or piece of text.

Other printing methods such as heat transfer paper and garment vinyl are both fab alternatives to sublimation printing, especially when it comes to clothing - but they will simply sit on top of the material like the numbers on the back of football shirts and will crack when stretched. Neither are any good for mugs or plates though, only sublimation inks will sink into the fibres of the material to give a smooth finish that can be washed and used every day.

Sublimation inks come in the same colours as your normal printer inks (CMYK) so there’s no real limits as to what you can do, the only wee problem is that your product must have a polymer coating, be made from polyester or have a high polyester percentage in a poly-cotton mix.

Get to know the process a bit more before you start printing with our handy guide to sublimation.



Accessories and consumables

At MonsterShop we stock loads of consumables for sublimation mug printing, including blank mugs with a polymer coating and sublimation paper. These accessories are vital for making awesome designs and long lasting sublimation prints, so if you’re gonna go for it get some consumables and start printing right away - head over to our sublimation accessories page and get all the gear you need.