A photo printer that uses gaseous color dyes to create a continuous tone image that resembles a traditional photograph.
Despite the name, dye-sublimation (dye-sub) units work through a process of thermal diffusion. When the solid dyes embedded in the film are passed through the heated print head, the dyes vaporize and diffuse onto the paper before they return to solid form. In doing so, there are no dots to deal with and you'll sometimes hear dye-sub outputs as continuous-tone prints. Dye-sub printers are expensive and slow but produce outstanding results. As an upside, most dye-sub prints have a scratch-proof and water-proof surface protecting your photos.
A printing process used in some computer printers, whereby ink on sheets of ribbon material is heated and fused with the surface of a sheet of special dye-sublimation paper. Like printing presses, dye sublimation printers reproduce color by using varying combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Unlike printing presses, dye sublimation printers produce a CONTINUOUS-TONE image. Dye sublimation printers produce high quality but costly printouts.