As dye-sublimation printers utilise heat to transfer the dye onto the print media, the printing speed is limited by the speed at which the elements on the thermal head can change temperature. Heating the elements is easy, as a strong electric current can raise the temperature of an element very quickly. However, cooling the elements down, when changing from a darker to a lighter color, is harder and usually involves having a fan/heatsink assembly attached to the print head. The use of multiple heads can also speed up this process, since one head can cool down while the another is printing. Although print times vary among different dye-sublimation printers, a typical cheap home-use dye-sub printer can print a 6" x 4" photo in 45 – 90 seconds. More heavy-duty printers can print much faster; for example, a Shinko CHC-S-2145 dye-sublimation printer can print a 6" x 4" photo in as little as 6.8 seconds. In all cases, the finished print is completely dry once it emerges from the printer.
Read more about this topic: Dye-sublimation Printer