A Closer Look At CAD-PRINTZ®

Our industry is constantly evolving. This can be intimidating or it can be a blessing – it depends on how we wish to view it. As new products and decorating methods become available it behooves us to keep up with them because if we are not, we can be sure our competition is.

With this in mind, we’d like to talk about our CAD-PRINTZ® process. I know what you’re thinking though: CAD-PRINTZ aren’t exactly new. While it’s true that they’ve been around for a few years now, there are a surprising number of people who haven’t had a chance to play with these transfers and see what exactly they’re capable of! So… let’s talk CAD-PRINTZ!


Full color artwork is printed on to white or clear film. The artwork is then contour cut out of the film and prepared to be heat pressed on to a garment. This allows for full color artwork, with rich fading and shading, to be applied to any color garment at a very economic price (click here for square inch pricing or here for the price calculator). And they last the life of the garment, remaining bright and vibrant without any cracking or peeling.

CAD-PRINTZ™ digital transfer for stretchy material

Shown here is a CAD-PRINTZ digital transfer used to decorate a compression fit polyester material.

What is the difference between the different types of CAD-PRINTZ®?

There are 5 varieties of CAD-PRINTZ. Each substrate has its own purpose and special feature:

Opaque: Applies to nylon, spandex, leather, and other hard-to-apply fabrics. Stretches on compression wear. Okay on any color garment.

Express Print: Economic price point. Applies to polyester, cotton, and poly/cotton blends. Okay on any color garment. Does not stretch.

Sub Block: Prevents dye migration even on sublimated garments. Applies to nylon, polyester, cotton, and blends. Okay on any color garment. Does not stretch.

If you’re ever unclear on which type is best, ask a Dealer Services rep!

How are CAD-PRINTZ applied?

Each substrate has it’s own application instructions, which you’ll receive with your order. Opaque and Sub Block each involve a two step process where you’ll press the transfer once, peel off a carrier, and then cover it with a cover sheet (included with your order) and press it again. A common mistake is to forget the second step – if your CAD-PRINTZ is peeling off the garment after being pressed, it’s possible the second step was missed. The Express Print is a one step application.

If during the application process you need to raise the surface area or avoid any obstacles (ie: seams, buttons, collars, etc…) then the surface should be raised with something firm like a mouse pad, a book, or a firm piece of cardboard. You should never use a non-stick pillow when applying CAD-PRINTZ as it will absorb the pressure and cause the transfer to peel off the garment over time.

Express Prints photograph on a t-shirt

In addition to being one step application, Express Print transfers are also great for photographic artwork going on plain t-shirts!

Are there any tricks?

When pressing Opaque it is normal for the clear carrier to want to curl up during the first application step. The clear carrier is heat sensitive and if the Opaque is pressed at the correct time and temperature the carrier will curl up around the edges a little bit. If your carrier is curling up SO much that the print is wrinkling then your press may be running too hot or the heat isn’t set on the proper temperature.

If you’ve never had a chance to use CAD-PRINTZ digital and see it for yourself we encourage you to contact our Dealer Services reps for a sample today!