Dye-sublimation printing (or dye-sub printing) is a term that covers several distinct digital computer printing techniques that involve using heat to transfer dye onto a substrate.
The sublimation name was first applied because the dye was thought to make the transition between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage. This understanding of the process was later shown to be incorrect, as there is some liquefication of the dye. Since then, the proper name for the process has become known as dye diffusion, though this technically correct term has not supplanted the original name.
Historically, "dye sublimation" referred to page printers that use a thermal printhead to transfer dye from a ribbon directly onto the print media via sublimation. While it originally was used in creating prepress proofs, today this technology survives in ID card printers and dedicated photo printers, often under the name dye diffusion thermal transfer (D2T2).
The term was later also app