They also can be used to preshrink fabrics before printing or even to fully cure sample prints or small press runs in a pinch. Having the right flash cure unit can help your shop run efficiently and help you to meet your customers’ needs.

While you might know the value of good flash cure unit, you might not know how to choose the flash cure unit that’s right for your shop. Flash cure units can vary widely in price. There are flash cures for different types of presses, with different heat sources, in different sizes and heat intensity, and with different features. You will need to weigh all these factors as you choose a flash cure unit.

Manual or Automatic?

Most flash cure units are designed to work either with manual presses or with automatic presses. Some, however, will work with both. The flash cure units designed for use with manual presses are usually on wheeled stands that roll up to be used under a print head. Flash cure units designed for automatic presses often are designed to attach to a print station, while others are designed to print in between color stations so they don’t occupy a print head.

Types of Heat Sources

How to Choose a Flash Cure That 01


Anatol manufactures a wide variety of flash cures, with both infrared (left)
and quartz (right) heating elements for virtually any curing need.

The heat output from a flash cure comes either from ceramic infrared panels or quartz tubes. Infrared flash units, long the industry standard, tend to be cheaper. However, they take longer to heat up and, as a result, consume more energy. Quartz flash cures, on the other hand, come to temperature rapidly and can save your shop energy because they don’t require preheating and can be shut off between press runs.

Heat Intensity

Flash cure units vary in their heating capabilities. A simple infrared flash cure unit might only be 1,500 watts, while the most expensive quartz units might put off 8,000 watts. The benefit of a more intense flash cure unit is they require a shorter flash time, which can speed up your production.


Flash cure units come in several standard sizes, and you will want one that will accommodate your largest print jobs. Manual flash cure units generally range from 16 x 16 inches to 18 x 24 inches, and automatic units generally range from 18 x 20 inches to 24 x 36 inches. You will want to choose a unit that overlaps your largest images by a few inches to ensure that all areas of your prints are thoroughly flash cured.

Special Features

Flash cure units are available with different features, and there are several you likely will find useful. Temperature controls allow you to accurately control the temperature of your flash cure unit, while a timer can help you to be sure you are fully flashing your print without scorching the garment. Zone heating also can be helpful, as it allows you to turn on specific areas of the flash cure head so you can cure smaller images without having to fire up the entire flash cure unit. If you’re buying a portable flash cure unit, you may want to make sure you buy one with casters that lock into place.

When it comes to choosing a flash cure unit for your screen printing shop, you certainly will find plenty of options. The key is to carefully consider your shop’s needs, and you will be able to find the right flash cure unit to help your production floor run smoothly.