6 School T-shirt Fundraiser Ideas for Your Classroom 

Fundraising is an integral activity that helps ensure schools have the necessary funds and resources to provide quality education. While these fundraisers have morphed into various creative shapes, T-shirt fundraisers for schools have long been an effective way to raise funds while spurring school spirit. 

They generate revenue while inspiring a sense of community among students and friendly competition through design contests. But to promote the success of your T-shirt fundraiser, you’ll need to have a plan. Here are six fun ideas for your T-shirt fundraiser. 

T-shirt Fundraiser Ideas

School T-shirt fundraisers can take various shapes, from raffling off baskets to hosting a design contest. Get creative with your ideas and develop a fundraiser that reflects your school’s spirit and interests. Here are a few ideas to get the creative ideas flowing:

Raffle Off Baskets

Raffle baskets can be an exciting way to raise funds for a T-shirt fundraiser. Fill a basket with items your students might want or need, from school supplies to gift cards to local restaurants. Throw in a few branded tees and other merch items boasting your school’s logo. 

Once you create the basket, announce the raffle to your students. You could do this over the intercom as part of morning announcements, in an assembly, or by walking to each classroom to show off the goodies inside. Set a date for drawing a winner, and remind the students and parents to purchase tickets throughout the weeks leading up to the drawing. 

Sell the Tees at School Events

School events, including football games, gymnastics, and similar gatherings, are excellent places to market your T-shirts. Advertise the tees, showcasing the opportunity to show school spirit to attending students, family, and friends.

Sell the tees wherever works best. If you have a snack stand or ticketing gate, offer the tees there. Provide ample opportunities for participants and viewers to take part in the fundraiser. 

Promote T-shirts Through Social Media

Advertise the fundraiser on social media – it’s a powerful tool! If your school has social media pages on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, talk about the fundraiser there. Discuss what the fundraiser is for, how to enter, and what you’re selling. Remember to showcase photos of the tees you’re selling!

Create Themed T-shirts

T-shirt fundraisers for schools don’t need to be restricted to school-branded merchandise. While tees featuring your school’s logo are an excellent addition to any T-shirt fundraiser, get creative with other options!

Create customized tees with seasonal designs for various holidays or spirit week. Think outside the box and let your students toss in design ideas to ensure the final product is something they would enjoy wearing.

Host a T-shirt Design Contest

This idea ties into the previous themed T-shirt creation idea. Let your students create tees they want to wear and would actually buy through a T-shirt design contest. Outline rules and deadlines, then let your students take the reins. 

The project could be part of a class, like an art or digital design class, or it could be an at-home optional project. It’s up to you and what you think would work best for your students!

Offer Incentives for Top Sellers

Inspire healthy, lively competition and drive sales by offering incentives to top sellers. This is a great way to increase revenue in your fundraiser if your students or faculty are selling the tees for you. 

Develop a few prizes for top sellers based on who is selling. If the students are selling, select prizes that they would like. If your faculty members are selling, choose the prizes based on them. Or, if both are selling, you could have a few options for each. Choose between a single grand prize or a few tiered prizes for first, second, and third place. 

Remember to announce the incentives to inspire sales and remind students that it’s a fun competition!

Create Your Own T-shirts with AGC Education

Printing your own T-shirts can be an excellent way to maximize profits from your fundraiser. By printing the tees at school, you can save money that would’ve otherwise been spent on hiring a company to do it for you. 

At AGC Education, we offer various heat presses designed to help you create customized tees for your school fundraiser. Our sublimation vacuum heat presses allow you to print high-quality designs onto your T-shirts for a long-lasting finish. Our multi-functional heat press helps you create personalized tees, keychains, mugs, and much more, maximizing your creation and profit ceilings. 

We offer everything from the heat press to the supplies you need to get started. Ready to begin creating your own tees? Contact us today to get started!

What is a Heat Press Machine Used For?

A heat press is a handy machine designed to help you apply various designs onto different substrates. Between heat and pressure, these machines can help you successfully transfer your favorite designs onto everything from T-shirts to keychains. This guide explores the details surrounding these machines to help you decide if they suit your creation needs. 

What is a Heat Press Machine?

Heat presses are machines designed to transfer designs onto various materials using heat. They feature a few key components: the upper platen, lower platen, pressure adjustment knobs, and time and temperature controls. 

Generally, the upper platen, or the upper plate, is responsible for generating heat. The lower platen typically doesn’t heat up unless you purchase specific models or additional accessories, so it serves as the working platform where you place the material. 

You’ll find a pressure adjustment knob on top of the upper platen on manual presses. This knob controls the pressure and helps ensure a smooth, accurate transfer. Automatic presses are available, and instead of using an adjustment knob, they employ air compressors to create tension. 

Types of Heat Press Machines

Heat presses come in three primary types: clamshell, swing-away, and draw. Each option features a unique style while employing the same fundamental functions as the others. 

Clamshell Heat Press

As the name implies, clamshell heat press machines open like a clamshell, secured at the back to open the press at around a 70-degree angle. The lower platen remains fixed, while the upper platen opens at an angle. The straightforward design makes these presses easy to operate and quick to use. 

These models are perfect for crafting custom items out of fabrics, including T-shirts, blankets, and hoodies. They can also work well for low-profile items, like flat keychains. 

Swing-Away Heat Press

Swing-away heat press machines feature an upper platen that lifts and swings away from the lower platen. Unlike the clamshell machines, this type doesn’t open at an angle, lifting straight away from the lower platen. 

The upper platen easily pivots out of the way for reloading, and since it doesn’t hover above your hands while you set up your next transfer, it’s easier and safer to use. 

This type of press is ideal for thicker items, including sublimation photo tiles or award plaques, as the design works well for this purpose. 

Draw Heat Press

The draw heat press machine or slide-out drawer heat press features the best of both worlds. It offers the quick, easy functionality of the clamshell heat presses with the handy benefits of the swing-away model. 

However, this model boasts a mobile lower platen instead of featuring a swiveling or angled upper platen. Instead of remaining fixed, it slides in and out of the heat press like a drawer, allowing you to reload and set up your next transfer quickly. 

This machine works well for various materials, from thinner fabrics to thicker plaques. 

How Does a Heat Press Machine Work?

A heat press machine works by using heat and pressure to transfer designs from specialized paper or vinyl to the substrate. Once you align the substrate and lay the design over the top, you’ll engage the heat press to employ its toasty, pressurized upper platen. 

The heat from the upper platen activates the adhesive on the transfer paper, melding it onto the substrate beneath. If you use the sublimation method, the heat causes the ink to melt into the fabric. The pressure from the upper plate ensures the transfer is smooth and accurate to provide a quality result. 

Primary Uses of a Heat Press Machine

Heat press machines are incredibly versatile, making them an excellent investment for grade schools, colleges, universities, and businesses that want to create custom products instead of paying someone else. 

Custom T-Shirts

Heat press machines are often used to craft creative tees and hoodies. From funny sayings to business or school logos, there are no limits to your creativity. You can design custom transfers to make the shirts your own or purchase pre-designed transfers ready to use!

Sublimation Printing

Heat presses can do more than typical printing using heat transfer paper. They work well for sublimation printing, which involves a sheet of specialty paper called sublimation paper. This process infuses ink into the applied material to create the desired design. 

Since this process doesn’t meld an extra layer on top of the item, it’s perfect for wearable items, as it doesn’t affect the fabric’s feel. This printing method is ideal if you want to make T-shirts, hoodies, blankets, or similar items. 

Other Textile Products

Heat presses are commonly used to create various custom textile products, including fabrics, tote bags, cosmetic bags, pillowcases, blankets, sweaters, and baby onesies. While fabric is the go-to material for many heat-pressed creations, these machines also work for slightly thicker objects, including keychains, coasters, and plaques. 

Tips for Using a Heat Press Machine

Using a heat press machine is straightforward, but there are a few things you should know before starting your custom creation journey. 

  1. Flatten the surface: When pressing designs onto fabric, ensure the material is smooth and wrinkle-free before you start. Any wrinkles or bunched areas could skew your design. 
  2. Don’t rush: Take your time aligning the substrate on the lower platen and placing the design onto the substrate. If you rush, you might misalign the substrate or design, resulting in a tilted or uncentered product. 
  3. Preheat: Preheat your garments or accessories before you start the printing process. Adding a sprinkle of heat will help smoothen out any wrinkles or moisture, allowing the design to adhere better. 
  4. Follow instructions: Before using your heat press machine, take a few minutes to read through the application instructions. These instructions often contain vital information, including temperature and time settings. 
  5. Protect your equipment: Avoid spending extra time cleaning your lower platen between designs by using a heat press cover sheet. These help keep the lower platen clean and ready to go for different designs. 

FAQs About Heat Press Machines

  • Is a heat press the same as an iron?

While ironing heat transfer designs can be a low-cost alternative to heat pressing, it doesn’t work as well as the latter. Heat presses use a combination of carefully regulated heat and high pressure to ensure designs adhere to the substrate properly, so items created this way often last longer. 

  • How long does a heat press T-shirt last?

Heat-pressed T-shirts can last a long time, with paper-based designs lasting up to 50 washes or more. T-shirts you create with the sublimation method can last even longer as the ink is melted into the tee. 

  • Do heat-pressed items peel?

If you don’t follow the proper heat pressing instructions, designs may begin to peel off the item. For example, inadequate pressure is a common issue that causes peeling with heat-pressed items. However, if you follow the instructions, designs are usually fairly durable. 

  • Are heat press items washable?

After pressing a design onto a T-shirt, hoodie, blanket, or tote bag, you can wash the item. Generally, the items are fully machine washable after completing the transfer. If you’re unsure, check the label on your heat transfer paper. 

Start Creating Custom Designs With a Heat Press Today

Heat press machines can be the perfect solution for various needs, whether you want to create merch for your business or custom items for your students. Start creating products tailored to your needs today with a heat press from AGC Education. We offer various sizes and types of heat presses to accommodate varying needs, from compact models to multi-functional machines.

How Does a 3D Printer Work?

3D printing is an exciting technology that presents an opportunity to produce products with less waste. They come in various types, including resin and metal printers, each functioning in a different way. 

While this technology is nothing new, it continues to evolve and improve, finding applications in numerous sectors for hobbyists, professionals, and industries alike. 

What is a 3D Printer and How Does it Work?

A 3D printer is an additive manufacturing device designed in the 1980s by Chuck Hull to revolutionize production processes. Creating objects with these printers requires a few core components, including the 3D model, the printer, and the material. 

The printer employs the contents of a digital file to develop objects by layering thin layers of materials. They can use various liquid and powdered materials, including plastic, metal, or cement. As it piles on ultra-thin layers, it fuses each pass, creating a final 3D object that embodies the computer-aided design. 

These printers come in several types: fused deposition modeling (FDM), stereolithographic (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), and metal. The workings of each type vary, as each employs unique methods to complete 3D printing tasks. 

How Does a 3D Printer Work Step by Step?

The process of 3D printing involves three key phases: design, slicing, and printing.

Possible video link 

The Design Phase

Printing a 3D object starts with the creation phase. The printer bases the printing process on a 3D digital model of the object, so the first step is to create it. Various CAD modeling software options, such as Creo, Catia, and Solidworks, offer the necessary tools to create this model. 

Alternatively, 3D scanners and photogrammetry software can achieve similar results. After completing the digital model, you must convert it into a format compatible with your 3D printer. This step ensures the printer has instructions covering the placement of each material layer to create the final product.  

Slicing the Model

After designing your digital file and converting it to the correct format, it’s time to prep the model for printing. This phase involves slicing software, which helps the printer understand the design using coordinates that tell it where to deposit the material. 

Slicing software literally splits the model into multiple layers that vary based on the specifications outlined in your digital file. After cutting the model, you’ll get a text file containing detailed instructions outlining how to print the object. 

In this step, you’ll configure your printer and materials to ensure a successful print. If the software doesn’t understand various factors, including boundaries, nozzle diameter, and material thickness, it may skew the result. 

Printing Phase

The last phase involves the most exciting part: printing. In this stage, you’ll see your digital creation come to life. The printer will read the slicing software’s file and use the instructions to print the object layer by layer. 

As it deposits the material in layers, the printer will fuse them to create a solid object. 

This process can take a while, especially on larger prints. While the printer might complete small objects in minutes or hours, large or complex projects can take days. 

How Does a Resin 3D Printer Work?

Resin 3D printers are popular for their ability to craft minuscule details, using SLA to complete their tasks. 

The Basics

Resin 3D printers employ stereolithography (SLA), which converts liquid plastics into solid objects. This 3D printing method is one of the oldest options but remains popular for its fine-tuned detail capabilities. 

Resin and UV Light

A resin 3D printer employs ultraviolet (UV) rays to complete projects. The printer exposes each layer of photosensitive liquid resin to a UV laser beam, effectively hardening it into a solid layer. The process continues layer by layer until the project is complete. 

After the object is complete, it must be rinsed with a liquid solvent to remove excess resin and baked in ultraviolet to cure the resin further. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

Resin 3D printers are ideal for creating fine detail in printed pieces, as the curing process offers precise control over the final object. Products printed using them often feature ultra-smooth surfaces, although this can vary based on the printer’s quality. 

While they’re ideal for fine detail, these printers usually feature smaller build plates that limit the size of pieces you can create. On top of that, printing using SLA often takes longer due to the curing and rinsing processes. 

How Does a Metal 3D Printer Work?

Metal 3D printers use the same fundamental concept as other printers, but instead of resin or polymers and UV light, they use metal powder and high-powered lasers. 

Types of Metal 3D Printing

Crafting metal 3D prints is doable using selective laser melting (SLM) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). They share many similarities, as they both use lasers to scan and fuse metal powder particles to create layers of a 3D-printed object. 

The differences stem from the fundamental processes behind the bonding process, as SLM employs a single temperature to melt the particles, whereas DMLS uses powders with varying melting points. 

The Process

3D printers spread thin layers of metal powder on the build platform when crafting a metal object. Next, they use high-powered lasers to melt or fuse the metal particles, creating a single layer in the object. The process repeats with another layer of metal powder and more scanning until the object is complete. 

Applications and Limitations

Metal 3D printers are often used in rapid prototyping and finished production parts for various industries, including tooling, mechanical engineering, and aerospace. This process facilitates the creation of durable products relatively quickly, making it an excellent option for these applications. 

While printing wastes little, fine-tuning a part’s design often takes multiple rounds before mass production. Additionally, sizing constraints can stem from the build platform, restricting the products manufacturers can make. 

Real-World Applications of Different Types of 3D Printers

3D printers have proved useful in various real-world applications, although the application hinges on the printer’s functionality and type. They’re applicable in the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries, helping to create strong and durable components. 

3D printers in the educational sector are often used to print parts as educational tools, research, and create custom classroom decor. The healthcare sector has used them for various purposes, from planning complex surgeries to creating custom surgical instruments. 

FAQs About 3D Printing

  • Can a 3D printer print anything?

3D printers can print almost anything, although some sizing and material option restrictions may exist. 

  • Does a 3D printer need a computer to work?

Many 3D printers available today feature SD card slots, so you don’t necessarily need a computer to print 3D models. Instead, you can load the files onto the SD card and pop it into the printer. 

  • What materials cannot be 3D printed?

Certain materials, including wood, cloth, and paper, aren’t compatible with 3D printers. 

Bring Your Creations to Life With a 3D Printer

3D printers offer an impressive array of applications, from aerospace to education. They’re versatile machines that bring your creations to life, allowing you to use 3D-printed objects for teaching, decor, and much more. 

If you’re ready to get your creative juices flowing with a 3D printer, AGC Education has what you need. We offer everything from the printer to the supplies to ensure you have everything you need to begin printing! Contact us today to get started!

Best Laser Cutter for Small Business

As we all know, equipping our classrooms with the right tools can spark creativity and foster learning in remarkable ways. One tool that has been gaining traction in hands-on education is the laser cutter. It’s a fantastic tool, especially for those interested in introducing their students to the exciting design and fabrication world.

This guide is here to help you navigate through the top choices and find the best laser cutter for small business needs, whether your focus is on woodwork or a range of materials. We’ll also share some helpful tips on choosing the best laser cutter. Keep reading to find out more!

Cut-Out Studio

Cut-Out Studio is the ultimate cut-out system that takes your crafting game to a whole new level. This powerful tool empowers you and your students to explore the world of construction paper and adhesive-backed vinyl crafts like never before.

This software’s intuitive interface allows users of all technical levels to easily navigate and create captivating designs. The Cut-Out Studio brings the entire design process to life right before your eyes. The software-driven system ensures a seamless experience, making it an ideal educational tool to engage learners in hands-on and creative projects.

Plus, it gets even better! The package includes a supply kit, preparation tool kit, and application tape, saving you time and effort in sourcing materials. Don’t worry about getting started – comprehensive training materials and helpful videos are provided to ensure you can confidently dive into crafting.

Laser Lab – Desktop Laser Engraver/Cutter

Laser Lab is another excellent choice when it comes to choosing the best laser cutter and engraver for small business operations. It’s not just a tool; it’s a comprehensive learning experience, allowing students to bring their ideas to life with precision and creativity.

Laser Lab has been designed keeping usability and safety in mind. Its user-friendly software makes experimenting with different designs and concepts easy, while the robust safety features ensure the learning environment remains safe.

The package also includes the following:

  • Filtration system
  • Software
  • Kit of supplies
  • Template library
  • One year warranty

xTool M1

The xTool M1 has quickly become a leading contender for the best laser cutter for small business use, especially in educational settings. This laser cutter comes fully assembled and ready to use straight out of the box. Its sleek design and integrated vent fan add to its appeal and functionality.

The M1 comes with an integrated camera that makes it a breeze to align your design using their free Creative Space software. You can also laser-cut multiple items at once. However, when it comes to materials like vinyl, using the laser may not be the optimal choice due to the release of toxic fumes caused by burning.

Dremel LC40

The Dremel LC40 is considered among the best wood laser cutter for small businesses. It’s an amazing laser cutter that utilizes a powerful 40-watt infrared laser to effortlessly cut, engrave, and mark a wide range of materials with precision.

It is capable of cutting a variety of materials, such as:

  • Paper
  • Aluminum
  • Plastic
  • Wood

The Dremel LC40 is designed for effortlessly slicing through materials like cards, leather, and soft materials. It excels at engraving intricate designs into plastics and cutting through wood up to a quarter inch thick and acrylic up to 6mm in thickness.

Orion Motor Tech Laser Cutter

The Orion Motor Tech Laser Cutter is a reliable and robust machine that is a strong contender for the best laser cutter for small business 2023, with its precision cutting and engraving capabilities making it an excellent addition to any educational setting. It proudly achieves a remarkable cutting speed of up to 23,927 mm/min.

It is helpful for cutting and engraving various non-metallic materials, including:

  • Acrylic
  • Rubber
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric

Additionally, this machine has a cylinder rotary attachment that enables you to engrave flat and curved objects. The Orion Motor Tech, Laser Engraving Machine, offers the flexibility of both wired and wireless connectivity options. You can connect via a USB cable or simply insert a flash drive directly into the machine, eliminating the need for cables.

Morphon 130W Laser Cutter

The Morphon 130W Laser Cutter is a high-power, versatile tool ideally suited for small business use and renowned for its efficient cutting and engraving abilities. With a robust 130-watt laser, this equipment effortlessly cuts through various materials, including metal, leather, wood, and acrylic.

The Morphon 130W Laser Cutter boasts a spacious work area measuring 1397×889 mm. One thing to keep in mind, though, is its size. It takes up a bit more space compared to other laser cutters with similar power and capability, but that’s just a minor tradeoff. Its powerful capabilities make it a versatile tool for various applications.

SUNCOO K-40 Laser Cutter

The SUNCOO K-40 Laser Cutter is a great option for those on a budget without compromising functionality or quality. This device has an impressive 40W power output and a build area measuring 305×203 mm. It provides high-quality cutting and engraving, making it perfect for cost-conscious small businesses with limited-scale projects.

Here are some of the materials that it is capable of cutting:

  • Leather
  • Acrylic
  • Wood

The SUNCOO K-40 boasts not only impressive power but also remarkable speed. With a cutting speed of up to 21,030 mm/min, users can effortlessly and efficiently complete projects in no time. The engraver’s laser tube has a lifespan of approximately 1,000 to 1,300 hours, ensuring a significant duration of operation.

Choosing the Best Laser Cutter for Your Needs

When choosing the best laser cutter for your needs, it’s essential to consider several factors, such as:

  • Budget: Laser cutters can range from affordable to high-end models, so deciding what’s feasible for your school or business is crucial.
  • Space: Consider the space you have available. Some cutters are more compact, while others require a larger footprint.
  • Materials: Think about the materials you will predominantly be working with. Certain laser cutters are better suited for wood, plastic, or metal materials.
  • Software: Consider the software’s user interface that comes with the cutter. It should be intuitive and easy to use, especially for students who may be new to using such machines.
  • Safety: Look for a laser cutter with built-in safety features such as temperature sensors and automatic shutdown in case of overheating.

Keep these factors in mind as you explore the different options and make a decision. Choosing the right laser cutter will enhance your student’s learning experience and provide a valuable tool for your educational institution or small business.

Make the Right Investment for Your Future Success

Investing in the right laser cutter can revolutionize your students’ learning experience and enhance your small business’s efficiency. Whether you choose the Laser Lab, xTool M1, Cut-Out Studio, or the budget-friendly SUNCOO K-40 Laser Cutter, remember that the best laser cutter is one that meets your specific needs and budget constraints.

Each of these options brings a unique set of features and capabilities to the table, and understanding these will help you make an informed choice. If you are ready to take the next step, don’t hesitate to contact us today for additional guidance and support.

Our team is here to help you navigate the exciting world of technology-enhanced learning and business operations. Let’s work together to find the best laser cutter and engraver for your small business.