To get started in ball (heat transfer) printing you will need the things outlined in this page to print your own rugby, soccer, softballs etc. I will cover everything as well as some alternatives.
A ball heat press
In ball heat transfer printing you will need a heat press to permanently affix the desired image onto the ball. Some oval heat presses such as a cap press may also work if you purchase a pneumatic press you will also need a air compressor:
A compatible printer
Laser printers are usually used in ball heat transfer printing. Just make sure the printer you use is compatible with the paper the suppliers sell. Whether or not you can easily clean off mistakes is also sometimes dependent on the printer you use.
The desired image is printed onto transfer paper using the printer and then permanently applied to the ball using a heat press. If you are using a laser printer then you should get paper that is compatible with your machine. I use a hard surfaces laser transfer paper.
A computer or laptop
A bit of a no-brainer but I’m including it non the less. The computer is where you will download the photos to resize and print or design the artwork on. If you are going to have to digitise physical photos then you will need a scanner as well.
Any graphics software where you can resize artwork and layout on a work space is OK. I would advise a vector graphics editor. If you are going to manipulate or enhance the photos before printing then you will need a bitmap or photo editor as well. Some suppliers sell software that automatically downloads the image from the camera after a photo is taken and drops it into a template.
Heat tape is used to line up the transfer paper on the ball
To double-check whether the heat press machines temperature is accurate and the recommended heat.
It goes without saying that you will need blank balls to print onto.