Sublimation Printing Guide

Sublimation Printers: 15 Things You Need To Know




Sublimation Printers: 15 Things You Need To Know

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Sublimation Printers are the special type of printing machines that are made for dye-sublimation printing purposes. These printers use a special method of heat transfer to embed the designs into any fabric or other products. This is a growing industry and you must know these 15 things about sublimation printers to keep your business ahead of others.

1.   Can Any Printer Do Sublimation?

For sublimation printing, you need a special type of printer and not every printer can do this work for you. However, you can transform some ordinary printers into sublimation printers subject to the compatibility of the printer with the sublimation ink and paper.

It is also advised to use only sublimation printers for this work as they are generally compatible with any type of sublimation ink and give amazing results with every print.

2.   What Printer Can You Use For Sublimation?

It is always good to use sublimation printers for completing the sublimation process and for best results, you can use inkjet printers. As inkjet printers are generally SuperTank printers, they have superior ink handling capacity and print very efficiently.

If you go to purchase a super tank inkjet printer, it is advised to purchase any of the Epson Ecotank printers as they have high performance and will give you astonishing results.

3.   What Is Dye-Sublimation Printer Used For?

The dye-sublimation method of printing is used for printing custom-made designs on t-shirts and materials. It is highly useful for printing designs on banners, table cloths, polyester t-shirts, mousepads, id cards, flags, etc.

This method of printing is useful especially if you want to design something that needs to be permanent and vibrant. The designs made using this printing method are fade-free and shred-resistant. Hence it is more useful for designing sportswear and souvenirs.

4.   How Much Does A Sublimation Printer Cost?

The price of a sublimation printer depends on many factors. It depends on the type of printer you want to purchase and also it depends on the quality of the printheads and compatibility of the sublimation inks.

For normal photo sublimation printing, you can get a printer at a cheap price of about $150. But for heavy-duty printing and large-sized printing, you can go for a wide and powerful sublimation printer that would cost you about $700 to $3000.

5.   Where To Buy Sublimation Printers?

To buy a sublimation printer, you don’t need to go to the market and search from shops to shops to get the perfect printer for yourself, you can sit at home and order a printing machine at home from various renowned websites available on the internet.

Amazon is one of the most popular places to get the perfect sublimation printer. There are also other options like Heatpress Nation, coastalbusiness, eBay, the website of Epson, Sawgrass, etc. You just need to do proper research, read the reviews carefully and then go for the best. You will get a genuine printer from these websites.

6.   Which Epson Printers Can Do Sublimation?

Epson creates some of the best printers available in the market today. They are a pioneer in creating printers that are powerful and prints with vibrant colors and contrast. Epson produces numerous sublimation printers based on the categories and demands.

Some of the most popular Epson sublimation printers are the Epson Surecolor F170 and F570. The most interesting thing about Epson printers is that many normal printers can also be converted into dye-sublimation like the Workforce series, Epson EcoTank series.

7.   How Do I Convert My Epson EcoTank To Sublimation Printer?

Converting an Epson EcoTank is no big deal but it is advised only to convert when the printer is brand new. For converting your Epson EcoTank you just need to follow the following steps-

  • Pour out and clean the ink space and the ink bottle of the printer carefully and perfectly if it is used.
  • After cleaning, put sublimation ink into the ink bottles carefully and then carefully fix the bottles in the respective color spaces.
  • After pouring the ink in their respective spaces, give a trial print, if everything is perfect then you will get great print results.

You must regularly check the print heads and ink spaces for any ink clogging to ensure the smooth flow of ink.

8.   Which Are The Best Sublimation Printers?

There is no perfect answer to this question as there can be no single best sublimation printer as they can be classified into various categories depending on their work. But yes you can list some printing machines number one based on their category.

Here is our list of the best sublimation printer in certain popular categories.

  • Best Multi-Functional Printers – Epson ET-15000
  • Best Budget Printer – Epson ET-2720 Printer
  • Best Printer for Fabric Printing – Epson Surecolor F170
  • Best for Wide Format Printing – Epson Surecolor F570
  • Best High-Resolution Printer – Sawgrass Virtuoso SG800

You can choose any of these printers and will surely get the best results.

9.   Can You Turn A Regular Printer To Sublimation Printer?

Not all regular printers can be converted into a sublimation printer. Before converting any printer, you will need to know about its ink compatibility with the sublimation ink and also the capacity of the print heads to continue ink.

Also, some regular printing machines can be converted but it is also advised to convert them when they are brand new as after regular ink is poured into the sublimation printer, it is almost impossible to get rid of that ink which in turn hamper the quality of the print a lot.

10.  What Is The Difference Between Laser And Inkjet And Sublimation Printers?

The source of printing in all three types of printers is almost the same, using heat but the process of application is different.

A laser printer prints onto a metal cylinder and then using static electricity, powdered toner is attracted from the cartridge towards the cylinder. And then the metal cylinder is rolled onto the paper using heat and thus the print is formed on the paper.

Inkjet printing is a type of digital printing method, in this process, the droplets of ink are spread onto the paper using the printhead at a high speed.

Sublimation printers use sublimation ink to print on paper and then the print is embedded into the fabric using a heat press machine.

11.  Which Canon Printers Can Print Sublimation?

Most of the Canon printers cannot be used for sublimation printing as they generally focus more on photo printing which uses thermal printing technology. However, some canon printers do a great job in printing high-resolution images.

The canon printers use more heat to transport inks smoothly but this process in case of pure sublimation backfires as heat during print will result in premature sublimation of the inks in the print head.

12.  Can I Use HP Printer For Sublimation?

HP printers are generally heavy-duty printers for scanning and printing purposes. You can use some HP printers for sublimation but the printers that are solemnly made for office printing or home printing purpose cannot be used for printing as they also use thermal heating technology to print on the paper and this process as discussed above prematurely sublimates the inks in the printhead.

13.    Is Sublimation Printing Expensive?

Sublimation printing is a bit expensive than general printing as it requires a specific printhead, sublimation inks and papers. But there are two ways in looking into it.

The initial investment in sublimation printing is expensive as you will need to purchase a printer that will print for your cause and then you will need to invest in sublimation papers and inks.

And there are also cheap printers for sublimation available in the market but they might come with high maintenance and extra cartridge cost.

14.   How Much Does Sublimation Inks cost?

The cost of sublimation inks depends on the brand and the perfection with which they can embed into the fabric. These Inks are available in the market at a variety of price ranges.

You can easily find a cheaper sublimation ink for about $10 to $25 but they might not give the exact reprint on your design as they tend to spread more. While there are also branded inks which you can find for about $75 to $100 per cartridge.

15.    How Much Does The Sublimation Prints Last?

Sublimation prints are meant to last long. A normal sublimation print will last for at least 10 years while those printed using high dimension inks are permanent and will last beyond 10 years.


At the end of this article, we would like to say that sublimation printing is a growing business model and if you invest in it today, you will see a great margin of profits. But before purchasing sublimation printers and getting into this business, you must know certain facts about Dye-sublimation printing and the printers. The questions in this article will surely enlighten your knowledge about sublimation printers and help you grow more.

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