Saturday, October 15, 2022

What Kind Of Printer Is Needed For Sublimation

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What Other Products Can You Do Sublimation Printing On

How To Use A Sublimation Printer: Your Guide to Software and More

You might think that your only options for sublimation printing are polyester fabrics. If youre considering T-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags, thats great.

But you can get a bit more creative if you like! Youre not just limited to printing on polyester fabrics.

For example, its possible to do sublimation printing on other materials, too. Certain materials like ceramic and even aluminum are possibilities. But they will only work if they have a special coating suitable for sublimation printing.

That does mean you have more options for what you can print on. Some ideas include mugs, personalized tiles, aluminum water bottles, and more.

Whats The Difference Between Heat Transfer And Sublimation

The primary difference between sublimation and heat transfer is that sublimation is permanent, while heat transfer prints will probably start wearing out eventually. Also, when you sublimate an image over a t-shirt, the ink becomes a part of the fabric, in contrast to heat transfer, when you just add a layer on top of the t-shirt.

What Epson Printers Can Be Used For Sublimation Printing

All of the Below models are what most people are using for sublimation when they use an Epson printer. Please note that no matter which printer you select, you must buy Sublimation Ink because, rememberwith the exception of the F-150, F-570 and F10070H are NOT sublimation printers. They will come with regular ink so you need to buy sublimation dye ink. .

WF3540 WF3520 WF3640 WF3620 WF7010 WF7110 WF7510 WF7520 WF7610 WF7620 WF7710 WF7720 WF7210 WF2750 ET2720 ET2650 ET2750 ET4700 ET15000 ET 16000 ET 16500

Its worth noting that Epson regularly retires model numbers and creates new ones. If you have an opportunity to buy a discontinued model, do not be afraid. There is plenty of support in the sublimation community.

This table includes affiliate links to amazon. If you see a blue link, you can click it to check pricing and availability on amazon marketplace.

Epson Models

Dont forget, you can also buy right on Sometimes they are out of stock, but when they are in stock, you will pay just the MSRP and thats good news. You can click the link or banner below to check pricing and stock on actual website:

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Do I Need Adhesive Spray

Youve probably watched many YouTube videos demonstrating sublimation in which the demonstrator applies an adhesive spray to the paper prior to affixing it to the substrate. Ive been in this business for 5 years and still have my original can of spray! I do use it occasionally when the paper wants to slide around. Its well worth the cost. You only need a tiny bit and if it is going to save you from buying extra substrates, it is definitely worth it.

Best Heat Press For Sublimation


Lots of the buyers guides and tutorials out there recommend using a standard household iron, but for sublimation printing this isnt really such a good idea. They often dont get hot enough, or maintain a stable enough temperature, and the surface may not be consistent or optimal for sublimation heat transfer.

A good arts and crafts press, on the other hand, will offer:

  • Precisely Adjustable Temperatures and Pressure Settings
  • Faster Pressing Time
  • Greater Working Area
  • Better, More Consistent and Predictable Results

Here we have a couple of great choices, which really come down to your own style and preferences.

On one hand, we can use the fabulous Cricut heat press, which is available in a few different styles. I have to admit that Im a little in love with Cricut and all of their products, which are not only of incredibly high quality but also seem designed by and for artists and crafters, and are always quite clever and useful.

Currently, Cricut offers the three different heat presses above.

On the other hand, or, I guess, on the table, you can get a more conventional heating press, with their big working area and a swing arm to apply pressure. Such a press is definitely more stable and can give you more control, especially if your hand isnt always steady, and table-top presses are preferred by lots of crafters for various projects.

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Press It In The Heat Press

Check what the recommended pressing times and temperatures are for your sublimation paper.

Follow these guidelines well as you dont want to under-heat and not get a clear print.

You can use a sublimation adhesive if youre having trouble keeping the shirt steady while using the heat press.

Any movement will make the printed image slightly blurry like moving a camera while taking a photo. Try to keep it perfectly still while pressing and heating.

For T-shirts and other fabrics, I do a medium pressure press at around 385 degrees Fahrenheit for around 35 seconds.

Sublimation Printer Applications You Should Know

The printer can perform any application where the material is built from polyester or has a polyester coating on it. You can print workwear and t-shirts with company names or logos. Moreover, sublimation printers allow you to personalize various items as gifts for guests, from towels and lanyards to mobile phone sleeves, signs, and mugs.

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What Does A Sublimation Printer Do

Sublimation is a print method that can duplicate a high quality and full color design with a special ink that can then be transferred to another object with a compatible coating. After the sublimation prints the design with special sublimation ink onto special sublimation paper, you use high heat and pressure to transfer the ink permanently to something else that has a coating that can absorb the ink, such as a polyester T-shirt or a coated ceramic mug.

After the dye sublimation printing process is cooled and complete, the design becomes embedded right in the object, and wont crack, peel, or wash away. You can put gorgeous, full color designs onto shirts, bags, mugs, and more with a sublimation printer and a heat press.

The shirt below was decorated with a transferred sublimation ink design made on an Epson EcoTank 2720 printer:

Kinds Of Sublimation Printing


Sublimation is the complicated process in which artwork is shifted over the material in dye sublimation. The method is distinctive from other standard printing methods. For the sublimation printing, different materials used are

  • Fabric
  • Heat press
  • In sublimation printing, the whole process is transparent and gives continuous results.

    The dye-sub printing is also known as the digital printing method. A budget-friendly process is commonly used for designing banners, signs, mugs, plaques, etc.

    This technique requires polyester-coated objects for printing purposes. To transfer the image into the paper, a heat press machine is required. This machine is a combination of temperature, time, and pressure.

    Do you want to read about Best Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfer

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    What Are Dye Sublimation Printing Services

    You may already know what it is if you are now searching for the materials you need to do it. But, let me just go over it real fast to help you understand it better.

    Sublimation dye printing services is a type of dye that changes from solid to gas without first melting because the temperature does not reach its boiling point.

    Basically, when you heat sublimation dye with your machine, it will turn into vapor and pass through an ink transfer system. This is where you store colors in capsules or tubes. This process gives off no traces of chemicals in your final product because there are no solvents used at all! It also means that the print is permanent and more durable than other types of prints.

    What Colors Do You Want To Be Able To Print

    Most sublimation printers can print basic colors black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Just as your basic inkjet printers can. If you want to print white or neon you will need a different sublimation printer that is white toner compatible these do cost more but widen your possibilities as to what colors and designs you can print.

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    Do I Need Special Tape For Sublimation

    YES, you will need a special tape that can tolerate the high temperatures used in dye sublimation. Do not use Scotch Tape. Purchase your heat tape from your sublimation vendor. There really are no substitutes.

    Why do you need tape to begin with? Tape is cheap compared to the price of your substrates. More often than not, you will need tape to hold your design in place for pressing.

    Sublimation For Beginners Video Tutorial

    Complete A4 Sublimation Printer &  Heat Press Starter ...

    I have a quick video to see the steps for making the sublimation puzzle in action that you can watch here. Wouldnt this make such a fun pregnancy announcement? You can put the pieces in a cute box or bag and send it friends and family to announce the sweet news!

    But if you want a full length video walking you through the process of adding the sublimation dye to the printer through to the final sublimation projects make sure to watch my YouTube video here.

    I hope you found this tutorial on sublimation printing helpful and that it gets you inspired to try. Sublimation is really a lot of fun!

    If youd like to save this tutorial on sublimation for beginners for later or share you can PIN It now! If you are on a desktop hover over the top left of the image below and if you are on a phone simply tap on the image and a PIN It button will pop up to click on!

    Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!

    Sharing is caring!

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    How Is Sublimation Different Than Heat Transfer Vinyl Or Printable Htv

    Heat transfer vinyl simply sits on top of your shirt or blank item, while the sublimation printing process actually infuses the ink into the fibers/surface of your item. That is what makes it permanent. If youd like to see a project using both, check out this Summer T-Shirt.

    While you can print directly on printable HTV and then use your Cricut to cut out the design, it acts the same way plain HTV does, being iron onto the substrate instead of into the substrate. While this may be a cheaper alternative to sublimation printing, after a while your design may start to crack or peeleven if you do everything right.

    If you want a multi-colored, permanent image transferred into a shirt , then sublimation printing will be your best bet!

    Should I Purchase An Epson Or Sawgrass Printer

    I have written an entire post on this very subject. In that post, I break it down for careful consideration. That said, if I had to choose between the two, I would stick with my Sawgrass printer. Yes, it is a little more expensive. The ink is also more costly. However, Ive been around enough to see the MANY ISSUES people come across with printers that are not designed specifically for sublimation. I must admit, I dread running low on ink, but the truth is it doesnt happen all that often. Sublijet ink, made for Sawgrass printers, lasts a long time and will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

    I also created a quiz to help you decide between the two main printer brands.

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    Sublimation Printing Project Supplies

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Awin, and I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links . As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    I am going to be making three quick sublimation printing projects for beginners like me and you! It really is quick and easy and the results are amazing!

    These sublimation projects would make amazing birthday party favors, wedding favors, Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, co-worker gifts, gifts for men, women, grandparents, kids, you name it!

    Where Can I Get Sublimation Images

    how to start a sublimation printing business (tools you’ll need)

    Here are some of the best sites for getting design files for sublimation!

  • Design Bundles Sublimation Designs. View Latest Offers
  • Creative Fabrica Sublimation Files. View Latest Offers
  • Hungry Jpeg Designs. View Latest Offers
  • So Fontsy Sublimation Files. View Latest Offers
  • Etsy Designs. View Latest Offers
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    What Is Sublimation Printing

    The word sublimation is changing substances from the solid phase to the gas phase directly without touching matters intermediate state . We can define the printing process as the step that requires putting the design on the specific transfer paper after this is shifted to the fabric by utilizing heat.

    In sublimation printing, the work of dye ink is essential. It changes into gas in the presence of heat and is then embossed into the material.

    Therefore, in this way, sublimation printing appears on the desired material. But to make this work ideally, there is a need to know what sublimation printer should be a good sublimation printer. When you get an exact idea about this point, you will get outstanding results in printing material by the sublimation process.

    Canon Pixma Mg3620 Wireless All

    Product Highlights

    The Canon Pixma MG3620 comes with enhanced features such as the Auto duplex printing which cuts down paper usage by 50 percent, which in turn helps you save a lot of time and money.


    With a quick and easy wireless setup, the Canon Pixma MG3620 is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, and more.

    Moreover, with its mobile device printing feature, you can easily print from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with AirPrint and Android devices with Mopria and Google Cloud Print.

    Besides, with a 9.9 IPM for Black and 5.7 IPM for color, this printer comes with a compact and space-saving design. In addition to these features, it includes an auto 2-sided print that helps print on both sides of the page.

    Overall, the Canon Pixma MG3620 is a convenient and simple printer that caters to all your printing needs.

    What We Like About Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer

    This is a budget-friendly printer. So, if you are looking to use it at home, then the Canon Pixma MG3620 is worth the buy.

    What We Dont Like About Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer

    Not suitable for official purposes. Moreover, instructions are not very user-friendly so for low-tech people, operating this device may be a bit frustrating.


    • Not suitable for the office

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    Which Is The Best Ink To Buy For Epson Sublimation Printers

    The answer, as you might expect, depends on what kind of printer you have.

    You need ink that will accept heat from your sublimator and not just be heated by it. So if youre using a standard heat press or something similar, then anything will do. In that case, youll want to look for inks designed to work well with such tools.

    There are three main types dye-based inks, pigment-based inks, and metallic inks. Dye-based inks tend to fade faster than pigment-based ones but have some advantages too. They generally dont run, they arent affected by light exposure

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    What Are The Best Shirts To Order For Sublimation

    3 Things You Need to Know If You are Starting Dye ...

    Here is a short list of my favorites. I order from mainly because they offer flex shipping for $5 to your nearest Fed Ex. I prefer the jersey knit types because they have a soft cotton feel. They are also less likely to leave the imprint of the paper or heat press itself in the shirt than a dri wicking fabric. Dri wicking fabric tends to melt at high temperatures, so even though sublimation works on them, the pressed portion of the shirt will often leave a rectangle of slightly melted fabric from the platen that will not wash out.

    • Gildan G420 is a nice one. Dont go too dark, though. They also offer companion shirts for women and children . Cost is $3-$6 per shirt depending on size and sales.
    • Jerzees offers a similar shirt called 21M. Its companions are 21WR and 21B. Same basic price as Gildan.
    • Next Level unisex tri-blend 3/4 sleeve raglans are nice. Only 50% polyester, but very nice shirts.

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    Starting A Sublimation Business

    You may be reading this sublimation for beginners guide with the intention of starting a handmade business. You should also read my guide to starting a Cricut business as it is full of tips and tricks for selling handmade. I think you will find a ton of ideas in that post that you can use for a sublimation business as well.

    So, now that you have finished our sublimation for beginners guide, are you ready to get started? Order what you need and start sublimating today! Dont be scared or intimidated. I know that you can master this craft and make something amazing.

    What Kinds Of Things Can I Make With A Sublimation Printer

    You can make full-color, high-resolution designs including high quality photos that can be transferred to polyester T-shirts, mugs, home décor, promotional items, and pretty much anything made with polyester fabrics. These ADORABLE polyester shirts were made with a design printed on a sublimation printer by team member Vicki:

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    How To Convert An Epson Printer To Sublimation

    1. Introduction

    By enabling the conversion of an ordinary Epson desktop or large-format printer into a dedicated sublimation printer, InkOwl allows you to affordably get into sublimation printing! InkOwl’s Performance-D Sublimation Ink and Performance-Ultra Sublimation Ink are competitively priced and manufactured in the United States.

    However, with sublimation ink, it is essential that the ink never come into direct contact with any other ink . As such, when converting an ordinary Epson printer to function as a sublimation printer, it is necessary to follow these conversion guidelines very closely.

    The steps to follow vary depending on the kind of printer being converted, so we have split this guide into 4 sections:

    • Converting an Epson desktop printer to sublimation
    • Converting an Epson EcoTank printer to sublimation
    • Converting a brand-new Epson large-format printer to sublimation
    • Converting a used Epson large-format printer to sublimation

    If you have any questions or concerns about converting your current printer or a brand-new printer, do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-446-5695 for a one-on-one consultation!

    2. Converting an Epson desktop printer to sublimation

    If your Epson printer is currently using any other ink , it is required that you clean the printer immediately upon installing the InkOwl sublimation ink.

    Recommended items:

  • Set of InkOwl Performance-D or Performance-Ultra Sublimation Inks
  • Set of Refillable Cartridges
  • To use sublimation ink:


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