What can you make with a sublimation printer?
Well, this is my favorite topic to write about it. I love the sublimation process and even love to describe my experiences by writing about the best sublimation printer. Sublimation printers make things easy to beautifully sublimate designs on any surface like fabric, steel ceramics, wood, and many sublimation blanks.
The design to be done on a laptop or computer is printed on sublimation paper with the help of a sublimation printer.
The special ink transfers the sublimation ink dyes into dry form onto the sublimation paper. After that, this same paper is used to transfer the design with heat and press to some material that already has a special coating that can absorb the ink, such as a polyester t-shirt or a sublimation-coated mug, etc.
With this sublimation printing process, you can make countless things like Mug sublimation, tumbler, keychains, hats, t-shirts, glass, and plastic sublimations are a few examples, but you can not sublimate on any blank. Only a sublimation coating solution must apply on the surface of the material you want to sublimate.
Sawgrass, Epson, Brother, and Canon brands are producing various types of sublimation printers. Some are sublimation-ready, whereas others need to be converted into sublimation simply by adding sublimation inks. I recommend Sawgrass and Epson brand printers for sublimation for many reasons like advanced printing technology, Maximum print resolution, vibrant color designs, etc.
What is sublimation? Sublimation of something is to change the appearance but not the basics. Sublimation is a print and transfer process that can create a high-quality and vibrant color design on different objects. The quality of sublimated design does not crack, rub off or wash away.
Many things look beautiful because of sublimation, and if we talk about how these materials can be sublimated? Here is some useful information about what material can you sublimate on or how many things we can design with a printer.
Fabric sublimation is the most voguish process in the sublimation crafting world. T-shirts, fabric bags, and all other fabric that has more polyester give a stunning super vibrant color design on different apparel.
It means sublimation on 100% polyester will give you the advantage of full-color vibrancy. T-shirt sublimation is very common, and If you sublimate on 100% polyester, it will create a bright and crispy design on the t-shirt.
In sublimation Printing, polyester is the main source that allows sublimation ink dyes to infuse into the fabric’s fibers from solid to liquid when applying heat and pressure. As a result, the design completely penetrates into the material’s fibers, and the image does not feel like a sticker on top of the surface.
So when we start to sublimate on a 100% polyester t-shirt, after getting the printed design on transfer paper, set the heat press machine on almost 385 to 400 F and press time for 35 to 60 seconds (as sometimes it varies to the quality of the product).
Sublimation on 100% cotton
Sublimation on 100% cotton is possible, but the sublimation process does not support it because When we try to sublimate the design on cotton, those designs look very dull and light, and the colors are not excellent or vibrant that’s why it has faded away after some washes on cotton t-shirts.
So, what we can do for cotton sublimation is to try another method, like we will use a Sawgrass Sg-500 sublimation printer and the use of sublimation spray to sublimate the image on cotton fabric. For sublimation on a 100% cotton t-shirt, set the heat press machine for 45 seconds at 400 Fahrenheit. Print the design on sublimation paper before putting the transfer paper on the shirt; use the sublimation spray solution on the area you want to print the design.
Now take the sublimation spray solution and spray everywhere your design will be. Do not spray too much or too little because if you spray too much, the shirt will be very stiff, and if you spray too little, your image will not last too long. You test it out to figure out how much you need to spray, and it depends on your sprayer.
Leave the shirt to dry completely. Once it is dry, put your shirt in a heat press machine, place the transfer paper face down, put two pieces of tape on both sides to avoid any ghosting, and then cover it with a piece of butcher paper. It’s time to press the shirt on the shirt and press it for 45 seconds at 400 degrees. The sublimated design will look as vibrant as a polyester shirt.
For more detailed information and reviews you can read my other article on the best sublimation printer for t-shirts.
Sublimation printing on a mug
How to make sublimation coffee mugs? It’s a pretty simple and quick process. I used my Epson et-15000 sublimation printer to print the design, then set my heat press machine up to 400 degrees. My heat press comes with a mug press attached, so I first attach this mug press to the heat press machine and then take a sublimation mug with a special sublimation coating. Put the printed sublimation paper face down around the mug and put the tape firmly on all sides.
After applying the tape, covers it with a piece of butcher paper. It’s ready to put the mug into the mug press for 150 seconds at 400 degrees. When it’s done, remove the mug from the machine carefully, let it cool and remove the tape from the mug. It is better to do this by wearing gloves. The beautiful bright color design on the mug is ready. That is how you can sublimate your favorite mug with an Epson ecotank15000 sublimation printer whereas, there are many other best sublimation printers for mug you can choose any other according to your business need.
Tumbler sublimation can be done through several methods. There are some well-known ways for sublimating the tumbler, such as tumbler sublimation in the tumbler press, in an oven, or even in a mug press. Therefore I will mention the tumbler sublimation method using a tumbler press. You can sublimate the tumbler only in five minutes.
Things required for tumbler sublimation
- Epson Sublimation printer
- Sublimation Paper
- Sublimation ink
- Tumbler press
- A sublimation tumbler
- Heat resistant gloves
- Heat tape
- Butcher Paper
Make a design in silhouette studio or any other designing apps like Adobe photoshop, canva, etc. if you are sublimating a 20 Oz tumbler, the sublimation paper size will be 8.5 x 11. Print your desired design on this paper on an Epson sublimation printer or another printer that you have. When it is printed out, trim the two sides of the white area of the paper to make it a seamless design and trim it as close as possible.
First, clean off the tumbler, put the tumbler down on the paper, wrap it around, and put heat tape from upside down straight on the tumbler and top and bottom around the tumbler. Put a small piece of butcher paper to cover the tumbler. Turn the tumbler press on and Set it at almost 365 degrees for 75 degrees.
Now put the tumbler inside the tumbler press machine and press it for 75 seconds. After that, remove the tumbler and peel off the paper from the tumbler by wearing heat-resistant gloves. Now sublimation has been done on the tumbler.
Yes, you can also do glass Sublimation with different methods. I am explaining here how to sublimate on glass. Before I get started, consider these things that I am going to use in
- Cricut maker
- Heat resistant gloves
- Heat resistant tape
- Sublimation ink
- Glass ornaments
- Standard grip green mat
- Epson ecotank 2760
- Butcher paper
To do this, I am using Cricut design space to create my image. Adjust the size of the image according to the sublimation glass ornaments. I am using my Epson Ecotank et-2760 sublimation printer to print the design on the A-Sub sublimation paper.
Put this sublimation paper on the green mat and insert this into the Cricut machine to cut the images. Peel away the sheet from the mat because the design has been cut out.
Now face down the image on the glass ornament but remember the ornament should be shiny side face down. Put heat tape to fix it. Take butcher paper and place it on the heat press. Now put the ornament over the butcher paper and again add another butcher paper over the glass ornament image.
The Toronto press machine setting should be 360 degrees for four minutes. Start to sublimate the image by applying heat and pressing when it’s done, and pull out the tray wearing heat-resistant gloves. Wow, my beautiful full-color image has been sublimated on the glass.
The same process can be done by using the Cricut easy press. The Cricut press setting should be 375 degrees for 240 seconds.
Sublimation on wood
Great! another surface you can sublimate on, and it’s wood. Yes, you can sublimate on wood in several ways. There are more than three things that helped me to sublimate on wood, and these are painted wood, sublimating on polycrylic, sublimating on Subli Glaze, sublimating on thermal laminate,
I prepared my design on a photoshop program, but you can use any other you like the most. Don’t forget to mirror the image first.
So, I got the three sheets of sublimation paper prints in an Epson et-15000 sublimation printer using Hippo sublimation ink. I bought 3 pieces of wood sheets from amazon, and now I am going to apply regular white colored paint over them and let them dry completely.
Let’s move to our printing methods;
Clean the painted wood sheet with a soft fabric to avoid dust, then apply polycrylic solution evenly on the wood piece and let it dry. Now set the heat press machine to 365 degrees for 60 seconds. Put the designed sublimation transfer paper on the wood, add one butcher paper down and one over the material, and press it for 365 degrees for 60 seconds. A beautiful image has been done onto the wood.
Subli Glaze method
Take another painted wood piece and spry sublime glaze solution all over the wood. It’s a clear sublimation coating spray that supports the sublimation process. After five minutes of applying the spray, put this in the oven for twenty minutes. Again repeat the same process. Set the heat press machine to 365 degrees for 60 seconds.
Put the designed sublimation transfer paper on the wood and fix it with heat-resistant tape. Add one butcher paper down and one over the material and press it 365 degrees for 60 seconds. The sublimation has been done onto the wood.
The third method is to apply a thermal laminating sheet to the wooden piece first, cut it down according to the material size and remember that the glossy part of the thermal pouch should be outside, and the matt finish area should be inside the wood. Put a laminating sheet over the material, add butcher paper down and upside to cover the blank, and place it in a heat press machine for 30 seconds at 380 degrees.
After that, Set the heat press machine to 365 degrees for 60 seconds. Put the printed sublimation transfer paper on the wood and fix it with heat-resistant tape. Add one butcher paper down and one over the material and press it 365 degrees for 60 seconds. The sublimation has been done onto the wood.
Making Money with Sublimation Printer
Sublimation printing is something you can take to a business level. It is a great opportunity for those who want to make a handsome income by starting it. So, you can turn this passion into a profession. If you have sublimation ideas to sell things you can definitely escalate them and make money from them. All you need is to have a sublimation printer according to your requirements like if you want to sell sublimated t-shirts Sawgrass sg-500 printer is commodious for this purpose. In the same way, you will need different types of printers for different reasons to print on various blanks like mugs, glass, wood, ceramic, vinyl, and so on.
What printer do you need for sublimation?
For sublimation, you can only use a sublimation printer or some inkjet printer that can be converted to a sublimation printer by adding sublimation ink on them.
Can you do sublimation on anything?
Polyester is the main object that enables any surface for sublimation printing. So, if a blank has a polymer or polyester coating, you can quickly sublimate it.
What is the disadvantage of a sublimation printer?
The only disadvantage of sublimation is it can only be printed on white or light-color surfaces. It is not ideal for dark color items, and if we try to sublimate on black or dark blanks, the color looks dull and not so vibrant.
What is the best printer for sublimation printing?
Sawgrass Sg-500 /sg-1000 and Epson et-15000 are the best sublimation printers due to their full-color vibrancy, good speed, and HD resolution.
What can you make with a sublimation printer? You can do printing on multiple blanks using a sublimation printer. I tried my best to cover as many things as possible but, there are many other materials you can sublimate on, like leather, drinkware, hats, socks, banners, decals, metal, keychains, vinyl, dollar tree, door mats, mouse pads, etc.