*Sublimation printing is now a fast-growing business in the USA, which is cost-effective to start as well as profitable. Moreover, starting the business with a small sublimation printer from home with convenience is why most people are focusing on the crafting industry. So, you are also one of them who is looking to convert the regular printer to a sublimation printer. Or, you have bought a printer that is not compatible with the sublimation, but you want to change, don’t worry.
What printers can be used for sublimation? Almost all printers that use Piezo Print Technology are easy to convert for sublimation. Usually, the Epson, Sawgrass, and Brother inkjet printers are used for sublimation. But the printers with Thermal Print heads are not accessible for sublimation.
Well, I have got you covered here because, in this blog post, I have mentioned all the valuable information that will help you in what printers can be converted and used for sublimation.
What Printers Can Be Used for Sublimation? Types of printers to use for sublimation
So What printers can be used for sublimation? To use any printer for sublimation, they need to have a specific feature of a print head. Usually, there are two kinds of print heads used in printers;
- Thermal print heads
- Piezo print heads
Let’s look at what type of print heads is suitable for sublimation printing.
Thermal Print Head
Unfortunately, the printers with a thermal print head cannot be used for sublimation because they use only water-based inks that are only good for photo printing. Usually, the HP and Canon printers are manufactured for this type of print head.
How does a Thermal print head printer work?
As the name shows, this type of printer uses heat to boil the ink for the printing process. The print heads are in a pre-heated form which melts the ink by applying heat on the print head nozzle, where the ink comes out from the printer and spreads on the material. Once the ink comes out of the nozzle chamber, the temperatures of the ink get relaxed; as a result, you get cooled printing paper.
Piezo Print Head
The printer with the piezo print head is compatible with sublimation printing. Piezo print head printers use multiple inks like water-based, solvent, eco-solvent, and gel-based, which works well for sublimation printing. Most of the latest printers like Epson, Sawgrass, and Brothers are equipped with the Piezo print head features, which can be converted easily to a sublimation printer if you use sublimation ink.
It would be noteworthy that some printers come with the piezo print head, but they do not use sublimation ink. So check your printer’s compatibility for the sublimation ink before converting.
How does the Piezo print head printer work?
The piezo inject printers are designed with a specific crystal on the head, expanding when an electric current is applied. The current applied to the crystal head creates a vibration on the ink spreader nozzle that signals the print head to change its shape into a curve and spray the sublimation ink on the material.
Why you should convert an Epson printer to a sublimation?
what Epson printers can be used for sublimation? Usually, most Epson printers can be converted to sublimation and come with a sublimation feature. Well, there could be many reasons, like the overall cost of a sublimation printer is high than a standard printer, and then you convert it into a sublimation. Or, you may want to experience the process to learn the process.
There is still another reason that you may not know whether your printer is a sublimation printer or a regular one. So let’s find out.
Epson printers that do not need to be converted for sublimation.
Usually, inkjet printers come with regular ink, but you can easily replace them with sublimation ink. But usually, the price of these printers is high ranging between $1000 to $4000 or above. On the other hand, the SureColor F570 and SureColor F170 is available as sublimation printers that you do not need to convert.
The main benefit of using these printers is a warranty and complete technical support. So if you face any trouble using them, you can directly contact the Epson support team.
Epson printers that need to be converted for sublimation
Almost those Epson printers with a low price ranging between $200 to $400 need to be converted into sublimation printers. But the worst factor could be you won’t get any technical support or lifetime warranty for those printers. So in case you want to convert those printers on your own, you must understand the fixing issue. So one thing that you have to follow is must check their print head before buying them.
What Epson printers can be used for sublimation?
Here is a list of the best Epson printers for sublimation that you can convert and use for sublimation.
Epson EcoTank ET-8550 Best wide-format Sublimation Printer
Epson EcoTank ET-2750 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge Free Printer
Epson EcoTank ET3760 Best commercial printer
Epson EcoTank ET-7700 Multi-functioned A4 photo printer
Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Best for small business use
Epson WorkForce WF-3620 All in one perfect for sublimation printing
Epson WorkForce WF-7710 Wide-format desktop printer
Epson EcoTank ET-2760 All in one super tank inkjet printer
Epson Artisan 1430 Wide format inkjet printer
How to Convert Epson Printer for Sublimation?
You can convert any Epson printer if that has some particular features. Usually, the conversion process is identical for all printers.
Items required to convert to sublimation
There are only a few things you need for converting a regular printer to a sublimation printer:
- Check out that the printer has the feature of conversion.
- The sublimation ink is necessary to convert a standard printer. The best sublimation ink for printing is Printers Jack sublimation ink which has good color quality.
- A Jar opener for pulling off the lid of the Epson ink bottles.
- Gloves for protecting your hands.
- Paper towels for cleaning work surfaces.
Step 1: Load Sublimation ink into the Epson printer
Caution: Turn off the printer before loading sublimation ink into the printer. And make sure you don’t fill up the wrong bottles and mix up the colors. So remember the ink color for each bottle.
- Open your Epson printer top right front corner and take out the regular ink jars one by one.
- Open ordinary Epson ink bottles with the help of the jar opener.
- Pour out all the ink safely without draining on the table and dispose of the regular ink.
- Now clean the Epson printer jars thoroughly with water and let them dry for a while.
- Now, take the sublimation ink bottles and pour them into the Epson inkjet jars.
- Once you have poured all the sublimation ink and filled up the tanks correctly, close the inked panel.
Step 2: Charge the sublimation ink
Once you have filled the ink tanks, they need to be charged for 10 minutes for proper working. The charging process will start inside the printers, so don’t worry about the internal process. After a few minutes, you’ll see the ink jars are no longer full because the sublimation ink has been used in the charging process. So you can fill them again with the leftover ink for the sublimation printer in the bottles.
Step 3: Setup the drivers
Almost all Espsn EcoTank printers can be connected to your computer and other devices like Mobile and tablets. To use your sublimation printers from your computer, you have to set up drivers for the printer. If you bought a brand new printer, you might have a driver’s CD with a manual guide. If you don’t have or have lost it, you can download the drivers from Epson’s official website. Follow the instructions on the manual and install the drivers on your PC, and your printer is ready to use for sublimation printing.
After following the above guide, you have successfully converted your printer into a sublimation printer. But this is not all yet.
With the above guide, you only converted a regular printer into a sublimation printer, but if you want to get a sublimation print, you still need other items like;
- Sublimation paper: a particular type of paper used for sublimation printing, which helps get a more accurate and vibrant colorful print.
- Heat-resistant tape: used for adjusting your sublimation paper down to the material.
- Sublimation blanks: the material which is used for the sublimation process.
The most common question about converting a sublimation printer-
I hope now you have an idea of what printers can be used for sublimation. To use any printer for sublimation, you must understand whether that printer is compatible with this feature or not. Usually, most printers go wrong just because you try to put sublimation ink in the ink tanks, which causes an internal system problem because the printer was not applicable for sublimation.
You can ask your seller/manufacturer for a conversion to avoid this problem. If your dye-sublimation printer has a Piezo Print Technology, but it uses regular ink, you should also check out the manual guide before changing the inkjets.