What Kind of Printer do you need for Sublimation 2024 ?

Sublimation printing is a rapidly growing business and we are here to help you answer the questions in every new business owner’s mind regarding sublimation printing such as what kind of printer you need for sublimation, and what is recommended way to convert a regular printer into a sublimation machine? There are primarily two methods through which you can create sublimation prints and we have explained both of them in brief detail below. 

What is a Sublimation printer?

Sublimation printers are a kind of printer that can produce high-quality detailed color prints using special sublimation color dye on a sublimation paper. Sublimation paper is different than a regular piece of paper that is commonly used with printers as it does not absorb any ink but can be used to transfer the printed design or image onto a compatible surface such as a polyester fabric or a ceramic object. The sublimation ink is also different from regular ink and is a must to create sublimation prints as well as sublimation paper. 

What Printers can be used for Sublimation?

There are two ways you can go about choosing a perfect sublimation printer for your business or yourself. Either go with a dedicated sublimation printer that has been purpose-built for churning out sublimation prints at a high rate of speed for business needs or convert an existing inkjet printer from a reputed and reliable brand to a sublimation printer if it is compatible with sublimation ink. Dedicated sublimation printers usually cost twice or even more to buy when compared with their regular counterparts. 

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Dedicated Sublimation Printers

sawgrass virtuoso sg400

Dedicated sublimation printers are a lot more expensive than regular printers. These printers are business equipment and so are priced accordingly. These printers also require you to only use the official brand sublimation ink and aftermarket ink might not be supported by the printers. Dedicated sublimation printers are much easier to set up and have running, as you would expect. The user does not need to make any changes to the printer and start operating them right away as soon as you get the printer set up. 

Dedicated Sublimation printers also give you peace of mind because usually they come with a warranty and customer support that you can access anytime you run into an issue and the customer service executive will walk you through the solution or fix the printer in person. Sawgrass is one of the most popular brands in the dedicated sublimation printers industry and the Sawgrass SG500 is one of the easiest printers to get up and running.

Pros

  • Simple set-up process
  • No modifications required
  • Customer support and warranty

Cons

  • Much more expensive
  • Do not support aftermarket sublimation ink

Converted Sublimation Printer

It is recommended to go with the conversion route while choosing your first sublimation printer as you can get the cheapest printer for sublimation this way without having to buy an expensive machine. The dedicated printers are also much more capable than you would need to use and will be a waste of resources if you operate a small business. The converted sublimation printers are easy on your pocket in more ways than one. You can use any compatible sublimation ink with the converted sublimation printers, just make sure it is compatible with your specific printer. 

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You also take certain risks while going the self-built sublimation route because you will void any existing warranty on the old inkjet printer that you are converting and any issues that might arise in the future will have to be dealt with by you. Epson EcoTank series of printers are the preferred choice to be converted into sublimation printers. 

Pros

  • Affordable alternative
  • Use any sublimation ink

Cons

  • No warranty or customer support
  • A more involved initial setup process

If you want to convert your existing printers, here is the guide to convert your HP Printer to sublimation printer & convert your epson printer to sublimation printer.

What is the Best Printer for Sublimation ?

The best printer for sublimation depends on from person to person and their business needs. If you are an individual and want to buy a sublimation printer for your own projects then converting an inkjet printer into a sublimation printer makes much more sense and is a lot more economical. Epson EcoTank inkjet printers are some of the most popular series of printers that are both reliable and have a solid track record of working as sublimation printers. The Brother MFC-J995DW and Mitsubishi CP-K60DW are also popular choices. 

On the other hand, if you are a business owner and want to maximize the number of prints produced with exceptional quality without having to worry about the printer breaking down then buying a dedicated sublimation printer is the best course of action. A dedicated sublimation printer gives you a warranty for the products ensuring that your printer remains working with little to no breakdowns. Sawgrass SG500 is one of the easiest sublimation printers to set up and is a popular choice among dedicated sublimation printers. 

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FAQs

Can I use any printer for Sublimation?

No, you can not use any regular printer for sublimation because the sublimation process is very different from color printing on a standard sheet of paper. Either use a desiccated sublimation printer or convert an ink tank printer into a sublimation printer to use them for sublimation.

What kind of ink do you need for a printer converted for sublimation?

The regular ink in printers does not work well for sublimation printing, you will need to buy special sublimation ink that is compatible with the specific model of your printer in order to use it for sublimation. Hiippo Sublimation and Cosmos Sublimation Ink are two of the popular sublimation ink brands that you can try. 

Conclusion

This was our complete guide on what kind of printer do you need for sublimation. The best printer will certainly vary from person to person as not all people have the same requirements for their sublimation printer. If you still have any questions regarding what printers can be used for sublimation then leave them in the comment section below and we will get back to you.