The art of sublimation can be very entertaining and lucrative , depending on the point from which you look. This is mainly due to the fact that any object (usually clothing) can be customized, which can be ideal for starting your own business or having quite original clothes.
It is essential to know which are the best sublimation printers for heat transfer to use, since the quality of the them depends on how well you can create customized designs, print them and translate them wherever you want.
No matter how far digital expressions of images and digital documentation have come, there is still a need for printed expressions of images on paper as well as physical documents.
And whether you need to print out hundreds of black and white letter documents or poster type printouts in full color or imprinting designs, you’ll need a printer that you can keep for a very long time. There is nothing more troublesome than having to replace a printer.
There are two major types of printers: Ink printers and heat transfer printers.
Ink printers print, scan, copy, and fax documents and images. Some of these can be used for imprinting designs with transfer paper, but for the most part, ink printers only exist for printing, scanning, copying, and faxing.
Here’s the Ultimate List of Best Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfer We recommend
- Epson EcoTank ET-2750– All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer with Scanner, Copier and Ethernet, Regular
- Epson Artisan 1430– Wide-Format Inkjet Printer
- WorkForce WF-7710 –For Large Scans and Brilliant Borderless Prints
- Brother HL-L2320D Mono– Automatic Two Sided Printing
- Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500– Made in Japan
- Canon PIXMA TS Series – Best for Square Photo Printing
- HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 – Best for Faster Printing
- HP Smart-Tank Plus 551 – Best for Envelopes printing
- Lexmark MC3224dwe – Multifunction Laser Printer
- Brother MFCL2750DWXL – Compact Monochrome Printer
Top 12 Best Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfers: Reviews 2021
Heat transfer printers are what you will need if you want to imprint a design. Whether it is a design for a T-shirt or other fabrics or even harder surfaces, heat transfer printers will make sure that this can get done.
Many make the mistake of getting an ink printer, thinking that it can imprint designs just as effectively as a heat transfer printer can. This mistake is more common than you think, and it can easily be prevented just by identifying the kind of printer you need for any given task.
1. Epson EcoTank ET-2750
Printing Size: Upto 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi
Paper Capacity: 100 sheet
Warranty: 12 Months
Are you looking for a printer that can save up to 80% on ink? Epson EcoTank ET-2750 is the best choice. Unlike other printers that use cartridges, this printer is equipped with automatic ink bottles, so there is no need to squeeze them. Besides, the bottle key design ensures you insert the bottle correctly to avoid ink spills. In the package, it contains ink the can last up to 2 years.
Thanks to the compact and lightweight designs, which allow you to move it around. It has an attractive matte black exterior, and sleek rounded edges make it fit any office aesthetic. The machine has a maximum resolution of about 5760 x 1440 dpi. With print speed in mind, the machine prints 10.5 pages per minute for black and 5 pages per minute for color. However, you can obtain 4 x 6 borderless prints to enhance your photos.
Another excellent thing about this model is that it offers automatic duplex printing. This printer has multiple connection options: you can print from your phone with wireless connectivity. Also, the model supports different popular Cloud applications to scan and print instantly. You can insert a camera’s memory card into the printer to produce fantastic hard copy photos. Wi-Fi Direct is another option that is 10 times fast than Bluetooth connection and handles large volumes of documents.
- Al-in-one: Printer, copier, and scanner
- Its maximum resolution is 5760 x 1440 dpi.
- It comes ink that can last up to 2 years.
- Borderless photo printing
- Wi-Fi Direct included
- It is compatible with operating systems.
- Easy to fill the economic ink tanks
2. Epson Artisan 1430 Wireless Color Wide-Format Inkjet Printer
Printing Size: Up to 13×19″
Image Quality: 5760 x 1440 dpi
Connectivity: Wireless; Mobile; USB
Speed: Max 2.8 ppm
If you need a printer that can print vivid and high definition pictures and images, you’ll want to keep the Artisan by Epson in mind. Being able to print images that are 13×19 inches, you’ll be able to print any kind of image in high definition. You can print images of upwards of 900 pixels with the Artisan.
This is really nice for anybody who needs a printer for art related projects, since a lot of other heat transfer printers that print images typically are not able to print images this large or this detailed.
The Artisan is also wireless, using wi-fi connections to operate. This is an industry standard, but what makes the Artisan that much better is that you can operate it with any device that has a data or wi-fi connection, not just your PC. With the Artisan, you can literally print almost any image from any given device, as long as the device connects to the printer.
Another nice thing about the Artisan is that it uses individual ink cartridges. Because of this, you’ll be able to change out your cartridges as needed instead of relying on one universal color cartridge.
The fact that the Artisan uses individual ink cartridges can be troublesome, however. Keeping track of the multiple cartridges that the Artisan uses can be overwhelming and the images that the Artisan prints out can also use a lot of one cartridge and not the other. Be prepared to switch out cartridges a lot when using the Artisan.
- Advanced color and lighting combination
- Large-Size Photos up to 13 x 19″
- Able to provide Ultra Hi-Definition Prints
- Impressive image quality up to 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution
- Printing, scanning and fax sending function in one device
- Prints last up to four times longer than photo lab prints thanks to Claria Hi-Definition Ink
- Requires less cleaning as it has predecessor technology
- The fancy control panels shows granular control of display printer’s features and output
3. “Workforce” wireless wide format color inkjet printer by Epson
If you are looking for a printer that can print, copy, fax, and scan and do all four really well, you’ll want to consider the Workforce. Most multi purpose printers similar to the Workforce can indeed perform all of these functions, but they often do not provide a lot of options when doing so.
What makes the Workforce different from all of these is that they provide a lot of options. First, its load capacity is massive: You can load up to 250 sheets of paper in it. This means that if you have a lot of things to print, scan, copy, or fax, you’ll be able to do so without a problem.
Many multi-purpose printers do not have size options. A lot of them only accept one particular size of paper, reducing options drastically. This is not an issue with the Workforce, as it can print any sheet of paper up to 13×19 inches. It can also scan any size up to 11×17 inches. This proves that the Workforce is nothing short of perfect when it comes to options.
Because it is an all-in-one type printer, the Workforce is a very big machine and can be pretty overwhelming to use. While the touchscreen options on the back of the printer is a nice touch, it can be troublesome to use because of how small the displays are.
4. Mono-Laser printer by Brother
Constant printing sessions can use a lot of ink and can cost a lot of money. This is especially true if you are printing a lot of things continually, and it can be very easy to find yourself out of ink in the middle of printing sessions that require you to print a lot of detailed documents at a rapid rate.
Brother’s mono-laser printer has decisively solved this problem by containing a 2600 page replacement toner cartridge. This means you will have up to 2600 pages to work with before changing the ink cartridge in Brother’s mono-laser printer. This makes it perfect for office type settings where hundreds of documents are being printed constantly.
Print quality is also not sacrificed with Brother’s mono-laser printer, either. It is able to print things with a resolution of 2600×600 dpi, making it even more suitable for printing important documents that need to be as clear as possible.
Capacity and size are also covered by Brother’s mono-laser printer. It has can hold 250 sheets of paper and can print in both legal and letter sizes.
Brother’s mono-laser printer can only print. It cannot scan, fax, or even copy. This makes it very one-dimensional in its use. It also is not wi-fi compatible, meaning you’ll need to directly tell it to print from the PC that it is connected to. This can be very troublesome in large settings where you would want it to be wi-fi connected.
5. HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 All-in-One Wireless Printer
You can consider buying the HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 to save you space, resources, and time. The all-in-one printer is superb for copying, scanning, printing, and faxing. Amazingly, the printer will inform you when the printer runs low on ink to ensure you purchase a fresh cartridge. You can choose this model for your busy office as it is equipped with a tray that can hold 225 sheets.
With resolution in mind, this printer has a maximum resolution of 4800 ×1200 dpi. Additionally, the machine can print 29 papers per minute in black and 25 papers per minute in color. The model features borderless printing for an 8.5 ×11 inches document and can accept papers of up to 8.5 × 14 inches. The machine has 1200 dpi scanners to ensure quality and precise scanning and printing.
Does your work need you to print multiple paged documents? This unit can support about 35 papers. Interestingly, the machine supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet; you can add your network quickly. The control of this connectivity is through a 2.7-inch touch display. Moreover, the Wi-Fi feature lets you connect it to the phone for instant printing.
With an Amazon Alexa or a Google Assistant, you can activate the unit via voice-activated command. Lastly, the Wi-Fi Direct connectivity ensures your wireless operation is not uninterrupted.
- The unit can be used as a printer, scanner, fax, and copier
- It comes with a 225 sheets input tray
- 29 papers per minute in black and 25 papers per minute in color
- Self-healing Wi-Fi
- It has a maximum resolution of 4800 ×1200 dpi
- Supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet
- Borderless printing capabilities
6. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 Sublimation Printer
If you prefer a sublimation printer with a high resolution, the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is the best choice to consider. Unlike other printers, this printer will give you fantastic print on a variety of polymers. With the help of this sublimation printer, you can print on various items, including sublimation cups, woods, and T-shirts. Sawgrass is known for making the best printers in the market.
Interestingly, the printer produces excellent photos of 4800×1200dpi in 6 minutes 40 seconds. Also, it uses a dye sublimation process allowing you to apply ink onto different fabrics within less time. You don’t need to be worried if you want to upgrade from the old SG400 printer. The printer comes with compatible accessories of its predecessor version hence no wastage of resources.
The best part of this printer is that it can cater to all your enormous print demands. You can make a new income source in the Dye-sublimation printing business rather than your regular job as it guarantees you an increase in sales. The letter-sized printer allows you to customize designs with great precision and quality.
The free license ensures you access unique online design software to make and print custom designs. Moreover, you can enter the print command both by a wireless and wired connection. Lastly, the printer comes with both lifetime technical support and a 2-year warranty.
- It is equipped with Sublijet UHD inks.
- It has fantastic online design software.
- Install kit to allow you to choose the preferred ink cartridge size
- Uses both traditional USB cord and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Has 2-year warranty
- It comes with compatible accessories.
7. “Stylus C88+ and Hotzone 360 C88+ Bundle” by Epson
A major issue that a lot of heat transfer printers face is how they deal with sublimation. This can cause ink to clog when creating the iron-on designs that many heat transfer printers specialize in creating.
Containing a bundled pair of stylus and hotzone 360 heat transfer printers, it contains a system that processes the ink that is used in most heat transfer printers to where it will be able to transfer much smoother than with most other heat transfer printers.
The really good part about this has to do with the transfer ink that it uses. Most heat transfer printers require certain types of transfer ink that are compatible with the specific printer that uses the transfer ink. The Stylus/Hotzone combo is compatible with any kind of transfer ink, which gives you a lot more options than other heat transfer printers.
There are a couple of issues that the Stylus/Hotzone combo has. First, you’ll need different paper if you want to create certain designs. If you want to make an iron-on design for a shirt, for example, you’re going to need particular paper that will deal with the sublimation process that accompanies making those kinds of designs.
Another issue has to deal with the size of the paper. If you want the Stylus/Hotzone bundle to print a design on an 11×17 inch sheet of paper, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
8.“Stylus” C88+ inkjet color printer by Epson
If you use a color printer that uses only one ink cartridge for all of the colors involved, you’ll suffer from two inconveniences. First, the ink will run out very fast if the printer is used regularly. You’ll find yourself changing the cartridge a lot.
The second issue has to deal with the overall quality of what gets printed out. This quality is compromised in a big way when only one ink cartridge is used.
The Stylus, by Epson, uses multiple ink cartridges. This solves both issues in that you’ll only need to change one particular cartridge and you’ll get much better quality. When you use color printers that use multiple cartridges, you will find yourself changing particular ink cartridges much less often than you did with a color printer that used only one ink cartridge.
Another thing that the Stylus excels at is quality. While most color printers that use multiple ink cartridges typically possess very good quality in their own right, the Stylus goes the extra mile, yielding an impressive 5760×1440 dpi ratio. This kind of quality is very rare in color printers, even those that use multiple ink cartridges.
You will not get much use out of the Stylus other than color printing, however. It can only print in color, and can only print up to about 25 sheets per minute, and it is not Wi-Fi compatible. In order to use the Stylus, you’ll need to physically connect it to a PC. While this is not really an issue for those who want to take their time to print out designs on transfer paper and other such things, it will present an issue for anybody who needs a lot of designs printed out very quickly.
9. “Cameo” wireless cutting machine by Silhouette
It can be very difficult to manually adjust the blades when using a printer for laser cutting. Unless you are really skilled at it, you’ll have a tough time setting up a laser cutter printer’s blades.
Fortunately, the Cameo by Silhouette is different from other laser printers in that it has a self adjusting auto blade. This will automatically adjust the Cameo’s blade when cutting, and this is very useful for somebody who is not very skilled at laser cutting.
The Cameo also comes with its own software that you can use if you don’t know exactly what to create or if you are looking for new designs to take on and want a guide, since the software contains a few templates that you can follow. You can also use this software to draw up your own blueprints and save them.
If you want to use multiple tools so that you can create more than one design on your materials, you’ll be able to do so with the Cameo since it contains a dual carriage. If you want to cut thicker materials, that is also possible since it has a clearance that is 2 millimeters higher than other laser cutting printers.
The only thing that the Cameo doesn’t do is emboss, deboss, or etch. The only thing it can really do is print and cut. If you are looking for a laser cutting printer that can also emboss, deboss, and etch, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
10. “LaserJet Pro” wireless color laser printer by Hewlett Packard
Anybody who needs a printer for an office type workplace will get more out of Hewlett Packard’s LaserJet Pro than any other printer. From its sheet capacity to its print quality to print speed to its connectivity, you will not go wrong with it if you need a printer for an establishment or an office.
Most printers that are similar to the LaserJet pro have a 200 or 250 sheet capacity. The LaserJet Pro has a capacity of 300. Unless things are moving so fast that you cannot keep track of how many sheets you have in your printer, you will very rarely need to refill the LaserJet Pro.
The LaserJet Pro prints documents and designs very quickly, as well. At a rate of 28 pages per minute, you will not need to worry about any pages being printed out at a slow rate. If you are printing a very large document or many copies of the same document, you’ll get them very fast at this rate.
Not only is the LaserJet Pro compatible with wi-fi connections, but you can also add up to 10 users in its workgroup. This is perfect for any office setting, where many people will need to print things at a time.
Because it can do so many things, you’ll need to train others on how to use the LaserJet Pro. It is not as user friendly as it should be, and if people do not know how to use it, it will cause frustration. It has so many options that it can be frustrating to use at times.
11. 3D vacuum heat press machine for mugs by Ving
3D printing is a relatively new undertaking when it comes to creating anything, and it can be difficult to find a reliable 3D printer that is actually easy to use and is also reliable.
It can also be difficult to find a 3D printer filament that can print eye catchy pictures with minimal effort. A lot of 3D printers can only create one item at a time and usually that item is really large and not really practical in its use.
Ving’s 3D heat press machine changes all of this. While it is not a typical heat transfer printer that can create designs or engravings, it utilizes heat in much the same way to create imprints for physical items that you want to create in the future.
In most cases, this is a very difficult and complicated process. Ving’s 3D heat press machine simplifies this by several degrees. To create imprints with it, all you need to do is have you image or design ready on transfer paper, then place the paper into the heat press.
Different than other 3D heat presses, you will not need to sit by and check on Ving’s 3D heat press. It will automatically turn off after 15 minutes of use. This is very nice if you are working on other things while using it.
Ving’s 3D heat press can reach temperatures upwards of 200 degrees celsius. This is much hotter than other 3D heat presses and other heat transfer printers. If you are not used to working with this much heat, you’ll need to get used to it a bit.
12. “Virtuoso” sublimation printer with 110 sheets of sublimation paper by Sawgrass
A lot of heat transfer and sublimation printers assume you already have sheets of heat transfer and sublimation paper on hand. This can be very troublesome if you do not have any on hand and you want to immediately begin imprinting designs.
Fortunately, Sawgrass’s Virtuoso comes bundled with 110 sheets of sublimation paper that you can use immediately. This is a very good thing if you do not know where you can get sublimation paper but need to begin making designs immediately.
A lot of heat transfer printers also assume that you have your own design software that you make logos and designs on before even getting a heat transfer printer. The Virtuoso solves this as well by containing its own software. This gives you an additional software option if you already have software, or it can save you the trouble of looking for design software.
There is a limitation as to what kind of imprints the Virtuoso can create, however. If you are looking for a heat transfer printer that can transfer designs onto cotton, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The ink from the Virtuoso is suitable for polyester fabrics and polymer coated hard substances only.
These kinds of limitations take away from the usefulness of the Virtuoso as a whole.
Best Heat Transfer Printer: A Buying Guide
Buying a printer sight unseen is never a good idea, especially if you want a printer that can use heat transfer paper or need a printer for imprinting designs.
If you want to keep one of these printers for a very long time, you’re going to need to understand that there are a number of things to consider before buying a heat transfer printer.
Fail to consider these things, and you’ll be left with a heat transfer printer that you might regret buying even months after buying it.
Do you need your printer to be wireless?
While all printers need some sort of power source to operate, many of them can utilize networks that can queue up their printing jobs.
In this case, “wireless” just means that you do not need to connect the printer to a PC to queue up printing jobs.
This is very useful in the right kinds of situations.
If you need a heat transfer printer for your home, this may not be necessary. But if you need one for your workplace or office, you will definitely need a printer that contains a wi-fi connection.
And if you need multiple printers, you will definitely need one that has not only a wi-fi connection, but can also function as an access point for printing jobs.
Also, you can print from any kind of device if the printer has a wi-fi connection, not just your PC. This is also very useful if you need to access the printer from remote locations in your home or establishment.
What do you need the printer for?
There are six different functions that utilize printers: Heat transfers, laser cutting materials, printing, scanning, copying, and faxing.
Very few printers are capable of doing all six. In most cases, you’ll need to choose between printers that specialize in just one or two of these functions.
Some printers can perform these functions rapidly. But when printers that can perform these things very quickly, they often do it at the expense of creating more complicated designs.
This is especially true with printers that scan and print. Copying and faxing are typically simple functions that are not complicated in nature, but when it comes to scanning and printing, things may not be that simple.
Scanning and printing functions can be a little more involving than copying and faxing in terms of what is getting created on the page in that they often require more complicated designs than faxing and copying.
Most printers that perform heat transfers or laser cutting typically only do these things. But there are some rare cases where a printer can perform other things as well as heat transfers and laser cutting. You’ll need to look for those types if you are in need of an all purpose printer.
How many printers do you need?
You may need multiple printers in your home, office, or establishment. This is another thing that you need to consider, and it ties into the purpose of a printer.
If you just need a printer for your home, then you literally just need one printer. There is no explanation for that.
However, if you are in a large office or other establishment, will you need multiple printers?
This is a question that you should consider.
Let’s say you own an office or establishment where many things need to be printed, scanned, faxed, or copied. This is one obvious example where you might need to have multiple printers.
But there can be situations where you may not need multiple printers in your office or establishment.
You’ll want to weigh these options the next time you need to buy one printer, or a set of them.
This also relates to what you need the printer for. If you need a printer for multiple functions, you’ll likely need multiple printers since so few of them can perform all six of the above functions.
Keep in mind that these are very rare, especially when it comes to heat transfer printers. If you need a heat transfer printer and an ink printer, chances are very good that you’re going to need to get one of each.
How to use heat transfer printers
The first thing you should know is that heat transfer printers accomplish two major things: Imprinting designs onto fabric, such as clothes, blankets, or sheets. They also imprint designs onto certain hard surfaces that are usually ceramic at their core, such as dinnerware.
To do this, your design of choice is printed onto heat transfer paper and is then placed onto whatever it is intended to be imprinted on.
This process starts with your design. Create your design using whatever software you possess that connects to your heat transfer printer of choice.
When you do this, make sure that your printer possesses the right color ink for your design and make sure that your design is the right size for your heat transfer printer. If your heat transfer printer only allows 8 and ½ x 11 inch paper to be used and your design is printed on a different size of paper, you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
This is where a choice needs to be made: You can either use the heat transfer printer to print the design directly onto the surface of your choice, or you can print the design onto heat transfer paper so that you can transfer it to the surface using another method.
If you are using transfer paper, make sure it can work with the color scheme of your design. Print the design using the transfer paper as if you were using any other kind of printer, then immediately transfer what is on the paper to the surface of your choice.
This is how to use a heat transfer printer and how to transfer designs onto surfaces in general. Keep in mind that this takes a good amount of practice. Heat transferring is an art and a skill, and like with most other art forms and skills, you should not expect to master it overnight.
Aspects to Consider When Buying a Sublimation Printer
There are many types of sublimation printers on the market , and each of them seeks to adapt easily to certain consumers. That is why, when buying a printer of this class, you have to know exactly what you are looking for, because depending on this, it will be more advisable to look for printers with certain characteristics, than with others.
In this sense, when buying a printer of this class, it is essential to evaluate the following points:
Cost per impression
If what is sought is to start a sublimation business , then this is a very important factor to consider, since depending on the cost of each impression; The cost of things to sell will vary.
That is, if a print costs 4 euros, the product could be sold at 8-10 euros, however, if the print costs 10 euros, the product would have to be sold at 14-18 euros; that is, depending on the cost of printing, the final cost of the product will vary.
In this sense, it is best to look for printers that are saving; To do this, you must evaluate the printing capacity they have with a single recharge, because depending on this, you can calculate the total cost per print.
The more economical the printer is, the lower the printing cost ; However, it is essential to be careful when looking for this feature, as some manufacturers alter the numbers, to show that their printers are thrifty, when in fact it is not. On the other hand, it is also recommended to evaluate the total capacity of the printer; because depending on its total capacity (impressions that it guarantees in its useful life), a much more precise cost per impression can be determined.
This is a very important aspect to consider, depending on the type of printing you want to make. In this sense, if the goal of sublimation is to give a personalized look to small objects (cover letters, key chains, etc.), then this factor can be completely forgotten; However, if you plan to sublimate large objects (shirts, fabrics, etc.), then it is essential to evaluate the maximum print size.
This basically means the maximum sheet size it supports ; Normally, sublimation printers clarify the size they support in inches and / or centimeters. Depending on the printer in question, this size may vary.
It is important to mention that this factor is something that depends entirely on the use that will be given to the printer, as explained above; On the other hand, there are some printers that do not highlight this information, as they have a standard print size (such as conventional printers).
The resolution is another aspect that should not be overlooked when buying a printer of this class . No matter the use that is going to be given, it is important to look for a printer that guarantees a good resolution, because depending on this factor, the quality of the prints will vary.
Basically, the resolution is measured in PPP (pixels per inch). This refers to the amount of pixels that each inch of print contains; and obviously, the more pixels there are in an inch, the better the print quality in question.
In a sublimation printer at least 700 x 700 PPP is recommended , regardless of the objects and / or the type of prints to be made. If you buy a printer with a lower resolution than the one mentioned above, the problem will be noticed when you want to pass the print to the object in question; because the result will be of poor quality, with opaque colors, and even, areas with little color.
Possibility / ease of refilling the ink
Many of the low-cost printers to sublimate that can be found on the Internet, have a rather serious problem; and it is that they can give many headaches when you want to refill the ink, making them basically printers to use them until they run out of ink, since after that, it will be very difficult to recharge them.
That is why, if you are looking to start a business in the sector and you want a printer that can guarantee a large number of uses; You have to find a printer that can be easily recharged and does not require modifications to perform this process.
Although this is ideal, it is also important to know that this can mean an extra cost in the value of the printer, however, it can be considered as a long-term investment.
What is the best brand of sublimation printers?
In general, people who are dedicated to this activity (both to spend time and professionally), recommend Epson, as this manufacturer specializes in this kind of printers; therefore, you can totally trust this brand, which is considered the best brand of sublimation printers .
How to Use a Sublimation Printer?
After you have made the purchase of the printer, it is very important to know all the steps to follow, so that the prints are a success. First of all, it is very important to keep in mind that certain factors may vary, depending on the printer in question; therefore, it is recommended to read the instruction manual, as it is normal to indicate the steps to follow to sublimate.
Likewise, the general steps to follow when using a sublimation printer are the following :
- Turn on the printer.
- Check the settings of it.
- Adjust the settings from the printer panel, so that they are ideal for sublimation.
- Place the sublimation paper in the printer.
- Perform a first test.
In case the printing does not have the appropriate shades, you must proceed to the settings again, where you can adjust the color range; according to what is needed and the results that have been obtained.
Steps to Sublimate Successfully
Knowing what are the steps to follow for the use of the printer; It is also essential to consider the steps to follow for sublimation as such . In this sense, it is essential to consider the following information:
- Select the image : This is something that is done from the computer; and it is essential to modify it with some editing program, so that it has the desired dimensions, depending on what you want to sublimate.
- Proceed with printing : When the printer is already functioning correctly (colors, sizes, etc.), the file is sent to it; so that it takes care of the whole process. It is important to mention that a special sublimation paper or one that serves this process, such as CAD, should be used.
- Adjust the paper and the object : The printed side of the paper must be fixed to the object to be sublimated; after that, it must be fixed with tape or paste, so that it does not move during the next step.
- Place everything on the plate : In the sublimation plate, the object must be placed, already with the blade fixed. When the heat is applied, the ink will pass to the object in question and ready, you will have the object with the desired image.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are usually the ones that arise before buying a sublimation printing system.
We have tried to set aside technical issues and focus on practices.
What is sublimation?
It is a very simple object printing technique, which allows you to customize from a single unit.
The advantages it has and that make it so popular are:
- It is easy to learn . If you already manage graphic programs, you need less than half an hour of instruction.
- The necessary equipment is very economical . We have packages with everything you need to start from about € 1,200, you can see them here .
- The works are done in a very short time . With the prepared equipment you can print a t-shirt or a cup with a drawing that a client sends you in an email in less than 5 minutes.
- It can be printed on a large number of different materials : textile, ceramics, wood, plastic, glass, metal, …
How does it work?
It could be summarized as follows:
- We use a conventional inkjet printer to which we install special inks.
- We print a drawing from any graphic program on a special paper.
- We put that paper on objects prepared for sublimation (we have more than 300 different ones) and with a special iron we apply heat for a few seconds. The ink passes from the paper to the object.
Why can the sublimation technique interest me?
With a relatively small investment you can offer your customers a wide range of customizable products, without relying on anyone external to make the marking. In addition, the print has a very professional appearance and great durability. Best of all: the sale of those marked objects is a high profitability business.
I tried it years ago, but it gave me problems and I abandoned it. Has anything changed?
Sublimation inks have progressed incredibly in recent years and are now very reliable. It is also important that you succeed with professionals who know how to advise you properly. We only sell inks that offer a total quality guarantee.
What is special about customizable sublimation objects?
Subli inks only work on polyester surfaces. All customizable subli objects that we sell are made of polyester or have a polyester coating. For example, the cups have been lacquered with varnishes containing polyester.
What objects can be customized by sublimation?
The list is virtually inexhaustible. We offer almost 400 in our store . But we also sell varnishes so that you apply them on other objects that you can think of.
Can you print photos?
Yes. In fact, it is one of the applications where sublimation looks the most. For that reason, one of the main sublimation markets is photography stores.
How is the touch of the printed surface?
The ink penetrates the polyester, so it is impossible to touch between a printed and an equal object without printing, even in fabrics. In this aspect, it is undoubtedly the best printing system we know.
Can you sublimate on cotton fabrics?
Unfortunately not, it needs to be polyester. But as there are so many people who have asked for the same thing, systems have been created that are very similar and can be used on cotton. We offer them , but you have to keep in mind that it is not exactly the same.
Too beautiful everything … is there no limitation?
Basically there are two limitations, although they can be partially resolved:
- The composition must be 100% polyester (or at least 60%). In the case of cotton fabrics there are alternative solutions.
- The surfaces must be white. That does not mean that you cannot get black objects, since the background of the printed image can be black and so we “turn” the object into dark.
Does sublimation printing have good durability?
Yes. This is something that arises as much for the washing of the textile garments, as of the cups. We can say that in both cases the results are highly satisfactory, especially in the textile case.
Can any inkjet printer be used?
In principle yes, but we only sell a limited list of printers , Epson and Ricoh brands. The main reason for this limitation is that we must supply appropriate cartridges for the models we sell, and we cannot do so for all the printers on the market. Therefore, models of printers that have demonstrated greater efficiency have been selected.
Why do we prefer Epson printers for sublimation?
Epson printers use “cold” technology to project ink on paper. This technique is called Piezo head and is patented by Epson. The head has a tiny crystal that vibrates when stimulated with an electric charge, and this forces the ink out through the holes. Since sublimation inks are activated by heat, this system is ideal for sublimation systems. There are other printers that use a system that sends the ink to the paper by heat, making it “boil”, so they would not be used for subli inks, because they would activate them sooner than desired.
How do I choose the printer that suits me?
The first conditioner is the largest paper size you will use. Then it depends on the printing speed, unit cost, budget, frequency of use, … Our commercials will advise you for your case.
Change cartridges and … are you there?
Before using the printer with subli inks for the first time (and only that time) you have to install a color profile , which is a program that allows the printer driver to interpret the images with the colors of the subli inks. It is a simple operation for which you just have to follow the instructions on the CD that came with the ink kit.
Can I use the printer for other applications, changing the ink?
We do not recommend it. Still cleaning the entire ink circuit, surely something would remain and give you problems. Once you release a printer with an ink type, you should not change it. Surely you will save time and money by dedicating each printer to a single type of ink.
What do I need besides the printer?
A computer and a transfer iron. If you print ceramics it is advisable to have a protective glove.
Are there plates to transfer over any object?
For those of us who sell. You can see all the models here . If you are trying to sublimate something that you have varnished yourself, think first about how you are going to transfer it.
Can I use a household iron?
Maybe, but keep in mind that you have to control pressure, temperature and time. It is difficult for you to do that with precision in a domestic iron, besides you only have a small hot surface. If you are going to work professionally we would definitely tell you that you should not do it, you will lose a lot of money for defective impressions.
What unit cost do sublimation have?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions but, because of the number of possible variables, it is more difficult to answer with desirable precision. For example, we could say that printing the entire surface of a cup has a cost of ink and paper of about € 0.65, but keep in mind that most designs do not occupy the entire surface.
What is a CISS?
They are the initials of Coutinuous Ink Supply System, it is a refillable ink deposit system that allows you to control ink levels and easily refills. Installing it in the printer is as simple as changing the original cartridges.
Do you save a lot of money with refillable systems compared to cartridges?
Without a doubt, more than 50%. But it must be borne in mind that for an occasional user, the cartridge systems greatly extend the life of the inks and the printer, so savings could come on the other hand.
What paper formats are available?
From an A4 single sheet format to 84cm wide rolls, to print on A0.
Are subli inks green?
Yes, they are water based inks. We also recommend you recycle the cartridges.
While common ink printers are capable of creating and transferring designs, no device does this quite as effectively as heat transfer printers.
If there is a design that you have in mind that you want to put on a T-shirt, piece of dinnerware, blanket, sheet, or any other kind of surface that allows designs to be heat transferred, you should know what kinds of printers exist for this.
If you need a good printer for your home or office and need to replace your old one, you will have no use for a heat transfer printer. Instead, you’ll want to look for ink printers that can print, scan, copy, or fax.
While this difference seems obvious, many foolishly believe that an ink printer can do the same kinds of things with regards to transferring designs as heat transfer printers.
This is not true, and it is useful to know the difference between heat transfer printers and ink printers.
When you know this difference, you’ll be able to know exactly what kind of printer you’ll need for whatever you want to do.