Are you bursting with excitement to bring your unique vision to life? Sublimation printing is the way to go! This versatile and dynamic printing method can transform your ideas into a tangible reality, with brilliant colors and designs that stand the test of time. From customizing mugs, t-shirts, acrylic blanks to creating vibrant and eye-catching posters, sublimation printing offers endless creative possibilities
If you’re keen to express your creativity with sublimation printing but unsure about which printer to choose, I’m here to help. Finding the perfect sublimation printer is key to making your designs stand out with fine detail. Let’s explore the world of sublimation printing together and find the perfect fit for you.
What Are the Essential Items Needed for Sublimation Printing?
The essential items needed for sublimation printing include;
1)Sublimation Ink and A Sublimation Printer
Sublimation ink is specifically designed for sublimation printing and is essential for creating vibrant and long-lasting prints on various substrates such as fabric, metal, or ceramics. Sublimation ink transforms into a gas when exposed to high temperatures and then bonds with the fibers of the substrate, resulting in a high-quality print that won’t fade or peel. I highly recommend Hiipoo Sublimation Ink Refilled Bottles as its versatility is suitable for processing fonts, cartoon square pattern t-shirts, pillowcases, mugs, cross-stitch, shoes, hats, ceramics, banners, flip flops, wine glasses, mugs, socks, canvas, puzzles, hoodies, wood, etc
Note: Using regular ink with a sublimation printer will not produce the desired result and can damage the printer. Therefore, it’s crucial to use sublimation ink for successful sublimation printing.
Sublimation paper is specially coated with a layer that helps to absorb sublimation ink, hold the ink well, and prevent ink bleeding. It allows the ink to be released from the paper during the heat transfer process and bond with the substrate, resulting in vibrant, high-quality, and long-lasting prints. I personally use A-SUB Sublimation Paper as it can used with any Inkjet Printer( check it out) Without sublimation paper, sublimation printing is not possible.
3) A Heat Press Machine or Iron or Heat Gun
To achieve a successful sublimation transfer, you need to apply heat and pressure to the sublimation paper with the printed design and the substrate, such as fabric or ceramic. A heat press machine is necessary to provide the necessary heat and pressure. ( The HORGELU Upgraded 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine 15 x 15 Inch leads the pack in sublimation industry)
A heat press machine applies consistent heat and pressure, resulting in high-quality transfers with vibrant and long-lasting prints. Surprisingly, An iron can also be used. But, the flip side is that it requires more effort and may not provide consistent heat and pressure, leading to uneven or incomplete transfers while a heat gun is an alternative option for smaller projects, but it requires more skill and precision. Get your self the GoGonova 1800W Heat Gun with LCD Digital Display as it is compact and easy to use.
4) A Computer with graphic design software
There are several free software options available for sublimation printing such as Canva. These software programs offer features for designing and editing images that are suitable for sublimation printing. Keep in mind that the free versions may have limited capabilities compared to paid versions. I recommend CorelDRAW
A cutting tool such as a vinyl cutter or a plotter is useful during sublimation because it allows you to create precise shapes and designs on the sublimation paper or vinyl. Furthermore, using a cutting tool allows you to cut out the exact shape you need for your project, whether it’s a logo, text, or a complex design. This ensures that you don’t waste sublimation ink or paper on unnecessary areas and helps you achieve a professional-looking result.
All these are needed to create the designs. It’s also important to have a clean workspace and protective gear, such as heat-resistant gloves and a face mask, to ensure safety during the printing process. Without these essential items, it will be difficult or impossible to successfully complete sublimation printing projects.
Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners
1) Epson Workforce WF-7720 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer
Epson Workforce WF-7720 tops the list for a number of reasons. First and far most, it is an excellent choice for office use. With Wi-Fi connectivity and inkjet printing technology, this printer offers the convenience of wireless printing. The maximum color print speed of 1319 which ensures efficient production, while the black color adds a touch of sophistication. Let’s get to the nitty-gritties of this sublimation printer.
- Operating Systems
This sublimation printer is a versatile and powerful printer that can produce borderless prints up to 13″ x 19″. Surprisingly, this model is quiet compatible with almost all operating systems(Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), and Vista, as well as Windows Server 2003-2016, Mac OS X 10.6.8 and macOS 10.12.x.). This broad capability ensures that users are not limited to just one operating system printer but can use a variety of devices and operating systems, making it an excellent choice for users who require flexibility and versatility( Especially for beginners). Whether you’re working on your phone, a mini- laptop , a PC or a Mac, this sublimation printer will make it a lot easier.
- 4.3” Color Touchscreen
For easy navigation and control, this printer has Its intuitive 4.3″ color touchscreen that makes it easy to operate, even for beginners. Moreover, the printer allows users to print from a variety of devices, including iPads, iPhones, and Android tablets and smartphones. With Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, and NFC connectivity options, users can print from virtually anywhere. The printer also features a large scan area, with the ability to scan up to 11″ x 17″ with a 2-sided auto document feeder.
This quality sublimation printer is an economical choice for those who prioritize energy efficiency as it uses up to 80% less power than color laser printers. Additionally, the printer features an automatic two-sided printing feature that can further reduce paper usage, making it an excellent choice for environmentally conscious users. With its low power consumption and efficient printing capabilities, the Epson Workforce WF-7720 is an economical and sustainable option for your printing needs.
- Bulk Printing
With its 500-sheet capacity, dual trays, and rear feed for specialty paper, this printer can handle even the largest printing projects with ease. What’s more, the 125-sheet output tray ensures that your prints are neatly organized and ready to use. Whether you’re a small business owner or a creative professional, Epson Workforce WF-7720 printer is a reliable and efficient choice that will help you meet your printing needs with ease.
- 500-sheet capacity
- 4.3″ color touchscreen
- Compatible with almost all operating systems
- Easy to Use
- Only Epson cartridges are compatible with this printer, and the use of third-party cartridges or ink is not recommended or supported.
2) Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer with Inks
The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 Sublimation Printer Starter Bundle Package with Creative Studio Online Designer Software is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enter the world of sublimation printing. Why should you purchase this sublimation printer? Here’s why!
- Comes with SUBLIJET UHD Sublimation Ink CMYK Starter Kit with 110 Sheets of Exclusive Sublimation Paper
This starter bundle deal includes everything you need to get started, including a complete set of SUBLIJET UHD sublimation inks CMYK, 110 sheets of SUBLIMAX sublimation paper (size 8.5 x 11), and three rolls of SUBLIMAX heat-resistant tape.
- Creative Studio Online Designer Software
One of the standout features of the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is its ease of use. The included Creative Studio Online Designer Software makes it easy to create stunning designs and print them on a variety of surfaces, including ceramics, metal, and polyester fabrics. The software is intuitive and user-friendly, even for those with no prior design experience.
- Maximum Input Sheet Capacity of 110
The printer itself is also easy to set up and use. It is compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport and store. The printer has a maximum input sheet capacity of 110, allowing you to handle even the largest printing projects with ease. The printer also comes with a beautiful and sturdy dust cover, adding an extra layer of protection to your investment.
The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 Sublimation Printer produces vibrant and accurate colors, thanks to its use of sublimation technology. It is important to note that sublimation does not work on cotton or dark fabrics and requires the use of a heat press. However, if you are looking to print on a variety of surfaces, the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is an excellent choice.
- Lifetime Support
Another benefit of purchasing the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is the 2-year manufacturer warranty and premium manufacturer 1-on-1 onboarding. This ensures that you will have the support you need to get the most out of your printer. Lifetime support is also included, so you can rest assured that you will always have the help you need.
- intuitive and user-friendly
- Sheet Capacity of 110
- Lifetime Support
- Comes with Creative Studio Online Designer Software
- Product may require an adapter or converter for use
3) Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner and Copier
Searching for an efficient sublimation printer for your home or business? The Epson ET-2720 inkjet printer is what you need to easily print from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This printer uses refillable ink tanks instead of cartridges, making it a cost-effective choice for those who print frequently. Let’s dive into what makes this printer perfect for sublimation.
- Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing
The Epson ET-2720 printer is more than just a printer. It’s a sustainable and eco-friendly solution that eliminates the need for expensive and tiny ink cartridges. The high-capacity ink tanks and exclusive EcoFit ink bottles make filling up an easy and worry-free process, allowing you to focus on your work without any stress.
Not only does it offer stress-free printing, but it also includes up to two years of ink in the box, saving you from those frustrating out-of-ink moments. And by using an EcoTank printer, you can make a difference in reducing cartridge waste and promoting a sustainable environment.
- Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology,
The Epson ET-2720 produces impressive print quality with unique Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology, ensuring sharp text and vivid color photos and graphics on any paper type. The built-in scanner and copier with a high-resolution flatbed scanner and color display make document copying and navigation a breeze.
- Modern Modern Connectivity
With modern connectivity options like wireless printing and hands-free voice-activated printing, you can easily print from your smart devices with the intuitive Epson Smart Panel App. Its sleek white design will complement any workspace, making it perfect for both home and office use.
- 2-year limited warranty
The Epson ET-2720 is designed with reliability in mind, providing you with a worry-free 2-year limited warranty with registration, including full unit replacement. It’s easy to set up and use, giving you a hassle-free printing experience from start to finish.
Overall, the Epson ET-2720 printer is an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and reliable printing solution that delivers impressive print quality and modern connectivity options. Choosing this printer means you’re making a positive impact on the environment while enjoying a hassle-free printing experience.
- Uses refillable ink tanks instead of cartridges
- Modern Modern Connectivity with the Epson Smart Panel App
- Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology
- Easy to set up
- 2-year limited warranty
4) Brother HL-L2320D Mono Laser Printer
The Brother L2320D Laser sublimation Printer is a powerful, yet compact printing solution for your creative needs.
The L2320D features USB connectivity technology, allowing you to easily connect your printer to your computer or laptop. And with its powerful laser printing technology, you can expect fast, high-quality prints every time.
One of my favorite standout features of this printer is its Auto-Duplex capability. This lets you automatically print on both sides of a page, saving you time and money on paper. And with a monochrome printer output, you can expect crisp, clear prints every time.
Whether you’re printing important business documents or personal projects, the Brother L2320D can handle it all. It’s recommended for both home and office use, and with a max print speed of 30 pages per minute, you can get your printing done quickly and efficiently.
At just 15 weight the L2320D is compact and easy to move around as needed. So why wait? Get the Brother L2320D Laser Printer today and experience the ultimate in printing technology!
- Auto-Duplex capability
- compact and easy
- powerful laser printing technology
- max print speed of 30 pages per minute
5)Lexmark B2650dw Monochrome Laser Printer, Duplex with Two Sided Printing, Wireless Network Capability (36SC471)
Are you tired of slow, inefficient printers that can’t keep up with your workload? Upgrade to the Lexmark B2650dw sublimation printer and tackle your printing tasks with ease. With a powerful 1-GHz dual-core processor and 512 MB of memory, this printer can handle even the most demanding jobs. And, with standard Wi-Fi, you can easily connect to your office network and print from anywhere in the room.
The B2650dw also features a 2.4-inch color LCD, allowing you to easily configure and monitor vital system information. To add some versatility, it comes with Lexmark’s full-spectrum security architecture, you can rest assured that your sensitive information is always safe – whether it’s on the document, the device, over the network, or anywhere in between.
This printer is designed for print-only use and can handle paper sizes up to 8.5 x 14 inches and boasts a fast print speed of 50 pages per minute.
Another great feature is its sleek white and gray design, which will fit seamlessly into any office decor. The monochrome printer output ensures that your documents will come out crisp and clear every time, making it perfect for printing important reports, memos, and presentations.
The B2650dw is compatible with both Linux and Windows operating systems, making it a versatile choice for any office environment. And with its laser printing technology, you can expect fast, high-quality prints every time.
Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable, efficient, and stylish printer for your office, the Lexmark B2650dw is an excellent choice. Its fast print speed, wireless connectivity, and sleek design make it a top pick for any office environment.
- Powerful 1-GHz dual-core processor
- 512 MB of memory
- Fast print speed of 50 pages per minutes
- Compatible with both Linux and Windows operating systems
- Bit Over Priced
6)Canon PIXMA iX6820 Inkjet Printer
Are you tired of mediocre prints that lack detail and sharpness? If so, you need the Canon PIXMA TS9120 Wireless All-in-One Printer. With a maximum color dpi of 9600 x 2400, this printer delivers exceptional printing detail that will make your photos come to life. And thanks to its 1-picoliter sized ink droplets, your photos will be sharp and detailed, with every color and detail captured perfectly.
Whether you’re printing photos or documents, the PIXMA TS9120 is lightning fast, printing borderless 4″ x 6″ photos in just 36 seconds. And with Solution Templates, you can avoid creating every document from scratch, saving you time and hassle.
But, that’s not all – the PIXMA TS9120 also features My Image Garden, an application that combines all your favorite printing features in one easy-to-use interface. From photo filters to creative layouts, My Image Garden gives you the tools you need to create stunning prints every time.
So, why settle for mediocre prints when you can have exceptional quality with the Canon PIXMA TS9120? Upgrade your printing game today and experience the difference for yourself.
- Borderless 4″ x 6″ photos in just 36 seconds
- Easy to Use
- Available in limited colors
7)NEEGO HP All in One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer Print Copy Scan Wireless USB Connectivity Mobile Printing 6 Feet Printer Cable
Are you tired of constantly going to a printing shop or the library just to print out some basic designs for your project? Well, now with this sublimation printer it’s time to bring the convenience and efficiency of printing to your own home .
Without a doubt, it can easily handle all your printing, scanning, and copying tasks from one device. Moreover, with the HP Smart app, you can even make copies from your smartphone, meaning you can print out documents on the go without needing to transfer them to your computer first.
To make your work easier, let’s talk about the worry-free wireless feature. Importantly, the self-healing Wi-Fi automatically detects and resolves connectivity issues and helps you can stay connected without any interruptions. Add to that with the Bluetooth 5.0 to make you enjoy a hassle-free printing experience with easy setup.
But the best part? You can print, scan, and copy from virtually anywhere with your smartphone, thanks to the HP Smart app. Again, can even share your documents to third-party software like Dropbox and Google Drive for easy access and organization.
Created with a simple setup and reliable connectivity, this printer is perfect for basic home printing needs. So , why waste your precious time and money at a printing shop when you can have everything you need right at home? Invest in this printer and start enjoying the convenience of printing on your own terms.
- Has a simple setup and reliable connectivity
- Share to apps like Dropbox and Google Drive
- Easy to Use
- Also comes in limited colors
Can You Use A Regular Printer For Sublimation?
Regular printers are not designed for sublimation printing as they cannot handle the specialized ink and paper required for this process. Sublimation printing requires dye ink that transforms into gas when exposed to high temperatures and bonds with the substrate’s fibers, resulting in vibrant and durable prints. Sublimation paper also has a special coating that allows the ink to transfer onto the substrate. Using regular ink and paper with a sublimation printer can damage the printer and result in an unsatisfactory outcome.
To achieve the desired results, it’s essential to use a specialized sublimation printer equipped with the required ink and paper. These printers are specifically designed for sublimation printing and can produce high-quality prints on various substrates such as fabric, metal, and ceramics.
What Material Can You Sublimate On?
Sublimation is the process of converting a solid directly into a gas without passing through the liquid state. Here are some surfaces that can be sublimated upon:
- Polyester fabrics
- Cotton Fabrics
- Coated metals
- Metal sheets
It’s important to note that not all materials can be sublimated equally. The surface must be able to withstand high temperatures and have a smooth, even surface to ensure the transfer of ink is clear and crisp.
What Kind of Computer Do I Need for Sublimation?
You can use any PC, Mac or desktop for sublimation. Look for one with a powerful processor and plenty of RAM to handle the demands of graphics software. A computer with a high-resolution display will let you see your designs in good quality. Make sure your computer has enough of USB ports for connectivity
What Is Better Than Sublimation Printing?
Sublimation printing is a fantastic option for creating vibrant and long-lasting designs but it is not a one-size-fits-all answer. So what is “better” than it. Printing methods such as screen printing or direct-to-garment printing may be more appropriate for certain projects or materials. It’s important to consider your specific needs and goals when choosing a printing method to ensure the best results.
If you want your art to truly come to life, a sublimation printer is the way to go. The vibrant colors and sharp details that it produces will take your breath away. You’ll be able to create pieces that truly reflect the beauty of your imagination, and the quality of the prints will leave you feeling proud and accomplished. So why settle for anything less? Let a sublimation printer bring your art to its full potential.