When I first started, I had trouble finding the best sublimation printer for what I wanted.
Crafts using sublimation is one of my favorite things to do. I love how it’s almost simple the process is design, print, heat press, and enjoy. Not many crafts are so fast or give pro results like sublimation.
I found the perfect sublimation printers for both pros and beginners and put them into an amazing list!
Let me break it down for you in an easy way. The best sublimation printer is the one you need! Hopefully by the end of this post, whether you’re just starting out or already a pro, you will be able to make a choice.
Now let’s dive into the details. Buckle up, my friend, and get ready to discover the best sublimation printer!
I knew I wanted to do sublimation crafts, but I also wanted to invest in the right printer for me.
Now that I’ve used more than one sub-printer, I feel confident sharing what I think is the best and why. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect sublimation printer together!
There are lots of good sublimation printers with different features at a reasonable price. In this post, I only cover a handful of printers, basically, the ones I have used for my own personal use.
Any time you are making a purchase like this it is a good idea to also research other brands of sublimation printers to find the 1 that is going to be best for you.
Best Sublimation Printers
My first printer was an Epson Workforce WF-7710, typically used for normal inkjet printing that I converted to a sublimation printer. I have had it for a long time. I got my conversion Kit From Cosmos Ink. Their inks have the most vibrant colors you will find anywhere!
My Epson Printers always give me the most high-quality prints. And with this printer, I am also able to make borderless prints, which comes in very handy when doing tumblers and such.
I recently got one of the sawgrass printers, the SG500. This printer prints high-resolution prints at a high speed. The first time I used it, however, I was a little upset that the prints were not borderless.
What Is Sublimation Printing?
To put it simply, sublimation is a dye that penetrates the surface of blends of polyester or polyester fabric. The way it works is you use a special inkjet printer and sublimation ink to print an image on a special transfer paper.
It works just like a traditional printer. You place the transfer paper into the paper tray of the printer. Except you DO NOT use the ink cartridges that come with it.
Image quality is just as important as the ink and your printer to this print method.
Dye sublimation only works with light-colored materials unless you use a polymer coating. Although you end up with full-color prints, you must heat transfer the images to a polyester or polymer or polyester coated material.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d start off with what makes these two Epson ET printers the best sublimation printer choices.
Best Dye Sublimation Printers For Small Business Use?
Any of the following printers would be a good choice. They all have excellent print quality and there is also a wide-format sublimation printer or 2 on the list too. But, each in my opinion comes at an affordable price.
When you go to purchase your printer for sublimation printing, double-check that it is in fact for sublimation. There are a few that are desktop printers or photo printers that you will have to convert.
The Epson 8550 is a versatile and powerful choice for sublimation printing, offering exceptional photo quality results in the world of dye-sublimation.
With its advanced technology and precision, this Epson printer transforms can transform a design into vibrant and long-lasting print for you to use on a variety of substrates.
Its high-resolution capabilities ensure intricate details are captured accurately, making it ideal for personalized gifts, apparel, and even promotional items.
Imagine your designs coming to life with such vivid authenticity that they practically step out of the page. However, like any technology, the Epson 8550 has its pros and cons:
- High-Quality Output: The Epson 8550 delivers stunning, true-to-life colors and sharp images, making it perfect for producing professional-grade sublimation prints.
- Efficiency: Its fast printing speeds enable efficient production, reducing turnaround times for both small and large orders.
- User-Friendly: The printer is simple to set up as a regular inkjet or for sublimation printing. The tanks make adding ink fast and easy.
- Cost: The initial investment for the printer and sublimation setup can be significant, which might pose a barrier for small businesses or hobbyists.
- Maintenance: Converted sublimation printers require regular use to prevent clogs and ensure consistent print quality. This can include cleaning and replacing components.
- Ink Compatibility: because this is a photo printer there is a 5th ink, the photo black, so you will need to make sure the ink you are using also includes this extra ink.
The Epson 8550 is a formidable tool for sublimation printing, offering high-quality results and a range of creative possibilities. However, potential users should weigh the benefits against the associated costs and learning curve to determine if it’s the right fit for their needs.
But you will need to be careful with converting a printer, sometimes it can void your warranties.
Sure Color F170 Epson Sublimation Printer
The SureColor F170 Epson Sublimation Printer is a game-changer when it comes to sublimation printing.
This little powerhouse can take your creative ideas and turn them into tangible, eye-popping works of art. Whether you’re diving into personalized apparel, vibrant home décor, or unique gifts, the F170 brings your visions to life with striking clarity and color brilliance.
Its precise printing capabilities capture even the finest details, adding a touch of realism to your creations. Now, let’s break it down with some pros and cons:
- Top-Notch Quality: The SureColor F170 delivers prints that look like they jumped straight out of your imagination. Colors are vibrant, details are sharp – it’s like magic on paper.
- Compact Marvel: Don’t let its size fool you. This printer’s compact design means it fits right into your creative space, no sweat.
- User-Friendly Champion: Tech-phobia, be gone! The F170 is a breeze to use, making it a fantastic choice for both beginners and experienced pros.
- Effortless Setup: You won’t need an engineering degree to get this printer up and running. It’s a plug-and-play dream come true. It is made for sublimation so a lot less headache starting out!
- Limited Size: While the F170 is a superstar, it does have its limits. If you’re dreaming of colossal prints, you might need to scale down your ambitions or scale up your printer.
- Maintenance Mingle: Like any relationship, your printer needs some TLC. Regular maintenance is a must to keep it performing at its best.
- Initial Investment: Quality comes at a price. The F170 might require a bit more coin up front (compared to printers that you will convert), so be ready to invest in your creative journey.
So that’s the scoop on the SureColor F170 Epson Sublimation Printer. It’s like having a mini printing powerhouse in your creative arsenal.
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 Sublimation Printer (SG 500 and SG 1000 are great too)
When it comes to sublimation printing, the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400, SG500, and SG1000 are a trio of champions that bring your creative visions to life.
These printers are like wizards, turning your designs into vibrant, tangible pieces of art that practically pop off the substrate.
So, whether you’re jazzing up garments, accessories, or home décor, the Virtuoso series has your back with its exceptional color accuracy and high-resolution printing capabilities.
- Color Brilliance: The Sawgrass Virtuoso printers are like color virtuosos. They produce prints with stunningly accurate colors that stay vivid over time.
- Size Flexibility: With the SG400, SG500, and SG1000, you’ve got options. Print on various sizes of substrates, from small to large, without missing a beat.
- User-Friendly: Don’t be intimidated – these printers are as friendly as your favorite barista. Easy setup and intuitive interfaces make your sublimation journey smooth.
- Speed Demon: No waiting around twiddling your thumbs. These printers work fast, ensuring your creations are ready in a jiffy.
- Endurance Prints: Say goodbye to fading prints. The Virtuoso series delivers durable results that stand the test of time.
- Initial Cost: Top-notch quality can come with a price. Be prepared to invest upfront, especially if you’re starting from scratch.
- Maintenance Routine: Like any high-performance machine, these printers need regular maintenance. Cleaning and upkeep are essential to keep them humming.
- Ink and Substrate Compatibility: Not all inks and substrates play nice. You might need to do some trial and error to find your perfect combo.
- Learning Curve: Sublimation printing has its quirks. You’ll need to learn about color profiles, heat press settings, and the whole sublimation dance.
- Space Consideration: Big dreams need room. The larger SG1000 might require a bit more space in your creative corner.
These printers have the potential to transform blank canvases into impressive creations, much like the work of skilled artists.
Consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully before delving into the realm of sublimation printing, and embrace your creative journey with confidence.
Epson ET-15000 for Sublimation
The Epson ET-15000 is a robust choice for sublimation printing. With ink tanks, you’ll spend more time printing and less time refilling.
Its versatile print size options let you explore different projects, from personalized gifts to vibrant banners. The color accuracy is top-notch, ensuring your designs shine with realism. Plus, wireless connectivity means hassle-free printing.
On the downside, it might be a budget stretch upfront, and mastering sublimation techniques takes a learning curve. Maintenance is essential, but you’ll reap the benefits of quality output and eco-friendly practices.
- Efficiency in Abundance: Substantial ink reservoirs translate to extended printing sessions with reduced interruption from frequent refills.
- Size Flexibility Galore: The printer’s wide-ranging print size adaptability allows for diverse project exploration and experimentation.
- Colors That Speak the Truth: The printer’s forte lies in its ability to replicate colors with a level of precision and vibrancy that ensures your designs maintain their authenticity.
- Eco-Focused Approach: The incorporation of EcoTank technology aligns with sustainability goals, curbing ink waste and promoting a more environmentally conscious printing process.
- Upfront Investment: The Epson ET-15000’s array of features comes at an initial cost that might necessitate a substantial investment upfront.
- Maintenance Musts: Ensuring the printer’s continued performance excellence demands consistent and vigilant maintenance practices to prevent ink system clogs and related issues.
Epson ET-2760 for Sublimation
The Epson ET-2760 is a compact and budget-friendly entry point into sublimation. It fits well in smaller spaces and doesn’t break the bank.
While the color output is decent, it might not match the intricacies of higher-end models. It’s beginner-friendly, but keep in mind that print speed and size limitations might affect larger projects. For those starting out, this could be the perfect stepping stone into the sublimation world.
- Compact Champion: The ET-2760’s smaller size ensures it seamlessly fits into limited or compact workspaces without compromise.
- Budget-Friendly Entry: Its relatively lower initial cost establishes it as an accessible option for newcomers to sublimation, minimizing financial barriers to entry.
- Decent Color Performance: While not reaching the pinnacle of color accuracy, the printer’s color output is satisfactory for a multitude of sublimation projects.
- Beginner’s Delight: The printer’s interface is thoughtfully designed to facilitate easy navigation, making it a welcoming choice for those new to sublimation printing.
- Print Speed Considerations: The ET-2760’s print speed might lag behind higher-tier models.
- Size Boundaries: The printer’s limitation to smaller print sizes may not align with the demands of projects requiring larger dimensions.
- Ink Consumption Dynamics: The trade-off for affordability can involve more frequent ink refills, potentially impacting seamless and uninterrupted printing sessions.
- Durability Concerns: Given its budget-friendly nature, the ET-2760 might not offer the same level of durability and resilience as more robust models, particularly in scenarios involving heavier and more consistent use.
Epson WorkForce WF-7210 for Sublimation
The Epson WorkForce WF-7210 offers versatility in both print size and speed, making it a solid choice for sublimation enthusiasts.
It handles various paper sizes, from standard to larger formats, and its PrecisionCore technology ensures quality prints.
Fast printing speeds boost efficiency for bigger projects. However, mastering the technical aspects and maintaining the printer are important considerations.
- Size Flexibility Unleashed: The WF-7210’s ability to handle diverse print sizes, ranging from standard to larger dimensions, offers creative versatility.
- Print Quality Prowess: The incorporation of PrecisionCore technology ensures that the printer consistently delivers sharp, high-quality prints suitable for a range of applications.
- Velocity in Printing: The printer’s remarkable printing speeds contribute to heightened efficiency, particularly in scenarios involving sizable orders or tight deadlines.
- Budget-Wise Investment: The WF-7210’s cost-effectiveness, especially when compared to specialized sublimation models, appeals to those seeking quality at a reasonable price point.
- Learning Curve Alert: Sublimation printing involves technical intricacies that might necessitate a learning curve for users unfamiliar with color profiles, heat settings, and other specialized aspects.
- Maintenance Mandate: Consistent maintenance is essential to prevent ink system clogs and ensure the printer’s ongoing performance excellence.
- Space and Footprint Considerations: The printer’s larger size might necessitate additional space in your creative workspace, especially in comparison to more compact models.
FAQ About Sublimation Printers
A sublimation printer is a type of printer that uses a sublimation printing process to transfer dye onto various materials, such as fabrics, ceramics, and metals. This process involves turning solid dye particles into a gas and then bonding them to the material’s surface, resulting in vibrant, long-lasting prints.
A sublimation-ready printer is a device that comes pre-configured and equipped for sublimation printing. These printers are designed to work seamlessly with sublimation inks and papers, ensuring accurate color reproduction and optimal results without the need for any additional modifications.
Sublimation-ready printers offer several benefits, including consistent and high-quality prints, accurate color representation, and reduced setup time. These printers are calibrated for sublimation printing from the start, eliminating the need for manual adjustments.
Sublimation printers can be used to print on a variety of materials, including polyester fabrics, ceramics, metals, and certain plastics. The key requirement is that the material must have a special polymer coating that can bond with the sublimated dye.
It’s generally not recommended to switch between regular inks and sublimation inks on a converted printer. The different ink formulations and printing processes can lead to clogging, color mixing, and other issues. It’s best to dedicate a printer specifically for sublimation printing if you choose to convert one.
What Can I Make With A Good Sublimation Printer and Sublimation Transfer Paper?
You can use a sublimation printer for various purposes. To make the transfers successful, you will need a heat press.
Remember, sublimation requires polyester and poly blends and high temperatures but very little pressure, so using a regular iron at home won’t give you the best results, because you do need even pressure.
What Is The Best Printer For You?
Well, it really depends on what you want to do with your sublimation.
Is it just a hobby, or will it be for a business? Transitioning into the world of sublimation, these considerations play a pivotal role.
Do you anticipate needing to create designs larger than a regular sheet of paper, or will standard sizes suffice for your projects? These questions delve into the heart of your printing aspirations.
Additionally, are you in need of a slot for a memory card? And, is the printer intended solely for home use, or will it be a workhorse driving a business, handling a substantial load of orders?
So, in the end, you’ll have to decide after doing some comprehensive research.
The world of sublimation printing creates a diverse array of options, each with its own set of features, advantages, and limitations.
Finally, your journey toward the perfect printer involves a balance between your creative ambitions and the practical functionalities you seek.
So, dive into reviews, assess the compatibility of printer specifications with your projected projects, and ponder over the pros and cons we’ve dissected.
Lastly, your choice of printer will be a testament to your thorough evaluation, aligning your tools with your vision.