Sublimation printing is insanely popular and is still rising as we talk. Many people are considering sublimation as a startup business. With such popularity, we also see the extensive range of sublimation printers available in the market. Epson is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, brands in the inkjet market. An incredible thing about their printers is that you can convert Epson printers to sublimation.
Their printers are of extreme quality, making Epson printers perfect for beginners looking to start sublimation printing. However, they are not made for sublimation printing. Each Epson printer is initially released as an inkjet printer. To use them for sublimation printing, you need to convert them. The process is not complicated. So today, we will talk about different Epson printers and their conversion.
First, let’s give you a brief overview of sublimation printing. Sublimation printing is based on sublimation science, which is the change of solid-state to vapor state without passing through the liquid state. In sublimation printing, heat transfer infuses the print or ink image on the surface. The ink is forced onto the material by pressing the print against the surface at high temperature and firm pressure, giving you permanent and beautiful final results.
Why Choose Sublimation Printing:
Several reasons can be put forward to support sublimation printing. Still, perhaps the two biggest reasons are how diverse and easy-to-use sublimation printing is. It is highly diverse in terms of the color palette you can work with, the number of different surfaces you can sublimate on, and how you can print simple pictures, images, and complex designs with multiple colors without any issue.
It is also incredibly easy to work on sublimation printing. The process of sublimation is easy, effortless to set up, economical, and just overall an excellent business model considering the popularity of customized items. Shirts, mugs, tumblers, phone cases, wood blanks, canvases, hats, etc., there are so many different materials you can sublimate. All these are highly popular, and people love to get them in customized form.
Best Sublimation Printer Brands:
There are multiple top brands with an extensive range of sublimation printers. The best sublimation printers are part of top brands such as Brother, Epson, Sawgrass, Ricoh, etc. Out of all the big names, Epson sublimation printers and Sawgrass printers are the most popular and sought after. The Sawgrass SG500 and SG1000 are purely built for sublimation printing. They do not require any conversion.
On the other side are the Epson sublimation printers. Arguably the best out of all the brands for beginners. They have more cost-effective and pocket-friendly printers. Even though they need to be converted, they are outstanding in quality. They will produce satisfying, vibrant, and beautiful final prints. Some of the popular Epson printers that you can use for sublimation printing are:
1) Epson EcoTank ET-4760: One of the premier Epson printers, ET-4760 is from the new EcoTank range and is pocket-friendly in terms of price and very cost-effective when it comes to running costs. (View On Amazon)
2) Epson EcoTank ET-3760: Another superb EcoTank printer, ET-3760 is a popular beginner choice. (View On Amazon)
3) Epson Workforce WF-7720: The other popular series of the Epson is the Workforce series. The most popular printer from this series is the Epson WF-7720. (View On Amazon)
Converting Epson Printers To Sublimation:
Converting Epson printers is a necessary part of using them for sublimation printing. All Epson printers are initially inkjet printers and require conversion. However, the conversion process is not complicated to understand and perform. It is pretty simple and can be completed within a single step. Let’s divide the conversion between the Workforce series and the EcoTank series.
What You Need For Conversion:
Sublimation ink is the main item you require to convert an Epson printer into a sublimation printer. Epson does not produce compatible sublimation ink for their inkjet printers, so you need third-party sublimation ink. Multiple top brands, such as Hiipoo, Printers Jack, Wokok, etc., have compatible sublimation inks for Epson printers.
Epson Workforce, Expression, C88, Artisan:
Epson Workforce, Expression, C88, or artisan conversion is entirely the same. You can use both a second-hand or a brand new printer in each series. Follow this process;
Step 1: The printhead is the first to check if you have a used printer. Print a nozzle to confirm that the printer is fine and the printheads are working correctly.
Step 2: Each of these series uses ink cartridges. If you have a brand new printer, then well and good, but if you have a used one, take out the cartridges and replace them with new refillable cartridges.
Step 3: The defining step of the conversion is filling the cartridges with sublimation ink. The use of sublimation ink instead of the standard ink brings the conversion. The sublimation ink pack comes with needles and syringes that you can use to fill the cartridges quickly.
Step 4: Check the ink color marked on the cartridge and refill it with the same ink color. Any form of mixing will destroy your sublimation.
Step 5: Once you have filled the cartridges, install them into the printer. Now set up your printer with the settings you want and load it with sublimation paper. Your Epson printer will be ready for sublimation printing.
Epson EcoTank Series:
Now we talk about the newest series. When it comes to Ecotank printers, you must use a brand new printer. These printers have ink tank systems instead of ink cartridges. This gives them a more efficient ink running system lowering the ink costs.
Step 1: Open the ink tank section and remove the cap of each tank. Colors are marked above the tanks to tell you where each color needs to go. The color check is important so that color mixing does not occur, which will damage the printing.
Step 2: The head of the tanks are made for the standard ink bottles that come with the box. To fill them with the sublimation ink, you will need to use syringes that come with the sublimation ink kit.
Step 3: Fill the syringes with the ink and fill the tanks using the ink-filled syringes. You will see the tank filling up from the front side. Use a different syringe for each color.
Step 4: Once the filling is complete, just set the printer up and load up the sheet tray with sublimation paper, and your EcoTank printer will be ready for high-quality sublimation printing.
Ecotank printers have ink tank systems and have a unique bottle system. Sublimation ink bottles for ink tanks have unique tops made for the easy filling of the ink tanks. Carefully fill the ink bottles of the tank by checking the colors, especially when you are refilling them so that you do not end up mixing the wrong inks.
Supplies You Need For Sublimation Printing:
The supplies you need for sublimation printing can differ between sublimation of different materials. However, most items are the same for all kinds of sublimation printing.
Basic Supplies Needed For Sublimation Printing:
- Best Sublimation Printer
- A Sublimation Paper
- Quality Sublimation Ink
- Heat Press Machine/ Easy Press
- Material Blank
- Heat resistant tape
- Butcher Paper/ Teflon sheet
- Lint Roller
1. Convection Oven For Tumbler sublimation.
2. Cricut Infusible Ink as an alternative to sublimation ink & paper.
3. Heat Transfer Vinyl. An alternative for sublimation paper for cotton sublimation or other surfaces on which paper does not work directly.
4. Vinyl or Sheet Cutter Machine If you are working with Heat Transfer Vinyl, infusible ink sheets, or even Regular sublimation paper for weeded designs.
5. Mug Press For Mugs.
Epson printers are the best for beginners. They are economical and have a variety of different series. There are numerous Epson printers to pick in the market. Starting a sublimation printing set up with Epson printers is easy for beginners. They can easily convert Epson printers into sublimation printers using sublimation ink. Overall, they are the best option to go for budget-wise. The quality of printing they provide is exceptional.
Both ink cartridge and ink tank systems can be converted and used for sublimation printing In Sublimation printing both ink cartridge and ink tank systems can be converted. Both types of printers from Epson are incredibly popular and for the right reasons. They have quality, are easy to set up, economical, and overall business-friendly. Whether a beginner or an experienced individual, Epson is likely your best option for a small sublimation setup.
Hi, I am Charles, 25 years of age & an enthusiast blogger, also called the printer guy in my family. I bring you the top & unbiased reviews of sublimation printers.