Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
As we all know, sublimation is a popular and profitable business. If you are also thinking of stepping into the world of sublimation, you should have all the supplies and equipment that are required for this business.
Saying that the essential item is the sublimation printer. But if you do not have one, you should not be worried as we will tell you in this article how to convert a printer to sublimation.
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How to convert a Printer to Sublimation?
If you have a standard printer and want to convert it to a sublimation printer, it’s only possible that the printer is compatible with thermal or pressure technology. The printer’s ability to make sublimation depends on its technology (thermal or pressure).
To start with the sublimation process, you need to have a brand new printer (that is never refilled with another ink). Inject sublimation ink into the printer and start with your unique creations.
This article below will discuss how you can convert a conventional printer to sublimation technology.
What is a Sublimation?
Sublimation is converting solid elements into gaseous elements without passing through the liquid state.
Talking about sublimation printing, we can say that it is a printing method that is done on paper through a heat press. Sublimation is a prevalent digital printing technique in the textile industry. Small businesses and entrepreneurs use the sublimation method for creating unique items.
This technique can showcase your creativity and create personalized and unique items. The materials on which you can do sublimation printing are
- Polycotton fabrics.
- Polymer-coated metals.
- Polyester fabric.
- Polyester-coated aluminum.
- Polymer-coated plastic.
What Are The Advantages Of Sublimation?
Now we know that sublimation is a trendy and profitable business, let’s discuss some of its advantages.
You can create high image quality with this technique. You can create only one item in this process, and the unit’s cost will always remain the same.
This business is profitable because it has high-profit margins. Sometimes, the profit margin can go up to 2 to 6 times the cost of the item. You can create unique and personalized items through the sublimation of a variety of products.
This is a simple technique, and anybody can use it. It is a fast printing method that allows the delivery within the same day.
Best Printer to Convert to Sublimation
The question arises is it possible that we can convert any printer to a sublimation printer? The answer is “No,” it’s impossible to convert any printer to a sublimation printer.
Only that printer can be converted to sublimation which is compatible with sublimation. There are two types of printers that are compatible with sublimation
Thermal Technology Printers: These printers use heat to disperse or boil the ink on the paper.
Cold Piezoelectric Technology Printers: These printers use pressure to create images on paper. This technology is proprietary to Epson.
As the sublimation inks are very sensitive to heat, heat can activate the ink. When you use thermal printers for sublimation, it will overheat and smudge the ink across the sublimation paper, creating negative results.
While, when you use pressure technology for sublimation printing, the printer’s print head has tiny crystals that emit vibrations after detecting an electric charge. These vibrations result in the ink to flow out of the print head nozzles and on the paper to create an image.
Now, we can conclude that the conventional printers that use piezoelectric technology are the best for sublimation printing.
Steps To Convert Into A Sublimation Printer
You need to follow a few steps to convert a conventional printer to a sublimation printer.
The first step for converting a conventional printer to sublimation is to have all the supplies ready that are required for converting a conventional printer to a sublimation one. The items and supplies that you need are
- New inkjet printer (The recommended printer is the Epson Eco Tank series, that is easy and great for converting.
- Refillable cartridges (If you use the Epson Eco Tanks series, they already have these cartridges installed).
- Ink for sublimation (saw grass).
It is important that you test the printer to check whether the nozzle is working correctly or not. If the printed images do not have any color or blur, you can adjust the equipment to get sharp images.
It is suggested to run several prints before starting the work to clear out the air pockets and jams.
This step applies to those printers only that are old and do not have cartridges installed already.
Open the cover of the printer and replace the original cartridges with refillable cartridges with the sublimation ink. Make sure that you install the cartridges correctly; after that, close the printer cover.
Purge the print head before printing with the new ink as you have installed the new cartridges. Perform cleaning of the print head to remove the traces of old ink. At least five cleanings are recommended for thorough cleaning.
Step 5: After you are done with all the above steps, begin test printing and do it until you get high-quality, sharp images.
How to Convert a Printer to Sublimation Video Guide:
What Are The Conventional Printers That I Can Use For Sublimation?
Only those conventional printers can be used that are compatible with
Piezoelectric or pressure technology
Printers with thermal technology are Canon and HP printers, while the pressure technology is Epson printers.
What is the best printer for sublimation?
The best printer for sublimation is the Eco Tank ET-2720 sublimation printer.
Why Do Experts Recommend Using A New Conventional Printer To Convert To Sublimation?
The experts recommend using a new conventional printer because cleaning the ink duct is very difficult, almost impossible, and it is important that the ink duct is properly and thoroughly cleaned before installing the sublimation ink in the conventional printer.
The sublimation printer conversion method is cheaper than buying the new sublimation printer; it is the best method to start a sublimation business as it is cost-effective.
We have learned that conventional printers that support piezoelectric technology are the best for converting into sublimation ,printers and for this purpose, Epson printers are the best as they have this Piezo technology.
Though conventional printers that support thermal technology can also be converted to sublimation printers, they do not produce good results, while Epson printers (pressure technology) provide the best results.
We really hope that this article has provided a detailed insight on how to convert a printer to sublimation.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Reputed University, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.