Wondering what is a sublimation printer and what it is used for? A sublimation printer is a type of inkjet printer that uses special sublimation inks to create detailed images on materials like fabrics and sublimation paper. The prints are permanent and don’t fade over time. This makes sublimation printers a popular choice for printing custom t-shirts, phone cases, keychains, ceramic mugs, and other personalized items.
Here are test-based reviews of the best sublimation printers in 2023.
What Is a Sublimation Printer?
A sublimation printer uses sublimation inks to create detailed images on sublimation blanks materials like fabric and paper. The prints are permanent, vibrant and do not fade. The sublimation printing method has become very popular for branding and customizing personal belongings.
Sublimation printers come in two different types: regular and large format.
Regular sublimation printers are about the size of an average desktop computer. This type of printer is mostly used to print small images.
Large format sublimation printers are much larger and can print on materials up to 42 inches wide. These printers are mostly used for commercial sublimation printing.
Sublimation printers are popular because of their high-quality prints. The images they create are sharp and clear, with accurate colors that don’t fade over time. They are also very versatile, and able to print on a variety of different materials.
Also, read the difference between a sublimation printer and a regular printer.
Sublimation Printer Uses
Are you curious about what is a sublimation printer used for? Well, the main use of a sublimation printer is to print high-resolution images using special ink. The sky is the limit with what you can print with a sublimation machine, but what can you actually print with them? Below are some examples of items that can be printed with a sublimation printer:
Custom T-Shirts: With a sublimation printer, you can print custom t-shirts with any design or image you want. The prints are permanent and won’t fade, so your shirts will always look new.
Phone Cases: Sublimation printers can also be used to print phone cases. You can print an image of your partner, a favorite graphic, or a photo of your dog on the back of your case.
Keychains: With a sublimation printer, you can also print acrylic keychains with any image or design you want. Mostly, couples custom print their photos of their best moments.
Ceramic Mugs: Sublimation printers can also be used to print ceramic mugs. You can choose any image or graphic you want and have it printed on the mug. The prints are permanent and won’t fade after washing, so your mug will always look new.
How Do You Use a Sublimation Printer?
Here is a step by step guide to use a sublimation printer:
- Choose the image you want to print and open it in a photo editing program like Photoshop or GIMP.
- Resize the image to fit the size of the material you are printing on.
- Convert the image to a bitmap format by selecting Image > Mode > Bitmap.
- Invert the colors of the image by selecting Image > Adjustments > Invert.
- Print the image using a sublimation printer.
- Heat the printed material with a heat press until the inks sublimate and the image is permanently transferred to the material.
Video Tutorial on How to Use a Sublimation Printer: Complete Guide
Here’s a detailed guide on how to do sublimation printing.
What Printers Can Be Used For Sublimation?
The sublimation process uses the inkjet method, which means you can use a printer that is able to inject sublimation ink. Different types of sublimation printers use different methods to apply the dye to the material. Some use heat, while others use pressure.
However, not all inkjet printers are capable of sublimation printing. In order to use a printer for sublimation, you need one that uses dye-sublimation ink. Here are a few most commonly used sublimation printers;
- Sawgrass SG500, SG1000 (especially designed for sublimation)
- Epson EcoTank Series
- Epson WorkForce Series
- Epson F570
- HP Smart-Tank Plus 651
- Brother MFC-J995DW XL
So, if you are looking to create custom prints on fabric, ceramic, or acrylic items that will last, a sublimation printer is a great option.
Note: if you are a beginner, we advise picking a machine from the list of start sublimation printers. These printers are easy to use, require less maintenance, and produce great results on most substrates.
Also see the best Epson printers for sublimation that are easily convertible.
The sublimation printer is an innovative new tool for creating customized products. With your sublimation printer, you can design your t-shirts, mugs, caps, and more. Use your sublimation printer to promote your business or create items to present as a gift at special events.
Read a detailed guide on sublimation printing along with its uses and benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
What is the difference between a regular printer and a sublimation printer?
A regular printer prints with ink that is absorbed by the paper, while a sublimation printer prints with inks that convert to gas and are absorbed by the material. This makes sublimation prints permanent and they won’t fade over time.
Can I use my regular printer for sublimation?
No, not all printers can be used for sublimation. In order to print with a sublimation printer, you need an inkjet printer that uses sublimation inks.
What do sublimation printers do?
Sublimation printers are used to print detailed images on materials like fabrics, sublimation paper, and other personalized items. The prints are permanent and don’t fade over time, making them a popular choice for printing custom t-shirts, phone cases, keychains, and other personalized items.
Are sublimation printers worth it?
Yes, sublimation printers are worth the price. Sublimation printers can be expensive, but there are a few cheaper models available. If you are looking for a sublimation printer that can print detailed images on a variety of materials, a sublimation printer is worth the investment.
- Best Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfer in 2023 - April 19, 2022
- Cheapest Sublimation Printer Reviews – Affordable Picks  - April 18, 2022
- Canvas Sublimation – Can You Sublimate On Canvas Blanks? - April 17, 2022