What Printer Can I Use for Sublimation?

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If you want to use sublimation printing in your art or small business, you’ve undoubtedly already begun researching which sublimation printer is the best solution. The best sublimation printer for you will be determined by the following criteria: It doesn’t matter if you’re doing crafts at home or buying in bulk for your business.

Some printer makers make it simple to convert an inkjet printer to a sublimation printer.

What Is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing uses heat to fuse the ink into the paper or cloth. First, a pattern is printed on sublimation paper. When the inks are heated, they turn into gas, which then combines with the cloth to generate a permanent print.

The results are more durable and less prone to fade since the ink is embedded in the paper or base rather than simply sitting on top like a typical print. The heat increases the pores in the fabric, and when the ink cools, the applied pressure causes it to solidify again. The ultimate result is a full-color, long-lasting image that won’t peel, fracture, or wash away.

Similar to how dry ice works, the approach allows the ink to shift from a solid to a gas state without becoming a liquid. The conversion is started by the printer’s heat, which is then controlled by pressure. This rapid and accurate digital printing technology is gaining favor for smaller batch orders and designs that rely on intricate detail.

If you want to learn more about sublimation printing and the procedure that goes into it, read our article ‘What is sublimation printing?

Can You Use a Regular Printer for Sublimation? 

Whether a printer can deliver sublimation transfers using heat press applications is often determined by printing technology. Sublimation printers use thermal processing or Piezo technology. Sublimation ink does not function in thermal printers, but it can be used in Piezo printers because they employ pressure rather than heat.

Can you use HP Printers for Sublimation?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to convert your HP home or office printer into a sublimation printer since most HP printers employ a thermal heat mechanism to spread ink onto the paper, which means the unique sublimation ink won’t work. Although your home HP printer cannot be converted to a sublimation printer,

Both UV ink and sublimation are supported by HP’s model line. These versions, on the other hand, are large, expensive industrial printers built specifically for the job.

Can you use Brother Printers for Sublimation?

The majority of Brother printers have Piezo, which is a pressure printing technology. This means that Brother printers are theoretically compatible with the sublimation printing method. The bigger problem with Brother is that no one makes sublimation ink or replacement cartridges for their printers.

The printing quality decreases dramatically as a result of the inability to set up ink profiles, which is not what you want when it comes to sublimation printing.

Can you use Canon Printers for Sublimation?

Office Canon printers can’t be converted to sublimation printers, either. They print with heat, which is incompatible with sublimation ink, just like HP printers.

Canon, on the other hand, makes printers with built-in sublimation heaters that can sublimate images onto clear film. They won’t let you print sublimation prints on paper.

Can you use Epson Printers for Sublimation?

Every Epson printer uses Piezo print technology, which allows them to be readily converted. Epson does not sell its normal office printer as a sublimation printer because it also manufactures sublimation-specific printers. As a result, if you use sublimation ink with your Epson standard printer, you will not receive any software support or guarantee.

Final Words

Sublimation printers cannot be converted from most regular home printers. HP and Canon printers aren’t compatible because they don’t employ Piezo technology. While Brother printers use Piezo technology, ink manufacturers have yet to catch up, hence there are no printing profiles available.

You’ve probably never considered printing profiles until you need to develop something that looks amazing on paper. Printing profiles provide for a more accurate color match between the screen and the printed output. The results are blurry and off-color if you don’t utilize a printing profile. Epson is the favored choice for sublimation printing due to its usage of Piezo technology. Several ink producers have also created sublimation inks that are compatible and have outstanding color characteristics.

Note that you will need to purchase sublimation ink if you wish to convert your office printer, as it is not included with any of the printers listed above. The provided ink is a pigment dye that will not work with sublimation printing.

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