10 Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners
Sublimation printing is a printing process that requires special paper and ink. It allows printing on heat-resistant paper or fabric, which then transfers ink onto other surfaces. The ink is heat-reactive, so it will change the paper’s color when heat is applied.
If you are looking for sublimation printers but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help you out. In this blog, we’ll discuss sublimation printing, sublimation ink, and sublimation paper.
We’ll also list down the best sublimation printers and printer kits available in the market right now along with their pros and cons. And to make things simple for you, we have created a list of top sublimation printers for beginners who are looking to get into sublimation printing but don’t want to spend too much money on it
Why sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing is a type of direct-to-garment printing that uses heat-sensitive dyes to print ink directly onto the garment. The ink on the garment sublimates when exposed to heat, such as from a printer or a heat press. This process creates a print that can be removed without damaging the garment, leaving a durable and high-quality product.
- One of its best features is its cost-effectiveness. It provides designers with quality prints at an affordable price, making it a worthy choice for small businesses and consumers alike.
- Another advantage of this is its flexibility. It enables designers to print on many types of fabrics and substrates, including paper, plastic, and material. This process provides a unique combination of quality and time savings for any type of design.
- The ink can be transferred to another material with a compatible coating, such as wax paper or film. This makes sublimation printing an ideal medium for producing quality prints on any material.
Finally, sublimation prints are durable and high-quality that won’t crack, peel, or wash away easily. All these reasons make sublimation printing worth exploring for anyone looking for high-quality prints without compromising on cost or time savings.
What am I going to need to get started?
- Materials such as heat-sensitive dyes, sublimation ink, printer, and transfer paper are the essential items required to start.
- An inkjet printer capable of CMYO (cyan-magenta-yellow-overprint-clear) printing is recommended. Weeding is not required after the sublimation printing process is complete.
- A lightweight, high-capacity ink tank printer with a 1.44-inch display screen and a flatbed scanner is recommended. An all-in-one printer with auto-duplex printing, double-sided scan, and hands-free printing features may be beneficial.
- Another important factor to consider while buying is the output quality it prints. Choose a printer that best suits your needs based on its specs and budget.
- How you plan to use the printer also matters in choosing a sublimation process. For high-quality documents and images, choose an expensive inkjet printer with good-quality paper. For printing small quantities of printouts and don’t mind spending a little more on ink cartridge cost per page, then go for sublimation printers with regular ink cartridges costing less per page.
What must know before buying one?
- Before purchasing a sublimation printer, you must understand its unique features and requirements. It requires sublimation ink, paper, and a substrate such as a sublimation mug, polyester shirt, mittens, keychain, etc.
- It is vital to select a sublimation printer with a high-quality print that can produce vivid and photorealistic prints. To get the best results, use printers designed for sublimation ink printing.
- You should also consider the speed of the printer when purchasing one. Faster printers can print faster but may not be ideal for large-scale printing.
- Besides, consider the printer’s price tag as it will reflect the quality of prints you get on sublimation paper. Epson printers are reliable and boast high-quality prints on sublimation paper.
- For beginner users, the best sublimation printer is the Epson EcoTank ET-15000. The printer uses ink cartridges with high ink capacity which makes it affordable for regular users.
a) Sublimation paper-
Sublimation paper is a special paper designed for sublimation printing, which requires the use of heat-sensitive dyes and sublimation ink. This type of printing produces a print with vivid and detailed images, but without sacrificing quality. The ink on sublimation paper is heavier than regular copy paper and will release onto your printed design as you press the item.
This makes it ideal for printing detailed images without losing quality. Another advantage of sublimation paper is that it can withstand high-pressing temperatures without losing its ink-releasing properties. However, it is best to use special sublimation blanks to ensure the best possible printing results.
B) Sublimation ink-
Sublimation ink is a special type of ink used in the sublimation printing process to transfer designs onto fabric and other materials. It is typically a CMYO ink, where the ink is printed onto transfer paper and then transferred to fabric using heat. The ink is embedded into the polyester fibers of the fabric, resulting in a long-lasting, full-color image that won’t crack or peel after being washed. The ink cost is also low. Vinyl print is also available for some printers in the market.
C) Heat transfer-
A heat press is required to transfer ink from printed transfer paper to fabric during the heat transfer process. Heat printing requires a heat press as it is the best way to apply heat and pressure uniformly to the print surface. The ink set for sublimation printing dictates that direct-to-fabric printing is not possible, so heat printing is the best option for producing high-quality custom prints.
Heat printing is an efficient way to customize garments due to its ability to quickly and cost-effectively produce large quantities of customized apparel. Additionally, heat printing is a popular choice for customizing apparel due to its ease and affordability. Overall, before making a purchase decision, it’s important to do your research and find a heat press that fits your needs and budget.
D) Software design-
Sublimation printing is a printing process that uses special ink sets with high heat-sensitive properties. These ink sets are commonly referred to as sublimation inks. When printing using sublimation inks, images can be directly printed on a variety of media such as paper, textiles, and other semi-material substrates. Digital printers use sublimation inks to print on a variety of materials such as paper and textile-based garments. However, sublimation printers are often cost-effective and produce quality prints compared to other printing methods.
The heat-sensitive sublimation ink must be kept at a specific temperature during the printing process to adhere to the desired material. This can be challenging when printing on small or delicate items such as paper, where fluctuations in temperature can cause ink blotting or smudging. To address this issue, sublimation printers often have heat-sensing elements located inside the printer head that regulates the ink temperature and prevents ink blotting or smudging when printing on small or delicate items.
Tips For The Best Sublimation Printer For Beginners-
1. Dye Sublimation
Dye sublimation printing is a low-cost option for printing custom t-shirts, apparel, posters, and other products. This printing process involves using inkjet printers to print designs onto heat-sensitive t-shirts or other materials. However, dye sublimation printers are more expensive than inkjet printers due to the cost of the printer itself. Additionally, dye sublimation printers require additional equipment such as heat press machines or hot plates to apply pressurized heat to apply ink to the t-shirt or other material.
2. Multipurpose Printing Use
Purchasing a sublimation printer is an exciting and cost-effective way to print various items from t-shirts, mugs, and other polyester-based products to decorative home decor. With these printers, polyester materials offer the best quality and durability for printing. They can print on a wide range of polyester-based fabrics, such as t-shirts, making it possible to create personalized apparel for all types of occasions.
3. You’ll Require Additional Gear
To produce sublimation prints, you would need a sublimation printer or a converted inkjet printer. Ink and special transfer paper are essential for the printing process. These must be sourced from a sublimation printing supply shop to ensure quality and longevity. You should also ensure that the printer has a minimum DPI of 300 for best results.
Top Ten Printer According to Amazon Reviews-
If you’re looking for a cheap, wide-format, beginner-friendly printer, or the best overall sublimating printer for t-shirts, We have got it covered. In this article, we have chosen the best top ten sublimation printers for beginners. Our team searched them according to the review of real Amazon customers.
# 10 Canon PIXMA TR4520
The number 10 in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is Canon Pixma TR4520. It is the cheapest sublimation printer available, with a competitive price tag and features that are suitable for home and office use. It is compatible with Alexa and offers wireless connectivity, making it useful for home and office use. The printer can print both sides and supports legal, letter, US, and envelope paper sizes, providing you with excellent printing quality and efficiency with a speed of 18 ips.
# 9 Canon G7020
The number nine in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is Canon G7020. It is a printer with the capability of printing sublimation prints, and it has impressive features, such as Print, Dye-Sublimation print technology, a 3.2-inch tilt-up LCD screen, and more. It is an inexpensive printer that produces high-quality sublimation prints, and it can be used for small business printing needs. It has a print speed of up to 20 pages per minute and an ink cartridge cost of around $30. Overall, the Canon G7020 is a great printer for small business printing needs.
# 8 Brother MFCL2700DW
The number eight in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is Brother MFCL2700DW. It is a cost-effective printer that can print sublimation ink cartridges. It is can handle heavy printing tasks. It prints on various types of paper, from plain paper to envelopes, and even scans documents using a sublimation ink cartridge. With an easy setup process, this printer is famous for its print quality.
#7 Brother HL-L3290CDW
The number seven in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is Brother HL-L3290CDW. It is a sublimation printer that is ideal for printing quality sublimation prints. It has a flatbed printer and scanner and is capable of printing 25 pages per minute.
It comes with a variety of features like wireless connectivity, Amazon Dash Replacement, cost-efficient ink cartridges, and connectivity to a variety of devices. It has an extended warranty period of three years with great printing capability.
#6 KODAK Step Wireless – For T-Shirt
Number six in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is the KODAK Step Wireless printer. It is a top sublimation printer choice for T-shirt printing due to its convenient and portable printing experience. The printer uses dye-sublimation technology and precision core printing to produce vibrant, detailed prints on T-shirts with high-resolution inkjet prints. With a user-friendly interface, intuitive touchscreen display, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, it has a print speed of up to eight pages per minute.
#5 HP ENVY Photo 7855 – Cartridge Saving Printer.
The number five in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is from HP. It is a great choice for printing detailed images and emergency print photos. It costs about 5 cents per image and comes with a dedicated photo tray. This printer is compatible with Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, USB, Google Cloud Print, and other connectivity options. It requires HP 64 ink cartridges; using any other ink may result in malfunction. The printer features auto duplex printing, built-in ADF, email scanning capability, and a color touch screen.
#4 Epson ET-15000.
The number four in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is the Epson EcoTank ET-15000. It is great for small businesses and home printing. It’s an all-in-one printer that can print, copy, scan, and sublimation printing with ease. This printer features a cartridge-free ink system with high-capacity ink tanks that significantly reduce ink costs. Additionally, it offers connectivity options including wireless connectivity and a USB Type-C connection for easy setup and use. This printer has received rave reviews from users for its brilliant prints and sleek design. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to get excellent sublimation printing results.
#3 Epson WF-7720
Number three in our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is the Epson WorkForce WF-7720. This is a highly recommended printer for beginners in 2023. It has an impressive scanner resolution of up to 1200 dpi with USB support. It boasts an impressive printing speed of 18 pages per minute for black and white and 10 ppm for color. The inkjet printer also has a 250-sheet paper capacity and a 4.3″ touchscreen display that makes it easy to operate. Additionally, the printer is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, making it easier to print from a mobile device.
#2 Sawgrass SG1000 – Sublijet Kit
- Number two on our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners is the Sawgrass SG1000 Sublimation printer. It is a high-quality printer that offers print speeds up to 1200 dpi, making it one of the best sublimation printers on the market.
- The subject kit comes with sublimation ink, sublimation paper, and sample blanks, making it easy for anyone to get started with sublimation printing.
- The printer is user-friendly and can be set up quickly and easily. It can print on a wide variety of surfaces including metal, ceramic, polyester, and so on!
- As part of its 2-year warranty with amazing tech support, the sawgrass sublimation printer includes a premier membership to Creative Studio, providing access to a host of helpful tutorials and resources.
- With all these features and benefits, the sawgrass sublimation printer is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality sublimation printer with great value for money.
#1 Sawgrass SG500 – The Best
- Sawgrass printers are number one on our list of the best sublimation printer for beginners. Sawgrass SG500 offers print quality equivalent to inkjet printing and inkjet sublimation printers.
- It uses dye sublimation printing technology, which prints images directly on fabrics without the use of ink or toner.
- It helps vibrant prints with high-quality color reproduction and sharp detail.
- It comes with a printer driver that allows you to print personalized logos and text easily, as well as professional-quality prints.
- Epson and Sawgrass offer high-quality sublimation printers at reasonable prices for beginner printers. The Sawgrass printer supports various media types from logos to images for print. No tension of paper jams on the paper tray.
- It is a high-quality printer for its easy setup and wifi connectivity, wide variety of printing options, and high performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to sublimation printing, there are a few features to consider when choosing the best printer for your needs. Firstly, sublimation printing requires dye-sublimation ink as opposed to the inkjet printer’s CMYK ink set – make sure to check for this feature in the printer you’re interested in buying. Sublimation printers also have higher quality printing capabilities than regular printers, with resolutions up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, and highly vivid colors giving prints a professional quality look. In addition, sublimation printers can print on a wider variety of surfaces such as polyester materials or ceramic mugs and dishes, whereas inkjet printers can only typically print on paper. Finally, inkjet printers usually offer lower print resolutions, e.g. 300 x 300 dpi, and printer cartridge ink needs to be changed more often.
For beginners looking for a sublimation printer, there are several great options available. The Epson sublimation printer Expression ET-2750 EcoTank is an all-in-one printer that offers reliable performance and a reasonable price point. The Ricoh SG 3110DN Printer is another great choice for sublimation printing, offering good quality prints at a faster speed. The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 is a popular choice for those just starting in the world of sublimation printing, offering excellent print quality and easy setup. Finally, the HP Envy Photo 7855 is a cost-effective option that offers both wireless printing and a range of creative features. Whichever printer you choose, be sure to read up on the specific model and its features before making your purchase.
The EcoTank printers have tanks that make it real to put in sublimation ink, rather than inkjet ink. It’s perfect for home use and, in the end, it is the cheapest sublimation printer. It is an excellent choice when you just want to try out sublimation, and aren’t ready for the high cost of the Sawgrass SG500.
There you have it, folks! Our top picks for sublimation printers are beginner-friendly and affordable. This blog has helped you in picking the best printer for sublimation printing. So go ahead and pick your favorite printer from this list and start printing sublimation-quality t-shirts, mugs, and other products for your business or personal use.