Best Sublimation Printer: Reviews, Buying Guide, and FAQs 2022

by Mia M.

Sublimation printers are very similar to regular computer printers, but they print onto specially coated sheets of paper. These papers and the inks that go with them can be used to transfer images and designs onto clothing and other accessories. Sublimation printing requires a special thermal printer, which heats up the ink on the paper so it bonds with the items being printed.

A sublimation printer uses specialized paper and ink to transfer a picture onto a variety of surfaces, including clothing, mugs and other accessories. One of the main advantages to this printing method is that it works well on textured or layered materials. The image might not appear as vibrant as it does on plain paper or on a regular printer, but the final product is nicely detailed.

Sublimation printers are available in both home and commercial types that can be used for small or large quantities of prints. Many models accept different types of paper to make printing easier.

Many people may not know what sublimation printing is. It is a process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a substrate, usually a polymer product. This can be done on either a commercial or home scale. There are several different types of printers that can do sublimation printing, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, which one should you choose for your business or personal needs? Let's take a look at the different types of sublimation printers and see what might work best for you.

Top Sublimation Printer 2022 by Editors

Top 4 Best Sublimation Printer

Top 4 Best Sublimation Printer
Top 4 Best Sublimation Printer

Epson WorkForce WF-7720 - Link

Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer with Copy, Scan, Fax, Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready
Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer with Copy, Scan, Fax, Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready

The workforce WF-7720 wide-format all-in-one printer, which is powered by Precision Core, produces borderless prints up to 13" x 19" in print shop quality and scans up to 11" x 17" in scan shop quality. As a versatile inkjet printer, it boasts features such as a 500-sheet paper capacity, dual paper trays, and an optional rear feed for specialty paper, ensuring high productivity in any office. It also has automatic 2-sided printing, copying, scanning, and faxing, as well as a 35-page automatic document feeder. Easy navigation and control are made possible by the 4. 3" color touchscreen.

The WF-7720 is equipped with the most advanced wired and wireless networking technologies, making it simple to print from tablets and smartphones, and it supports Wi-Fi direct, Ethernet, and NFC. This Epson sublimation printer is intended to be used with only specific Epson-brand cartridges, which are not included with the purchase. Other brands of ink suppliers and ink cartridges aren't compatible with this printer and, even if they are labeled as compatible, they might not operate properly or even at all.

Details about the printer's design can be found on the printer's box, as well as in a variety of other places and materials that come with the sublimation printer and on the company's website. Epson releases firmware updates on a regular basis to address issues with security, performance, and little bug fixes, as well as to ensure that the printer continues to function as intended. Authentic Epson ink cartridges are required for this printer, and some updates may have an impact on the functionality of third-party ink cartridges used with this printer.

It is possible that non-Epson branded or Altered Epson cartridges that worked prior to a firmware update will no longer work after the update. The ISO/IEC 24734 standard is used to measure the print speeds of both color and black documents. Actual print times will vary depending on the configuration of the system, software, and the complexity of the page being printed.

Almost all of the features require an Internet connection to the printer as well as a device that is capable of sending and receiving emails over the Internet. Since it is Wi-Fi certified, the degree of performance is dependent on how far the router's range is extended. Wi-Fi Direct might need the use of printer software. NFC needs the usage of a device that has NFC capabilities, as well as the installation of extra software. Actual power management will vary depending on the product model and how it is used.

Product description

The WF-7720 wide-format all-in-one printer is powered by Precision Core. Features include a 500-sheet capacity, dual paper trays, and an optional rear feed for specialty paper. Easy navigation and control are made possible by the 4.3 color touchscreen. Almost all of the features require an Internet connection to the printer as well as a device that is capable of sending and receiving emails over the Internet.

Features

  • Economical
  • High volume printing
  • Print shop quality

Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer - Link

Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer
Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer

Start your business off right with this printer, the world's first desktop printer specifically made for sublimation printing. With reduced start-up and operating costs, you'll be making customized products with clear high-definition images in no time, easily, quickly, and profitably. In addition to the CreativeStudio Online Designer, Sawgrass Print Manager, and SubliJet UHD Sublimation Inks, the SG500 includes In-House Support and Product Warranty for a 2-Year Period.

The SG500 is a high-definition printer that is designed to reduce power and ink consumption while increasing efficiency and quality. It allows you to produce images with the highest resolution at the lowest cost per image. The SG500 retains the rugged reliability and small footprint of its predecessor, SG400, but it has been completely redesigned from the ground up to meet today's demands.

To add to the design enhancements such as a single roll-bar, this printer is more energy efficient, prints at a higher resolution, and is equipped with WiFi connectivity for added convenience. Consequently, greater ease of use and higher-quality products will be available to you at a price that is comparable to the previous model. SG400 accessories are fully compatible with the SG500, so you can use any bypass tray you already have for this printer without having to purchase another one for the SG500.

This enables you to print on media that is up to 51 inches long (1295 mm). The Sawgrass SG500 printer, like all Sawgrass printers, has an automatic maintenance cycle that ensures trouble-free printing. A 2-year warranty, as well as unlimited technical support for the life of the product, are now available for the SG500, providing you with complete peace of mind.

Product description

The Sawgrass SG500 is the world's first desktop printer specifically designed for sublimation printing. With low start-up and operating costs, you'll be creating customized products quickly and profitably. The SG500 retains the small footprint and rugged reliability of its predecessor, the SG400.

Features

  • High resolution printing
  • Energy efficient

Canon SELPHY CP1300 - Link

Canon® SELPHY™ CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
Canon® SELPHY™ CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer

A wireless small photo printer, the Canon Sylph CP1300 compact photo printer (Black) is the ideal portable photo printer for use at home or on the move. Using air Print, your camera's memory card, or the Canon print app to print from Facebook and Instagram, your memories will be available to share from wherever you are, at any time. Party shuffling Prints or 2"x6" Photo booth layout prints let you to create interesting collages with your friends using different devices at the same time. You can select the appropriate size for the appropriate photograph from 4"x6" to 2.1"X2.1" Square or even sticker paper, all of which are designed to survive for 100 years and are even water resistant.

Elect the appropriate size for the appropriate photograph from 4"x6" to 2.1"x2.1" Square or even sticker paper, all of which are designed to survive for 100 years and are even water resistant. With the extra battery pack, you can take the Sylph CP1300 almost everywhere. Not only will your photographs be rapidly dry, but they will also remain in excellent condition for up to 100 years and even be water resistant. Through the Canon print app, you can enjoy the convenience of connecting your smartphone and tablet without any hassle. You may also print straight from a USB drive or the memory card of your digital camera.

The sylph CP1300's sleek, compact design allows you to take it with you everywhere you go, and with the optional battery back, you can print & share your memories no matter where you are. The tilting 3.2" LCD screen makes it simple to choose, edit, and print your documents. Photographs of your choice, and with the optional power pack, you can carry your sylph with you and print from practically anyplace, directly from your smartphone or memory card.

At your next party, pair your camera with a Sylph CP1300 to create a photo booth for your guests. Capture some amusing photographs, then print them out in photo booth mode, which allows you to print out two strips of four images each on 4x6 paper, then cut them in half to make photo strips and hand them out to your attendees. Using square (2.1"X2.1") picture labels, you may create a personalized gift for someone special.

Product description

The Canon Sylph CP1300 compact photo printer (Black) is the ideal portable photo printer for use at home or on the move. Using air Print, your camera's memory card, or the Canon print app to print from Facebook and Instagram, your memories will be available to share from wherever you are.

Features

  • Easy to use
  • Wireless connection

HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 - Link

HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 All-in-One Wireless Printer, Single-pass (Automatic) Document Feeder & Two Paper Trays, Smart Home Office Productivity, Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (1MR66A)
HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 All-in-One Wireless Printer, Single-pass (Automatic) Document Feeder & Two Paper Trays, Smart Home Office Productivity, Instant Ink, Works with Alexa (1MR66A)

It's the pinnacle of workplace efficiency. With two 250-sheet full-ream paper trays for high-volume workloads, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 All-in-One is a breakthrough inkjet printer that scans up to 2x quicker than the HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 series and delivers up to 2x faster scanning than the HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 series. Smart Tasks and the scanbed's simple slide off glass, among other features, assist to enhance productivity while saving time. Self-healing Wi-Fi and industry-leading security on the 9025 allow you to reduce disruptions while maintaining privacy and control over your environment. You can be assured in good quality of your prints regardless of how you connect to your wireless printer.

This compact office printer, which replaces the OfficeJet Pro 8720, delivers quicker printing at 24 pages per minute, a 35-page automatic document feeder, and is 39 percent smaller than the HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 series. It also scans up to two times faster than the HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 series.

Smart Tasks, the simplest method to capture and manage receipts and business documents on your phone or printer, allows you to eliminate steps in repeated tasks and sync them to QuickBooks, Google Drive, and other cloud services.

With the highly acclaimed HP Smart app, you can access your printer and scanner, check ink levels, and even print, copy, and scan while you're on the move. This feature ensures that you remain connected by detecting difficulties and automatically reconnecting through up to three phases in order to maintain your Wi-Fi stable and trustworthy.

Maintain the integrity of important data with built-in security elements such as basic encryption and password protection, as well as Wi-Fi security and document protection.

Product description

With two 250-sheet full-ream paper trays for high-volume workloads, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 All-in-One is a breakthrough inkjet printer. Smart Tasks and the scanbed's simple slide off glass, among other features, assist to enhance productivity while saving time.

Features

  • Self-healing Wi-Fi
  • Proper organization of documents

What Is Sublimation Printing and What Are the Benefits Over Other Printing Methods?

Sublimation printing is a special type of heat transfer that allows full color images and designs to be transferred from a sheet of paper/fabric (substrate) onto another substrate. Sublimation inks require high temperatures and pressure to permanently diffuse dye molecules into the target substrate. [This explanation omits an important detail: When it comes to paper/fabric, sublimation printing is actually a transfer of dye molecules. Sublimation ink particles are the carriers that carry dye molecules through heat and pressure.]

The two most popular substrates for sublimation printing are polyester (a large category that includes everything from t-shirts to tablecloths) and paper.

Sublimation printing is different than the more commonly used direct-to-garment (DTG) printing process, which uses specialized inks that are applied directly to the substrate. This method often results in less vibrant colors and designs that crack or peel after washing. Additionally, because there is no intermediary step with DTG printing, color registration is difficult to control.

Allows for Intricate Designs With Accurate Colors

Sublimation printing, on the other hand, allows for intricate designs with accurate colors that are vibrant and retain their shape after washing. Since there are no inks involved in sublimation printing, there is no risk of cracking or fading over time. This makes it an ideal process for creating high-quality garments.

An Excellent Choice for Creating Personalized Artwork or Designs

Sublimation printing is also an excellent choice for creating personalized artwork or designs. Since any image can be printed on a variety of substrates, it's easy to convert a traditional photograph to a personal work of art. The process is relatively simple: First the digital file is separated into three color sections-usually black, gray, and white-and then each section is printed on a different substrate. After printing, the sections must be combined to create a full-color image through a heat transfer process that permanently fuses the dyes together.

How Does a Sublimation Printer Work and What Types of Materials Can Be Printed on Using This Method?

The sublimation printer has many different names, including the dye-sub printer. This is an especially popular type of printer with people who are looking for a high quality picture printing machine to use in home or small business settings. These printers have been around for decades but have recently seen a surge in popularity because of their ability to produce digital photographs that have a high quality inkjet print look.

How does a sublimation printer work?

These printers can be used as both dye-sub as well as resin models, which is the latest technology in this printer type. In fact, there has been a large increase in the use of these printers because of their capabilities to create pictures on a variety of surfaces. While the classic dye-sub printer uses a sheet of paper and transfers ink to it, resin printers use a liquid resin and light to create the image.

How does a dye-sub printer work?

In this model, there is a drum that holds blank media such as plain card stock or fabric. The ink is dry, unlike the ink used in an inkjet printer, and it is applied to one side of the blank media. When the time comes for printing, this drum turns upside down so that the image can be "burned" onto a piece of fabric, after which it is ready to wear or display.

The dye-sub printer is considered by many to be the highest quality of all sublimation printers, but it is also considerably more expensive than other models. The reason for the higher price is the cost of materials, as well as the process itself. These types of printers are very popular with artists who want to create works on fabric or use photos that will be displayed in galleries or sold online.

What types of materials can be printed on using the dye-sub printer?

With this type of sublimation printer, almost any material can be used to create posters or large banners that are perfect for displaying during sporting events. Some printers are even used in schools that have children who are learning to draw. This model is also popular because of the high quality of the finished product.

Buying Guide for Chooseing the Right Sublimation Printer

When shopping for sublimation printers, you should consider the type of media the machine uses.

Heat Presses

In the case of heat presses, this is a more important consideration as their working area is often not touchable. Heat presses require special paper which will withstand the heat from the press and transfer ink to substrates such as t-shirts or mugs. Paper types:

Cold Sublimation

Cold sublimation takes advantage of a different process- where a heatless transfer is done. Cold sublimation printers have a flat heating element instead of a hot press. They are typically cheaper and less powerful than their counterparts, with disadvantages such as a smaller working area and a longer warm up time.

Laser Toner

Laser toner technology was first introduced by Ricoh in the early 1970s under the brand name 'Raster Image Processor'. Laser toner printers require special paper which can withstand the heat of the fuser unit. Paper types:

Dye-Sub

Dye-sub is a type of inkjet technology; it sprays water based inks on to papers. It typically offers more vibrant colors than laser toner, however it requires special papers to be used. Paper types:

Do You Need a Printer That Can Do Sublimation or Laser Toner?

Do you need a printer that can do sublimation or laser toner? If making t-shirts is your main purpose, then go for sublimation printers. Laser toners will print on materials such as mugs and not on some clothing substrates like polyester or leather.

If you are planning to print line art, then laser toners will give you crisper lines than dye-subs. If you want to print high quality photos, go for either lasers or sublimation- it depends on your budget and the quality of output that is acceptable to you; while dye-sub printers can give you high resolution photos, sublimation printers are less expensive.

If you are printing on leather or polyester, go for sublimation printers. If not, laser toners will do just fine.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Sublimation Printer - Advice on Choosing Substrates, Inks, and Software

There is one key element in the process to create a successful garment: choice of the correct substrate. On the following page, "substrate" refers to any surface on which you intend to print: paper, hard board, T-shirt, and so forth. The substrate will affect almost every aspect of your job: from design conversion through ink color choice, to the way the print head applies ink.

Choice of the Correct Substrate

Your substrate choices can affect productivity, cost, garment durability and hand feel. The wrong substrate may mean an inferior product that falls apart in the wash or irritates your skin. At its best, a wrong substrate choice will lead to mediocre-looking results with limited color choices. Here are some guidelines to help you select the best substrate for your application.

First, consider the form of printing: digital or screen-printing. With each technique, certain substrates work better than others: Most sublimation printers produce a dye-sublimation image on a special coated paper that is designed for this process and is called a "sublimation transfer sheet."

Transfer Sheets (Transfer Papers)

Transfer sheets are available in various weights, thicknesses and formats. Some printers come with a starter kit of transfer paper, which can be used to check the user settings. However, after testing the first few batches on a sample or a similar garment, it is advisable to buy larger quantities of paper to produce the required volume. For example, it is difficult to judge how many T-shirts can fit on a sheet of paper that measures 12" tall by 22" wide (30 cm x 56 cm). If you try to fit 11 shirts on the same transfer sheet and print them at once, there is likely to be some color variation across the order of shirts. If you print one T-shirt at a time and wait for each sheet to dry before printing another, you can make sure that all your colors came out the same way every time.

The transfer paper creates an image-the dye sublimation print-that is temporarily "bonded" to the substrate. When the transfer paper is peeled away from the garment, some of the ink stays on the shirt.

Variety of Formats and Weights

Transfer sheets come in a variety of formats and weights. A heavier weight generally means less wrinkling, but more thickness to work around on a press. It also may mean a longer drying time between color changes for your product, since high-weight transfer paper is more porous and can dry out faster.

Inkjet Printed Items an Be Used on Almost Any Substrate Including Shoes, Bags, Mugs

Inkjet printed items are no longer limited to T-shirts only. They can be used on almost any substrate including shoes, bags, mugs etc. Inkjet printers use a special version of an ink called "sublimation inks" which become liquid at very high temperatures. In the printer, this ink is applied to a special coated paper. When heated in an oven, the inks become soft and transfer from the paper to other substrates via pressure or heat.

As with any product that you intend to sell, test it on a sample item before printing hundreds of products. If inkjet prints are being sublimated, the steps are slightly different. The inkjet print must first be "sublimated-ready" with a special coating applied to it. This coating is necessary because of the large amount of heat required to raise the temperature of an inkjet printed item high enough for sublimation.

Since transfer sheets work like a paint roller, you can't use just anything as your substrate.

Coated Inkjet Stock

The least expensive and most readily available paper is called "coated inkjet stock." This is thin paper with a thin layer of coating on the top (the side that is applied to the printing plate).

While this paper is a good choice for shorter run projects, the ink bleeding from the backside can affect print quality. This is why coated stock should not be used as a long-term solution. In addition to bleeding from the back side of the sheet, it may also have an undesirable texture and feel on clothing. A better option is called "sublimation paper," which is slightly thicker and comes coated on both sides, with a smoother surface. The inkjet side can be printed flat or matte, while the opposite side has a very slight "pebble" texture to accommodate print heads that are more aggressive in applying ink.

Dye-Based Inks Over Pigment-Based Inks

Now that you have chosen the right substrate, you need to choose inks and paper that give the best results on the substrate. Most commercial printers recommend dye-based inks over pigment-based inks. Pigment-based inks often dry faster and make overall color changes more difficult. If you are printing thicker items such as ceramic mugs or ceramic tiles, it is recommended to use pigment-based inks for optimal results.

If you are asking yourself "What is dye-based ink?" the answer would be that it's a liquid (ink) which contains color pigments (dyes) suspended in water (and sometimes ethanol, deionized water and other solvents). Dye-base ink is typically used when printing on dark colored garments and when printing on dark surfaces such as ceramic mugs or ceramic tiles. Pigment-base inks are usually used for glossy and semi-glossy surfaces such as clear cups, plastic trophies and acrylic awards.

Buy them at Walmart, Etsy, eBay (limited quantity)

WorkForce WF-7710 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer with Copy, Scan, Fax, Wi-Fi - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer with Copy, Scan, Fax, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Epson Artisan 1430 Wireless Color Wide-Format Inkjet Printer (C11CB53201) - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Canon® SELPHY™ CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer with Wi-Fi Direct and - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-Format Printer, Amazon Dash - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner and Copier - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S Eco-Value Dye-Sub Photo Printer - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS 6" Dye Sublimation, for Booth Portrait Printing, 290 - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

DNP DS620A Dye Sub Professional Photo Printer, Print Sizes: 2x6" to 6x8" - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Conclusion for Sublimation Printer Buyers

With the Sublimation Printer, you can print any design onto a t-shirt. This is great for marketing purposes because customers are able to wear your brand on their clothes! It also means that they will be constantly reminded of your company and products even when not actively thinking about them. If you want an effective way to market without paying too much money, this printer may just be what you're looking for. The cost of production isn't as high as it would be if printing was done in bulk or higher quantities and there's no minimum order size which makes it perfect for those who only need one shirt at a time. Interested? Simply visit our website today and we'll take care of everything else!

About Mia M.

I'm going through a bit of an existential crisis right now, I'll tell you about myself when I figure out if I'm real or not.

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hey, i’m mia

tattoo lover, plant hoarder, DIY addict and overall stoner grandma