What Is The Best Sublimation Printer - Whether you're in the research phase of which sublimation printer to buy or an advanced sublimation professional looking to upgrade your printing, this complete guide to choosing the best sublimation printer will show you what's available and the differences.
Choosing the best sublimation printing is easy because you can understand what you need and what you are looking for so you can make an informed decision.
What Is The Best Sublimation Printer
The best sublimation printer is one that meets all your requirements for what you can print, what fits your budget, and how much tech support you need.
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There are many options to choose from and what works for one person may not work for another. This comprehensive guide will help you determine important criteria when choosing a sublimation printer.
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No. Not all printers can be used for sublimation. Sublimation inks require special printheads, but not all printers support them.
The main function of the print head is to apply ink to the paper. There are two basic types of printheads: thermal and piezo. Printers with piezo print heads will work for sublimation, but thermal print heads will not.
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Thermal printheads use heat to boil the ink and create bubbles that vaporize the ink. This bubble passes through a nozzle in the head and explodes out of the chamber. After the process of pouring the ink onto the paper, it cools down quickly. Thermal printheads use water-based ink to aid the heating process. Printers like Canon and HP use this type of printhead.
Piezo print heads have a thin film of electricity that causes the head to vibrate. This vibration signals the film to twist and bend, increasing the pressure that pushes the ink out of the nozzle and onto the paper.
The rapid vibration and roughness of the film allows for precise control of the rate at which the ink ejects. This type of printhead is suitable for water-based, oil-based, eco-solvent, liquid and gel-based inks.
Printers such as Epson, Sawgrass, and Roland have printheads of this type and can be used for sublimation. There are other types of printers with piezo printheads, but no down line.
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Before making the final decision on which printer is right for you, decide whether you want to purchase a printer that is already built for sublimation or one of the standard ink printers that can be converted to sublimation.
You should also consider the size of the sublimation printer you need, how much you're willing to spend, the cost of ink refills or replacements, and how much tech support you want if you have a problem. A printer that's perfect for one person may not be the same as one that's perfect for another, so it's a good idea to be clear about what you want when overriding.
There are printers made for sublimation, and there are regular ink printers that can "convert".
With Epson EcoTank available in recent years, replacing the standard ink that comes with it is as simple as adding sublimation ink. Let's look at the pros and cons of swapping one out or buying one already made specifically for sublimation.
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Epson printers that convert to sublimation come with warranty and technical support, but adding your own sublimation ink instead of your own printer ink will void your warranty and we will not provide technical support for non-sublimation ink. make a printer
Size matters in this case. To find a sublimation printer that supports it, you need to determine the print size. There are printers that can only print on paper up to 8.5 x 14", so if your goal is to print mugs, key chains, knick knacks, or anything small, this size is fine.
But if your goal is to eventually sublimate garden flags, doormats, and t-shirts in size L or XL, you should buy a sublimation printer that can print larger than 8.5 x 14". These printers are called standard printers. Epson printers are wide You can replace it with a format or buy a Sawgrass SG1000 or Epson F570 Pro.
Sublimation printers cost around $170 and cost upwards of $90,000. The more expensive ones are for large industrial printing companies, while the cheaper ones are suitable for those just entering the world of sublimation.
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The mid-range prices start at $400 to $1500 and can be a very good choice for low average prices. Ink replacement costs should also be considered when setting a printing budget.
Sublimation ink cost is also a factor in deciding which sublimation printer to buy. Inks cost $12 per color, up to $130 or more for non-industrial sublimation printers.
Some printers require you to purchase your own brand of ink when refilling the printer to avoid voiding your warranty. If you use a "modified" printer, your warranty will be automatically voided as it is not technically designed for sublimation.
All new printers come with a manufacturer's warranty. Most offer 1 year of unlimited tech support, and some offer 2 years of unlimited tech support. If you decide to switch to a regular inkjet printer to reduce size, your warranty and technical support will be automatically voided.
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If your printer has a problem or a technical problem, you need to figure out what the problem is and how to solve it. This is easy these days as there are many forums with effective sublimation ready to help and share knowledge.
There are even authorized resellers of Sawgrass printers, such as Conde, which offer their own technical support from the manufacturer and are worth their weight in gold! We are usually reachable on weekends and often respond faster than manufacturers.
If you decide to change your inkjet printer to a sublimation printer, there is no technical support for this, and if something goes wrong you will have to try to fix it yourself.
Roland sublimation printers have a starting MSRP of $20,000 and are great for sublimation businesses. The average sublimationist will want to spend less than that. Epson and Sawgrass will be discussed here. This is because Epson and Sawgrass are more common for regular sublimation professionals who use them as a hobby or small business. .
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Ricoh was optional, but in 2019 Sawgrass partnered with Ricoh to become a color printing partner. The former Ricoh Aficio SG3110DN and SG7100DN became the Sawgrass SG400 and SG800. Those models have been updated and are now called the Sawgrass SG500 and SG1000. Prices range from $550 to $1500 (prices subject to change without notice).
Epson has many ink printers that can be used for sublimation, and you have to replace them by adding sublimation ink instead of the regular ink that came with them. We've put together a comprehensive list of Epson printers that can convert to sublimation and help you decide if the conversion is right for you.
2020 introduces the Epson SureColor F570 Pro, Epson's first printer specifically designed for sublimation. This printer is great for small businesses because it can handle multiple print jobs and can print in a 24-inch width.
In early 2021, its little brother, the Epson SureColor F170, was released as the first true printer at this affordable price. It's also super easy to set up! Check out our Epson F170 printer review with pros and cons, test prints and recommended settings.
The Epson Ecotank: Best Sublimation Printer For Beginners?
You will need to decide whether to buy a pre-made sublimation printer or a regular inkjet printer to convert to sublimation. The transition to inkjet printing has never been easier with the release of the new Epson EcoTank.
This ecotank printer has a refillable tank, so you just fill the tank with the sublimation ink of your choice. That's all that changes. It's that simple!
At this point, the easiest and hardest part of the EcoTank transition is deciding which lower line to use. There are many replaceable Epson Ecotanks for sublimation.
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