Can You Use Any Printer for Sublimation Printing | Explained

Sublimation printing has become the go-to printing technique for businesses that want to produce high-quality, long-lasting prints on various materials. The process involves transferring dye onto a substrate using heat and pressure to create vibrant, durable images. However, when it comes to sublimation printing, not all printers are created equal.

Many people wonder if they can use any printer for sublimation printing or if they need a specific type of printer. In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and provide you with some insights into the types of printers that are suitable for sublimation printing.

In order to understand which printers are suitable for sublimation printing, let’s first understand how it works. Sublimation printing involves the use of dye sublimation ink, which is a specially formulated ink that can be transformed from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid phase. This gas then bonds with the surface of the material, resulting in a vibrant, long-lasting print.

To achieve this, you need a printer that can accommodate dye-sublimation ink. Most printers are designed to use pigment-based or dye-based ink, which isn’t suitable for sublimation printing. However, there are printers that are specifically designed for sublimation printing, and these are the printers we recommend for anyone looking to produce high-quality sublimated prints.

The most popular printers for sublimation printing include the Epson SureColor series, the Ricoh SG series, the Sawgrass Virtuoso series, and the Canon Selphy series. These printers have been specially designed to work with sublimation ink, and they often come with sublimation-specific features such as heat-resistant printing heads and high-capacity ink cartridges.

One of the most important features of a printer for sublimation printing is its ability to handle high temperatures. The sublimation process involves heating the ink to a high temperature (around 400°F), which can cause some printers to malfunction or break down.

Printers designed for sublimation printing come equipped with heat-resistant parts and are specifically designed to handle the high temperatures required for sublimation printing.

Another important feature to consider when selecting a printer for sublimation printing is the quality of the print head. High-quality print heads are essential for producing crisp, clean prints with vibrant colors. Some printers come equipped with print heads specifically designed for sublimation printing, which can make a big difference in the quality of your final prints.

Steps to Convert Your Regular Printer to a Sublimation One

Steps to Convert Your Regular Printer to a Sublimation One

Upgrade your regular printer to a sublimation printer. With just a few easy steps, you can make the switch and start printing your designs on all sorts of awesome surfaces.

  • Cleaning your printer regularly is crucial, and it all starts with a thorough clean-up. Ensure to include cleaning the print heads, ink cartridges, and all the other components of the printer to keep it in top shape.
  • Before you can start unleashing your creativity with sublimation ink, you need to ensure a sparkling printer. Once that’s done, installing the ink is a must – just remember to pick the correct type compatible with your printer model.
  • When your Epson printer runs out of ink, it automatically switches from one cartridge to the other. But, for sublimation printing to work in top form, remember to change the settings so that both cartridges are always in use.
  • To get started, open the printer’s properties window and head to its “Maintenance” tab. Under the “Ink Cartridge Settings,” opt for “Both,” and it’ll keep printing flawlessly even if one cartridge runs out of ink. Yes, you heard it right! Tackle a printing emergency seamlessly. 
  • If your printer is still not printing with sublimation ink after attempting the methods mentioned above, let’s try more solutions. performing a factory reset. This can get your printer back to tip-top shape, and have those sublime prints ready to go in no time.
  • To restore your printer to its original factory settings, take the following steps: Open the printer’s Properties window and click on the “Maintenance” tab. From there, select the “Factory Defaults” option and click on “Restore.” By doing so, you’ll give your printer a refreshing reset to the way it was when you first unboxed it.
  • After resetting the printer, let’s get that sublimation ink flowing again! Follow the cartridge settings outlined earlier and you’ll be back to printing high-quality images in no time.
  • The ICC Profile: discover how to reproduce color with your device. Every sublimation printer is unique; learn how to use the built-in ICC Profile to create beautiful prints and make your colors pop.
  • To create stunning prints using sublimation ink, always double-check that the ICC Profile for your printer is selected in the printing software. Pro-tip: neglecting this small detail might result in distorted coloring in your prints.
  • When it comes to sublimation software, most popular programs like CorelDraw or Adobe Photoshop have a nifty little setting that lets you select the ICC Profile for your printer. Don’t forget to choose this setting when you’re ready to print.
  • To complete the process, it’s time to bring your creation to life with high-quality prints that will give you the desired results.

What Happens If You Install Sublimation Printing System In A Regular Printer?

Did you know that the sublimation printing system can only be installed on specific printers? It is not a good idea to try to convert a regular printer into sublimation, as doing so will void your product warranty.

If you try to install refilling cartridges and fill them with sublimation ink on an incompatible printer, it will result in a huge mess of bleeding ink onto the paper. So, make sure you check your printer first before trying out sublimation printing.

Epson printers feature a CISS ink system, which means cartridges can be refilled with sublimation ink to keep your printer running smoothly. It’s important to note that this process may be a bit tricky for certain WF line printers that require cartridge changes.


In conclusion, while you may be able to use any printer for sublimation printing, we strongly recommend using a printer that has been specifically designed for the job. Sublimation printing requires specialized equipment and ink, and using a printer that isn’t designed for sublimation printing can result in poor-quality prints and damage to your printer.

By using a printer that has been specifically designed for sublimation printing, you’ll ensure that you’re getting the best possible results, and you’ll extend the lifespan of your printer by using it for its intended purpose. If you’re in the market for a printer for sublimation printing, be sure to do your research and choose a printer that meets your needs and budget.


Can You Use Any Printer for Sublimation Printing?

If you’re planning on sublimation printing, it’s important to note that inkjet printers with thermal printing heads won’t do the trick. Unfortunately, that means popular models from Canon, Hewlett Packard (HP), Lexmark or Dell just won’t cut it. Fear not though, printers leveraging a Micro Piezo printing head will get the job done.

Can Canon printers be used for sublimation?

A Canon printer can be used for sublimation printing, where heat transfers dye onto materials like fabrics, ceramics, wood, or even metal.

What is the difference between a sublimation printer and a regular printer?

There are two types of printing regular and sublimation. Your average printer is great for the usual suspects: text docs and spreadsheets. But if you’re looking for some high-quality graphics, sublimation printing is where it’s at. Instead of liquid ink, sublimation printers go one step further by infusing ink directly into materials by way of vaporization.

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