Sublimation printing is the process of printing in which a printed design is printed on sublimation paper. This design is then pasted on fabric, glassware, or any other material using pressure and heat. We are going to tell you how to convert a printer to sublimation for home craft or business uses. It is one of the most inexpensive to get sublimation printing by converting a home printer into a sublimation printer.
- How To Convert A Printer To Sublimation
- Step 1. Filling The Printer With Sublimation Ink
- Step 2. Setup The Printer
- Step 3. Printer’s Configurations On Your Computer
- Step 4. Testing The Print
How To Convert A Printer To Sublimation
We are going to talk about all the possible methods and printers that are best to convert as sublimation printers. All printers do not have the ability to convert as a sublimation printer. There are some specifications and requirements. Here we are going to convert the Epson printer to a sublimation printer. Read and follow each step carefully.
Normal printers have different cartridges. There are some printers that make the multi-purpose cartage that could easily be worked as a sublimation printing cartage. There are some special cartridges too. Which allows you to convert your printer into a sublimation printer. You have to program your printer using a microchip for this purpose and its expensive method. In short, try the easy method and use printers like some Epson models.
Let’s get into how to convert a printer to a sublimation printer.
- A Printer.
- Sublimation Ink.
- Four Syringes.
- Pair of gloves.
- Sublimation Papers.
- Protective papers.
- A Heat Tape.
Step 1. Filling The Printer With Sublimation Ink
The Sublimation ink is different from normal printer ink. It has high consistency as compared to the normal printer ink. That is why this ink is best used for fabric printing.
Note: Do not turn the printer on without filling it with ink.
- If you are using an old printer, you have to wash the ink tank of the printer thoroughly. Do not leave any ink even a small spot of previous regular ink in your ink tank.
- There is a filling tank on your printer. You have to remove the lid from the filling tank.
- There will be a sticker telling you which color will go to which cartage. These colors are Black, Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan.
- Now you need to fill this tank with sublimation ink. You will need four syringes for that purpose. Wear gloves during the process so you might not get any ink on your hands.
- First, assemble your syringe. All syringes come with a special needle with a hole at the bottom to suck the ink efficiently. Place the needle onto the syringe.
- Now place the syringe into the ink bottle and suck ink into the syringe.
- In the same easy fill all the syringes with their respective color and fill the printer’s ink tank.
- Once the syringe is filled more than half, stop filling.
- Fill the black tank of cartage with it. Place the syringe needle into the cartage and press the syringe gently. Cartages are designed like that, you can see through them while filling. Check the filling stage constantly so it may not get overfilled.
- Once the bottle of inks starts to get empty, you have to tilt the bottle to get more ink out of it.
- You can clean the syringes for future use. Byt try not to mix them. Fill the same ink in the syringe you used in it previously.
Step 2. Setup The Printer
You will need to change some settings of your printer to convert it into a sublimation printing machine. These settings include print settings.
- Connect your printer to the power source and turn it on.
Do not connect the printer to your laptop or computer.
- Each printer has different settings. For Epson, first select language, Your country, date and time, etc. The printer will ask different commands like is it filled with ink or if your computer is connected. Select the relative options.
- After that, your printer will suck some of the ink from the cartage. Now you will have to pour some more ink into the cartage.
- Now we will adjust the printer according to the ink to get the best quality.
- Carefully bring out the input and output paper trays of your printer.
- Load some sublimation papers to your printer. Your sublimation paper will have some marking on the back. So it means you have to print on the other side. Load the paper exactly that way.
- Now select the print quality option from the printer’s panel and press ok.
- It will print a paper for you. The sublimation ink does not print a dense color it is because this is the opposite side of the print. It will bring the full colors when pasted on the fabric or any other material. So do not worry about the dull color.
- Here you have to look for the printed segments. It means you have to look that all printing segments are of good quality. If anyone is not, then change the quality and print it out again.
- It will print a comprehensive paper. Now you have to choose which quality is best for you and select that quality on the printer’s panel.
Step 3. Printer’s Configurations On Your Computer
First of all, we have to change and configure some of the settings of the printer through our computer. These settings will allow you to set up one-time configurations according to the sublimation paper so you do not need to set things up again and again.
- It’s time to connect your printer to your computer. Install the printer on your computer.
- Go to the “Printer & Scanners”. You can access it by searching in the taskbar search panel.
- Once it is open, select your printer and press “Manage”.
- Now, look for the “Printing Preferences”. Mostly it is at the bottom of all options.
- A setting panel will display on your screen. Now you have to change some important settings from it.
- Now select the paper size you are mostly going to use like letter or A4.
- Now in the “Paper Type” select “Premium presentation paper matt” from the bottom of the list. It is the sublimation type that is why we are selecting it.
- Now select the image quality as “High”.
- If the Color option is on “Black/Grayscale” convert it to “Color”.
- Now go to the “More Option” Panel.
- In the more options, make sure the “Mirror” option is checked and press “OK”.
You do not have to change these settings every time. Once you have set them they will remain the same every time you use the printer.
Step 4. Testing The Print
It is necessary to test whether the printer is successfully converted to a sublimation printer. For this purpose, you have to print some of the sublimation prints and have to print on the material. In our case, we are using a shirt.
- Select any PNG file that you want to print on your Shirt. The size of it must be less than the size of your sublimation paper.
- Press Ctrl+P or proceed to print the image. Go through the printing setting to check all the options are correct. If your printer gives you the error about the wrong paper, just ask it to proceed to print.
- Now as we have printed our paper, it’s time to place it on the shirt.
- I am using a polyester shirt. Sublimation gives the best results with 75% polyester cloth. Place your polyester shirt on a matt. We are using Easy Press. Set the Easy Press to 400F and 40 seconds.
- Place protective paper inside your shirt. It will stop the print from effect another side of the shirt.
- Now pre-press your shirt to remove all the wrinkles. Place another protective paper on the top. Gently use the Easy press on the shirt.
- Now place your printed sublimation paper on the exact place you want the sticker to stick on the shirt.
- Place the heat tape around the paper carefully so it may not move when you are pressing.
- You can also mark the center of the pattern on the back of your paper.
- Place the protective paper on the back of your printed paper. Gently press the paper using the Easy press or pre-heated press.
- Press the button on Easy press and press the design for 40 seconds.
- After 40 seconds, peel your paper carefully as shown.
- Your Sublimation print is ready on your shirt.
Can I use a regular inkjet printer be used for sublimation?
There are some printers that allow this option. It all depends on the printer head. If it is compatible you can convert it to a sublimation printer
Can you convert a Cricut into a sublimation?
Cricket machines do not have printing ability. They are used to cut materials like stickers etc. It is not possible to turn a Cricut into a sublimation printer
Can I sublimation on vinyl?
No you can not sublimation on a vinyl. Sublimation is recommended on a white or light-colored substrate
Can I sublimate on a black shirt?
No it is not possible to substrate any dark color directly. There are some methods to do it like you have to first make any other layer beneath the dark color.
Can I sublimate on wood?
Yes you can. But the wood should have a polymer coating on it to be sublimated correctly. Some specific wood brands offer such woods
Most of the printers have the ability to be converted into a sublimation printer. The need is just to change the regular ink into the sublimation ink. For this purpose, you have to completely remove each drop of the previous ink and fill the ink tank with new sublimation ink. Some printers require specially programmed chips to perform the sublimation process. You can check the user manual of your printer before using it or you can also google it.