What is the Best Sublimation Printer?

If you want to sell personalized clothing or accessories, the ideal option is a sublimation printer. This unique printer uses cutting-edge technology to generate long-lasting, vibrant designs. As such, here is a comprehensive guide to the top sublimation printers available.

Sublimation printers are extremely powerful, rapid, and economical. Additionally, they produce more long-lasting effects that do not peel or fade. As a result, they’re great for selling personalized products.

What is the Best Sublimation Printer?

Sublimation shirt printing is a unique kind of printing that begins with the image being printed on a special sheet of paper and then transferred to another material (usually polyester or a polyester mix).

After then, the ink is heated until it dissolves into the fabric. Sublimation shirt printing is more expensive than other processes, but it lasts longer and does not crack or peel over time, as other methods do.

Is sublimation and heat transfer synonymous?

The primary distinction between heat transfer and sublimation is that in sublimation, only the ink is transferred to the substrate. Typically, a transfer layer is also applied to the material during the heat transfer process.

Is it possible to sublimate anything?

It works best with polyester textiles for the most excellent Sublimation results. It is compatible with various materials that have been coated with a specialty polymer, such as those found on mugs, mousepads, and coasters. Sublimation can also be used on glass in some situations, but the glass must be standard glass that has been treated and prepared correctly using a specialized spray.

What are Sublimation’s limitations?

Apart from the materials that can be utilized for Sublimation, one of the primary constraints is the color range of any substance. Because sublimation is primarily a dyeing process, the most outstanding results are obtained with white or light-colored textiles. If you’re printing on a black shirt or other dark material, you could be better off with a digital print solution.

Is it possible for a sublimation printer to print white?

Sublimation printing is MCYK, and no combination of base color inks can generate a white color. You can print on white or any other lighter color material. However, if any part of your design contains white, Sublimation will not work.

Is sublimation a superior method of printing than screen printing? Both printing procedures, when used properly, will produce long-lasting prints that will not fade or crack, even after prolonged washing.

While both printing technologies have their advantages, there are a few critical aspects to consider while deciding between dye Sublimation and screen printing:

Order Quantity

This is frequently the first thing to consider. Naturally, the bigger the volume, the more cost-effective screen printing becomes. Due to the additional time required for dye, Sublimation is not the most feasible method for large orders. On the other hand, sublimation is likely to be the superior option for smaller orders. Most printers will also have a minimum order quantity for their screen printing services.

Establishment of the Job

One of screen printing’s most significant constraints is that only one color may be applied to the substrate at a time. Additionally, there is the issue of color layer alignment. As a result, screen printing setup times might be lengthy when multiple colors are used.

On the other hand, with Sublimation, there is no need to be concerned about color alignment because the process prints all colors simultaneously. This approach allows for greater customization of designs since you will just need to alter the article work and print out a fresh transfer to see the changes take effect.

Materials Selection

For some, this new technology is a game-changer, as it frequently allows or disallows the use of a particular printing method. Screen printing is the most versatile printing method on a variety of surfaces. It enables printing on nearly any material and in virtually any area. However, dye Sublimation is often best suited to white or light-colored polyester or polyester blend textiles.

Which printers are suited for dye sublimation?

Sublimation printers often use water-insoluble dispersion dyes (i.e., dense dyes). These printers are frequently referred to as sublimation or “subli” printers. Due to the ink’s consistency and temperature sensitivity, special sublimation sublimes are necessary. Regular inkjet printers are not compatible with water-based inks. Changing between standard and special inks, on the other hand, is not suggested due to residue contamination of the print heads and tubes.

Which materials are suitable for sublimation printing?

Polyester, or fabric consisting of plastic fibers, is the optimal carrier material. Polyester content should be at least 80% for optimal printing with sublimation printers. If other materials such as cotton shirts, ceramic mugs, or metal plates are used, they must be coated with polyester; otherwise, the motif will fade quickly, and natural materials such as cotton may catch fire at high heat colors straight forward colors. On the other hand, polyester begins to dissolve at high temperatures, allowing the dye gas to penetrate the fabric through the pores. White or light is the appropriate background color. Polyester textiles that have been dyed can only be printed in black.

What are applications conceivable for sublimation printers?

There are virtually no restrictions on use as long as the material is polyester-based or polyester-coated. T-shirts and workwear, for example, can be personalized with a club emblem or the company name; lanyards, pillows, and towels can be personalized as gifts or for guests; and signage, mugs, cell phone cases, and even snowboards can be customized.

On the one hand, sublimation printing is a beautiful method for personalizing T-shirts with a chosen motif. On the other hand, printed textiles provide an excellent advertising medium. T-shirts give a wide surface area for brand logos and sponsors, resulting in increased visibility. After all, imprinted clothing grabs the viewer’s attention considerably more quickly than a key fob or a ballpoint pen does. Simultaneously, textiles can reach a large number of people since, unlike billboards, people are mobile and interact with many people. If you also use high-quality fabrics, the T-shirt will be worn frequently and provide significant value to the recipient.

Sublimation printers have several advantages.

Sublimation printing enables the printing and transfer of virtually any motif onto various substrates, including intricate picture motifs. Additionally, sublimation printing is distinguished by its high precision, allowing for intricate motifs. This way, you can avoid post-transfer treatments and lengthy wait times: the motif is immediately ready.

The fact that the ink is trapped within the substrate’s fabric, rather than just applied to it, results in a variety of benefits: For starters, you are not aware of any used color, which can easily be rubbed off or become brittle. Despite this, the colors are vibrant and rarely fade. As a result, they may be readily washed or rinsed without affecting the color intensity. Additionally, they are resistant to UV light and other potentially hazardous environmental impacts. As a result, sublimation printing is also suited for outdoor applications, such as printing on flags. Additionally, the ink does not completely seal the textile, allowing for breathability – excellent for sportswear and club jerseys. Sublimation printing is also a very environmentally friendly method, as it does not use any binding agents or solvents.

Disadvantages of sublimation

Sublimation printing requires specialized printers and inks. As a result, the initial expenditures are higher than those associated with alternative procedures. Additionally, the printers operate slowly.

Other materials can only be employed to a limited extent other than polyester. They must be coatable, which is not always possible. Additionally, white cannot be printed. If the motif is composed entirely of white or light hues, a white background is required. Further, you must account for a minor shrinking of 1 to 4% with sublimation designs.

In sublimation printing, white toner printing or white toner printers can be utilized. Toner transfer refers to transferring the motifs to a transfer foil (A-foil) and then joining it to the so-called B-paper on a transfer press. The B-paper is coated with a heat-activated adhesive to the A-foil print. Once the A-foil and B-paper are separated, the design can be transferred to any material. Unlike sublimation, the substance used in this process is irrelevant. Printing is possible on a wide variety of textiles, including cotton, polyester, blended fabrics, felt, and other materials such as silk, wood, or cardboard. Additionally, white toner enables printing on dark and colorful substrates.

Which Printers Are Compatible with Sublimation?

You’ll need a sublimation-specific printer. As a result, your standard printer will not suffice. The majority of sublimation printers utilize viscous colors that are insoluble in water. These specific sublimation dyes cannot be used in a standard printer.

A sublimation printer converts these inks from solid to gas using heat. They then dye your material permanently to create a straightforward, vivid design that will last.

However, sublimation inks require a specific process and temperature to function correctly. Additionally, they have a unique uniformity that not all printers can reproduce. As a result, you’ll require a sublimation printer rather than another form of printer.

Which Ink Should You Purchase for Epson Sublimation Printers?

As you might assume, the answer is dependent on the type of printer you own. You’ll need ink that can absorb heat from your sublimation rather than simply be heated by it. Therefore, anything will suffice if you’re using a regular heat press or a similar device. In that scenario, you’ll want to hunt for inks compatible with such instruments.

In Summation

Each printing process has advantages and disadvantages. As we’ve just discussed, numerous variables will determine if Sublimation is the best option or whether you should choose another method such as screen printing, heat transfer, or direct to garment printing.