Sublimation is a fun and rewarding craft. If you’re looking for a sublimation printer to accompany your journey an Epson Ecotank printer makes the best sublimation printer.
Ink tank printers are the easiest to convert to sublimation ink. Epson printers have high quality prints and cost much less than other sublimation printers.
Sawgrass printers, such as the Sawgrass SG500, are popular dye-sublimation printers. Epson printers can match the quality yet are only a fraction of the cost.
An Epson dye-sublimation printer such as the Surecolor F170 comes with Epson sublimation ink. But converting an Ecotank can save you money and get the same high quality prints.
Epson Ecotank ET-2800
- Advantages: inexpensive, easy to convert, and good print quality.
- Disadvantages: limited to 8½ x 14 paper size.
The Epson Ecotank ET-2800 is the least expensive Ecotank printer for sublimation. Compared with other Epson Ecotank printers the ET-2800 is the best choice. It doesn’t have many bells or whistles, but it doesn’t need any for sublimation.
Being an entry level printer means you don’t pay for features you don’t need. Once you put sublimation ink in this printer you won’t be using it for anything else. Which makes it a good option for a sublimation printer.
The Epson Ecotank ET-2800 is great for mugs, tumblers, keychains, or smaller t shirt designs. While the Epson Ecotank ET-2800 is limited to 8½ x 14 paper size, you can still use this printer for sublimating on both rigid and polyester fabric.
Sublimation printers like the Sawgrass SG or Epson Surecolor F series have the same compact design. The major difference is those printers don’t need converted for sublimation ink .
If you want to do t shirts you will have to use smaller designs or make a composite with several pages. I’ve found it works with some designs but not something I’d recommend if you want to do a lot of t shirts.
The Epson Ecotank ET-2800 is an affordable sublimation printer great for beginners. You don’t need to invest much money, it’s easy to convert, and it has good print quality.
Epson Ecotank ET-15000
- Advantages: good print quality, easy to convert, and capable of printing on large paper.
- Disadvantages: mid range price.
The Epson Ecotank ET-15000 is a good choice for a wide format sublimation printer. This printer can handle larger sublimation paper, which means you can take full advantage of you heat press.
Most heat presses have a 15 x 15 platen. Since the ET-15000 can print on 13 x 19 paper it’s a good choice for sublimation printing.
The wide format comes in handy especially for t shirts, blankets, and larger pillows. Once you start sublimating you’ll find you can quickly outgrow a smaller sublimation printer.
The Epson ET-15000 is a very popular printer to convert to sublimation ink. It’s easy to convert and you can readily find sublimation ink supplies for this Ecotank.
Wide format sublimation printers that don’t need converted, like the Epson Surecolor F570 and the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG1000, can be very expensive. While the ET-15000 is a bargain compared to those, the Epson Workforce WF-7310 is the cheapest wide format printer you can get for sublimation.
The Epson WF-7310 isn’t the easiest to convert though since you have to deal with chips and refilling cartridges. Compared to the Epson WF-7310, the Epson ET-15000 has better print quality and is much easier to convert. Some suppliers carry ink bottles that fit so it’s no different than adding regular ink.
The Epson ET-15000 is a good value for the price since the only extras are document feeder and fax. You can still use it for scanning after converting it to sublimation ink.
If you plan on doing many t shirts or larger designs, the Epson Ecotank ET-15000 is a great option.
Epson Ecotank ET-8550
- Advantages: Terrific print quality, large paper size.
- Disadvantages: high initial cost.
The Epson Ecotank ET-8550 is another top pick for sublimation printing. It can do borderless printing on 13 x 19 inch paper, has lab quality photo printing, and doesn’t cost much more than the ET-15000. Which is a lot less than wide format sublimation printers like the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG 1000 or the Epson Surecolor F570.
This is a fairly new printer but ink supply companies do carry sublimation ink for all 6 colors this printer requires. Cosmos ink was one of the first to carry sublimation ink for this printer plus they have many helpful Youtube videos on how to convert the ET-8550.
While this photo printer can make amazing prints on photo paper, polyester fabric just isn’t the same medium. You will notice the difference in quality compared to any other sublimation printer but minute details of any design don’t necessarily show on any heat transfers.
The high quality of the Epson ET-8550 does show on mugs, tumblers, and other rigid materials. The print quality I’ve seen from the ET-8550 is on par with any professional printer I’ve worked on. If you want to start a small business this is the printer I’d recommend.
While the Epson Ecotank ET-8550 is the most expensive on this list, it isn’t the most expensive Ecotank. Other Ecotanks, like the ET-16650, ET-5850, or ST-C8000 cost much more. They can be used for sublimation but are geared for office use so not the best choice for sublimation.
Epson Artisan printers have been discontinued and replaced by printers like the ET-8550. Compared to those converting the ET-8550 is a breeze.
If you want to start a business or don’t mind paying for top quality, the ET-8550 is the best printer to get.
Epson Ecotanks make great sublimation printers. They are easy to convert, capable of high quality prints, and are reasonably priced. They don’t have many extra features which means you aren’t paying for features you won’t use.
You can convert business oriented printers from Epson. But they don’t have the same print quality, aren’t as easy to convert, and you’ll be paying for features you won’t need.
Ecotank printers are still cost efficient once converted to sublimation ink. The savings comes from using an ink bottle instead of a cartridge and not wasting ink. Cartridges rely on chips to determine when a cartridge is empty as opposed to actual ink levels.
You do refill ink cartridges when you convert other printers so will save on printing costs. You just have to deal with resetting or replacing chips on ink cartridges. Ecotanks don’t use chips.
Many ink supply companies are now carrying bottles that fit your Ecotank model so converting an Ecotank isn’t any harder than adding regular ink.
If you’re looking for a dye sublimation printer an Epson Ecotank is an excellent choice.
Ecotank printers are great for sublimation. They are easy to convert, have excellent print quality, and are relatively inexpensive compared with other sublimation printers.
All Epson Ecotank printers work with sublimation ink. However, since you can’t use them as regular printers once converted not just any Ecotank should be converted. You won’t need duplex or a document feeder.
Epson printers are best for sublimation. Epson Surecolor or Ecotank printers make the best sublimation prinetrs.
The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes over 23 years. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I’ve worked with every major brand. As well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.