So you’re looking at your printer and wondering if it can use sublimation ink. The truth is only a few printers can actually be used for sublimation printing.

First of all you need an inkjet printer. Obviously a laser printer can’t use sublimation ink. Sublimation ink belongs in an inkjet printer.

But not just any inkjet printer is qualified to be used for sublimation. How you would know if your printer is capable of using sublimation ink is due its print process. Thermal print heads are out. Mechanical, aka piezo, print heads are imperative for sublimation.

How to Know If Your Printer Can Be Used For Sublimation

If you want to know what type of inkjet you have you have to look into the documentation for your printer. If it says thermal print head you’re out of luck. Some brands don’t say but if you see piezo or MicroPiezo you can use your printer for sublimation.

If your printer documentation doesn’t say then you will have to go by the brand. Home and small office printers by HP and Canon use thermal type print heads. Inkjet printers by Epson and Brother use piezo type print heads.

Sawgrass is another brand that use piezo type print heads. If you have $10,000 or more to burn you could get a professional sublimation printer from HP, Canon, or Roland DGA.

Printers Which Can Be Used for Sublimation

For most of us interested in sublimation printing we’ll just need something more affordable. Here’s a list of inkjet printers you can use for sublimation:

BrandPrinterMax Paper# of Colors
EpsonWorkForce Pro WF-731013 x 19 (Stream feed to 47)4
EpsonWorkForce EC-C700013 x 19 (Stream feed to 47)4
EpsonExpression Premium XP-61008.5 x 145
EpsonExpression Home XP-5100 Small-in-One8.5 x 14 4
Sublimation printers under $220
PrinterMax Paper# of Colors
Ecotank ET-28008.5 x 144
Ecotank ET-28508.5 x 144
Ecotank ET-38308.5 x 144
Ecotank ET-38508.5 x 144
Ecotank ET-47608.5 x 144
Ecotank ET-48508.5 x 144
Ecotank ET-48508.5 x 144
Ecotank Photo ET-85008.5 x 146
EcoTank Pro ET-51708.5 x 144
EcoTank Pro ET-51508.5 x 144
EcoTank Pro ET-51808.5 x 144
EcoTank Pro ET-58008.5 x 144
EcoTank Pro ET-58508.5 x 144
EcoTank Pro ET-58808.5 x 144
WorkForce ST-2100 (Supertank)8.5 x 144
Epson Ecotanks for sublimation printing

Epson Ecotanks

BrandPrinterMax Paper# of Colors
EpsonWorkForce Pro WF-782013 x 19 (47)4
EpsonWorkForce Pro WF-784013 x 19 (47)4
EpsonEcotank ET-1500013 x 19 (47)4
EpsonEcotank ET-1660013 x 19 (47)4
EpsonEcotank ET-1665013 x 19 (47)4
EpsonEcotank ET-855013 x 19 (51)6
EpsonWorkForce ST-C8000 (Supertank)13 x 19 (47)4
EpsonWorkForce ST-C8090 (Supertank)13 x 19 (47)4
BrotherMFC-J5845DW11 x 174
BrotherMFC-J5945DW11 x 174
BrotherMFC-J6545DW11 x 174
BrotherMFC-J6945DW11 x 174
Wide format printers for sublimation

Wide Format

BrandPrinterMax Paper# of Colors
EpsonSureColor F1708.5 x 14 4
EpsonSureColor F57024 inch rolls4
SawgrassSG5008.5 x 144
SawgrassSG100013 x 19 (51) 4
SawgrassVJ62824 inch rolls4
Sublimation ready printers

Sublimation Ready Printers

BrandPrinterMax Paper# of Colors
SawgrassSG80013×514
SawgrassSG4008.5×514
EpsonWorkforce WF-721013 x 474
Epson Workforce WF-7110 13 x 474
Epson Workforce WF-761013 x 474
Epson Workforce WF-762013 x 474
Epson Workforce WF-7720 13 x 474
Epson Workforce WF-3620 8.5 x 514
Epson Workforce WF-3640 8.5 x 514
Epson Any Artisan series
BrotherMFC-J5845DW XL11 x 174
BrotherMFC-J6545DW XL11 x 174
Discontinued Models

As you can see HP and Canon inkjet printers are not on the list of printers you can use for sublimation printing. Epson, Brother, and Sawgrass make printers proficient enough to use sublimation ink.

Summary

If you’re thinking of using your regular printer for sublimation be sure it meets these requirements:

  1. It has to be an inkjet printer (Laser, LED, Wax, Zink do not work)
  2. Your inkjet printer has to use piezo type print head (thermal print heads do not work)

Once you find a printer that meets those requirements you can use it for sublimation printing.

FAQ

Can you do sublimation with a regular printer?

No. You need an inkjet printer with a piezo type print head. SOHO inkjet printers from HP and Canon have thermal print heads which are incompatible with sublimation ink.

What printer can be used for sublimation?

Inkjet printers from Epson, Brother, and Sawgrass can be used for sublimation printing.

How do I know if my printer is sublimation?

Check your inkjet printers documentation for which technology it uses. Look for piezo or micropiezo. Anything else can’t be used for sublimation.

Can I do sublimation with my Cricut?

You can but a Cricut machine can’t be used like a sublimation printer. A Cricut can cut transfer sheets made of infusible ink.


copier guy

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.

printer for sublimation

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