How to Convert an Epson Printer to Sublimation?

Table of Contents


More and more people are turning to sublimation printing as a means to imprint vivid and long-lasting designs on a variety of materials, including metals, ceramics, and fabrics. One inexpensive way to start printing with sublimation is to convert an Epson printer. To get the most out of your Epson printer and get professional-quality prints every time, follow this article’s detailed instructions for switching to sublimation printing. This guide will also cover the topic “How to Convert an Epson Printer to Sublimation?” ensuring you have all the necessary steps and tips to make the conversion process smooth and effective.

What is Sublimation Printing?

The process of sublimation printing bypasses the need to dissolve the solid dye first, allowing it to be transformed directly into a gas. The dye is able to penetrate the material’s fibres through this process, producing prints of exceptional quality and longevity. Because their ink tanks can be filled up again and again, Epson EcoTank models like the ET-15000 and ET-2720 are ideal for sublimation conversion.

Choosing the Right Epson Printer for Sublimation

Epson EcoTank Series

Because of its refillable ink tanks, the Epson EcoTank series is great for sublimation conversion. Popular models include the ET-15000 and ET-2720.

Compatible Models

You can convert other Epson models as well, though the EcoTank series are the most popular. Make sure the model you choose can be filled up with ink and works with sublimation inks.

Factors to Consider

Think about the print size, resolution, and whether or not the model you’re considering uses sublimation inks. For sublimation projects, it’s possible to achieve better results with higher resolution and larger print sizes.

Setting Up Your Epson Printer for Sublimation

Unboxing and Initial Setup

First things first, take your Epson printer out of the box and set it up according to the instructions. The supplied standard ink cartridges should not be installed.

Adding Sublimation (also Ink to the Ink Tanks

Make use of premium sublimation inks rather than the ordinary inks. Be very careful not to contaminate the refillable tanks of the printer as you transfer the sublimation inks inside.

Performing Nozzle Checks

Once the tanks are filled, make sure the sublimation ink is flowing properly through the printer’s nozzles by performing several nozzle checks. To avoid blockages and keep print quality intact, this step is essential.

Head Cleaning Procedures

Make sure any remaining standard ink is flushed out by cleaning the heads. You may need to print out a few sample pages to be sure you’re using only sublimation ink for this.

Using Sublimation Paper

In order to get the most out of your heat press, you must use specialised sublimation paper that can both hold and release the sublimation ink.

Designing and Printing with Your Sublimation Printer

Choosing Design Software

Find a programme that works with your Epson printer and lets you create high-quality graphics. Silhouette Studio, CorelDRAW, and Adobe Illustrator are some of the most popular options.

Creating Your Designs

When making your designs, remember to use colour profiles that are compatible with sublimation printing. Because sublimation inks are not chemically identical to regular inks, the colours you see on your screen may not be an exact representation of the printed product.

Printing on Sublimation Paper

Sublimation paper can be used to print your designs. Before you start sublimation, check that your printer is set up for optimal results by selecting the right paper type and adjusting the print quality settings.

Heat Press Transfer

Preparing Your Substrate

Pick out materials that can be sublimated, like metals, specifically coated ceramics, or polyester fabrics. Get the substrate nice and dry before you put the transfer on it.

Applying the Transfer

The printed design on the sublimation paper can be transferred to your substrate using a heat press. Always use the substrate-specific recommended temperature and pressure settings.

Final Steps and Troubleshooting

Performing Test Prints

To ensure colour accuracy and high print quality, run test prints. Make any necessary adjustments to your printer’s settings and design files to get the results you want.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Clogged nozzles, wrong colour profiles, and ink bleeding are common issues. Nozzle checks and head cleanings are examples of routine maintenance that can help keep these issues at bay.

Maintaining Your Epson Sublimation Printer

Regular Cleaning

To keep your printer running smoothly and free of blockages, clean the nozzles and heads on a regular basis. To clean your sublimation printer, use only products made for that purpose.

Proper Storage

If you want your sublimation inks to last as long as possible and your printer to work properly, you should keep them in a cool, dry place.

Optimizing Your Sublimation Prints

Choosing the Right Sublimation Ink

High-Quality Inks

To achieve vibrant and long-lasting prints, it is essential to use high-quality sublimation inks. Sawgrass, InkOwl, and Cobra Ink are well-known brands that are renowned for their reliability and colour accuracy. Epson printers are designed to work seamlessly with these inks, guaranteeing a smooth ink flow and minimal clogging.

Colour Profiles

For optimal results, you may need to use a specific colour profile with your specific brand of sublimation ink. It is imperative that you acquire and set up the ink manufacturer-supplied ICC profiles. With these profiles, your printer will be able to read colours more accurately, leading to better printed results.

Ink Maintenance

You must ensure that your ink supply is regularly maintained. Keep an eye on the ink levels and make sure to refill the tanks before they run out entirely. Print quality and print head problems can be avoided by avoiding air bubbles in the ink lines.

Selecting the Best Sublimation Paper

Paper Quality

Sublimation papers vary in quality. The ink is held well and released completely during the heat press process on high-quality sublimation paper. To get the most out of your sublimation printer, you should search for papers designed for this process.

Paper Weight

The sublimation paper’s weight has an effect on the transfer procedure. Most uses only require papers with a lighter weight, typically between 100 and 120 gsm. Nonetheless, for certain substrates, heavier papers may provide superior ink absorption and transfer capabilities.

Paper Storage

Avoid having your sublimation prints ruined by keeping the paper in a dry, cool place. To preserve the paper from dust and other impurities, keep it in its original packaging until you’re ready to use it.

Preparing Your Substrates for Sublimation

Cleaning the Substrate

Verify that the substrate is dry and free of grease, dust, and other impurities before attempting to transfer your design. To get the surface ready, use a lint-free cloth and the right cleaning solution. To make sure the sublimation ink sticks well, this is an important step.


To prepare fabric substrates for transfers, pre-pressing can eliminate wrinkles and excess moisture. Before applying the sublimation print, heat press the fabric for a few seconds at the correct temperature.

Using Heat Tape

If you want your sublimation paper to stay put while you transfer it, you’ll need heat tape. To avoid ghosting or blurring in the final print, make sure the paper is securely fastened to the substrate at all edges.

Advanced Techniques for Sublimation Printing

Design Software Tips

Vector Graphics

The print quality of your designs can be greatly improved by incorporating vector graphics. No matter the size, vector files keep their quality, guaranteeing crisp and clear prints. If you want to make vector designs, you should use Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

Color Management

The secret to producing accurate and vivid prints is good colour management. Make frequent use of monitor calibration and the ICC profiles supplied by the manufacturer of your sublimation ink. By following this procedure, you can be certain that the colours you view will be very accurate when printed.

Layering and Effects

To make more intricate and visually appealing designs, play around with the effects and layering features in your design software. You can make your prints more eye-catching by using gradients, shadows, and highlights to create the illusion of depth.

Heat Press Settings and Techniques

Temperature and Pressure

To achieve successful sublimation transfers, it is crucial to use the appropriate temperature and pressure settings. The majority of substrates are successfully processed at medium pressure and temperatures of about 400°F (204°C). For best results, though, follow the guidelines provided by the substrate’s maker at all times.

Dwell Time

The duration of the heat press, or dwell time, is also crucial. When the transfer time is too long, colours tend to bleed or fade, and when it’s too short, the transfer is incomplete. A dwell time of about 60 seconds is a good place to start; from there, you can tweak it according to your test prints.

Even Pressure Distribution

Check that the whole substrate is under the same amount of pressure from the heat press. A faded or washed-out appearance in certain areas might be the result of uneven colour transfer caused by uneven pressure. Keep consistent results from your heat press by checking and calibrating it regularly.

Maintaining Your Epson Sublimation Printer

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning Print Heads

To keep the print heads clear and prevent clogs, clean them regularly. If required, use sublimation printer-specific manual cleaning solutions in addition to the printer’s integrated cleaning features.

Make sure all colours are printing properly by performing nozzle checks before every major print job. To avoid squandered materials and low-quality prints, it is best to catch problems early and fix them accordingly.

Software Patches

Make sure your printer’s firmware is always current. Epson is always releasing new updates that fix bugs and make printers work better. To stay up-to-date on any updates for your model, be sure to check the Epson website frequently.

Storage and Environment

Optimal Conditions

Keep your printer in a dry, clean place with consistent temperature control. Because the printer and the sublimation inks are susceptible to damage from extreme humidity and sunshine, it is best to keep them away from such environments.

Ink Storage

Keep your sublimation inks in the correct place at all times. If you don’t want them to dry out or deteriorate, seal them and store them somewhere cool and dark. If you want your inks to last as long as possible and keep looking great, follow these storage instructions.

Periodic Deep Cleaning

If you want your printer to work at its best, you should clean it thoroughly every so often. Cleaning the ink tanks, lines, and any internal components that can be reached is part of this process. To prevent damage, use the right cleaning solutions and follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label.


What Epson printers can be converted to sublimation?

Most Epson printers with refillable ink tanks, such as the EcoTank series, can be converted to sublimation. Popular models include the ET-2720 and ET-15000.

How do I convert my Epson EcoTank to sublimation?

To convert your Epson EcoTank to sublimation, fill the ink tanks with sublimation ink instead of standard ink, perform nozzle checks and head cleanings, and use specialized sublimation paper for printing.

Is the Epson ET-2720 good for sublimation?

Yes, the Epson ET-2720 is a popular choice for sublimation due to its refillable tanks and compatibility with sublimation inks, making it a cost-effective option for high-quality prints.

What is the best sublimation ink for Epson printers?

The best sublimation ink for Epson printers depends on your specific needs, but well-known brands such as Sawgrass, InkOwl, and Cobra Ink offer high-quality sublimation inks compatible with Epson printers.

How to refill Epson EcoTank with sublimation ink?

To refill an Epson EcoTank with sublimation ink, ensure the ink tanks are empty, use a syringe or pour directly from the bottle to transfer the sublimation ink into the tanks, and perform several nozzle checks to ensure proper ink flow.


“Transforming an Epson printer into a sublimation printer is an easy task that unleashes boundless creativity. How to Convert an Epson Printer to Sublimation? Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this guide will show you how to print vibrant, long-lasting images on a variety of substrates. To extend the life of your sublimation printer and keep it producing high-quality results, it is important to perform regular maintenance and use high-quality materials.”

Spread the love