What Printers Can Be Converted to Sublimation Printing

In order to convert a printer for sublimation printing, it must be capable of handling sublimation ink, a specific kind of ink designed to transform into gas when heated and then back to solid while pressed-onto substrates.

Inkjet printers whose ink can be replaced with dye-sublimation ink are the most common type of printers that can be converted to sublimation printing.

The Epson Ecotank ET-2800, ET-2760, ET-3760, and ET-15000 are the most popular inkjet printers that can be used for sublimation printing. All of these use tanks instead of cartridges, so they can be easily filled with sublimation ink using auto-fill ink bottles made by various brands.

Our Recommendation

Epson ET-2800 and Hiipoo 4 set sublimation ink is a good choice of printer and sublimation ink combination for bright, vivid transfers on blanks. I have sublimated many different materials from prints using this printer and ink – Metal and glass tumblers, t-shirts, banners, and earrings-all are very vivid.

 Epson ET - 2800
  • Cheapest small format (8.5'' x 11'') Entry printer.
  • Prints good quality images
  • Most sought-after printer in the Sublimation community
Check Lowest Price on Amazon
ET-276000Epson ET - 3760
  • Affordable and lasts longer.
  • Has Memory card slot
  • Impressive Print Quality
Check Lowest Price on Amazon
 Epson ET - 15000

  • Prints vivid color images
  • Same price like Sawgrass but much better than Sawgrass.
  • Easy to operate
  • Support papers up to 13'' x 19''
Check Lowest Price on Amazon

When I started sublimation as a hobby but decided to earn a living through my skill, I began by using a brand new EcoTank Epson Printer because converting an inkjet printer is more straightforward and budget-friendly.

Note: Try going with a brand new Epson printer, if you use an old printer for conversion adding sublimation inks may result in failures and frustration. Besides, a key point to note after conversion it won’t be covered by Epson’s warranty.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to note that always try to stick with one sublimation ink brand. After testing the true colors of various inks with their ink profiles on various substrates, we find out these two brands stand apart – Hiipoo ink and cosmos ink.

Also Read: Top 5 sublimation printers comparison with pros and cons.

Top 3 Printers You Can Convert For Sublimation

I’ve seen varied options of printers for the process of sublimation. Therefore, I’ll be suggesting the ones that can be more accessible for your use.

So, first things first, to accomplish the conversion into sublimation, you require printers with a piezo print head that operate flawlessly against those that have a thermal print head. Acknowledging this, let’s help you choose your printer. 

1. Epson Ecotank ET-2800

Epson Ecotank ET-2800 printer has a refillable tank and Ecofit ink bottles, which minimizes the expense of replacing disposable ones while also being ecologically friendly. Moreover, it uses Piezo technology to apply prints, making it the perfect conversion solution for sublimation printers.


  • Large ink tank system with low cost per print
  • Compatible with sublimation ink for conversion to sublimation printing
  • High-quality printing with a resolution of 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi
  • Convenient refilling with easy-to-use ink tanks
  • Wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet
  • Automatic duplex printing for double-sided printing
  • ENERGY STAR certified for energy efficiency.

Being 14.8 x 22.8 x 10 inches, you’ll feel at ease while producing moderate-sized prints. It supports printing paper sizes up to 8.5” x 11”.

Moreover, it’s lightweight and has USB connectivity. It may be slow and doesn’t have a paper tray.

You can check out the Epson ET-2800 right here on Amazon.

2. Epson Ecotank ET-2803

Epson Ecotank ET-2803 printer helps with high-quality prints while being eco-friendly. It uses piezo technology for printing and comes with a high-capacity ink tank, a scanner, and a photocopier. Having dimensions of (19.6 x 15.9 x 9.2 inches), USB ports, Inkjet printing tech, and a Flatbed scanner, it’ll help you achieve attractive prints for your blanks.

It supports printing paper sizes up to 8.5” x 11”.

It has poor connectivity and a paper tray that is prone to dust.

You can check out the Epson ET-2803 right here on Amazon.

3. Epson ET – 15000 – For printing large size(13”x19”)

Epson Ecotank 15000 has some extra features than all the entry models of Ecotanks and the most important part is, it can print up to 13”x19”. So if that is something if you are looking for, definitely it’s your best choice.

It has an impressive Wireless and USB connection, allowing you to connect to other devices.

It supports printing paper sizes up to 13” x 19”.

You can check out the Epson ET-15000 right here on Amazon.

How to convert the Epson EcoTank printers for sublimation?

Before we get into the process of conversion for sublimation, I’ll help you with the list of essential things you require for conversion.

Check out our detailed guide on converting Epson printers to sublimation.

  1. Sublimation inks: You should choose one brand and stick to them if you want to avoid varied ink formulations in your transferred designs. I use the popular Hiipoo EcoFill Sublimation Ink with EcoFill bottles which work with the printer and help me avoid the process of syringe and bottle refilling.
  2. Sublimation Paper: You require a special paper for sublimation inks that help in a smooth transfer of designs.
  3. Sublimation blanks: You will need a substrate that has a layer of polyester for the ink to get settled in and produce the result.
  4. HeatPress: You have to choose a heat press that offers a minimum of 400 degrees F.
  5. Sublimation mat, protective paper, and heat-resistant tape: It’s good to have these to help you prevent any mishaps during the process of transfer.

Steps To Convert An Ink tank Printer In A Sublimation Printer

1. Let’s fill the Ink Tank:

Remove the printer from the box and discard the inks that came with it as we’ll be using sublimation inks for the Ink Tank.

Next, locate the ink tanks on the side of the printer, open the lid, and you’ll find the colors labeled.

Then, you have to open the lid of each tank to add the inks. You can use a syringe or directly add the ink from the bottle to the tank carefully.

Lastly, notice if your tank is full. You can do this by giving the printer a small bump and letting the ink settle down. If needed fill more, but don’t go beyond the top line.

2. Setting up the printer:

Before you set up your printer, ensure that each ink tank is full.

Next, plug the printer in and follow the instructions notified on the printer. Note that you need not follow the entire process again for printing.

Then, follow the sheet to know which buttons to push to initiate the priming of the ink in the printer. You might need to refill the ink a bit after the priming process.

After that, your printer will start the alignment process wherein you’ll follow the instructions displayed on the screen.

3. Connect the computer:

Now, you are required to set up default settings for your regular printing process. So, hook your printer to the computer. Next, use the disc that may have arrived with the printer or use the website to download your necessities.

Make the default paper type premium presentation paper matte and select the box of “mirrored printing” for the most satisfactory quality.

Epson EcoTank Printer Is The Saviour!

Sublimation is easy when you get the inks and settings right! According to me, Epson inkjet printers are more affordable than true sublimation printers that help in smooth conversion to sublimation. Some of the cheapest eco tank printers are ET-2800, ET-2803, and ET-2760. They all cost less than $200. So, ensure the use of Ecotank printers because others like workforce models won’t work well.

I hope you follow the sublimation process, get the right tools, print great designs on the blanks, and excel in your results. Now, it’s time for you to decide on your budget to kickstart your sublimation business. Get set go!

Also read: How to make sublimation brighter and vibrant.

Final words

It’s vital to note that, not every printer can be converted to a sublimation printer, while some printer types can be more appropriate for sublimation printing than others. Moreover, to verify that the final image is of high quality, it is also critical to use a heat press that is made solely for sublimation printing.

Depending on the printer’s brand and model, as well as the software being used, the precise procedures to convert a printer to sublimation printing will differ.

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  1. Curious if all the Epson Ecotanks work, Costco has a few 2850, 3850, 4850 and 8500SE. Any way to tell?

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