That is a hard question. This article tries to go into this matter the whole way and answer the main question, “Can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?“.
How do I use sublimation ink? Sublimation ink is often used to cover t-shirts and glasses, so it is quite versatile. But there is no logic in this. There should be some crucial considerations when you change the cartridge. If you do not understand printer compatibility, you could end up causing problems.
How does sublimation ink work on inkjet printers?
Supposedly, sublimation ink should not be used for printing. Most printers do not even support sublimation printing. Occasionally, printer systems can perform sublimation printing. These machines can also be modified into sublimation printer systems. But you are recommended to use a sublimation printer instead to use sublimation ink for regular printing.
What is sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing is a digital printing process that uses heat to transfer dye to papers or other materials. Using these techniques is an effective way of creating t-shirts, banners, and advertising materials. We will list some advantages of why sublimation is used in a specific print job. And why there is no way of using sublimation ink for regular printing.
Regular printing techniques have more customization flexibility than others. The print industry is particularly important when it comes to producing custom prints.
Costs for regular printing methods differ significantly. The total price of ownership is critical if the costs are included in the cost of material or maintenance expenses.
Almost no printing method produces the identical print quality as it is in Printed. Some methods are more suitable for using high-resolution images.
Some types produce long-lasting prints. The use of sublimation inks may prove important if printing is heavily worn or damaged.
Some printers are less environmentally impacting than others. This can be very valuable when determining the carbon footprint of business owners.
Printing has many advantages over others, as they’re flexible. These may have the ability to print more on different materials and substrates.
Some types of printing are capable of producing print faster. The company needs to make products accessible to its customers fast.
Ease of use
Several printing processes can be used more quickly than others. They may require little training or skills in their operation.
Can my regular printer support sublimation?
Depending on how often a printer uses sublimation ink, you need to know about the printing technology. There is no such thing as sublimation ink for regular printers.
Printers with conventional heat exchange systems cannot sublimate. Sublimation ink often does not reach its vaporization stage and may get smuggled through your printer.
Printing equipment used in this field can be found in Canon printers. So if you have Canon printers, then you won’t be lucky.
HP printers use thermal printing and are not capable of sublimating. The manufacturer recently released a few new models that supported sublimation.
Standard printers with Sublimation Ink system installed
The question that still bothers us is “Can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?”
If you are unsure of how much sublimation printing is possible on an older regular printer, please see below. If my regular printer can use this technology, it should.
You should first check out your printer model. A regular printer can print using the CISS ink System, and this should appear in the user manual. Some printers are simple to tweak, but some require professional support.
It is easy and inexpensive to use YouTube guides on the conversion process from regular printing to sublimation printing using sublimation ink cartridges on your printer. You may also be required to replace your cartridges with a sublimation ink cartridge.
Tell me the difference between printing and sublimation.
The most straightforward method for changing a regular Piezo printhead in color to a colored sublimation ink printer is to buy a new printer containing only sublimation ink.
Depending on your printing type or sublimation ink brand, your cartridges may be contaminated prematurely by contaminated paper and water, causing wasted ink and filling it prematurely.
Most old printers don’t even have an ink cost to convert it into sublimation ink for regular printing. It can be done in many ways; some of them use high-resolution, large-size printers for this, but these aren’t a beginner’s job.
Sublimation ink vs. regular ink
Ink is usually liquid, and the print is required in the same format by a printer. Sublimation ink has a chemical that causes vaporization when it’s heated. So, a printer without ink will lose its pigment and the prints would look unimpressive. It also applies to regular ink. Inkjet printers are not capable of sublimation of color.
What would happen to a regular printer if it is used for sublimation? What sublimation printer for?
Standard printing machines utilize traditional thermo- or digital technology, which utilizes regular inkjet ink as spouts in their original form. Sublimation ink is then transformed into gas to transfer into paper.
Tell me the effect of sublimation ink in printing in a regular printer: Fill the sublimation ink into a paper printer, insert the paper and press the print option. Within seconds, the empty sheet starts to flow out.
No technological process was needed to pressurize regular ink to create gaseous ink. For that purpose, sublimation printers were invented, which employ sublimation ink specially designed for that.
Can you use sublimation ink instead of inkjet printer ink in any printer?
An inkjet printer can no longer use sublimation. I would recommend getting a printer such as the Sawgrass SG500 that is designed for sublimation. It is possible to use sublimation ink on certain types of printers like Epson printers, for example, an Epson Ecotank printer, and many people do this.
Note, however, using sublimation ink isn’t advised by Epson and once you use it to print the print you lose the warranty for your Epson printer.
It depends on the printer. The only printers commonly converted to sublimation are Epson inkjet printers
Inks with a dye sub-ink (dye-based ink or pigment-based ink) base contain heat-activated pigments. This pigment turns from solid to gas as heat is compressed into woven fabric or polyester.
Can HP printers be used for sublimation?
Nothing to keep. It is not possible for HP printers to be converted to sublimation because they use thermal prints. HP has also introduced ‘Stitch’ commercial dye sublimation printers. HP’s sublimating Inks are specially designed for printing on thermal printers.
HP’s thermal printers use dye sub-ink for printing. There are lots of HP Sublimation printers that you can choose from starting with $7000 or less.
Can sublimation paper be used for regular printing?
What’s going on with that? With that question, we assume that you have a sublimation printer that you’d like to print regularly. Alternatively, you’d rather print on sublimation paper than on regular paper because regular paper can’t endure the heat.
Sublimation paper is expensive
Sublimation papers have become extremely expensive, variable cost sublimation. Usually, the Sublimation Paper is offered as 100 sheets of paper, and the cheapest price we see is around $15 apiece. The sheet of paper has about 14 cents. Standard copies of documents are about a tenth of that cost for just over one penny each.
Substituting sublimation paper impacts your accounting
If you are a sublimated business, then you are likely tracking costs for your products, variable costs of your business, etc. All sublimation papers which have been used for non-sublimation are an expense to the enterprise that can no longer produce an equivalent product for sublimation.
Sublimation paper doesn’t look or feel like regular paper
Sublimation papers are thinner in thickness and usually have some watermarks on the back sides. When a person receives an envelope from sublimated paper, they might be a little surprised.
Can you switch back and forth between sublimation ink and regular ink?
Okay. You could. However, I wouldn’t recommend it. I found it took 5-6 full-page images to completely remove non-desired ink types. Also, several clean-up power was required.
What’s the difference between sublimation ink and regular ink?
Sublimation printers permeate ink onto paper, and inkjet printers vaporize ink onto the paper. Sublimation printing can be applied to printing on plastic surfaces.
Can I use inkjet ink on sublimation paper?
This paper may be scanned using your normal inkjet or laser printer. Put the paper in the shirt and press it into the clothes using heat or ironing tools, and then remove the paper from the clothes. Your artwork is stuck onto your garment and is visible to everyone who sees the transfer.
Can you use sublimation ink and regular ink in the same printer?
No. The printer may change but only if necessary, in varying ways. This could explain why ink color and chemical composition are different from each other.
Can I use inkjet ink on sublimation paper?
There is no problem with using inkjet ink on sublimation paper, but sublimation paper will not fulfill its function as a heat image transfer. Fortunately, there is heat transfer paper that can be effectively used with inkjet ink to design images for heat press. If you want to know more about differences between sublimation and inkjet printing, check out our articles here.
To conclude, we viewed the matter “Can you use sublimation ink for regular printing” from different perspectives. All up to you now. Whether it is for business or hobby, to achieve the best results, you need to use proper equipment and good quality source materials.
Hi, I’m artist and sublimation printing expert. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, I had passion for photography and painting from my childhood. I started my career as a sublimation print operator for a local printing company in 2012. The role exposed gave me lots of practical knowledge about printing process, from managing color profiles to ensuring print quality on various materials.