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Product

Description

Where to Buy?

Product

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

Description

Best Overall And Best For Large Format Prints

Where to Buy?

Product

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

Description

Best For Printing Photos

Where to Buy?

Product

Epson EcoTank 2400

Description

Budget Friendly Choice For Beginners

Where to Buy?

Product

Epson EcoTank 2800

Description

Great Choice For Small Format Prints

Where to Buy?

Product

Epson SureColor F170

Description

A True Dedicated Sublimation Printer

Where to Buy?

Best Sublimation Printers

Best Overall And Best For Large Format Prints

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

Best For Printing Photos

Epson EcoTank ET-8550

Budget Friendly Choice For Beginners

Epson EcoTank 2400

Great Choice For Small Format Prints

Epson EcoTank 2800

A True Dedicated Sublimation Printer

Epson SureColor F170

If you are looking for the best Epson printer for sublimation, or the best Epson printers that can be converted for sublimation, you have arrived at the right place. Selecting the correct printer could be the make or break for your sublimation projects, and that’s where I step in. My guide zeroes in on the Epson printers that stand out for sublimation work, pinpointing options for every need and budget without the fluff.

Snapshot of Featured Epson Printers

So let’s get right into it. In my opinion, the best Epson printer for sublimation is the Epson EcoTank ET-15000, which you can view here. From the best Epson printers that can be converted for sublimation, the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 stands out. To learn more, continue reading my guide! I started by summarizing my best picks in the table above. Now its time to get into the more detailed reviews of each printer.

But let’s start with the basics. You might ask – why should you take my review seriously? I manage a website with over 150 blog posts focused solely on sublimation printing. My recommendations are based on thorough research, and I provide detailed reviews grounded in testing to ensure high-quality and satisfaction.

Epson EcoTank ET-15000: The Ultimate EcoTank Choice

A workroom table features sublimation printer and slate blanks

The first printer on my list of top picks for the best printer to convert for sublimation is none other than the Epson EcoTank ET-15000. You can find the printer here.

This Inkjet printer is one the printers you can convert for sublimation. The package comes with the printer and bottles of black, cyan, magenta and yellow ink. Let us now explore the upsides and downsides of the Epson EcoTank ET-15000.

I’ll begin by detailing the tests conducted with the Epson ET-15000. After unboxing, it’s crucial to install sublimation ink instead of the ink that comes with the printer. For this test, Cosmos sublimation ink was used. Following a test print, you can set up the drivers by visiting Epson.com/support/et15000. In the initial test, the print size was set to 8.5 x 11. The print appeared somewhat dull on paper, but don’t worry! The fabric was then pressed at 400 degrees for 45 seconds, which resulted in very vibrant colors. Butcher paper was used, and the fabric was pre-pressed to eliminate moisture. The final prints were truly impressive!

The second test focused on a cushion pillowcase made from 95% polyester fabric, using a large format print size of 13 x 19. Butcher paper and heat tape were utilized, and the fabric was pressed at 400 degrees for 40 seconds (make sure to follow the specific transfer instructions). The outcome was once again stunning!

Let’s explore the advantages of this printer. It’s an excellent option for large format printing at an affordable price, capable of borderless prints up to 13″ x 19″. It delivers high-quality results and has many success stories in sublimation. One standout feature is the high-capacity ink bottles, which can last up to two years, leading to significant operational cost savings. Additionally, it has a substantial sheet capacity of 250 sheets.

However, there are some downsides. This model isn’t a dedicated sublimation printer and requires conversion, which voids the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s also pricier compared to some smaller format EcoTank models that can be converted for sublimation.

Let’s take a look at how the ET 15000 stacks up against its competitors. Among large format printers, the SG1000 is a notable rival. The SG1000, being a dedicated sublimation printer, eliminates the risks associated with conversion. It can also achieve a larger maximum print size than the ET 15000 when using the optional bypass tray. However, it comes with a much higher price tag and increased ink costs.

Is the Epson ET 15000 the right fit for you? To determine this, you need to evaluate your specific needs. If you require large format printing, anticipate needing it in the future, and are prepared to handle the conversion process with its inherent risks, all while working within a tighter budget, this printer is an excellent option for crafters.

As always, none of my reviews are complete without a quantitative assessment:

  • Wide-format Capability: 4.7/5
  • Overall affordability: 4.3/5
  • Sublimation prints quality: 4.5/5

Epson EcoTank ET-8550: The Photograph Master

A workroom table features sublimation printer and phone case blanks

Let’s move on to the next pick on my list of the best Epson printers for sublimation – the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550. You can find the printer here.

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is yet another Epson printer that can be converted for sublimation. Being a photo printer, it requires six colors of ink as opposed to Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key.

I will get started by outlining testing of the Epson Et-8550 sublimation printer. The test performed involved a towel blank. A-Sub sublimation paper was used in the test. The printer has an automated tray pull out. To convert, sublimation ink is installed in the printer instead of the ink it came with. The resulting colors on the sublimation paper are bright and vibrant. The towel is pressed for 60 seconds at 400 degrees, and I absolutely loved the results!

Let’s explore the benefits and downsides, and help you understand whether this printer is the best for you. The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is another great printer for those with wide format needs, especially those who require photo and graphic printing (supports borderless photos up to 13″ x 19″). It boasts almost professional level quality prints for photographs, and is user-friendly set-up and easy to connect to Wi-Fi. Ink lasts for a long time. Learn more about how long sublimation ink can actually last on your prints.

In terms of drawbacks, the printer is not an affordable option for those on a budget.

Let us now determine how the ET 8550 stacks up against competitors. When compared to the EcoTank ET-15000, they both have a similar price range and wide format capabilities, and I really like the results produced by both. The ET-15000 might be less expensive to maintain over time, while the ET 8550 has a wider range of color depths, and is slightly faster, producing high quality photos. Overall, both printers are a great choice.

Now that we have explored the pros and cons, let’s take a step back and understand if this printer is the best choice. In my opinion, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 is the best option for those who need photograph and graphic printing, as it boasts has a number of advantages in the realm of photo printing. However, if you are just looking for a wide-format printer, you can consider the Epson Eco-Tank ET-15000.

Let’s take a look at the quantitative analysis:

  • Affordability: 3.8/5
  • Photograph quality: 4.8/5
  • Ink longevity: 4.8/5

Epson EcoTank ET-2400: Budget-Friendly Choice for Beginners

A workroom table features sublimation printer and sock blanks

The next printer on my list of the best printer to convert for sublimation is the Epson EcoTank ET-2400. You can find this item here.

This Inkjet printer has a print size of 8.5″ x 14″, offers wireless and handsfree printing and also has a scanner and copier built in. Let’s try to understand whether this model suits your needs.

I want to start by discussing testing of the printer for sublimation. The printer was first converted to sublimation by installing sublimation ink – the process took less than an hour. Starcraft sublimation ink and paper was used in the test. You can visit epson.com/support/et2400 for instructions on setup. White polyester fabric is used as a test blank – following instructions that came with the sublimation paper regarding time and temperature, the pressing was complete. A second test conducted using a mug blank yielded pretty good results.

In terms of benefits of the printer, this is the most affordable option on my list. It is ideal for beginners and hobbyists starting out with sublimation looking to convert an Epson. This EcoTank printer is a good option for your smaller custom items such as t-shirts and tumblers

Looking at drawbacks, this printer only supports small format prints and could experience possible connectivity issues.

Let us see how this printers stands up against its competitors. When compared to the EcoTank ET-15000 and ET-8550, the main difference is that this printer, unlike the two competitors, does not have wide format capabilities. This explains the lower price of the printer. When compared with other small format options such as the ET-2800, there is not really much of a difference between them in terms of sublimation. The conversion process is similar, and they all run the same risks of issues related to conversion.

The Epson EcoTank printer is the most affordable option, and is a great choice for those starting out with sublimation printing. If you are looking to sublimate on smaller items such as custom t-shirts and mugs, and do not have wide format needs, the ET-2400 is certainly a great choice.

Its time for my quantitative ratings:

  • Affordability: 5/5
  • Ability to support large print format: 0/5
  • Connectivity: 3.5/5

Epson EcoTank ET-2800: Alternative Choice for Small Format Prints

A workroom table features sublimation printer and some supplies

The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is the next option on the list of printers that can be converted. You can view the item here.

The ET-2800 is an alternative option for those looking for small format prints. It is a great option for those looking to sublimate on items such as mugs and keychains, and is highly popular amongst sublimation enthusiasts, product sublimation results of good quality. You can learn more about installation by visiting epson.com/support/et2800.

When considering these models for sublimation on t-shirts, let’s examine a test conducted on the ET 2800. Starting your sublimation journey with a brand new printer is highly recommended. Although you can convert an existing printer, the process of swapping out and installing new ink can be intricate. In this test, Hiipoo sublimation ink was used on 100% polyester shirts with sublimation paper, resulting in impressive outcomes.

It has a higher price point when compared to the ET-2400, with the main difference being the ET-2800 has a 1.44″ LCD display panel, while the ET-2400 does not have such a panel. It works great for sublimation and is also a great option for beginners given the affordability of the printer and ink prices. While you may of course not achieve the same results as those you might achieve with dedicated sublimation printers such as the Brother SP-1, you have a good chance of getting the results you are searching for!

Rating:

  • Affordability: 4.8/5
  • Print Quality: 4/5
  • Ease of setup: 5/5

So What’s the Best Choice?

Yes, so now you might ask – which Epson printer model do I choose? Time and time again in my review articles, I highlight the important of taking into account your needs and preferences. For beginners and those on a budget with small format needs, the Epson EcoTank 2800 is great for sublimation printing, which can be found here here. For high quality photo printing, you should go for the Epson ET-8550. My overall best pick on this list is the Epson ET-15000, which you can find here, given its large format capabilities, high-quality prints and relative affordability over time. In my opinion, this is also the best Epson printer to convert for sublimation.

Navigating Your Sublimation Printer Purchase

A workroom table features sublimation printer and wooden coaster blanks

A few considerations are crucial when purchasing a sublimation printer. Balancing your budget with your printing needs is crucial. While it might be tempting to buy a budget-friendly printer like the Epson EcoTank 2800 and convert it for sublimation use, keep in mind that this might void its warranty.

Another important factor to consider is the potential long-term issues, especially if you’re planning to print high volumes. Purpose-built sublimation printers are a safer bet compared to converted inkjet printers. They might be slightly pricier, but they pay off in the long run in terms of print quality and durability.

Finally, consider soliciting advice from a distribution partner to align your printer selection with your budget and specific needs. Remember, the right printer is a game-changer in your sublimation journey.

Making the Right Choice: Epson Printer Features Explained

Epson printers, including the ones Epson sell sublimation printers, are loaded with several features. One of these is the proprietary MicroPiezo technology. This technology uses piezoelectric elements to precisely eject ink droplets, enhancing the printer’s capabilities.

Another notable feature is Variable Sized Droplet Technology. This feature works in conjunction with MicroPiezo printheads to produce images with fine brightness levels, smooth gradations, and minimal graininess by controlling droplet sizes.

Epson also offers advancements like PrecisionCore technology for high-speed printing and modular configurations in their Epson Workforce line, and Thin-Film Piezo (TFP) for creating ultra-thin piezoelectric elements, amplifying resolution and speed.

One thing to note is that the MicroPiezo print heads operate without using heat to transfer ink. This is essential for sublimation printing, as heat can adversely interact with sublimation inks.

Understanding Sublimation Printing with Epson

Sublimation printing, a unique process, transfers designs onto materials by transforming the ink from a solid to a gaseous state through heat and pressure. It requires a heat press or a heat source capable of reaching 350-400 degrees F, and specific materials such as a sublimation tumbler press or convection oven for objects like tumblers. A printer for sublimation is essential for this process.

The substrate must have a high polyester count, with 100% polyester being ideal. It should also be light-colored or white to ensure vibrant results. Images must be mirrored before printing for proper alignment on the substrate. If the print appears light, don’t worry! It is normal and will become vibrant after the heat pressing stage.

Sublimation doesn’t require weeding post-printing; it involves printing, placing, and applying heat directly. However, issues such as wheel marks on prints can occur due to third-party inks or papers. This can be resolved by using lightweight sublimation paper and ensuring proper placement.

Not all materials are suitable for sublimation. Materials like 100% cotton items and those exposed to prolonged sunlight are not ideal due to ink instability compared to solvent, UV, or latex inks. But with proper coating, you can sublimate a variety of items including:

  • polyester T-shirts
  • mugs
  • home décor
  • canvas

These materials are perfect for high-quality full-color designs.

Sublimation offers benefits over heat transfer vinyl by embedding the sublimation ink into the material for more durable and less prone to cracking or fading outcomes. Compared to Infusible Ink sheets, sublimation allows for transferring custom full-color designs with better longevity.

Summary

In conclusion, Epson offers a range of printers that are ideal for sublimation printing, each with its unique selling propositions and targeted at different users. From the budget-friendly EcoTank 2800 to the premium ET-8550, there’s an Epson printer for every need. Whether you’re a beginner venturing into sublimation printing or a professional seeking to up your game, Epson has got you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Epson is best for sublimation?

My most highly recommended Epson printer for sublimation is the Epson EcoTank ET-1500, . If you need a dedicated sublimation printer and do not wish to go through conversion, consider the Epson Surecolor F170 Dye Sublimation Printer.

Can all Epson EcoTank printers be used for sublimation?

Yes, all Epson EcoTank printers can be used for sublimation printing, but it’s important to note that converting the printer voids the warranty. Look for Piezo technology and fillable tanks.

What are the downsides of Epson EcoTank?

The main downsides of Epson EcoTank is that they need to be converted for sublimation, and doing so voids the warranty.

Can I convert any inkjet printer for sublimation printing?

It’s possible to convert certain inkjet printers for sublimation printing, but using purpose-built sublimation printers is recommended for the best results and to avoid voiding warranties.

What materials can I use for sublimation printing?

You can use materials with a high polyester count and light-colored or white substrates for successful sublimation printing. This ensures vibrant results.