Can sublimation ink be used for regular printing?

Can Sublimation Ink be Used for Regular Printing?

 We will explain in this article whether you can use sublimation ink for regular printing to clear up any doubts you may have. We’ll also discuss what printers can be used for sublimation. 

Can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?

The answer is No! The reason is that sublimation ink is defused on the paper using thermal/inkjet printing technology, which is not supported by regular printers.

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How Does Sublimation Ink Work?

It is a type of ink used in printers and photocopiers. It produces high-quality prints on various materials, including paper, cards, fabric, and plastic. The ink works when heated up until it turns into gas. This gas then passes through the printer head and onto the material that is being printed. The gas forms into liquid and bonds with the material, creating a permanent print.

What is sublimation transfer? 

It is a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a material. The dye is first turned into a gas and then transferred to the supporting material. The process prints images on T-shirts, hats, and other items.

What does a sublimation printer do

It uses heat to transfer dye from a solid to a gas state. This process is used to create images on items like T-shirts, mugs, and other fabric surfaces. They are a great option for businesses looking to create custom products. 

Check out our article: 18 Best Dye Sublimation Printers

Difference Between Sublimation Ink and Regular Ink

can sublimation ink be used for regular printing

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Sublimation ink is different from regular ink in a few ways. First, sublimation ink is a liquid, while regular ink is solid. This means you can use sublimation ink in thermal printers, but not regular ink. Second, sublimation ink is not as clear as regular ink. It means that it will not produce as bold an image on fabric as regular ink. Finally, sublimation inks are generally more expensive than regular inks.

3 Best Printers for Sublimation Ink

We have listed three of the best sublimation printers below

1- The Epson SureColor T-Series

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It is one of the best printers for sublimation ink. The printer is designed for commercial use and can handle large printing jobs quickly. The T-Series prints at a resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi, which means the prints are high quality and look great. The printer also has a fast print speed, so you won’t have to wait long for your prints.

2- The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

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A tubular ink delivery system is implemented in the FINE print head of this Canon printer. Consequently, faster print speeds are generated and the possibility of clogging is reduced. Moreover, the ink ejection conditions are precisely monitored with sensors, and a backup nozzle is automatically activated if a clog is detected. Additionally, this prevents wasted prints due to clogging and reduces the need to clean the nozzle often.

3- The HP DesignJet Z6800 Photo Printer

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The HP Designjet Z6800 Photo Printer is another excellent option. The printer can produce high-quality prints with vibrant colors perfect for transferring onto surfaces like fabric, metal, and wood. 

The Z6800 also has a fast print speed of up to 14 pages per minute, which makes it an excellent choice for businesses or busy households. Additionally, the printer’s large paper capacity of 150 sheets allows you to print large projects without reloading paper frequently.

Check out our article: 10 Best Epson Sublimation Printers in 2021【Reviewed】

Factors to Consider Before Buying Printers for Sublimation Ink

When you are looking for a printer to use with sublimation ink, there are a few factors you need to consider. 

A- Type of Printer:

The first is the type of printer. If you are unsure and wondering what printer can I use for sublimation? You can use an inkjet or laser. Inkjet printers work by spraying tiny droplets of ink onto the paper. On the other hand, laser printers use heat to print the ink toner to the paper.

B- Print Quality:

The second factor to consider is print quality. For sublimation, you need a high-resolution printer so the images will be clear and sharp. You also need a high-speed printer so you can print quickly.

C- Price:

Finally, you need to consider the price. Sublimation printers can be expensive, but some affordable options are available as well.

Benefits of Using Sublimation Ink

There are a few key benefits to using sublimation ink cartridges over other types of inks. 

A- High-Quality Prints:

The first is the high quality of the prints. Sublimation inks produce prints with great clarity and vibrancy that are fade-resistant and long-lasting. 

B- Not Water-Soluble:

Another big benefit of sublimation ink is that they are not water-soluble, there is no risk of them running or spreading when used on porous surfaces like fabric.

Drawbacks of Using Sublimation Ink

You may have heard of sublimation printing when you are looking for a way to create custom products. It is a process you can use to print designs on various materials, including fabric and metal. However, you should be aware of some drawbacks to using sublimation ink before deciding if this is the right for your needs.

A- Expensive:

The first drawback is that sublimation printing can be expensive. The printers are often more expensive than other types of printers, and the ink cartridges can also be quite pricey. 

B- Quality Prints Depends On Printing Type & Material Quality:

Additionally, the quality of the prints depends highly on the type of printing machine you use and the quality of the material.

C- Requires Experience:

Another downside to sublimation printing is that it can be challenging to get good results if you do not have a lot of experience or knowledge of the process.

What Printers Can Be Converted To Sublimation?

Any printer can be converted into a sublimation printer if it has a piezo print head and is brand new. Printers with piezo print heads use multiple inks, such as water-based, solvent, eco-solvent, and gel-based. Printers such as Epson, Sawgrass, and Roland have this type of print head and can be used for sublimation. 

See This Video on YouTube To Find Out What Printers Can Be Converted To Sublimation


1- Can you use regular ink on sublimation paper

The answer is No! When using sublimation paper, you must use special sublimation inks. If you use regular ink, the image will not appear correctly. Sublimation inks are designed to work with the heat and pressure of the sublimation process. They will produce a clear, bright image of your finished product.

2- Can you use sublimation ink on any material?

No, not all materials are compatible with sublimation ink, so it’s essential to do your research before you start printing. Some materials that work well with sublimation ink include polyester, cotton, and other synthetic fabrics. If you’re unsure if your material is compatible with sublimation ink, contact the printer manufacturer for more information.

3- Can an inkjet printer do sublimation?

An inkjet printer can do sublimation to a certain degree. The printer needs a higher heat setting to transfer the image onto the fabric. Some printers are not capable of this and will only work with paper. If you want to do sublimation with an inkjet printer, it is best to do some research to see if your specific model can do this type of printing.

Final Thoughts

Regular home printers are not designed to handle the high heat and pressure needed for sublimation printing. The ink cartridges and other printer components may not be able to withstand the heat, which could lead to malfunctions or damage to the printer. In addition, sublimation inks can be more expensive than regular printer inks, so using them for regular printing is not always worth the investment. Thanks for picking out our article: Can sublimation ink be used for regular printing? We hope you have great success with it.

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