How To Use A Sublimation Printer Basics Guide

Printing on shirts, cups, and mugs, and other items have become fashionable and appealing in recent years. People enjoy wearing printed shirts with their designs. Furthermore, the number of people who wear printed shirts and drink from printed mugs grows every day. Sublimation printing is therefore essential for intriguing printing designs. 

A sublimation printer is used to carry out sublimation printing. Now comes the subject of what is sublimation How to Use a Sublimation Printer. So you don’t have to be concerned because we have the solutions to your queries about sublimation printing and sublimation printer. Let’s take a look at a sublimation printer from above.

What Is A Sublimation Printer?

A sublimation printer is a printer that transfers a pattern or design from sublimation paper to material by converting solid ink particles into a gaseous state using heat (between 350 and 400 degrees) or pressure. Sublimation printing refers to the entire process carried out by a sublimation printer.

what is a sublimation printer

It’s a cost-effective and straightforward method to add personalization to a product utilized by both businesses and individuals. Because of the high-quality final products produced by this technology, sublimation printing, and sublimation printers have grown in popularity in recent years.

Now moving towards the next and most crucial point that ”how does sublimation printer work?” It is essential to know its process and working because if done poorly, the procedure might result in white creases or ghosting patterns. Eventually, you may lose both time and money.

Sublimation Printing Process

Ink comprised of solid dye particles is used in sublimation printing. This ink is first printed on transfer paper with a sublimation printer, which embeds ink solids in the document. Then transfer paper is placed on the product, and heat-press will be applied to it. It will initiate the chemical process of sublimation, in which the ink on the transfer papers is transferred to the material.

How To Sublimate?

The basic requirements and the vital steps to sublimate any material are given below;


To accomplish what is sublimation printing with a sublimation printer, the essential substances that are required are

  • A sublimation printer that performs sublimation printing
  • The sublimation ink that is used to print the design
  • A transfer paper
  • A heat press machine

Procedure To Perform Sublimation Printing On Any Material

The following is the basic procedure for sublimation printing:

1st Step- Creating A Design

Excellent design software is used to generate the design. You may quickly develop your ideas and then print a file of your design utilizing design software.

2nd Step- Design Printing On The Material

After creating a design and printing its file, the next step is to print the design onto the product you want to design using a sublimation printer. For this purpose, the sublimation printer uses ink that contains dye particles. As in the polyester type of clothes, these dye particles quickly bond with polymers. This printing method is suitable for glass, ceramics, and metals—the more dye bonds to the surface, the sharper, clearer, and more colorful the print.

Ink For Sublimation Printing

Choose the EPSON EcoTank Dye Sublimation Ink if you have an Epson printer, which works with all Epson sublimation printers.

Sublimation Transfer Paper

Sublimation transfer paper is a specialty paper only used for sublimation printing—made from a paper substrate similar to regular paper. The dye sublimation inks are held in place by a specific coating applied to the paper. Based on the weight of the paper when dry, the layer contains approximately 35% silica and 5% binder. Even if your print files are of the excellent resolution, low-quality transfer materials can result in a dull image. It’s best to utilize high-quality sublimation transfer paper since it can reliably discharge dye particles onto the product while using a heat press.

Now the question that arises here is How to print sublimation transfers?

  • Air the paper and load it into the printer.
  • Print on the side that is smooth.
  • Select the high speed for print quality and plain paper type.
  • Make sure your image is mirrored.
  • Printing one sheet at a time is recommended.
  • Ink will be wet, so do not stack the sheets.
  • Now put the powder into a storage container.
  • Distribute the powder onto the wet ink.
  • The powder should completely cover the ink.
  • Wipe off excess powder and store it for later use.

3rd Step- Using Heat Press

A heat press machine uses heat and pressure for a fixed period to print a design or a drawing on a surface such as a t-shirt. This heat press machine is also called a sublimation machine. The type of heat press equipment we employ isn’t the sole consideration. Variable heat press machines, even models from the same manufacturer, might provide slightly different print quality.

Factors To Consider While Printing With A Sublimation Printer

Besides the steps above, three critical considerations while using a Sublimation printer to perform sublimation printing. Those factors are

  • Time 
  • Temperature
  • Pressure


When using a more demanding item for sublimation printing, such as a mug or glass, you’ll need to sublimate it for longer. For example, decorating a t-shirt takes 30 to 60 seconds, whereas huge ceramic goods like tiles can take 12 minutes. Dwell time plays a role as well. The total time the product is under heat pressure is known as the dwell time. If the picture appears hazy or dull, it needs extra time in the heat press. Increase the dwell time by 5 to 10 seconds as a result.


The temperature refers to the temperature at which the heat press operates. Typically, the heat-press temperature must be 204 degrees Celsius. It is not, however, constant across all goods. Sublimating a polyester cloth may require 204 degrees Celsius; however, this varies depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Thin sublimation film manufacturers recommend a temperature of 175 degrees Celsius due to the product’s melting point.


Pressure refers to how hard you press the material to transfer the design using a heat press machine. Depending on the product’s breaking point, it’s usually recommended to use the medium to low pressure.

Sublimation printing is widely used worldwide. Mugs, cups, fabrics, mainly T-shirts, are printed with beautiful designs with the help of sublimation printers. Now you do not need to worry about how to do sublimation printing on T-shirts and Mugs because we are here with the steps of both cases;

Sublimation Printers for T-Shirts

sublimation printer for t-shirts

Epson and Saw grass sublimation printers are often used for sublimating the T-shirts.


  • A Sublimation printer and sublimation ink
  • Shirt for sublimation
  • A sublimation paper
  • A heat press machine


Step 1: Create a design using your preferred photo editing software.

Step 2: Using a sublimation printer, mirror the design and print it.

Step 3: Use a Tee Square or whatever you’re most familiar with to align your design.

Step 4: Using a heat press, transfer your design to your apparel. Pressing times and temperatures should be specified on the transfer paper. To get the best results, make sure you are aware of this.

Step 5:  Do not forget to remove the transfer paper at the end.

What you should see at this moment should make you smile.

Sublimation For Mug With Mug Heat Press


  • A sublimation printer
  • Sublimation ink
  • Heat-proof tape/Heat-resistant tape
  • A transfer paper to print design
  • Blank mug for sublimation
  • A mug heat press


Step 1: Make a design and print it out with any picture editing software.

Step 2: Using your sublimation printer, mirror the pattern and print it.

Step 3: Outline your design and secure it using heat-resistant tape.

Step 4: Insert the mug into your mug press machine and set it up. There are several ways to use a mug press, so consult your handbook to learn how to use it.

Step 5: Apply pressure to the mug under the sublimating paper and cup instructions.

Step 6: Using gloves or potholders, remove the cup and transfer the paper as soon as possible.

Step 7: Sprinkle in hot water or put it in front of a fan to refresh it and prevent bleeding.

Bottom Lines

There’s a quick rundown of what sublimation printing is and a quick explanation of how it works. Sublimation printing is a fantastic option for individuals looking to produce full-color, high-quality images on clothes and other materials. There is minimal downtime, resulting in each invention being profitable. The printing method is cost-effective since you can invest in a sublimation printer that connects with the network via the Wireless Internet if you already have a computer and only buys inks and transfers paper. 

The material customization comes with a sublimation press that many people worldwide can profit from the business. This customization will allow you to fully meet a customer’s needs while also creating a wide range of designs to appeal to a wide range of tastes. It’s a quick and straightforward technique that lets individuals bring their computer-generated masterpieces to life.

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