Are you interested in adding sublimation projects to your craft hobby or small business? It is so easy to convert a printer to sublimation! Get the tutorial and all of my tips on how to convert an Epson EcoTank printer to use for sublimation!
Sublimation is a chemical process that embeds ink into your projects. You can make a TON of different items including shirts, mugs, glassware, tech accessories, home decor items, and more! It has gained popularity with home crafters in recent years due to the launch of Cricut Infusible Ink, which uses the sublimation process. Sublimation requires specific blank items made from polyester or coated with polyester to accept the sublimation ink.
I am a huge fan of Cricut Infusible Ink, and I am really excited to use my own designs and drawings for sublimation! If you would like to print your own sublimation transfers at home, I’m here to show you how.
What you Need to Convert an Inkjet Printer for Sublimation
I recently got an Epson EcoTank printer and sublimation ink from Hiipoo (available on Amazon) and I converted the printer to use with sublimation ink! You can do it too – I promise it is REALLY easy. I had this Epson Sublimation Printer up and running in just a few minutes!
What is the Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners?
- Epson EcoTank printer – I have the ET-2720 version. EcoTank printers are easy to convert and affordable which is why they are a great choice.
- Sublimation Ink – get a COUPON with my exclusive link for Hiipoo sublimation ink
It’s important that you start with a brand new printer. Although I’ve read that a few people have had success with converting an inkjet that they’ve already used, the easiest way is to add sublimation ink to a new printer. Also, once you’ve used sublimation ink in the printer, it may not be able to be used again for regular printing. So plan on investing in a printer just for sublimation transfer printing.
Sublimation Ink for Epson
There are tons of sublimation ink options on Amazon. I was introduced to Hiipoo ink through my friend Angie at The Country Chic Cottage, and I have had great success with it! The printed images I have made are bright, clear, and true to color. I love it so much, that the company is offering a coupon for sublimation ink! Just click on the coupon and add it to your Amazon cart.
The Hiipoo sublimation ink package comes with everything you need to add sublimation ink to your printer, including 100mL of ink in Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, syringes, and gloves to protect your hands from ink (it stains!)
How to Convert an Epson Printer to Sublimation
I was honestly surprised at how easy this process this. I had seen a couple of videos from The Country Chic Cottage and Karley Hall, but I was still a little skeptical. I even created my own video – you can watch me convert my Epson EcoTank to sublimation in under 5 minutes!
*Note: Hiipoo Sublimation Ink just launched bottles that fit right in the top of EcoTank ink wells – NO SYRINGE REQUIRED! Here are the sublimation ink bottles that will fit the Epson 2720 and several others, just make sure you order the ones that fit your printer.
Unbox your printer and remove the packaging materials. All EcoTank printers have a set of large ink wells that can be filled with ink. The printer comes with a set of printer ink in large bottles and instructions to fill the printer – DON’T USE THE EPSON INK. You will skip this step and use Hiipoo sublimation ink instead.
EcoTank printers have four ink wells: Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Those ink colors combine to create all of your images (CMYK colors). Sublimation ink comes in the same colors, so you just have to make sure to match the ink color to the appropriate ink well.
Use the syringe to remove ink from the sublimation ink bottles. You want to use a different syringe for each color of ink – don’t mix the ink!!
Open the inkwell lid (make sure you are using the right color!) and carefully insert the “needle” of the syringe into the top of the inkwell. Slowly compress the syringe to fill the ink tank.
You can see the ink filling the tank from the outside. You can refill the syringe and repeat the process as many times as needed to fill the ink tank to the top line:
Repeat with the other colors to fill all of the ink tanks.
Plug in and turn on your printer. Follow the instructions included with your printer to initialize the ink and you are ready to go!
After the ink has finished priming, you can top off the ink tanks with more sublimation ink.
Make sure that you thoroughly clean out the syringes and replace them in the box – you can reuse them until all 100mL of ink has been used!
You are ready to print! Just connect your printer to your computer and follow the instructions on your computer. I have a MacBook, and I used the printer dialog in the settings panel to “add a new printer.”
I also grabbed some paper that is specifically used for sublimation. I will be testing other papers to see how they work!