Can You Use Any Printer for Sublimation? A Complete Guide

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Whether you are starting your own sublimation business or want to upgrade your home or office with the latest gadgets, you might have many concerns. You already have a printer and are now wondering if you can use any printer for sublimation.

Well, yes! You can use it. But the detailed answer is much trickier which you need to know in data. It depends on your printer type, as only some specific printers can be converted into sublimation. So, here in today’s guide, let’s explore all you need to know together.

Can You Use any Printer for Sublimation

Can you use a regular printer for sublimation?

First and foremost, can you use any printer for sublimation? Yes, you can convert any regular printer to a sublimation printer. All you have to do is replace the printhead and ink system, but these options are only available in specific printers. Epson printers especially have this capability.

So, as all printers cannot convert, you have to make sure that you are using only a compatible model of the printer of this. Because if incompatible versions are used, it will not only ruin all of your efforts but also waste the worth of mentioning time and ink.

What Type of Printer Can be Used as a Sublimation Printer?

Undoubtedly, Epson offers the most compatible printers that can be used for sublimation. Generally, Epson makes 3 types of printers: EcoTank, cartridge-based, and purpose-built. And almost all of them are compatible to use as sublimation printers.

Can you use HP printers for sublimation?

No, you can’t convert your HP printers for sublimation, and the reasons for this are simple;

HP printers use thermal heat to spread the ink on the paper; on the other hand, specific sublimation ink is required for sublimation. HP printers are almost incompatible with these features. However, HP has introduced some printers that support sublimation and ink purposes, but they are too costly, so it won’t be a good idea to have them.

That’s why we recommend using them only if you have a large-scale industry or business.

Can you use brother printers for sublimation?

Yes, you can use it because most brother printers are compatible with sublimation. Remember, the ink and cartridges for brother printers won’t be available in the market. Using the same brand of ink for sublimation is always recommended.

We recommend using a brother regular printer for sublimation if you want to do this as a hobby and don’t need any professional design. With that, if you were to use quality ink, surely you would get excellent results.

Can you use canon printers for sublimation?

Just like HP, using canon printers for sublimation won’t be a good idea because they both use heat to spread the ink on the paper, which is not recommended for sublimation. However, the upside of the Canon printer is that Canon offers a variety of printers that are compatible with sublimation.

With this, canon printers are costly, that’s why they are not commonly used. We recommend not using this as an option when you have better alternatives available.

Which Printer Can’t be Used as a Sublimation Printer?

Since only a few printers’ models or brands can be converted into sublimation printers. Let us clarify which printer can’t be used as a sublimation printer. For this, you can apply a simple rule of thumb;

  • If there is a written on the model that this printer won’t be compatible with sublimation, don’t try it.
  • With that, cheaper printers generally need this capability.
  • Moreover, if it’s not compatible with the sublimation ink system, there is no need to go for it.

Alternatives to Sublimation Printer:

Let’s say your current regular printer cannot convert for sublimation purposes, and now you’re worried. No more worries; here are some alternatives you can use.

  1. Get your design printed by a professional printing shop. Of course, this option won’t be a budget-friendly option and will you again and again wherever you look for it, but it could be an alternative.
  2. Secondly, you can also use Screen Printing and get your T-shirt design printed using screen printing, but remember the process would be long and require extra effort to get the job done.
  3. With that, heat transfer sheets and papers are other options that are now a day used by many because most printers could easily tackle it.  


Can you use sublimation ink on a regular printer?

No, you can’t use sublimation ink on a regular printer as it won’t be a good idea, but also, there are some inkjet printers available in the market that can be filled with sublimation ink. If you also have the right model of regular printer compatible, you can use it as many others are doing.
Most commonly, Epson, EcoTank, and Workforce are compatible with this.

Can you convert the sublimation printer into a regular printer?

Since we are talking about converting a regular printer into sublimation, but if you want to convert a sublimation printer back into a regular printer. No worries, you can also do that, but you may not get the desired results.

Can you use regular printer paper for sublimation?

Yes, you can use regular printer paper for sublimation. Still, you would get different results because water-based ink is being used for sublimation, and a common bond or copy paper would soak the paper, ruining the clarity. Moreover, sublimation papers have a coating that protects the image quality.

So, Do You Need Two Printers?

Wrapping up the discussion with a note that if you want to upgrade or reuse your regular printer for sublimation, technically, it would be possible but remember HP and Canon printers are out of the race, and Epson printers are the most compatible because they also use piezo technology which makes it a preferable choice for printing.

Lastly, before converting any printer into sublimation, remember to figure out your requirements and objectives so that you can make a better choice and will be happy with it and can grab the best results.

Only with a perfect choice can you make it a more profitable profession or your hobby more enjoyable.

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