Are you looking for an inexpensive alternative to the high priced dedicated sublimation printers? If yes, consider converting your regular HP printer for sublimation. The conversion process involves some specific supplies and steps and allows you to perform the sublimation printing without breaking the bank. To help you make this happen, I’ve composed this guide under the title “how to convert HP printer to sublimation printer”.
Also, I’ll share the dos and don’ts of the process and some cool hacks to ensure that everything turns outright. Follow these steps to convert HP printer to sublimation printer.
How To Convert HP Printer To Sublimation Printer?
Before we move to the steps of the conversion process it is crucial to answer a few important questions. So let’s begin with:
Can You Convert Any HP Sublimation Printer To Sublimation?
The simple answer to this question is no. You cannot convert any printer to sublimation printer. Sublimation printing is a process that makes use of heat and pressure to transfer the prints onto the substrates. Special sublimation supplies like heat transfer papers and sublimation dyes are sued in this process. Therefore, you can only convert the HP printer to sublimation. It is fully compatible with the heat transfer process and sublimation supplies.
Outdated HP models designed for everyday home or office use are not suitable for sublimation. These printers use ink cartridges that are totally incompatible with sublimation ink. Also, these printers are designed for paper and do not accept heat transfer papers or sublimation papers.
What printers can be used for sublimation?
Inkjet printers are used for sublimation. These printers transfer the design onto the materials using sublimation ink. Some time ago, a few specific types of printers were used for sublimation. With the passage of time and enhancement in technology, we can use almost all inkjet printers for sublimation.
What HP Printers can be Converted to Sublimation?
HP has recently introduced its advanced CISS or continuous ink supply system printers. These printers offer cartridge-free printing solutions. Also, HP has a series of printers named HP Smart Tank Printers. These HP smart tank sublimation printers use high capacity releasable ink tanks. These ink tanks offer a convenient and mess-free ink refill making them fully compatible with the sublimation. Here are the best HP printers that you can convert to sublimation:
- HP Photosmart D7263 Inkjet Printer
- HP OfficeJet K8600 dn Inkjet Printer
- HP Deskjet F4583 Inkjet Printer
- HP Smart Tank 720 All-In-One Withe Wireless Support
- HP Smart Tank 720 All-In-One Withe Wireless Support
- HP Smart Tank 515 All-In-One With Wireless Support
- HP smart tank 6001 sublimation printer
All these printers use advanced Ink tanks and all you need to do is pour the sublimation ink and they print like a dream.
Should I Buy A New Printer To Convert It To Sublimation?
For best results and effortless conversion, it is highly recommended to use a printer that is never used before. It is quite challenging to remove the regular printing ink from the already used ink tanks and therefore you may not get the desired printing results. However, if you don’t have enough budgets to buy a new printer, you can buy a new ink system for your pre-loved printer. You can buy HP CISS ink cartridges and Smart Ink Tanks to convert HP printers to sublimation printers.
Supplies Required to Convert HP Printer To Sublimation?
A brand New HP CISS or Smart Ink Tank Printer: Sublimation printing is all about quality and you must look for a printer having a high resolution and wide color gamut support
- Sublimation ink
- Heat transfer paper
- heat press machine
High-Quality Sublimation Ink: Depending upon your project requirements you should look for high-quality sublimation ink.
Gloves: For a safe and mess free refilling process, it is advised to use a pair of plastic gloves.
Heat Transfer Paper: Sublimation paper or heat transfer papers are available in multiple sizes and qualities and you need to choose the one that is in line with your project requirements. While buying the sublimation supplies you need to ensure that one supply of a specific brand works with the supply of another brand. After conversion of HP printer you can use sublimation printer.
Here is a step by step guide how to convert HP printer to sublimation printer:
1. Check the Printer
Before you start the conversion process make sure if the printer is working properly or not. Turn on the printer to check its electrical output and internal functioning. If you are converting an old HP printer to sublimation you can also take Test Print to check the performance of the nozzle and ink supplying system.
2. Fill the Ink Cartridges
Here is a step by step guide to filling the ink in ink tanks
Before you start the process, it is advised to read the instructions provided by the ink cartridge and sublimation dye manufacturer.
- Put your gloves on to ensure a safe and mess-free ink refilling.
- Spread the paper towels or absorbent sheets on a flat surface.
- Decide which color you want to fill first. Do not fill two colors simultaneously.
- If you’re using a cartridge-based printer, remove the plug that is defined for the color you have chosen. If you are using HP smart tank printer, release the bottle specified for the color that you want to fill.
- Open the sublimation-dye bottle and fill the ink in syringes. In this step, it is crucial to avoid the bubble formation in the syringes. The air bubbles can cause serious quality issues in the final print.
- Then locate the filling hole on the ink-cartridge/Ink tank and insert the syringe in this hole.
- Slowly inject the ink into the ink cartridges. Do not apply pressure as ink cartridges are highly prone to damage. It is recommended to fill the ink cartridge upto 85%. Once desired ink level is achieved put back the plug or close the cap on the ink bottle.
Put back the ink cartridges and make sure it is properly fixed in place.
3. Cleaning the Nozzles
If you are converting a printer that is already in use for regular printing, you need to clean the printing head and nozzles. You can buy a print head cleaning solution from the local market. Inject the printhead cleansing solution into the nozzles, vents, and printhead. Consult the printer’s user manual to locate the points through which you can inject the printing solution.
Then pump out the cleaning solution. Before you start, the printing process takes two to three rough prints to flush out any remaining solution in the nozzle and printhead.
4. Iron the Fabric
Before sublimation it is necessary to iron the fabric to avoid lines from the fabric. There must not be any curve in the fabric because it may cause for creating the variance and we can not get the desired results. There will be no be wrinkle or curve on the fabric. It will give us a clean and clear design. I suggest, to get the outstanding results iron the fabric from both sides.
5. Heat Press Machine
Now we have to create our t-shirt to heat press. For this we have required a printed paper to adjust it under the t-shirt by doing so we can iron from top to that area where we want to print the design on t-shirt. Start pressing the heat press machine for 60 seconds and 380°F temperature.
Wait for few minutes to cool it down and then remove the paper gently so that it will not damage the fabric. After this hectic job we have got the best customized t-shirt.
6. Finishing Up
Once you put the ink tank/ink cartridges back into the printer, your printer is now ready for sublimation printing. You can download thousands of design and print ideas from different websites. Also, you can create your own design with different creative and editing softwares. Pair the printer with high-quality sublimation paper and take out the printer. Follow the heat transfer process to transfer the print on the substrate.
7. Setting up the converted Sublimation Printer
- Insert the ink cartridges and check sublimation ink for HP printer properly loaded in the printer.
- In printing application click on printer properties to configure the HP printer settings.
- Set up the settings according to your requirements, like margin, print quality, orientation etc.
- When all changes will be done then press Apply and save the settings.
8. Test Converted Printer
After converting this, you have to test it. For this purpose we will use a heat transfer paper. Adjust this heat transfer paper into the converted printer and print it. Once it will complete then remove the paper from the printer. After that ad just the paper on ironing board and iron the paper about 30 seconds. If your printed designs show on the heat transfer paper then your printer completely successfully converted into sublimation printer and it is functional.
Tips to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer
Following are the some useful tips while converting HP printer to sublimation printer,
Tip 1: Check printer compatibility: Not all HP printers are suitable for sublimation printing. Before proceeding with the conversion, it is important to confirm that your HP printer model is compatible with sublimation ink. To verify compatibility, you can read the printer’s documentation or get information from HP support.
Tip 2: Gather the necessary equipment: To convert your HP printer to a sublimation printer, you will need sublimation ink, sublimation paper, and a continuous ink supply system (CISS) instead of regular ink cartridges.
Tip 3: Flush the printer: Before using sublimation ink, it’s essential to flush out any remaining traces of regular ink from the printer. Most CISS kits come with a flushing solution.
Keep in mind that always follow the printer’s and CISS manufacturers instructions. Convert HP printer to sublimation at your own risk because it may cancel your warranty. If you are not confident to convert then I will suggest you to hire the some professional services or simply purchase a new sublimation printer.
Can you use an inkjet printer for sublimation?
Yes, you can use an inkjet printer for sublimation if it uses an advanced ink supply system, inkjet printers with Continuous Ink Supply System Support and Smart Ink technologies are easily converted to sublimation.
Can you use a regular printer for sublimation?
No, you cannot use a regular printer for sublimation. Regular printers use outdated ink cartridges that are not compatible with the sublimation dyes. Also, regular printers do not work well with the heat transfer process or sublimation papers.
Can you turn an HP printer into a sublimation printer?
HP has a line of printers that support the Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS). You can convert these printers into sublimation. Also, HP Smart Tank inkjet printers are highly compatible with sublimation printing and you can convert them to sublimation.
Can an EcoTank printer be used for sublimation?
Epson EcoTank Printers use high capacity ink tanks and you can easily convert them to sublimation. To convert the Printer to a sublimation printer, fill the ink bottles with high-quality sublimation ink and you are ready to go.
Wrapping It Up
This the guide will help you how to convert HP printer to sublimation printer. Remember, the sublimation print quality largely depends on the printer resolution and type of sublimation ink you are using. It is recommended to use a high quality sublimation ink of a single brand to maintain the print quality over time.