Sublimation Printers - A Comparison of Sublimation Printers

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Lori S sent in this great comparison of desktop sublimation printers. Thanks Lori! We’ve been in the tee shirt business for about ten years and during that time; I’ve owned about ten different printers, mostly dye sublimation printers. These are inkjet printers, used for dye sublimation heat transfer, for putting images on tee shirts and other items. Here’s a little sublimation printer review of what’s currently available on the market. Sublimation Printer ebay: A good source of printers for dye sub, be careful not to get the photo sublimation printers, they are NOT what you want to use for transfers. Look for printers that use sublimation printer ink. Other places to find sublimation printers for sale: sublimation printers - craigslist does not have any usable listings in any city I looked. The best source for decent sublimation printers is a reputable company that supplies sublimation printing paper, like Conde Systems, Johnston Award Supply Co. or use google to find a company. I recommend Conde (http://www.conde.com), they have a great tech support crew and lots of info in their knowledge base, plus a huge array of products. Once you start buying from them they sign you up to their partnernet and you get access to templates, instructions and all kinds of helpful advice. Sublimation Printers Epson Epson makes some printers with the Micro Piezo printhead, which is ideal for dye sublimation. Here’s a comparison chart: C120 R800 1400 4880 4 Color Printer 7 Color printer with gloss optimizer 6 Colors 8 colors; can use two different kinds of ink, 4 on each side! Maximum Printable Area: 8.5" x 44" Up to 8.5" X 14" cut-sheet paper Print 13" x 19" Prints 17” wide Sublimation Printers Ricoh A new inkjet printer has emerged, with Micro Piezo printheads; the Ricoh GelSprinter has two models that are useful for dye sublimation printing: GX5050N GX7000 Uses 4 Colors Uses 4 Colors Maximum Printable Area: 8.5" x 44" Print 13" x 19" (with additional feed tray) By the way, for sublimation printers, UK suppliers, they can be ordered from transferpress.com; sublimation printers Australia, try Nova. Now, all the printers listed above are fairly good for the purpose, the main considerations are the cost of the inks and how big the printers can print. If you have a bigger heat press, you will want to go wide. I use a small C120 in my RV and take it to flea markets and fairs and it travels quite well. The 4 color printers are great because you only have to get four cartridges. The 4880 is unique in that you can buy 4 sublimation cartridges and also load 4 regular ink cartridges or heat transfer inks. I like ChromaBlast on one side, it’s a special system for printing on cotton garments, but that’s another subject. You do have to get special software to set this dual printing up, check with Conde for advice there. The Epson printers have bulk feed ink delivery systems available and you can buy bottles of ink to fill them and that may save some money in the long run. The Ricoh printers use gel ink in cartridges and they are very easy to change, no clogs, no fuss, so I vote for them. The GX7000 is the best one I have owned, very fast and reliable. Good luck with your sublimation printing!