Last Updated on October 21, 2022
A conventional way to use a Cricut machine to create sublimation projects has been to buy a dedicated sublimation printer. However, with just a few modifications, you can turn your regular printer into a sublimation printer that’s perfect for your needs! You can create beautiful designs that can be turned into sublimation blanks using an Inkjet printer and simple tips. This blog post will show you how to convert a regular printer into a sublimation printer for Cricut projects. So, keep reading for all the details, whether you are new to Cricut or just want to try out sublimation printing.
This tutorial will show you how to make the change and complete a guide on getting the best results. Let’s get started!
Why do we need to convert a regular printer into a sublimation printer?
The biggest reason to do this is that it’s cost-effective. You can avoid buying an additional machine that will only be used for one purpose by converting your regular printer into a sublimation printer.
- A regular printer
- Sublimation ink and paper
- Sublimation Blanks
- Pair of gloves and a syringe.
A Quick Roundup to Convert a Regular Printer into Sublimation Printer
- Buy a regular ink tank printer (if you don’t have one).
- Get sublimation ink (Do not use regular ink that arrived with an inkjet printer).
- Load printer with a specialty paper called sublimation paper.
- Connect the printer to your Desktop/laptop or any device.
- You are good to go for sublimation printing.
Step by Step guide to convert a printer for Cricut Sublimation projects
There is a possibility that you want to convert your new inkjet printer or the one you are already using. Let’s get details about both ways.
For New Printer
Step 1: Unbox the printer. Take care and gently remove the covers to not damage the printer and auxiliaries.
Step 2: Fill sublimation ink cartridge with sublimation ink using gloves and syringe. You will not want to fill cartridges in any other way to avoid ink spillage. Your sublimation kit comes with accessories like a pair of gloves and a syringe to transfer ink from sublimation bottles to cartridges or tanks.
Step 3: Replace the regular cartridge with a sublimation ink cartridge. Never put the ink into a cartridge that comes with your Inkjet printer. You have to use sublimation cartage to function it as a sublimation printer.
Step 4: Test print at least 4-5 pages. Sublimation paper is expensive. If initial printing is not perfect and printable has just randomly speeded lines of most minor quality, it will cost you high-quality sublimation papers. So, it is always recommended to test print on low-quality sublimation or regular copy paper.
Step 5: Load sublimation paper and print your design. We have ensured the quality and size factor through test prints; you are ready to get prints on your actual sublimation paper.
Step 6: Use a heat press or mug press to transfer your design to fabric or any other substrate.
For Used Printer
Step 1: Clean ink cartridges or ink tanks. Better to purge air to ensure complete cleaning. If you have bought one, you need to replace the already used cartridge with a sublimation cartridge. But if you want to go with a cartridge already being used with a regular printer, you need to avoid mixing sublimation ink with standard ink.
Step 2: Refill cartridge with sublimation ink. Make sure to have already cleaned up the cartridge. Mixing regular ink with specialty sublimation ink can damage your printer.
Step 3: Load the sublimation printer and print out your design.
Step 4: Transfer the printed design onto its final destination- it must be a Sublimation compatible blank. You can check compatibility before buying the substrate. Heat press or mug press is employed to transfer image/picture from sublimation paper to fabric.
Can you turn a used printer into sublimation?
Several pigment ink printers can be converted into sublimation printers, and this is recommended for those who wish to have a reliable and high-performance printer. Several printing companies now offer affordable sublimation printers on the market.
Can you turn an HP printer into a sublimation printer?
Depending on the type of printer, thermal technology (heat) or piezo technology (pressure) is used. In order to apply sublimation ink, micro piezo printheads are required. Sublimation ink cannot be used with thermal printers.
You can successfully print and transfer your designs using sublimation printing by following the simple steps above. It is essential to take care of the printer cartridge to avoid any damage and ensure that the substrate is compatible with the sublimation ink.
For the past five years, I have been working as a printer service supervisor in a printing press that serves customers with tailor-made designs and prints. My job involved dealing with printers five days a week, so I decided to take up printing as a hobby.