How Do Sublimation Printers Work | November 2022

Sublimation printing is often known for its absolute accuracy, allowing for the printing of unique details. Sublimation printing’s reputation has expanded in the latest years of its high-quality finished goods. However, like with any form of printing, you must first learn how to produce the designs before doing it on your own. This process is really useful for anyone who is required to complete a project within a brief span of time.

A sublimation printer uses a heat press to transfer the image of a paper on polyester or other sublimation material by using sublimation inks.

Working of Sublimation Printers:

In sublimation printing, we use sublimation printers and inks to perform sublimation.

But how do sublimation printers work? How to achieve quality through sublimation? How well can you make personalized patterns, print them, and translate them anywhere you want? Knowing which are the best sublimation printers for heat transfer and actually what is sublimation printing crucial for.

What is sublimation printing?
What is sublimation printing?

And for that reason, we have covered all you can do to learn about Sublimation in this article. This includes most of the frequently asked questions concerning its applications and restrictions. The process of sublimation can be enjoyable and rewarding based on how you benefit yourself with it. When I was learning sublimation printing I often thought about how do sublimation printers work. But now I can fully guide anyone who is new in the sublimation business.

So, with no further delay, let’s get started with the fundamentals of sublimation:

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing is a widely used style of printing.  This method involves exerting heat and pressure on the sublimation paper. In turn, it allows the transmission of any design on a piece of fabric and other materials. Moreover, sublimation printing occurs by shifting the ink particles from solid form to gas form. It is a simple and affordable approach to add personalization to things that are wished by many individuals.

Overall, sublimation printing is another widespread word of solid-to-gas conversion. This simply reflects the physical transformation of the state.  If sublimation printing is handled badly, the procedure could result in graphics with white creasing or blurriness effects. You may lose either money or energy as an outcome of this. So using the best sublimation printers for beginners is a wise choice in case you are just starting out.

How does sublimation printing work?

Sublimation printing is designated as a process in which solid particles are transmitted right from the solid state to the gaseous state. This process skips conversion into a liquid form. Furthermore, the sublimation approach is fundamental for the transmission of the specific theme. A heat press machine allows printing a transfer paper or transfers foil in an upturned manner. This paper is then laid on the chosen substance. After that, heating at 230 °C for over 30 to 60 seconds is done. This temperature enables the dye to sublimate to effortlessly access and bind in the gas phase. There won’t be any seen residue on the print as sublimation offers permanent color engraving on fabrics.

What is a sublimation machine?

Sublimation printing machines are generally competent with adhering to dyes. These dyes are usually indissoluble with water. Moreover, these machines are called sublimation printers in general. Sublimation printers are effective due to the ink’s consistency and heat delicacy. Also, you can sublimate through a normal inkjet printer by printing with certain water-repellent ink. Keep in mind, that alternating regular and sublimation inks is not suggested. As the residue interferes with the printer’s tubes and heads.

What can you do with a sublimation printer?

Sublimation printing is a technique of publishing designs upon a number of materials with the help of a binding agent, such as ceramic mugs or fabrics. Sublimation can be performed effectively on polyester clothes for optimal Sublimation outcomes. Cotton and certain other natural fibers can catch flame at high temperatures. While polyester when subjected to heat starts melting and exposes gaps in the cloth. This permits the dye gases to invade the fabric.

Also, sublimation printers support all kinds of substances having specific polymer coatings, such as mousepads, T-shirts, mugs, coasters, etc.  Furthermore, as far as the substance is composed of or laminated with polyester, there are practically no limitations to the sublimation. However, you can also go for a white toner sublimation printer for printing with white ink. This process uses a transfer foil (A-foil) and B-paper. You also get the feature of printing on darkened and multicolored media using white toner.

Similarly, anyone can personalize a group symbol or contact information using a sublimation printer and white toner sublimation printer. Also, you can sublimate key chains, cushions, and blankets as presents or for customers. Not to forget, posters, glasses, Smartphone cases, and even skateboards can be customized with sublimation printers.

How to start a sublimation printing business?

Sublimation printing is an amazing option for personalized T-shirts, bags, and things for small business purposes. However, there are several requirements for sublimating desirable designs on your goods. The first and foremost is the best sublimation printer. This printer shall offer sublimation printing and accepts sublimation ink cartridges.

Furthermore, a heat press machine is a must-made investment for sublimating designs on different materials. On the other hand, mug press and clumps can also be used for sublimating ceramic mugs. Considering the type of content you would sublimate on for your small business is necessary. This is due to the fact that not every material is compatible with sublimation printing. Moreover, you’ll have to go for transferring sublimation paper instead of regular paper.

Also, the RIP program’s assistance in color grading comes in handy. To start a sublimation printing business following are among the things you may require:

  • Polycotton cloth
  • Polyester-coated aluminum
  • Polyester
  • Ceramic Polymer
  • Polymer-coated plastic
  • PVC
  •  Polyester fabric
  • Polymer-coated metal

Polyester or ceramic is the ideal substance to employ sublimation printing from the options mentioned. While traditional printing generates only a single logo on each print, sublimation printers offer a multitude of patterns and logos on cloth.

Frequently ask questions:

What does sublimation printing mean?

Ans: Sublimation printing is a complete digital printing method that uses polyester and polymer-coated interfaces to create designs, billboards, and flags. Also, it permits printing fashion items including cell phone cases, trophies, cups, and other objects with sublimation compatible materials.

Are digital printers similar to sublimation printers?

Ans: Digital printers offer printing designs on silk, polyester, and cotton. Whereas, sublimation printing is only suitable for polyester-coated materials. In addition, sublimation printing employs heat to print the artwork onto the substrate. However, this is not done in digital printing.


To summarise, we have a simple rundown of what sublimation printing is in this article. Also, we’ve mentioned a quick solution to the query, “How do sublimation printers work?” Sublimation printing is a wonderful choice for people looking to produce high-quality illustrations on textiles and other surfaces. The heat press could be the most pricey aspect of the sublimation process. So take the cost of heat press on board if you’re considering getting into sublimation printing. On the other side, most people can afford a high-quality sublimation printer. 

Also, the fact that sublimation printing is so environmentally conscious ensures that the sublimation printing process will improve in demand among both users and printing companies. The uniqueness that goes with sublimation printing attracts plenty of people all over the globe. This provides a financial gain in your small business. Every printing method has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

As we’ve seen in this article there are many variables to consider when determining whether Sublimation is the best option or whether you should explore other printing techniques.