How to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer

I bet you just finished checking out the prices of sublimation printers and had fumes coming out of your ears. They are ridiculously overpriced and tough to find. So you must be wondering about some accessible and less costly alternatives you can use to your advantage. Why else would you be here anyway? But don’t worry because I have a surprise for you. You can convert your hp printer to a sublimation printer quickly and easily.

I still remember the day I found myself in the same position. It was the time when anime shirts were in, and I just couldn’t find the t-shirts with my favorite characters, so I decided to make one for myself. I had a pretty good idea of sublimation printers, but I didn’t know how grossly overpriced they were. That is when I decided to be a little creative with my HP printer at home.

How to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer
How to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer

How to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer 2022

I converted my HP printer into a sublimation printer and got the results I aimed for this. The whole process turned out to be a success and didn’t cost me more than fifty bucks. So, I decided to share my experience with you guys so that you can also take advantage of it. The whole process is quick and easy, which means that you can easily do it at home if you have the required printer type. For more details, keep on reading my article.

How to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer

1. Start With A New HP Printer

First, if you have made up your mind to convert your Hp printer to a sublimation printer, you must ensure that your HP printer has never been used before. It must be in its prime condition to get the desired sublimation results. Otherwise, the sublimation ink will get mixed up with the ordinary ink and lose its vigilance.

2. Fill The Ink Tanks

The next thing you need to do is take out the ink tanks and fill them up with sublimation ink. This is where you realize that the HP printers that use ink cartridges can not be converted to sublimation printers because there is no way that you can find compatible ink cartridges filled with sublimation ink. Ink tanks are easily removable and refillable.

3. Download The Desired Image

The next thing you need to do is find the perfect image that you want to sublimate. Download it and open it in the Silhouette Studio app. This app is free to download and use. Once you open the image in this app, the next thing you need to do is adjust the size and proportions of the picture. It means that you can have your favorite image sublimated onto your t-shirt at the desired size. Plus, you need to adjust the size of your page to letter size for optimal results. You can also change the orientation from portrait to landscape in the settings within the app.

4. Proceed To Print

Once you are done adjusting the size and orientation of the image, you need to print the image onto paper. For this purpose, you don’t need any particular paper. A regular letter-sized paper will make do. Click on the File in the top tab—select Print from the drop-down menu. A new print window will open up. You will see a drop-down arrow beside the option saying printer. Select a sublimation printer from the list. After that, click print at the bottom.

5. Inspect The Printed Image

When the printed image comes out of the printer, closely inspect the image to ensure that there are no lines or gaps in the printed image. If there are, throw away the image and print another one until you get a clear image with no gaps and lines in between. However, if the image looks a little light in coloration, don’t worry because the sublimation ink shows better coloration when heat is pressed on the fabric.

6. Iron the Fabric

Next, you need to straighten out the crease lines on the t-shirt you are about to sublimate. This is a particularly important step that you may overlook because it determines how the output image will look. If the fabric is not ironed correctly, there is a high probability that the output image will have lines in between. Thus, for a neat and clear output, you must iron your t-shirt before proceeding further.

7. Heat Press

Once you have ironed your t-shirt, you are now ready to heat press the image on it. For that purpose, take butter paper and slip it under the t-shirt right underneath the spot where you need the image sublimated so that the dies won’t stick on the other side of the shirt. Then flip the printed page backward and tape it to the shirt. Put another piece of butter paper on the top of the page and tape it too. Next, take a hot iron and start ironing the image. The iron’s heat will melt the dyes from the page and transfer them onto the t-shirt.

8. Hold For Sixty Seconds

After all the hard work, you don’t want to take off the paper in a hurry to see the results. Take your time and keep ironing the whole thing for good sixty minutes. Then wait another sixty minutes and press the iron to the image for another sixty seconds. After that, let it cool down so that the colors can settle in their place before you peel the image off. Now enjoy your DIY t-shirt!

Given that you read this article very carefully, you have complete knowledge of converting the HP printer to a sublimation printer. A sublimation printer is very costly, so it is better if you purchase a regular printer and use it as a sublimation printer.

However, you must be very careful while buying a printer because not every printer has the tendency to be converted into a sublimation printer. Besides, the most important thing that you must remember while buying a printer for sublimation is that it must use Piezo print technology.


Can I sublimate with an HP printer?

HP creates some of the most wonderful printers that can be used for sublimation purposes. They have excellent compatibility with the sublimation ink as well as the UK ink. However, they are ridiculously expensive and not as readily available as other simple printers. But the price is totally worth the quality of the output and you are guaranteed to have the best experience using those printers.

Can an HP Officejet be used for sublimation?

Not many HP printers have the capability to be converted to sublimation printers mainly because they use thermal inkjet technology that does not go very well with the sublimation ink. However, you can use iron-on HP printers to print images and text on clothes and bags. So, you can use the HP Officejet printer for sublimation, but it is expensive.

How do I make my HP printer a sublimation printer?

You can easily convert your HP inkjet printer to sublimation. All you have to do is fill the ink cartridges with sublimation ink rather than the ink that accompanies the printer. Next, you have to change the setting to sublimation printing. Once you are done with the settings, proceed to print the image on regular paper. Then iron the fabric you wish to put sublimation print on. Put the printed page upside down on the material where you want the pattern, and heat press the whole thing for sixty seconds.

Can you make any printer a sublimation printer?

In order to be converted into a sublimation printer, your existing printer should have ink tanks rather than ink cartridges so that you can easily put sublimation ink into the ink tanks. Otherwise, good luck with finding the sublimation ink cartridges that fit your printer! Moreover, your printer should be brand new and unused before filling the tanks with the sublimation ink because the impure ink will not give you the desired results.

Do I need special ink for sublimation?

Yes, you do need special ink for sublimation. The reason is, sublimation is more or less of a dyeing process, and the ink dye is supposed to have bonding properties compatible with the cloth fabrics. So that when the ink falls on the fabric, it sticks to it. These inks are water-resistant as well as wear-resistant, which means that you can wash these clothes as many times as you want and still not have the dye fade away.