Print Like a Pro! Best Epson Sublimation Printer Guide

When it comes to printing ever-lasting designs, sublimation printing is the preferred method. There is no fading of the ink designs after a few wash cycles and the clothing/objects will maintain their customized appearance even after repeated washing. In spite of this, when I began my journey in this craft, I was shocked by the high cost of printers that were capable of performing this function. 

In spite of this, I learned that existing printers from Epson can easily be converted into sublimation printers. However, why are only Epson printers supported? They are suited for sublimation printing since they use Micro Piezo printing heads. 

I recommend converting an Epson inkjet printer into a sublimation printer if you are interested in printing customized sublimation designs on clothing, coffee mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, or other objects. However, which one should be selected for your sublimation transfers?

epson sublimation printer converted

What to Look for When Choosing an Epson Sublimation Printer

It is important to consider several factors when choosing Epson sublimation printers. They include the following:

It is important to take into account the print size you require. The Epson sublimation printers can be used for printing on larger formats, such as 13×19 inches, while others are more compact and can only print on smaller formats.

Quality of Print

There is no doubt that sublimation print quality plays an important role in the decision-making process. In general, Epson sublimation printers are known for their high-quality prints, but their resolution and color accuracy can vary from model to model.


The ease of use of the printer is also an important consideration. A printer’s overall design, including the interface, software, and overall functionality, is included in this category.

The Cost

As a final consideration, the cost should always be taken into account. The price of Epson sublimation printers can vary widely, so it is crucial that you find one that meets your requirements while remaining within your budget.

Epson Inkjet Printers That You Can Convert and Use For Sublimation

There are several off-the-shelf Epson sublimation printers available in the SureColor series, but these are not appropriate for someone who is just beginning. My recommendation would be to purchase a brand new (not used) Epson EcoTank, Workforce, or Expression series printer and to tweak or convert it so that it is capable of printing sublimation images.

Epson Printer EcoTank Models

As a result of the separate ink tank module that replaces regular cartridges, Epson EcoTank provides the simplest method of converting printers.

Therefore, you do not need to take out ink cartridges and use syringes to fill in the sublimation ink carefully. Using an ink bottle with a specialized nozzle (Hiipoo and a few other brands make these) and filling the replacement ink color is all that is required. In addition, EcoTank significantly reduces the amount of ink spillage and wastage.

The majority of EcoTank printer models are compatible with 8.5 x 14-inch paper. Despite the good quality, there are limited options for wide-format printing. 

Among the currently available printers, the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is the least expensive. It is priced at $279. There is a 100-page tray capacity, wireless printing capabilities, and a small 1.44-inch LED display. It performs all the essential functions including printing, copying, and scanning. 

In order to compensate for the price difference, the EPOSN offers some extra features (although not very useful ones) such as Ethernet, fax, automatic feeding, etc.

In addition, we do not recommend bothering with the warranty aspect because sublimation ink will void it. The ink from the Hiippo brand costs $24 for a standard four-color kit, but you will require syringes to fill it. There is a proprietary nozzle-head kit available for $37, but it is easy to refill EcoTank ink.

1. Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 SuperTank Printer

Instead of regular ink cartridges, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 SuperTank Printer uses bottle inks that can be easily changed for sublimation inks when necessary. It is claimed by Epson that the ET8550 provides lab-quality prints, and it certainly has the technology to back it up: Epson’s high-accuracy printhead and Claria ET Premium 6-color inks can print a 4 x 6-inch photo in as little as 15 seconds, at a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dots per inch.

The device supports a wide range of media types, including borderless photos up to 13 inches by 19 inches. As a result, it is capable of handling special media such as sublimation papers extremely well. It is possible to connect to the printer via a wireless connection using your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It is also possible to set up, monitor, and operate the printer through the Epson Smart Panel app on these devices. 

Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550

Summary of Findings

In terms of print quality, the brand new Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 SuperTank Printer is one of the best Epson printers for sublimation. There is no doubt that it has the highest resolution of all the printers on this list, and it produces the results you would expect – crisp, bright, professional-looking prints. This machine is well worth the investment if you intend to do a lot of sublimation printing or if you wish to use your prints for professional purposes.
  • High resolution for stunning prints
  • A range of paper sizes can be handled
  • A wireless connection is available
  • Bottle inks, not cartridge
  • Expensive

2. Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16650 SuperTank Printer

This Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16650 SuperTank Printer uses Epson DURABrite ink bottles, making sublimation printing extremely simple. Simply replace the included ink bottles with new ones, and you will be ready to print. Using EcoTank’s trademark PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology, this printer achieves lightning-fast speeds of 25 ISO pages per minute, in black and white or in color. 

There are a variety of paper formats available, including wide format prints up to 13 inches by 19 inches and borderless prints up to 11 inches by 17 inches. They are also instant-dry, so you will not have to worry about smudging if you print a large number of pages at the same time. Last but not least, this printer provides a capacity of 500 sheets of paper and includes an automatic document feeder (ADF), which ensures the smooth operation of the printing process. There is a wireless connection available, and you can even print using voice commands if you wish. 

Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16650

Summary of Findings

EcoTank printers from Epson are among the most popular super tank printers in the world and for good reason. This Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16650 SuperTank Printer provides a large-volume printing capability, enabling you to print larger quantities of sublimation papers. You should consider this machine if you intend to earn money from your prints; however, you should be sure that your printing business will make the necessary returns. It is the most expensive of the Epson EcoTank printers. 
  • Large paper capacity and formats
  • High-speed printing 
  • Connection via wireless
  • Bottle inks, not cartridge
  • It’s expensive
  • Construction is big and bulky

3. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Colour SuperTank Printer

Fast, affordable, and easy to use, the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Colour SuperTank Printer is a great choice. It is a multifunctional device that can scan, print, and copy. One of the most innovative features of this printer is that it is cartridge-free; instead, it utilizes Epson’s exclusive EcoFit ink bottles. Regular inkjet ink bottles can be easily switched for sublimation bottles, which replace 90 conventional cartridges.

It is possible to produce sharp text, impressive colors, and clear graphics even on sublimation paper using Micro Piezo Heat-Free technology. In addition to WiFi, hands-free voice activation printing, and the Epson Smart Panel smartphone app, there are several connectivity options. Its main disadvantage is the slow printing speed of approximately 5 pages per minute.

Epson EcoTank ET 2720

Summary of Findings

In terms of sublimation printing, the Epson EcoTank printer ET-2720 Wireless Colour SuperTank Printer is our favorite Epson device. Despite the fact that it prints slowly, bottle technology is invaluable as it drastically simplifies the conversion process to a dedicated sublimation printer. There is a remarkable difference in print quality, even after the prints are transferred to the new material. Additionally, this Epson printer is one of the easiest to use, the easiest to set up, and provides excellent value for money.
  • Easy to convert
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Make your prints look good with high resolution
  • Printing is slow

Epson Printers WorkForce Models

Two variants of Epson WorkForce printers are available – one with regular cartridges and the other with Supertank cartridges. A similar design and capability of refilling are provided by the latter printer in comparison with the Epson EcoTank printers.

There is, however, a considerable price difference between a standard Workforce printer and a Workforce Supertank printer. For this reason, if you are OK with using syringes to fill the ink cartridges, a standard Workforce model will suffice.

There is a wide format printing option available on the Workforce printers, which measures 13 x 19 inches. Using Workforce Supertank ink, you can create a powerful sublimation printer featuring easy ink replacement and wireless connectivity. 

Despite its starting price of $359, the WorkForce ST-C2100 offers only a 5 PPM output and does not offer any significant advantages over the EcoTank T-2800. As far as the external ink tanks are concerned, the only difference is the support for a wide range of paper sizes.

On the other hand, if you are looking for higher PPM output, enhanced connectivity features, and more, the Epson WorkForce WF-7720 is an excellent choice. Featuring a 500-page load capacity and 10 pages per minute output, this printer is everything you could ask for in a Workforce printer. Furthermore, it is the preferred sublimation solution among many enthusiasts. 

If you choose the Workforce printer that uses ink cartridges, you will have no choice but to use syringes. In addition, they have individual cartridges for each color, which are very difficult to refill.

It is possible for air bubbles to enter the cartridge and cause it to choke up. Considering all of the above, it is very difficult to recommend a standard Epson Workforce printer.

Choosing a cheap printer, such as the WorkForce WF-2930, which retails for just $159, would be the best option if you are unable to afford an EcoTank model.

1. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4730 Wireless All-in-One Printer

Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-4730 Wireless All-in-One Printer delivers high-quality printing at an affordable price. Using PrecisionCore technology, this printer uses 4x DURABrite Ultra Ink cartridges to produce a maximum print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi). The fact that it uses cartridges makes it difficult to convert to sublimation, but it works well once it has been set up.

In addition to being very fast, the Epson WF-4730 is also very efficient. It prints black and color at a speed of 20 pages per minute, which is sufficient to print over 1000 pages per hour. There are two trays with a capacity of 500 sheets, along with a 35-page Auto Document Feeder, so you will have to replace paper less frequently. Additionally, an automatic document feeder (ADF) with 35 pages enhances productivity. Furthermore, it prints in a reasonably wide format: it is capable of printing up to 13 inches in width. 

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4730

Summary of Findings

This Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4730 Wireless All-in-One Printer is the fastest Epson sublimation printer on the market. Despite the low price, it does not compromise performance; it prints in high quality, and can even handle wide format papers. Although it is a cartridge printer, it is more difficult to convert to a sublimation printer. It is necessary to refill the cartridges with sublimation ink, but this is a very straightforward process if you are willing to put in the time and effort.
  • Good quality with high resolution
  • Fast paper handling and great speed
  • Low price, great value
  • You can connect wirelessly
  • No bottles, just cartridges

2. Epson WorkForce ST-C2100 Supertank Color MFP

With the WorkForce ST-C2100, you can print, scan, and use it as a standalone copier. With a size of 10.2 by 14.8 by 22.3 inches, the 11.9-pound all-in-one can easily sit on a desk within easy reach for refilling paper-which you’ll do frequently due to the single 100-sheet paper tray.

Copies and scans rely on manual paper handling more than printing. Due to the absence of an automatic document feeder (ADF), you must place pages one by one on the flatbed. Auto-duplexing on Epson printers allows the user to print double-sided documents, as well as convert single-sided originals into double-sided copies.

Depending on your preferences, you may connect the printer via Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, or USB cable. It was easy to set up the Epson printer from the Epson website; the printer’s installer handles all the necessary tasks for you, including downloading and installing printer drivers, as well as utilities to assist with scanning and editing photos.

Epson’s website claims that the ink supplied with the ST-C2100 will last for two years or 3,600 pages. There is no additional cost for ink until you exhaust the supply that comes with the printer.

Epson WorkForce ST-C2100

Summary of Findings

In terms of speed, paper handling, output quality, and features, it’s easy to find alternatives at a lower price, but its ultra-low cost per page could make it an attractive purchase if you print a lot of pages.
  • The cost per page is low
  • Duplex printing
  • Prints from and scans to mobile devices
  • The price is steep compared to cartridge-based inkjets
  • There’s no automatic document feeder

3. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7820 Wireless Wide-Format All-in-One Printer

For small to midsize offices, the WorkForce Pro WF-7820 is a wide-format inkjet printer with multifunction capabilities (print, copy, scan, and fax). With this device, you can print up to 13 by 19 inches (super tabloid) and copy, scan, and fax two-sided originals of 11 by 17 inches (tabloid).

Additionally, the WF-7820 does not provide bulk ink or an ink subscription program, so its per-page costs are high enough that it is unlikely to be used for anything more than about 300 pages per month. The numbers don’t add up here, since this is a fine wide-format machine that is capable of relatively high output volumes.

WF-7820 measures 18 by 20.3 by 38.4 inches (WDH) and weighs 39.9 pounds, about 2 inches shorter, and about 5 pounds lighter than WF-7840. Differences between the two printers are primarily due to the latter’s second 250-sheet paper cassette and rear 50-sheet multipurpose tray. Only a single cassette of 250 sheets is available in the WF-7820, which is less than half the capacity of the WF-7840.

The Epson WF-7820 produces 25 monochrome pages per minute (ppm), which is acceptable for an entry-level business-oriented AIO but not outstanding.

Epson Workforce Pro WF-7820

Summary of Findings

Despite the fact that the WorkForce Pro WF-7820 prints 13 x 19 inches (super tabloid) pages and copies, scans, and faxes 11 x 17 inch (tabloid) originals, much more capable and larger wide-format printers are available for just a few dollars more than the WorkForce Pro WF-7820.
  • It is a relatively fast
  • Prints up to 13 x 19 inches
  • Scans and copies of two-sided 11-by-17-inch originals
  • Mobile device support
  • A USB drive is supported
  • Paper capacity is low
  • High cost per page

A Comparison of EPSON Workforce and Ecotank for Sublimation

To convert to sublimation, you have the option of selecting either the Epson WorkForce or EcoTank printers. Among the main differences between the Epson WorkForce and EcoTank is the type of ink cartridge that is needed.

A sublimation ink cartridge must be inserted into the WorkForce printer whereas an EcoTank printer contains an ink tank that is filled with sublimation ink.

Due to the requirement for ink cartridges, there may be cartridge chip errors with WorkForce printers. As the Epson EcoTanks require only ink refills in their built-in tanks, it is the easiest Epson printer to convert to sublimation. 

Here is a List Of More Epson Printers that Can be Converted For Sublimation

Now that you have an idea of which Ecotank or Workforce model to select, you may wish to make a selection. Aside from being more user-friendly, eco tanks are easier to use since only tanks need to be refilled with autofill bottles made by different manufacturers, whereas workforce models need to be purchased separately as empty cartridges need to be inserted with syringes to insert sublimation ink.

  • Epson EcoTank ET-2800 (8.5 x 14 inches)
  • Epson EcoTank ET-2850 (8.5 x 14 inches)
  • Epson EcoTank ET-4800 (8.5 x 14 inches)
  • Epson EcoTank ET-4850 (8.5 x 14 inches)
  • Epson EcoTank ET-15000 (13 x 19 inches)
  • Epson EcoTank ET-16600 (13 x 19 inches)
  • Epson WorkForce WF-2850 (8.5 x 14 inches)
  • Epson WorkForce WF-2960 (8.5 x 14 inches)
  • Epson WorkForce WF-7710 (13 x 19 inches)
  • Epson WorkForce WF-7720 (13 x 19 inches)

Here are Some Important Points to Keep in Mind

  • A printer conversion cannot be reversed. You are unable to return to regular printing after using sublimation ink with an inkjet printer.
  • In order to complete this craft, additional materials are required. Among the items included are sublimation paper, a heat press, and sublimation ink.
  • With a converted printer, it can be challenging to establish color profiles. A fine adjustment must be made in order to achieve an accurate color output on the fabric.
  • When it comes to clothing, polyester should be your go-to fabric.

Final Thoughts

Printers such as Epson EcoTank and Workforce offer the same level of print quality and provide easy conversion options. As far as cost-effectiveness is concerned, the EcoTank would be my best choice. Only if you are planning to print large sizes and are willing to deal with the process of filling syringes with ink would I suggest converting to the Workforce series printer. 

Enis Sh
Enis Sh

As an innovative IT Tech entrepreneur I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Stay ahead of the curve with up-to-the-minute tech news and reviews, while diving into the realm of computer hardware geekery.

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