Discover the Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners!

You will have a difficult time printing your artwork and obtaining the effects that you desire through sublimation printing. When you are shopping for a printer, it can be difficult to determine what characteristics you are looking for. Sublimation printers are available from a variety of manufacturers on the market, and they come with a variety of features and prices. It can be challenging for a beginner to determine what dye-sublimation printer to purchase, and making the wrong choice can have lasting consequences.

It would be ideal if a sublimation printer for beginners could be used to accomplish this task. As a beginner in this field, you should have some prior knowledge of the best sublimation printer, which is why I am here to help. In this post, I have compared the best sublimation printers for beginners at a low price based on my extensive research. For those who are just starting with sublimation printing, all of the top sublimation printers used in this article are suitable. It is time to begin the search for the best sublimation printer for beginners.

How Does Sublimation Printing Work?

First, let us discuss what sublimation printing is before looking at the best sublimation printer for beginners. A sublimation printing technique involves the use of heat and pressure to transfer ink to a material, such as fabric or metal.

As a result of this process, the ink becomes a gas, which permeates the surface of the material and becomes embedded within the fibers. With this method, the image is durable, high-quality, and will not peel, crack, or fade with time.

You should know exactly what is needed to complete the sublimation process before reading the reviews of the best sublimation printers.

Here’s how sublimation printing works:

  1. Add sublimation ink to your printer – it’s easier with an ink tank printer than a cartridge printer.
  2. Make a design or edit a photo to fit a blank sublimation template.
  3. Take this design and print it on special sublimation paper.
  4. You’ll need a heat press to transfer the ink from the sublimation paper to the blank, like a mug or t-shirt.

It’s important to have a printer, but it won’t do it all on its own – you’ll also need a heat press.
It’s important to note that the final product that you transfer the ink to must be coated for sublimation, or in the case of fabric, it should be mostly polyester.

Ideally, it should have no more than 30% cotton in a cotton/polyester blend, as a higher cotton percentage results in duller colors.

Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners

Key Features of the Best Sublimation Printers for Beginners

Choosing the best beginner sublimation printer requires keeping several factors in mind. I have used the following criteria to separate the reviewed printers, and I encourage you to use them in your research:

  • Can the printer be converted to sublimation easily?
  • What is the maximum size of the print?
  • How easy is it to use the printer?
  • What is the accuracy of the printer’s color?
  • Does it provide value for money?

Reviews of the Best Dye Sublimation Printers

A sublimation print can provide high-quality, customized prints that are both versatile and cost-effective. With the use of sublimation printers, vivid, full-color images can be printed on a variety of surfaces, including fabrics, ceramics, and metals. It is also important to note that prints produced by sublimation printers are long-lasting and resistant to fading, making them an ideal choice for creating custom apparel, gifts, and promotional items.

1. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

The Sawgrass SG500 is by far the best Sawgrass sublimation printer for beginners who want to get started printing as soon as they open the box. It is the only printer in this article specifically designed for sublimation printing, so you will not void your two-year printer warranty, and it is equipped with exceptionally high-quality sublimation ink.

A free one-on-one onboarding and setup call ensures that you will not face any difficulties in setting up the Sawgrass SG500, and you also receive a premium membership to our Creative Studio software, which makes it much easier to create designs for sublimation than using an ordinary design program, since it includes thousands of templates.

Sawgrass SG500

The reason why professionals choose Sawgrass sublimation printers is not simply that they are easier to set up than Epson models, and they produce the highest quality prints.

Beginners will be only adversely affected by the ink price, which is significantly higher than that of Epson’s budget inks, but with a set included with the printer, the bundle becomes even more attractive.

  • High-quality printing
  • Designed for sublimation printing
  • Free setup and onboarding call
  • A full set of sublimation templates is included in the Creative Studio software
  • Lifetime technical support and a two-year warranty
  • Expensive ink
  • To get the most out of this printer, you will need to use the included Creative Studio software

2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720

There is no doubt that the Epson EcoTank ET-27XX series printers are among the best and cheapest sublimation printer. Due to the lack of some of the features of the more expensive models, which are not used for sublimation printing, ET-2720 is usually the cheapest model, as it has the same excellent print quality as ET-2750 and ET-2760.

Sublimation ink is easily inserted into the ink tanks (no more complicated than Epson ink) and the printer has a very low upfront price and per-page cost.

Epson EcoTank ET 2720

As long as you get sublimation ink alongside the Epson ET-2720, you can start printing right away, and there are no significant negatives as a starter to buy sublimation ink and a printer. However, you should note that the print quality will not be as high as with Sawgrass printers.

  • Sublimation ink is very easy to add
  • It is very affordable
  • The same print quality as more expensive EcoTanks
  • The scanner is integrated
  • Paper jams can be difficult to reach
  • No memory card slot and a small non-touch screen

3. Epson EcoTank ET-2750

Providing similar print quality to the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 and ET-2760, the Epson EcoTank ET-2750 is a good choice if you can find it at a lower price than either of the other two.

Considering that there is little difference between these models when it comes to sublimation printing quality, it is always worth checking the price of this model, especially if the ET-2720 is out of stock.

Epson EcoTank ET 2750
  • Sublimation ink can be added very easily
  • An affordable price
  • Small, compact, and easy to use – ideal for home use
  • The scanner is integrated
  • Slot for memory cards
  • Paper jams can be difficult to reach
  • A non-touchscreen of a small size

4. Epson EcoTank ET-2760

The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is the most fully featured of the ET-27XX series, featuring both a memory card slot and automatic two-sided printing capabilities. Since neither of these printers can be used for sublimation printing, this printer should only be considered if it is available at a lower price than either of the other two options.

Due to the four-ink system, it produces the same fantastic quality print and is just as easy for beginners to fill with sublimation ink. In addition, it does not take up much space and is easy to use.

Epson EcoTank ET-2760
  • Sublimation ink is very easy to add
  • Relatively low cost
  • The device is small, compact, and easy to use
  • The scanner is integrated
  • An automatic two-sided printing feature and a memory card slot
  • Paper jams can be difficult to reach
  • Small non-touch screen

5. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7820

There is no doubt that Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7820 is a much superior printer to the ET-27XX series, however, there is one important difference – it uses cartridges rather than ink tanks.

Therefore, you will have to use replacement cartridges, which you will need to fill with a syringe and more than likely transfer the chip from the original cartridge to the replacement refillable cartridges. You should be aware of the extra steps involved in sublimation printing with this Epson printer, even if you are just a beginner.

It is possible to convert the WF-7820 for an Epson sublimation printer, however, so you get the same great print quality that the ET-2720 offers, thanks to the same four-ink process, but you can also produce massive 13-inch wide prints, which is quite impressive considering that it is also one of the cheapest Epson sublimation printers.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7820

A wide-format sublimation printer such as the WF-7820 is recommended if you will regularly print t-shirts or other large objects.

Furthermore, you will enjoy the convenience of a large touchscreen and an integrated scanner with auto-feeding that will simplify printing.

I believe that the Epson WF-7820 is the best printer for the money and a starter sublimation printer if you can accept the downside of using cartridges.

  • Excellent value for the money and very cheap
  • It is possible to print very large sizes with a maximum width of 13 inches
  • Sublimation print quality is excellent
  • Integrated scanner
  • A large touchscreen is available
  • You have to convert it to sublimation by using cartridges instead of ink tanks

6. Epson EcoTank ET-7750

If you want a wide-format sublimation printer that uses a tank system but still wants the convenience of using a tank, the EcoTank ET-7750 is perfect for you. Compared to the smaller models, this one prints 11 inches wide, making it perfect for t-shirts.

The printer also comes with five inks, including an extra black photo ink, which gives prints more depth and is especially good for black and white.

In terms of ease of use, ease of conversion, wide format color printing, and excellent color depth, the ET-7750 is still a great wide format sublimation printer for beginners, despite its price.

Epson EcoTank ET-7750
  • Easy to add sublimation ink
  • You’ll get deeper prints with photo black ink
  • 11-inch width is good for sublimation printing on bigger stuff
  • Integrated scanner
  • This is a great value for money if you need a large format printer with good color reproduction
  • It’s pretty expensive
  • It’s only good if you print a lot, at least every few days

7. Epson WorkForce 7720

We recommend the Epson 7720, which accomplishes everything you need it to do at a price that most people will be able to afford. A large number of small businesses sell sublimated products with Epson 7720 sublimation printers and have no plans to upgrade because they are so excellent and can print up to 13 x 19 inches, which is extremely rare!

There are two paper trays in the Epson 7720, one for the sub-paper and the other for the standard copy paper. Since this WF-7720 is an office machine, it is capable of performing a wide range of tasks, including copying, scanning, faxing, and printing in color. It is possible to print on cardstock, glossy and matte papers using this inkjet sublimation printer.

A common feature of the Epson 7720 sublimation printer is its fast printing speed and high capacity. As the Epson printer has a holding capacity of 500, it is clear that it is a very good investment as it will reduce the amount of time spent on printing and waiting by almost half. A printout was produced within a blink of an eye!

Despite its maximum printing size of 13 x 19 inches, it is considered as one of the best sublimation printers that can continue to function with a few timely ink refills. The device provides a duplex printing facility that gradually regulates the second side of the paper path, which I greatly appreciate. Additionally, it is equipped with a touchscreen that is easy to use, and its paper tray is large enough to accommodate a large amount of paper.

Epson WorkForce WF-7720

The printer supports a variety of media types, including photo paper, plain paper, transparencies, cardboard, and postcards. As a result, you can print on a wide variety of media in addition to sublimation paper. You can see what type of media is currently being processed in the left corner of your screen. The auto document feeder allows you to feed multiple sheets at the same time.

The USP of this program is wireless printing, which makes it an attractive option for environments such as workplaces. With its Wi-Fi Direct and NFC capabilities, this printer does not require a network connection. In addition to being able to use it as a card reader, you will be able to exchange files and send messages via the NFC feature.

The printer is a beast (quite large), but it gets the job done without exhibiting any latency or paper-sticking problems associated with other printers. It is recommended that you purchase this printer since it prints wider and consumes less ink than the 2000 Eco Tank series. As a large-format printer, it provides excellent connectivity as well as a large print area. In addition to printing photographs, drawings, and decals without borders, it is also capable of printing artwork.

  • The LCD provides smooth navigation
  • Heat dissipation is very low
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Two-sided printing
  • Holds 500 sheets of paper at a time
  • All-rounder inkjet printer
  • Having difficulty setting up and printing through USB
  • Uses only Epson ink cartridges

8. Canon PIXMA iX6820

It is understandable to everyone that when we refer to Canon, we are referring to the best sublimation printer for small businesses. It is fair to say that the 6820 is a model of quality and reliability as a whole. I would like to discuss some of the remarkable features of this sublimation printer.

The Canon Pixma iX6820 is an excellent, reliable tool for printing everything from business cards to large portraits. Providing a small business and a household with this device is essential. By using thick paper, the device produces high-quality business cards and layouts.

There are 23 x 12.3 x 6.3 inches in the dimensions of this black inkjet, which makes it difficult to label it a portable device. There is a feeder (back paper), which is why wall space is required. Additionally, the front tray (paper tray) protrudes from the front of the printer, which requires thirteen inches of space on the front of the printer, but it is still a practical size.

In terms of color resolution, this printer offers approximately 9600 x 2400 dots per inch. In my experience, professional printers can normally print only at a resolution of 300 dots per inch. As a result, this printer is an excellent choice for professional users. In addition, it features a 600 x 600 resolution for black printing. The high-resolution image created by this device has a great deal of color depth, resulting in a realistic and flawless image.

Sublimation printing’s superior fine printing technology wowed me. Among its components is fine printing head technology, which is a comprehensive form of photolithography based on inkjet nozzle engineering. Moreover, I received five tanks for the filling of various inks. There is no doubt that these tanks perform admirably. There is also a motorized feeder that can handle 150 sheets. There’s wireless, Ethernet, and Hi-Speed USB connectivity.

Canon PIXMA iX6820

In order to ensure optimal performance, Canon offers a lot of different programs and software. There’s a program called My Image Garden that’s often used. It combines high-quality photo tools and offers many design features for printing accessories.

Despite what the product’s description says, it’s not an all-in-one printer. There’s no copying or scanning.” This means it can’t print at high speeds like other competitors, and it can’t do scanning, faxing, or copying. This is a great choice if you don’t need these features in your desktop printer, and just need a single-function printer for heavy printing.

As one of the best sublimation printers for small businesses, the Pixma iX6820 will help you grow your business.

  • A wireless connection eliminates cables
  • Results in 36 seconds with exceptional detail
  • A trusted partner for small businesses
  • Photolithographic product in its entirety
  • Ink tanks that are separate
  • Excellent compatibility
  • Does not copy or scan any documents
  • 150-sheet capacity single paper tray
  • There’s no duplexer

9. Brother HL L2320D

There is no doubt the Brother HL-L2300D monochrome printer is a dependable, fast, and efficient monochrome, the best starter sublimation printer for use in the home or office. Because of its simple profile and simple setup, I consider it to be the best affordable sublimation printer for home use. As the company kept the device simple but functional at a reasonable price, it is not one of the more expensive high-tech devices. Here’s what we know about this diva.

There’s a compact and squat layout to the Brother HL-L2300D, which is 30 cm deep and wide. Having the same profile as pricey Brother professional printers, this printer will enhance the aesthetics of your office. My opinion is that when it comes to equipment and tools, appearance isn’t a top priority. In spite of this, it may be a great deal for purchasers who are concerned about their appearance.

Although this printer is compact in size, it is not lacking in power, as it comes with a long list of specs that will satisfy all of your printing needs. This device comes equipped with an 8MB built-in RAM that stores your material until you are ready to print it. If you wish to load larger papers, the paper tray can be manually extended to accommodate 250 sheets. This printer offers a maximum print resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi, which is more than enough for business users who are not willing to compromise on print quality.

Consider the speed of the first sublimation inks and printer before investing your money. With the Brother HL-L2300D, we now have an unbeatable option by being able to print twenty-six pages in less than sixty seconds. This is an extremely prompt service that exceeds expectations.

It is important to consider “print quality.” Because of its excellent print quality, the Brother L2300D is one of the best sublimation printers for small businesses. It is reliable and desirable to print text, photos, font styles, graphics, and tones that are sharp and clear with no banding or fadedness.

Brother HL L2320D

As a result of observing its quality, ease of use, and quiet operation, I considered this model to be ideal for everyday printing. Comparatively, to other models, it emits a rather quiet churning noise without disrupting my pleasant working environment. Moreover, the printer has an energy-efficiency mode that is impressive, since it is capable of self-power-saving, which reduces electricity costs for printing operations.

As a result, the Brother L2300D is the best sublimation printer for beginners because it prints at an incredible speed and has a good high resolution. The UI is simple enough to be used even by novice users. Considering its low cost, it is fine that it is a monochromatic printer that uses only black ink and does not have any modern features. In addition to a large loading area, an extensible tray, and wired connectivity ports, the printer also features a large loading area, an extensible tray, and wired connectivity ports.

  • A user-friendly setup for beginners
  • Printing on both sides
  • A tray with a capacity of 250 sheets
  • An affordable and long-lasting printer
  • Workplace-friendly
  • Maintenance is expensive
  • Lacks wireless options
  • Thicker bottles take time to heat up

10. Epson ET-4700

I strongly recommend Epson EcoTank conversion printers after extensive research and testing. Based on my experiences with the Epson Eco-Tank ET-4700, I have concluded that it has extremely low running costs for a multifunction inkjet with a monthly output of 400 to 800 pages.

Featuring convenient filling tanks, the wireless ET-4700 is an all-purpose printer that can be used as a cartridge-free printer. This device is equipped with a 30-sheet ADF and is compatible with both wireless and wired networks. It is backed by a 2-year limited warranty. Additionally, replacement ink bottles are about 80% more economical than ink cartridges. The result is a reduction in waste.

As it measures 10 by 14 by 22 inches (HWD) and weighs only 11 pounds, the ET-4700 should fit easily on most desks. Even though the Epson is similar in size to competitors such as the Canon CNMIX6820 and Brother HL-L2320D, it is considerably lighter. In addition to a manual duplex feeder, it is equipped with an automatic duplex feeder as well. By doing so, the user will have to flip the originals themselves in order to scan the other side.

There are several general interfaces available on the ET-4700, including Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Ethernet, and a USB 2.0 connection for a single PC connection. Using Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer network, a portable device can be connected to the printer. It lets you scan and print without being on a network.

Epson EcoTank ET-4700

With the ET-4700, you can use Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or any other voice technology that supports IFTTT scripting to activate printing with your voice. During my test of this printer, I was able to print 10 monochrome pages per minute (ppm), which was in line with Epson’s claim.

Compared to the other models, only the version of Brother was half as fast, whereas the ET-4700 took approximately 28 seconds to print. Throughout all the models, the range of speed was within one to two seconds. For most sublimation printing applications at home and in small offices, I printed text samples that showed well-shaped and easily readable letters.

In most situations, the Epson EcoTank ET-4700 outperforms the Epson EcoTank ET-2720. It is not equipped with a sheetfed scanner or an Ethernet port. It is one of the best Epson sublimation printers for beginners, as it prints more pages before the ink tanks need to be replaced.

  • Portable and lightweight
  • The print quality is excellent
  • Low operating costs
  • Outstanding mobile connectivity options
  • Duplex printing is not automatic
  • Relatively slow, low-duty cycle

To Begin Sublimation, What Will You Need

It is much easier to get started with sublimation than it sounds! We have provided you with a step-by-step guide to getting you started with sublimation printing.

For a better understanding, please continue reading.

Sublimation Paper

In terms of sublimation paper, there are many types available. If you are interested in the A-SUB brand, I highly recommend checking it out!

Sublimation Ink

To transfer your chosen image to the appropriate material, you will need to use this special sublimation ink.

Sublimation Ink Printer

Inkjet printers can be upgraded to accommodate sublimation or a sublimation-specific printer can be purchased.

Heat Transfer

To ensure that your designs and transfers are suitable for the heat press you purchase, you should ensure that it meets the minimum size requirements. You must take note of this.

Software Design

Among the best design programs is CorelDRAW. As well as being powerful, it does not require a recurring subscription.

There is a need for something to design your transfers with! The most popular option is Photoshop, which contains a variety of materials to assist you in getting started.

It’s as simple as that! You may also need heat-resistant gloves, heat-resistant tape or glue, and kraft paper to protect your workspace. This is, however, only a bare minimum requirement for getting started. There is nothing complicated about it.

Many novice sublimation craftsmen are unsure of where to start when it comes to creating personalized art, such as coasters, earrings, hang tags, keychain tags, and cotton material.

The reason is there’s a lot of information out there. Choosing a printer for sublimation depends on many factors, including ink cost, set-up time, and print quality.

The Ease of Converting to Sublimation

It will be necessary to convert your printer to use sublimation ink unless you choose a specialist sublimation printer, such as the Sawgrass model.

Epson EcoTank printers are very easy to use, placing them within the realm of beginner printers. Their affordability and ease of use make them attractive, as well as their ability to display the level of ink.

You can add sublimation ink to these printers in the same way that you would add regular ink, but you must make sure that you purchase the sublimation ink kit in conjunction with the printer.

It is not recommended for beginners to use cartridge printers since they require more setup effort and may display inaccurate ink levels in the printer software, making it difficult to determine when the cartridge is about to run out.

Consider Maximum Print Size

When using one of the basic EcoTank printers, your maximum print width is 8.5 inches. As a starting point, this is appropriate for mugs, tote bags, and small designs on t-shirts.

For larger prints, or if you expect to do so within a short period of time, you might be better off using a wide-format sublimation printer, such as the Epson printers WorkForce series.

While they may be very inexpensive and have a large maximum print size, the printers are cartridge-based, so you should be confident of how they are going to work before making a purchase.

The price of a comparable EcoTank wide format printer is considerably higher than that of a comparable WorkForce printer of the same size.

The Ease of Using the Printer

The ideal beginner printer should not only be easy to configure but also easy to use, with a straightforward menu system and software that is easy to integrate with your computer.

In general, Epson printers have well-designed interfaces, so you should not encounter any difficulty using them.

Accuracy of Printer Colors

To ensure the quality of your prints, you must ensure that the colors are accurate and that they transfer well to your objects.

As a general rule, it is recommended to go for a printer with more inks, as a greater number of individual inks allows for finer color details, and therefore more accurate colors.

It should be noted that even at the cheapest end of the range, all of the printers in this article provide a good number of inks, but to make the most of this, you must have a monitor that is color accurate.

You may want to consider upgrading to an IPS monitor if you use a TN panel monitor (often found in budget brands). As a result, you will see accurate colors on your screen and have a greater chance of your prints being exactly as you expect them to be.

If you already own a decent monitor, ensure that you apply the correct ICC profile to it. As a result, your screen’s RGB colors are now more closely matched to your printer’s CYMK-style colors.

As far as the user interface is concerned, the Sawgrass models have larger, backlit displays and well-placed buttons.

It is possible to obtain ICC profiles from manufacturers or users on the Internet, or you can even create them yourself with some experimentation.

Accuracy of sublimation Printer Colors

Providing Value for Money

Any printer you buy should provide excellent value for money. You must consider the length of time you will use the printer, and the number of sublimation prints you anticipate making, rather than the up-front cost of the printer.

When you average the up-front costs over this time and these prints, you may find that your opinion of value for money for a printer changes positively or negatively.

4 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Sublimation Printer?

There are some basic things you should know about sublimation printers and sublimation printing. Here are some helpful takeaways you should be aware of before purchasing your next finest sublimation printer. Let’s take a look at them!

1. Dye Sublimation is a Low-Cost Option

Due to the variety of equipment required and the multiple steps involved in dye-sublimation printing, dye-sublimation printing has historically been quite expensive and somewhat frightening. Without taking into account the costs of a heat press, the printer alone may cost as much as $20,000.

The market has expanded to provide individuals with additional options, and equipment costs have decreased considerably as a result. A significant advancement in technology has made the sublimation process much easier as well as improved the quality of printing.

In dye sublimation printing, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Epson are among the best-known brands for adding sublimation ink, and they now offer printers for less than $10,000. Additionally, dye sublimation printing has the potential to generate a significant revenue stream; therefore, the investment will be well worth it. The Epson brand is particularly well known as the best sublimation printer for beginners.

2. A Wide Range of Products Can Be Printed

In addition to polyester, polyester resin-coated materials are also ideal substrates for dye sublimation printing. Since these printers are available in many shapes and sizes, you can print on many different items, including:

  • Dresses, scarves, and ties
  • Swimming suits
  • Handbags

3. Additional Equipment Will be Required

There are several steps involved in dye sublimation, but they can be achieved if the following items are available:

As mentioned above, the first factor is heat transfer.

The second type is a flatbed, which is the best option if you are transferring to solid objects. The machines are also suitable for printing designs on t-shirts that cover a large area.

Lastly, Calendar presses are designed for garments, decor, and soft signage and use oil or electricity to transfer heat. You can print a lot with calendar presses.

4. Can you Sublimate on 100% Cotton?

Sublimation works by bonding dye to polymers in the transfer substrate and transferring it to the fabric. Fabrics and materials made from polymers aren’t made from natural fibers.

Sublimation is not possible with cotton or wool, for example. As far as we are aware, there are no polymers with which the sublimation ink can form a bond.

Some new products claim to sublimate onto natural fibers. During the sublimation process, a thin layer of chemicals is applied to your cotton or wool to allow the transfers to adhere to it. The quality of these goods has not been tested by me, so I cannot comment on how well they perform.

Final Thoughts

When you are looking for your first sublimation fantastic printer, there may seem to be an overwhelming number of choices available to you. Your budget and the amount of work you are willing to put into the setup process are the deciding factors.

The Epson ET-2720 is the best option if you wish to start sublimation printing for the lowest price, although you will have to convert it, thus voiding your warranty.

If, however, you require the simplest guided setup process and the highest print quality, the Sawgrass sublimation printer SG500 is the ideal choice and costs not much more than Epson models. It is important to note, however, that Sawgrass ink is more expensive when looking at refills. Once you see the prints, however, you will understand why the cost is well worth it.

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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