Converting a printer to sublimation

for those of you who’ve done it, any advice before i pick something? someone gave me a used Epson Stylus Photo 1400. started it up tonight, ran a nozzle test, a few cleaning cycles, and have clean heads. a single decent print on good copy paper.

looking at doing at CIS setup. something like this.

watched an installation video on youtube, seems pretty straightforward.

then i just need to find a heat press. and a place to set this printer and the heat press up.


No advice. I just converted a cheap Ecotank and that basically involved just filling the tanks of a new printer. But, that’s a heck of a nice gift :slight_smile:

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yeah, it was appreciated. a coworker’s mother passed away and he was cleaning out all of her older stuff. he had no idea what kind of condition it was in and no interest in testing it. he basically said, “i’m just going to toss it if nobody wants it.” and it’s large format, so 13x19, 6 color.


I heard this company is good:

I use InkOwl cartridges and ink. The main thing I was looking for was customer service. InkOwl has great customer service and made a custom print profile for me when the ink was printing too saturated based on the actual image. They walked me through the set-up too, which wasn’t as straight forward because I don’t use a software that they already had a profile created for.

@JimmyWayneWestie bought the cricut easy press and has had good results on wood with it. From what she says, it takes up much less space than a heatpress. My heat press is only a 12x15inch bed and requires 22x24 inches of surface space to use-it’s one of those swing away ones. So it actually takes up half of the 48" wide table I’m using.


I’ve got an Epson C88+ and an Epson WF-7210, both converted to sublimation printers. I use refillable individual cartridges instead of a CIS tank. Also, I’ve tried the more expensive sublimation inks, Cobra, InkOwl, etc. But I have better results using Printers Jack sublimation ink. The colors are fantastic and the price is much more reasonable. Get a Tusy 15x15 heat press and you’re good to go.


The half inflated latex gloves really sell the product :slight_smile:

“Ok boys, now I’m seeing a pair of latex gloves ya see, but they are half inflated ya see, and kinda waving at you, ya see. They’ll eat it up I’m tellin’ ya!”

1920’s me thinks I need dye sublimation in my life.


I wonder if I could use a panini press. Or visa versa.

Not sure…they have grill marks? Every panini I’ve ever eaten has grill marks on the flat bread…would make for an interesting pattern on a shirt… I heard people have success with toaster ovens and silicone wraps…but I don’t have a toaster oven, and no space to dedicate one just for sublimation.


some panini makers also have a flat side, but they also have lips on those flat sides, so i’m not sure how that would work.

@CMadok gave me the best advice regarding sublimation printing. She held my hand as I walked into another hobby. I converted the Epson Ecotank 2760 printer and purchased the Cricut Easy Press heat press. I love this configuration!!!

One valuable tip I learned and is absolutely necessary ——-download the Epson printer app to your phone, tablet, etc. to finish setting up your printer!!!

YouTube has many GREAT videos dedicated to converting a Epson Ecotank printer to a sublimation printer.

The Epson printer will come with their bottles of printer ink. You definitely want to keep the bottles because they are necessary. You will not be keeping or using their ink .

So remove and discard the regular printer ink from the Epson bottles and wash the bottles thoroughly to remove all the ink. I used a hair dryer to finish drying the inside of the plastic bottles.

You will replace the discarded printer ink with the sublimation ink. It takes a specific type of bottle to put ink into the Epson Eco-tank printer and that is why you are removing the regular printer ink and keeping the bottle.

I purchased all my supplies from Amazon.


Congrats on the machine! When I was researching printers I read that once you have a standard cartridge printer converted, you don’t want to let the firmware update. I ended up going with an ecotank where there’s no aftermarket stuff for Epson to detect and it most likely doesn’t matter with a used machine, but thought I’d mention it just in case.

I also use Printer Jack ink, but there are lot of good ones out there. (Cosmo’s Ink is another good one.)

I prefer a swing away press and I went with this one. All the cheap presses are a total crap shoot and there’s a huge price gap between the super cheap (might work, might not), and the good presses, but Tusy seems to be a pretty decent one in the cheap category.

And here’s a handy little chart I use as a starting point for temps etc.


i watched one install video where someone had installed a CIS system that had a nice button to fake reset the cartridge to be “full” again. but it’s an old video and the system he installed isn’t available any more.

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Yeah, I didn’t see a good CIS system I liked and the whole cartridge thing seemed like an expensive PIA, which is why I went with an ecotank. But I would have loved a free one if it fell into my lap. :stuck_out_tongue:

exactly. if i bought a machine, i’d buy ecotank, only makes sense. but adding a CIS is $50-100, so that would be my total cost (well that and a heat press).

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I went with a new ecotank machine myself. I had a larger ecotank at home for regular printing but figured cleaning out those tanks would be a chore so I just went with a smaller ecotank for subbing. They are SO easy because the ink bottles can be easily filled and then used to fill the tanks. If you wind up upgrading to a larger printer later, look into the wide format ecotanks.


honestly, i wouldn’t even be messing with this if someone hadn’t given me a workable inkjet. and larger format would be 'uge! this is a 13x19. :slight_smile: i’m already struggling with where i can put this and a heat press. space has me leaning toward the idea of the cricut instead of a probably much more functional swing arm press. i can store the cricut under my work table more easily. i’ll probably regret it at some point, but i doubt i’ll do a ton of sublimation, so i can live with some regret.

I had a cheap chinese heat press… fuse popped first time I tried messing with sublimation (I had it for vinyl before) and never worked again. Went with the larger cricut press myself. It works well.

I have an epson 1400, and I’m about to convert it over from inkjet to sublimation as well. I’ve been using a ciss on it for years already, and it’s been great. I got the ciss off of ebay. No problems at all. For the sublimation, I just purchased sub ink and refillable cartridges, instead of another ciss, off of etsy. I haven’t cleaned and converted it yet. But this printer has been awesome. If you do a search for it, you’ll see how much money they still are…I think more than original retail price.
If you have any questions I can help as best as I can :slight_smile:

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thanks! yeah, i saw that they’re available for stupid prices comparatively to what they originally cost. i wasn’t sure if that was just craziness (esp on amazon) or legit.

i did manage to get one test print out of it after cleaning the heads on reasonably decent copy paper and it looked nice. but it’s pretty much running on empty now.

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