With the increasing cost of sublimation printers, it seems appropriate to use a printer that you already have used as a regular printer. I used my HP printer for that purpose, but not all HP printers can be used as sublimation printers.
If you have an HP printer that uses thermal heat to print ink, then, unfortunately, it can not be converted into a sublimation printer. Make sure you have a Piezo technology HP printer with high print resolutions, and the rest is easy!
To convert your HP printer into a sublimation printer, you need sublimation ink, sublimation paper, a heat press, and an HP printer. Follow this guide to have high-quality, clean, and long-lasting sublimation prints. It’s quite simple and easy; even beginners can do it, so let’s get started.
Things required to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer
As we said above, you will need an HP printer, sublimation papers, a heat press, and sublimation ink. But if you are using an already used HP printer, you need a sublimation print head as well.
- HP printer: I recommend using a brand new HP printer but you can convert a used HP printer as well. If it’s not a brand-new HP printer, clean the ink cartridges thoroughly. A drop of regular ink mixed with sublimation ink will ruin the entire print. So be careful, or just use a new, unused printer.
- Sublimation ink and paper: Just get HP sublimation ink and any type of sublimation or heat transfer paper. Some Ink cartridges that contain sublimation ink are compatible with HP printers, but you may have trouble finding them. You have to check the labels to see if the paper and ink are compatible before buying.
- Heat press: Get a heat press that will be useful according to the size of the prints you are making. For example, get a mug heat press if you are doing sublimation printing on mugs. And for plain printing on shirts, a simple heat press will be enough.
After assembling the needed items according to your requirements, get ready to do the printing.
Related: HP Printer That Uses 61 Ink
How to Convert HP Printer to Sublimation Printer (step-by-step guide)
People who are using a new HP printer can follow the guide from step number three. However, for people who are converting an already-used HP printer then, the first step is to clean the ink tank or cartridge.
1. Cleaning the ink tank or cartridge:
- Go to your printer software and go to the maintenance tab.
- Select the Auto Nozzle Check and Cleaning button and follow the instructions.
- Your printer’s “on” light will flash, which indicates that it’s getting cleaned.
- Once the cleaning cycle is done, get the sublimation print head.
2. Changing the print head:
- Open the printer’s door, which will show its print head.
- Usually, it is placed close to the cartridges. This needs to be taken out and placed in the exact same spot as your ink cartridges.
- Now that your printer is completely blank, you can begin installing your new printer head.
- Get a sublimation print head from a trusted place, and it’s set to print.
3. Filling the sublimation ink:
- Fill the newly cleaned tanks or cartridges with the sublimation ink.
- Turn the printer on.
4. Design the image you want:
- Go to any type of designing apps like adobe photoshop or canva.
- Design the art you want, or just select the desired picture.
- Set the orientation or temple according to the size of the print and the size of the printing object.
- There are many shirt templates on online sublimation software so choose from them if you are a beginner.
- Place the sublimation paper (heat transfer paper) in the printer.
- Click the design you want and adjust it to the size you need. Select the highest resolution option.
- Print it using a mobile or computer as you would do in regular printing.
- You will have a printed design. Cut out the access parts of the printer design and let it dry.
6. Prepping the fabric or mug:
- Iron the fabric of the T-shirt you are transferring the design. The design will look crooked or unappealing in the case of creasy lines.
- Or dry the mug and make sure that it’s squeaky clean.
7. Heat press:
- Place the shirt or mug on the heat press.
- For mugs, tape the printed design paper in place and put it in the mug heat press. Apply heat for a few minutes, and the design will be printed. Let it dry, and it’s done!
- Put the shirt on the heat press and the sublimation print facing the shirt. Tape it in place if necessary.
- Put the head of the heat press down and let it do its work for two to three minutes.
- Finally, you have your permanent sublimation print on the shirt or mug!
You can start a graphic printed shirt business or mug print business right at home with your HP printer. Beginners can start off by using an already existing printer which is cost-friendly. After profits, you can upgrade the printer to an actual sublimation printer.
All in all, you should be able to transform your HP printer into a sublimation device using the information that we provided based on our experience.
Although it may appear difficult, all that is required are a few supplies and a working understanding of printers! We hope you found this useful in getting an idea of how to convert a HP printer to a sublimation printer.
Let us know your experiences in the comment section and even post the pictures of your prints that you made on an HP printer.
Can I sublimate with HP printers?
Sublimation ink requires micro piezo printheads as it is not compatible with thermal printers. You can only use Piezo ones for sublimation printing.
Is it possible to do sublimation printing by using an inkjet printer?
Sublimation printing cannot be done with inkjet printers equipped with thermal printing heads. Unless the printer head is changed.
How to convert any type of printer into a sublimation printer?
If you wish to convert your standard printer to a sublimation printer, there are two things to consider. Make sure it’s brand new and has compatible sublimation ink. It cannot be transformed into a sublimation printer if it is not brand-new and uses thermal energy.