FREE SHIPPING on printer ink cartridges & toner orders of $50+

Best sublimation printer for beginners

A sublimation printer is a type of printer that uses heat to transfer dye onto various materials like fabric, cards, paper, or plastic. Here's a more detailed explanation:

  • Printing Technology: Sublimation printers use a printing process where the ink is first printed onto a special paper. The ink used in these printers is a special dye-sublimation ink.
  • Heat Transfer Process: Once the image is printed on the paper, it's placed onto the desired surface (like a t-shirt, mug, or phone case). The combination of heat and pressure from a heat press machine causes the dye to convert into a gas without becoming a liquid (this process is known as sublimation).
  • Permanent Infusion: The gaseous dye permeates the surface material, and when it cools down, it returns to a solid state. This results in a high-quality, durable image that is integrated into the substrate rather than sitting on top of it. The end result is a permanent, full-color image that won't crack, peel, or wash away from the substrate.

Wondering where to find one and how to get started?  Based on our testing of multiple models, we've found the Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 Sublimation Color Printer to be a great starter model.  You can buy this printer along with a start pack on Amazon for just $629.  Here is a link to check it out:

Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500

Why do we like this particular model?  The Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 Sublimation Color Printer is considered a great option for several reasons - here is why we think it stands out:

1. Ultra High Definition (UHD) Print Quality: The SG500 offers exceptional print quality, making it ideal for producing vivid and sharp images. This is particularly important in sublimation printing, where detail and color accuracy directly impact the final product's look.

2. Versatility in Media Sizes: It accommodates various media sizes, enabling users to print on different products such as mugs, t-shirts, phone cases, and more. This flexibility is crucial for businesses that offer a range of personalized items.

3. Improved Energy Efficiency: Designed with energy efficiency in mind, the SG500 is more eco-friendly and can help reduce operational costs in terms of electricity usage.

4. Enhanced Durability: Sawgrass printers are known for their durability and reliability, and the SG500 is no exception. This makes it a wise investment for businesses, as it is likely to require fewer repairs and replacements over time.

5. CreativeStudio Software Included: The printer often comes with access to Sawgrass' CreativeStudio, a user-friendly online design tool that offers a wealth of ready-to-use designs and templates. This software is particularly useful for those who may not have extensive graphic design skills.

6. SubliJet UHD Inks: These inks are specifically formulated for the SG500 and are known for their vibrant colors and long-lasting prints. They are key in producing high-quality sublimation transfers.

7. Ease of Setup and Use: The SG500 is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible even for those who are new to sublimation printing. This ease of use is a significant advantage for small businesses or hobbyists.

8. Compact and Sleek Design: The printer has a relatively small footprint, making it suitable for small workspaces or home offices without sacrificing functionality or print quality.

9. Connectivity Options: It typically offers multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, which enhances its convenience and flexibility in different work environments.

Not only is this a great option for the home user, given all these features, the Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 is an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses too.  

Learn more on Amazon

Check out our additional sublimation resources:

About William Elward

Founder of Castle Ink, William Elward has 20 years experience in the printer industry. He's been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo, PC World, Computer World, and other top publications and frequently blogs about printers and ink cartridges. He's an expert at diagnosing printer issues and has published guides to fixing common printer issues across the internet. A graduate of Bryant University and Columbia's Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, he's held various leadership positions at The College Board, Bankrate, Zocdoc, and Everyday Health. Follow him on Twitter at William Elward's Twitter Profile