I just got my new printer and I am BEYOND excited to start using it for sublimation! Before I go into how I converted a regular EPSON printer into a sublimation printer, I'll briefly describe what sublimation is.
"The scientific definition of sublimation is the process of transforming matter from a solid to a gas, without the matter ever becoming a liquid. That might sound strange, considering sublimation inks are liquid. However, sublimation inks are not really inks. They are highly viscous mixtures of dye solid particles in carrier fluid. When heat and pressure are applied to the dye solids that embed into your transfer media during printing, the sublimation process takes place.
The combination of heat and pressure opens the polymer molecules and enables the dye solids to turn into gas. The dye gasses move into the open polymers, which close again upon cooling. The gasses change back into solid dyes, as well, and become encapsulated in the cooled surface. Using this process, you are essentially dyeing the surface of the substrate, or in the case to textiles, the fibres of the cloth. This ensures you have a high-definition print that will not fade, chip or wash away."
The process is almost like a tattoo, but instead of for your skin, it’s for your chosen product. The heat opens up the pores of the fabric, then with the applied pressure the ink cools and returns to a solid form.
The result is a permanent, full colour image that won’t crack, peel or wash away from the substrate.
I looked into sublimation printers and really wanted to splurge and get one, but then I saw a blog post about turning a regular printer into a sublimation printer and I was intrigued!!
The article used an Epson ET-3760 which is a regular printer but it has two very specific features that you need in this process. It has ink reservoirs instead of cartridges and it doesn't use heat in the printing process. I chose to go with the printer all the blogs are talking about.
I made a tutorial for you about the process of how to add sublimation ink to your new, clean EPSON ET-3760. Can't wait to share some of my new projects with you!!!
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