How to Convert an Epson Printer to Sublimation

1. Introduction

By enabling the conversion of an ordinary Epson wide format printer into a dedicated sublimation printer, InkOwl allows you to affordably enter into sublimation printing. InkOwl's Performance-Ultra Sublimation Ink is competitively-priced and manufactured in the United States. InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Cartridges can be used for maximum convenience. InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Ink Bottles are also available for maximum savings and flexibility.

With sublimation ink, it is essential that the ink not come into contact with any other ink (Epson ink, other aftermarket, other sublimation brand). As such, please follow these conversion guidelines closely.

Epson 2100, 2200, R2400, R2880 printers: Please note that these procedures do not apply to these printers. For these models, simply install the sublimation ink into a set of refillable cartridges and perform printhead cleanings until the old ink is flushed out.


2. Converting a brand-new Epson printer

If your Epson printer is brand-new, out-of-box, and has never been used with ink inside, you can proceed straight to using our inks. Do not install the Epson cartridges provided with the printer. Instead, either install a set of refillable cartridges with Performance-Ultra bottled ink or a set of Performance-Ultra compatible cartridges.

Note: Some printers have two black slots (photo black + matte black). Only the matte black slot needs to be used. Therefore, you should install a cleaning cartridge (or some bottled purge fluid) into the photo black slot, as this slot will not be used in printing.

Recommended items:

To use sublimation cartridges:

  1. Set of InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Cartridges
  2. Printers that have two black slots: Photo Black Cleaning Cartridge

To use sublimation ink bottles:

  1. Set of InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Inks
  2. Set of Refillable Cartridges
  3. Chip Resetter
  4. Printers that have two black slots: Photo Black Cleaning Cartridge or Bottled Purge Fluid

3. Converting a used Epson printer

If your Epson printer is currently using any other ink (Epson-brand ink, aftermarket ink, another brand of sublimation ink), it is required that you purge all old ink from the printer's lines prior to installing InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Ink.

  • Before beginning the conversion process, print a nozzle check to confirm that the printhead is working properly. Do not attempt to perform a conversion on a printer that is not printing correctly.
  • Ensure that you have a spare maintenance tank or a maintenance tank resetter available before proceeding.
  • Remove all the old ink cartridges and install a set of cleaning cartridges (or a set of refillable cartridges filled with bottled purge fluid).
  • Perform the initial fill procedure to clear the old ink from the lines and replace it with purge fluid. Repeat the initial fill procedure once more to eliminate all residues.
  • Remove the cleaning cartridges and install the Performance-Ultra sublimation ink.
  • Perform the initial fill procedure to fill the lines with sublimation ink for printing!

Note: Some printers have two black slots (photo black + matte black). Only the matte black slot needs to be used. Leave the cleaning cartridge inside the photo black slot, as this slot will not be used in printing.

Recommended items:

To use sublimation cartridges:

  1. Set of InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Cartridges
  2. Set of Cleaning Cartridges
  3. Spare Maintenance Tank or Maintenance Tank Resetter 

To use sublimation ink bottles:

  1. Set of InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Inks
  2. Set of Refillable Cartridges
  3. Chip Resetter
  4. Set of Cleaning Cartridges OR 2nd Set of Refillable Cartridges & Bottled Purge Fluid
  5. Spare Maintenance Tank or Maintenance Tank Resetter

4. After converting the printer

With your printer now converted to InkOwl Performance-Ultra Sublimation Ink, you can begin sublimation printing. For best results, print your images onto a transfer paper specifically intended for sublimation printing. Transfer the prints using an appropriately-sized heat press onto the sublimation blank (imprintable) of your choice!

Although it is possible to obtain decent results without color management, the color gamut will be severely limited. To produce professional-grade sublimated materials, color management is required. A custom ICC profile will need to be installed into Photoshop or into your RIP software. You can produce this profile yourself using a device such as ColorMunki or SpyderPRINT. Alternatively, with the purchase of a full set of Performance-Ultra inks, you can benefit from InkOwl's complimentary profiling service.


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