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Where to Buy A Sublimation Printer and How to Learn About It

By Jimmy Lamb

You’ve seen the cool products, the beautiful images and the cute gifts that can be produced with sublimation and the bug has bitten you. You want a sublimation system of your own. Great, so you just go online and find the cheapest thing, drop it in a cart and wait for it to arrive, right?

Not a great idea.

To begin with, sublimation systems come in all shapes and sizes with a wide assortment of features, or in some cases, a significant lack of features.

Plus, there are a variety of inks, transfer papers, software products, system drivers, accessories and more. Starting to sound a bit overwhelmed? Don’t! There are some good systems just waiting for you to find them so the trick is find the right one for you.

Buy From Reputable Companies 

So where do you start? First, identify reputable equipment manufacturers. Ideally you want a printer that has a one year or longer warranty, technical support, training and education. In addition, the company that produces it should have a long history in the sublimation business and ideally, they produce their own ink to ensure compatibility with the printer.

Get a Printer That Comes With Software

Another bonus is printer driver software and creative imaging software that was created for the printer.

If you buy a printer from one source and software from another supplier, then have imaging issues, you may find yourself in the circular blame trap. The printer company blames the software company, who blames the printer company.

When everything comes from the same source, it’s a single phone call to resolve all your issues.

To sum it all up, look for sublimation systems where the printer, ink, and software all come from the same manufacturer. Think of it as a business in a box.

Ensure Compatibility With Design Software

Make sure your sublimation printer is compatible with other programs that you might be using like Adobe, Corel, Silhouette, etc. Sawgrass printers can work with a lot of different creative software products via SPM (Sawgrass Print Manager), which comes standard with every printer purchase. It even has the ability to produce a “cut file” that can be used with a cutter so that you can easily use sublimate fabrics and add them to any shape needed.

Where to Buy Sublimation Printers

While you are doing your research, keep in mind that some manufacturers typically do not sell direct. Instead, the products are offered through a dealer network. You can find Sawgrass dealers through our dealer locator.

Take some time to review several dealer websites and see which one you connect with. Be sure to take note of all the unique substrates that they sell because dealers do not all carry the same products. Dealers can be very helpful when it comes to advice on what printer and supplies (heat press, paper, etc) is right for you.

How to Get Your New Printer Set Up

Once your equipment arrives, you will need to learn how to set up your system and start sublimating. That is where Sawgrass can help you once again. We have a very strong educational program that features webinars, videos, project cards, this blog, and the Sawgrass Academy - all included with your purchase of any Sawgrass system.

At Sawgrass, we are all about sublimation – it’s what we do. Don’t get overwhelmed with the search for the right system: just start at sawgrassink.com and go from there. We hope to see you soon.

For design inspiration and education, don't forget to follow us @SawgrassInk on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

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