How to convert HP printer to sublimation printer?

Epson printers have gained widespread popularity for sublimation printing, but there are numerous other printer manufacturers in the market, with HP being a prominent one. Many novice crafters often wonder how to convert HP printer to sublimation printer,  Additionally, we’ll provide information on HP printers that are pre-equipped for sublimation use.

How to Convert HP Printer To Sublimation Printer

It’s important to clarify that converting an HP printer into a sublimation printer is not feasible due to several key factors. To begin, HP printers come equipped with thermal inkjet printheads, which do not align with the specifications necessary for sublimation printing. Sublimation printing relies on micro piezo printheads for optimal results.

Furthermore, the ink used in sublimation printing is fundamentally different from standard ink. HP does not manufacture sublimation ink suitable for their printers, and third-party ink suppliers do not offer compatible options. Attempting to use non-compatible sublimation ink for HP printer can lead to severe issues, including printer damage and subpar results on sublimation paper. Therefore, the straightforward answer to whether you can use sublimation ink in an HP printer is a resounding “no.”

In addition to ink compatibility, sublimation printing necessitates the use of refillable ink cartridges or built-in ink tanks, which are not supported by HP printers.

Are HP printers suitable for sublimation?

In addition to the option of converting HP printers into sublimation printers, HP has introduced a line of pre-configured sublimation printers known as the HP Stitch printer These printers are designed specifically for sublimation printing and offer impressive capabilities.

The HP Stitch printer is capable of printing wide sublimation paper rolls and performing direct-to-fabric sublimation printing. Nevertheless, it’s worth highlighting that if you’re a newcomer contemplating the acquisition of one of these printers, it might not be the most pragmatic option to consider.

The primary reason is their cost, which starts at a substantial $15,000. These printers are geared more towards industrial-level businesses where large-format sublimation printing is a necessity. For instance, the HP Stitch 500 can produce images up to 1.62 meters wide.

For beginners looking to start a sublimation printing venture without a significant upfront investment, it’s advisable to explore starter sublimation printers. While some Epson Ecotank printers can be converted for sublimation use, they can be a good starting point. If you have budget constraints, opting for an affordable sublimation printer might be the most suitable choice.

Steps For Converting HP Printer To Sublimation Printer

Envision a situation in which the conversion of HP printers into sublimation printers becomes achievable through the utilization of appropriate resources and tools. In this hypothetical scenario, here’s an extensive guide outlining the steps required for this conversion:

Essential Supplies:

  1. An HP inkjet printer
  2. Sublimation ink specifically designed for compatibility with HP printers
  3. A Piezo Printhead
  4. Refillable ink cartridges

Before you embark on the conversion process, it’s essential to check whether your HP printer is capable of printing on coated papers. Unlike standard printing paper, sublimation paper is coated with a polymer layer.

Step 1: Printhead Replacement

Begin by replacing the existing thermal inkjet printhead in your HP printer with a piezo printhead. This change is necessary to enable the printer to apply the required pressure to the sublimation ink, facilitating the printing of images.

Step 2: Cartridge Replacement

If your HP printer comes with ink cartridges in the package, remove them and replace them with refillable cartridges compatible with the sublimation ink. However, please note that some printers have built-in printheads within the ink cartridges. 

Step 3: Ink Filling

Wear protective gloves and use separate, clean syringes to fill them with sublimation ink. Carefully insert the filled syringes into the ink cartridges and begin the ink-filling process. After you’ve completed this step, turn on your printer and configure it for coated sublimation paper. You are now ready to commence your sublimation printing.

Keep in mind that this process assumes the hypothetical scenario where HP printers can be converted into sublimation printers, which is not typically the case due to the inherent differences in printhead technology and ink compatibility.

How Other Enthusiasts Feel About Converting HP Printers To Sublimation?

In online forums, discussions often revolve around the conversion of HP printers into sublimation printers. A quote from a forum member named Hidenori Inagaki sheds light on the challenges:

“Converting regular HP printers to sublimation-ready ones is a real challenge. To achieve this, you would need sublimation ink and paper specifically designed for use with HP printers. HP printers predominantly rely on a thermal process to transfer images, making it incompatible with the sublimation ink commonly used in converted Epson printers.

In my experience, successful conversions are rarely reported for standard HP printers. When inquiries come my way regarding printer conversions for sublimation, I typically steer individuals towards Epson Ecotank models, as mentioned previously. A similar approach applies to Canon and Brother printers, provided compatible accessories such as ink and cartridges are available.

For those looking to delve into sublimation printing, it’s advisable to consider investing in a brand-new Epson Sublimation Printer, designed from the ground up to work seamlessly with sublimation ink and ICC profiles. You can find a detailed guide on how to convert Epson Ecotank printers into sublimation printers elsewhere.”

Please note that Hidenori Inagaki’s perspective reflects the challenges and limitations of converting standard HP printers into sublimation printers, emphasizing the importance of using printers and accessories designed specifically for sublimation printing.


We’ve delved into the intricacies of how to convert HP printer to sublimation printers, ultimately finding that this conversion is a challenging endeavor. However, we’ve explored potential strategies for those still interested in the possibility.

On a different note, it’s crucial to emphasize that successful dye sublimation printing requires printers equipped with piezo print technology. Epson sublimation printer and Sawgrass, in particular, excel in this regard as they come equipped with piezo printheads, making them ideal choices for sublimation printing. Moreover, these manufacturers provide sublimation inks accompanied by ICC color profiles, ensuring accurate and vibrant color output.

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