This is an updated list of the Wide Format Epson Ecotank Printers that can be converted for sublimation. Wide format printers are capable of printing 13 x 19″ so they’re what you need for larger sublimation projects.
Finding an Epson printer to convert to sublimation that can print wide format, or 13×19 inches, is tough to find. Some say it’s harder than finding a unicorn and while that may be true, you should not give up.
Wide format Epsons that can be converted for sublimation can be found with a little patience. They become available once in a while, are sometimes available at the local retail store even though their online website says out of stock, and the best news, there’s more than one Epson printer model you can use.
Why Wide Format Epson Is Popular for Sublimation
A lot of sublimators are in search of these highly coveted wide format printers because of the size of their printing capabilities. They can print sublimation transfers in various sizes from 8.5×11 to 13×19 inches. The smaller sublimation transfers are used for mugs, keychains, mouse pads, and Christmas ornaments to name a few.
But the larger, wide format sublimation printers can print on 13” x 19” sublimation papers which can sublimate on various large sublimation blanks such as 30 ounce tumblers, garden flags, door mats, blankets, sublimation shirts in larger sizes such as L, XL and up, and more.
Because of that larger printing capability, sublimators are able to offer a wider range of sublimated products to their friends, family, and most importantly, their customers. They are not limited by their printer in terms of what they can offer.
Things To Consider When Buying A Wide Format Sublimation Printer
The cost of the wide format Epson printers are significantly more than their smaller counterparts. The smaller Epson Printers that can be converted to sublimation (max print of 8.5 x 14 inches) start at $200 while the wide formats start at $600. If you are going to be mainly printing larger sublimation transfers, then it makes sense to get a wide format printer. But if you only make smaller items that only need sublimation transfers around the size of 11×14 inches or smaller, then a wide format printer is not a smart buy for you. There are ways to piece together sublimation transfers if you ever need a larger transfer but that process is tedious and requires lots of practice to master.
Make sure to factor in the cost of the sublimation papers and sublimation ink for your wide format Epson printer when making a decision. Larger papers cost more, as you guessed already, so make sure what you’re planning on printing really needs the larger sizes. Of course if your main reason is to make garden flags, larger shirts, door mats and the like, then you really need this type of Epson Sublimation Printer.
When buying a wide format Epson printer, you have to consider the size of the printer itself because it could be too large for the space you have to work with. If you don’t have a lot of room, then you have to decide if you could reorganize your work area to accommodate the printer.
Don’t forget that some printers also have a rear feed area where you have to insert the larger papers in order to print. So make sure you account for that when planning on how much space you need to dedicate for your sublimation printer.
Heat Press Size
When your sublimation transfers are larger, chances are that you will also need a larger heat press to accommodate the size. A garden flag is usually around 12×18 inches and your sublimation transfer will be about 12.5×18.5 inches to add some bleed area.
When pressing a garden flag this size, a 16×20 inch heat press is the appropriate size in order to press it in one single press. So before buying a wide format Epson sublimation printer to make larger sublimated items, you have to consider the size of the heat press too.
List of Wide Format Epson Printers That Can Be Converted For Sublimation
As you know, there are sublimation printers that are already made for sublimation and there are regular inkjet printers that can be converted to sublimation. The inkjet printers that are able to be converted into sublimation printers are the Epson Printers because of the type of printheads they have. If you’ve decided that converting one is the right sublimation printer for you and would like a wide-format one that can print a 13×19-inch sublimation transfer, then you have a few printers to choose from:
So now let’s see what the differences are between those printers so you can make an informed decision on which printer you should get.
What’s the difference between the ET-16600 and ET-16650?
The EcoTank 16600 (ET-16600) and EcoTank 16650 (ET-16650) are essentially the same printer except for a few minor differences. The ET-16650 costs more than the ET-16600 because it is capable of printing faster in color, has a faster color copy speed, has a few more direct printing options (Epson Connect, Epson Email Print, and Epson iPrint Mobile), and weighs about 7 lbs less.
Those minor differences are not important for sublimation printing so if you can find the lower cost ET-16600, it would be a better printer in terms of cost as compared to the ET-16650.
And now that you have decided that this Wide Format Epson is the right sublimation printer for you, don’t forget that there are other accessories and supplies you need in order to get started on your sublimation journey. This printer is just one piece of the puzzle but we’ve created a simple list of what every beginner needs to get started on sublimation.
Another important piece of equipment you need is the heat press. A regular home iron will not work well for sublimation. Use our helpful Sublimation Heat Press Buyer’s Guide to find the right one for you that fits your budget.