Ok, I finally got my hands an Epson WF printer that hadn't been "converted" to sublimation yet so I can make a video! (If you don't know what sublimation is, read What is Sublimation & Where Do I Start?) The process should be very similar for most Epson printers but this is specifically for a WF-7710 or WF-7720. If you're going to follow along and set your own printer up too there are a couple things you need to do first. Follow the initial setup steps for the printer itself just like it was any other normal printer. The screen will walk you through some things. Plug it in, install the Epson cartridges, let it do its little initializing thing that takes a few minutes. If you have the disk that came with it, pop that baby into your computer and install the software that came with it. Or go to Epson.com and search for your printer's model and download the "Combo Package Installer" (or click these links for the WF-7710 & WF-7720). Now would be a good time to get it connected to your computer or WIFI if you go that route. You can do it later though if you'd prefer.
What you will need for setup:
- Epson WF-7710 or WF-7720 Printer (or close model) Or get a refurbished one!! They will work just fine! Links to refurbished --> 7710 / 7720
- Sublimation Ink & Refillable Cartridges
- Regular Copy Paper
- Paper Towels and/or Gloves (Optional)
If you want to start printing/testing/pressing right now (my suggested supply list):
- Sublimation Paper 13x19"
- Sublimation Paper 8.5x11"
- Test fabric (Walmart has white 100% polyester fabric for $1.97/yard)
- A heat press that reaches a minimum of 400 degrees
- High Heat Tape (to hold designs in place on hard substrates)
- Spray Adhesive (to hold designs in place on fabrics)
- Pressing Foam
- Butcher Paper (to catch ink from getting on your press and to use in place of Teflon to protect your items and be able to throw away when ink gets on it)
** Some outside links are affiliate links; by using them, I receive a small % of the purchase price, for no extra money out of your pocket. **
Once you get the initial setup done, watch this video! I show you how to switch out the regular Epson cartridges with your new refillable cartridges filled with Sublimation Ink, and how to purge out the old ink so it's ready to print beautiful large format sublimation transfers!
Once you get the new cartridges humming along, watch the PC or Mac video below. If you don't already have Silhouette Studio installed on your computer, I highly recommend you go do that now. There are other programs you can print with, but Silhouette Studio is free and SUPER easy to use. The following videos will show you the print settings that will pop up for most basic programs though, like Word, Powerpoint, or a PDF reader. If you decide to use a graphics program like Photoshop, there will be a whole new set of options to choose on top of these and those are not shown in these videos. I only use Silhouette to print.
Now, the last thing I recommend to everyone is to do some test on your own to see which paper setting you prefer. Walmart has 100% polyester for around $1.97/yd that works great for testing. I press it at 400 degrees (F) for 60 seconds. I use the "High Quality Plain Paper" setting (at best quality) but there are a lot of people who prefer something different and it really comes down to personal preference. Here is a whole blog post talking about paper settings and showing you the tests I did.
Now, after doing all that, if you are totally lost or have any other questions, that's ok! I won't leave you high and dry! Head over to my Facebook group (Cameo, Cricut & Sublimation Inspiration) and make a post telling me whats going on. I watch it pretty closely but I have some awesome friends and fellow designers that help me run it, and lots of super helpful members who have been here too and can help if I'm not right there.
Thanks for making it this far! I hope I was able to help! I'd love to see how it goes and all the fun things you do with it, so join the group anyway and share so I can see! Sublimation is sooo fun and I know you're going to get hooked just like I did :)