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My Review On Epson Ecotank 2800/2803 As a Sublimation Printer

Are you thinking of converting your Epson Ecotank 2800 or 2803 to a sublimation printer? Hold on; there are a handful of things you must know before converting to an Ecotank. Your printer’s warranty will be void as soon as you turn it. 

If you’re fine with that, you can print vibrant and durable designs on any surface you want without really buying a whole new sublimation printer.

It’s possible because of the print heads both of these models include. Hence, there are a handful of advantages and some disadvantages of using Epson EcoTank ET-2800 or ET-2803 as a sublimation printer.

I am going to share my personal experience of these models after using sublimation ink instead of the inkjet ink that came with the printers. 

Advantages of Using Epson EcoTank 2800 and 2803 Sublimation Printers

As I mentioned, there are a handful of advantages of using Epson EcoTank 2800 and 2803 models as sublimation printers. Here are the most important of them. Have a look. 

1. Easy Setup 

The most important part of a converted sublimation printer is the complexity of its setup process. Thankfully, EcoTank 2800 and 2803 both of these models offer easy setups.

All you have to do is, keep aside the inkjet ink that came with the printer and use your preferred sublimation ink to fill the printer tank.

As soon as you fill the ink tank with sublimation ink, your ET-2800 or ET-2803 will be converted to a sublimation printer. However, the step-by-step setup process comes with the instruction manual and can be found on Epson’s website also. 

Also read: Learn how to convert an Epson Eco tank into sublimation

2. Print Heads

You might know any random print head cannot print sublimation designs. For sublimation, you need a specialized print head that uses pressure to push the ink onto the material.

Epson’s MicroPiezo print heads contain a thin film and offer quick vibration as well as flexion that allows the ink to sublimate on the printing material with complete preciseness.  

3. Printing Materials

There are various printing materials you can use on Epson 2800 and 2803 sublimation printers.

4. Print Resolution

Print resolution is the feature that ensures the clarity of designs you are printing on the sublimation blanks. Epson EcoTank 2800 and 2803 meet the complete requirements.

These devices offer a max design resolution of 5760 x 1440 DPI when printed with sublimation ink. Whether you are printing a customized t-shirt for personal use or a batch of products for a client, you will get high-definition and long-lasting sublimated designs. 

5. Paper Size

Epson Ecotank 2800 and 2803 printers can print up to 8.5 x 47″ paper sizes. I have used 8.5×14″ papers for sublimation.

If you want to print on a small surface, this size will be ideal. But for printing on an XL size or larger surface, you should opt for more wide format printer like Epson ET-15000, or ET-8550.

If you are going for a small format EcoTank like the ET-2800, you can print 4 x 6″ to 8. 5 x 47″ paper sizes. So, depending on your requirements, use these two models as sublimation printers.  

6. Footprint

Epson has made the 2800 and 2803 models compact. As the printers have a dimension of 15” x 7” x 13.5” (W x H x D), they can be fitted onto a countertop. And it weighs under 9 lbs, so you can easily adjust its position and maneuver it.

7. OS Compatibility & Connectivity

EcoTank 2800 and 2803 are both compatible with Windows and Mac OS. So you can connect your preferred device and directly print the design you have just created or downloaded.

Connecting your printer to the PC is also easy, as you can either set up a USB or Wi-Fi connection. No matter which OS you are using to operate your ET-2800 or 2803, keep the drivers updated to access the latest firmware. 

8. Cost

Finally, the cost of Epson EcoTank – 2800/2803 can be a USP to you for converting it to a sublimation printer as these models cost almost two times less than a sublimation printer. The cost of sublimation ink used in EcoTanks is also less. I found it an ideal fit for crafters and small business owners.

Is Epson EcoTank 2800/2803 Sublimation Printer a Good Choice?

Yes, converting the Epson EcoTank 2800/2803 to a sublimation printer is a good decision if you don’t want tech support. As you use sublimation ink, the warranty of your printer is voided. 

But you can print high-quality sublimated designs on different materials with an EcoTank. If you want personalized apparel, ceramic products, and metal pieces, these two Epson models will be perfect for sublimation.

Moreover, you get precisely sublimated designs at a lesser price, as a dedicated sublimation printer will cost you around $400+. If the ET-2800 or 2803 suffice your requirements, you can definitely opt for it.

Conclusion

I have mentioned everything you need to know before using Epson EcoTank 2800 and 2803 sublimation printers. So, you’re all set to print customized products. However, it’s important to get the right print settings for the clarity of the designs, no matter which OS you’re using to run the device. If you have further queries, drop us a comment. Thanks for reading!

Using an Epson EcoTank Printer for Sublimation

This post and photos may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Any supplies used may be given to me free of charge, however, all projects and opinions are my own.

Did you know that you can use an Epson EcoTank printer for sublimation? Converting this inkjet printer into a sublimation printer is actually fairly easy. And the best part is that it is an affordable way to start using dye sublimation printing at home. So, if you have ever thought about adding sublimation to your craft room, this post is definitely for you!

Want to know more about what sublimation is? Try this post!

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Epson EcoTank Printer for Sublimation

First, let’s talk about the supplies you will need for this and what NOT to buy to do this printer conversion.

Which Epson printer?

I did a lot of research on this and I can really only recommend the Epson EcoTank line for conversion. There are ways to convert their other printers but they are much more complicated and expensive. I am using the Epson Eco-Tank ET-4700 and you can get it here it on Amazon and or I ended up buying here from Target. I decided on this particular EcoTank model because it was in stock. You can shop around for other models just make sure it says EcoTank on it!

I do recommend buying the printer new for this process. There are tutorials online for flushing a used printer of the old ink then adding sublimation ink. Apparently this works MOST of the time but does have a fairly high failure rate. If you run into a deal on an EcoTank, definitely give it a try but do note that it may or may not work.

Where to buy sublimation ink?

You will also need sublimation ink for your conversion. I used Hiipoo Sublimation Ink and everything you need comes in the kit including syringes and gloves. I will say that switching ink brands is complicated so I would pick a brand and stick with it if you can.

What else do you need?

There are a few more supplies you will need to actually make a project.

  • You do need special paper when printing with sublimation ink. I will have a paper comparison soon but for now, I am using A-Sub Sublimation Paper.
  • You can read more about sublimation blanks here in order to choose the correct type of material. Remember that sublimation needs polyester in order to be successful so you do want to choose the right substrate.
  • Finally, you will need a heat source. A heat press or an EasyPress will work here but you want something that will get to a minimum of 400 degrees F.
  • Sublimation Mat
  • Protective Paper
  • Heat Resistant Tape

How to Covert an Inkjet Printer to a Sublimation Printer

Now that you have your supplies, it is time to make that conversion on the printer itself. You can watch my YouTube video below on how to convert the printer.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Can’t watch the video or missed some of the steps? I also have instructions below for you.

Filling Ink Tanks

Once you remove your printer from the box, you can discard or giveaway the ink that comes with the printer. You will be filling the tanks of the EcoTank printer with sublimation ink instead. The printer has ink tanks on the side.

Just flip open the top and you can see each of the tanks. They are labeled with black, yellow, magenta, and cyan for their individual colors.

Each tank has a lid that just flips open to reveal an opening and that is what we will use to fill each one.

Open your Hiipoo sublimation ink and you will find syringes as well as gloves. I do recommend that you were gloves when working with this ink.

Add the needle portion of each syringe onto the body and you are ready to fill!

Just add the syringe to the bottle and tilt as you pull back the plunger. Once you have ink inside, put the syringe in the fill hole and slowly squeeze it into the ink tanks. You just have to put it slightly inside as the ink will just flow inside.

Keep an eye on the windows on the front as they will show you how much ink you have added. You don’t want the ink to go past the top line.

Once you have one color done, repeat the same process with all of your other colors. Be sure to use a new syringe for each color. One thing to note is that it only takes about 1/2 a bottle to fill up the ink tanks so you have plenty of ink in this kit to get started.

Then, once all of your ink tanks are full, you can move on to setting up the printer. NOTE: Do not plug your printer in until you have the ink tanks full!

Cleaning and Storage of Ink

Once you are done filling the tanks, run air through the syringes to get all of the ink out. I like to do this into a disposable cup. Be sure to store the ink in a cool and dry place away from the sun.

Printer Setup

Now that there is ink in the printer, we can start the setup. Here is a brief rundown of the steps, however, there is a card in the printer with details for you. NOTE: This only has to be done the first time you turn it on. You will not need to do these steps every time you print.

  1. Plug the printer in.
  2. Turn on the printer and follow the on-screen instructions for setting location and time.
  3. The printer will go through a preparing sequence.
  4. Then follow the instructions on the sheet for buttons to push to initiate the priming of the ink into the printer. NOTE: this will use up quite a bit of ink. You might want to top off the ink in your tanks after this step.
  5. The printer will then go through alignment steps. You can use any paper for these steps. Follow all on-screen instructions.
  6. Now you can hook your printer up to your computer. Either use the disc that comes with the printer or go to the website address on the paperwork to download everything.
  7. I do walk you through the settings in the video above but you do want to make the defaults as premium presentation paper matte as your paper type. You also want the best quality and check the box for mirrored printing. Do all of this in your printer settings and these will be your default every time.
  8. Now you are ready to give your printer a try!

If you like the unicorn image I am using here, click here to get it for free! Another great source of images for projects like this is Yay Day Paper Co!

Making a Sublimation Project

So, now that you have your conversion done of your Epson EcoTank printer for sublimation, let’s talk about how to use it to make projects.

Printing Your Design

Here are a few tips and tricks for printing with your Epson EcoTank:

  • Add paper to the rear tray face up. Most sublimation paper will have the “back” marked.
  • Be sure your settings are correct before printing. You want to be set to the matte paper, best quality, and design should be mirrored.
  • Remember that you must print on sublimation paper for the process to work.
  • Hit print and watch the magic happen! Remember that your setting is on matte paper and the tray settings may not match this. You can either hit a button on your printer to confirm each time or change the setting on your printer.
  • When your design comes off of your printer the colors will be REALLY muted. Black will look grey, etc. This is the way it is supposed to be!

Pressing Your Design

Now that you have your print, it is time to make something using dye sublimation.

  1. Ensure you have your polyester or polyester coated blank. I always like to preheat my blanks in order to remove moisture/wrinkles. You can also run over it with a lint roller to pick up any debris.
  2. Then place protective paper inside your shirt or under your blank. Add the design on top ink side down. Tape into place with heat resistant tape as you don’t want it to move.
  3. Then add protective paper on top and press for the right time at the right temperature. Check with your blank manufacturer for these settings or there are usually generic settings with sublimation paper.
  4. Once your time is complete, lift and allow to cool enough where you won’t burn yourself. Then remove your paper to reveal your gorgeous sublimation project!

Take a look at the image below as the left is a shirt after pressing and the right is the print off of the sublimation printer. What a difference it makes once it is pressed!

So, are you ready to use an Epson EcoTank printer for sublimation? I think you will love the results! If you have been wanting to try sublimation for yourself, this is a great way to do that!

If you love this sublimation project, you will love the links below as well!

Adding Sublimation on Flocked HTV

Grab your sublimation ink and put it right on top of flocked heat transfer vinyl!

Read More

Sublimation Stamped Ink Coaster with Words

Add sublimation ink to a coaster with a stamp pad and this method.

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How to Do Sublimation on Mugs in an Oven

Use a small oven to add sublimated ink to mugs and tumblers with our technique and tips.

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Grocery List Board with a Free Kitchen SVG

Make a dry erase grocery list board with sublimation markers and this organization SVG file.

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502 Sublimation Ink for Epson Et 15000 et 4800 2800 2720 2760 Ecotank Ecotank Sublimation Printing

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Sublimation printer ink refills and sets for Epson – Huge selection at the best prices

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A Quick Guide to Buying Sublimation Ink for Epson Printers

Most people are familiar with inkjet printers, which use tiny nozzles to deposit ink onto a piece of paper. This isnt the only way to recreate a digital image, however, and if you want to print on hard-surface items, sublimation printing is the way to go. Prior to shopping on eBay for sublimation ink for Epson printers, you might want to learn more about the ink in general so that you can make a more informed buying decision.

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printers are used to print images on hard, non-paper substrates, such as tiles, mugs, metals, and fiber boards. To apply the image, these printers are equipped with special sublimation inks that transform from solid states to gaseous states via the sublimation process. Through a combination of heat and pressure, the sublimation ink is successfully transferred to the polyester or polymer-coated substrate. The process doesnt merely apply the inks on a topical level. Instead, sublimation fuses the substrate and the pigments on a molecular level. This helps to prevent cracking, peeling, fading, and other damage.

What are the common characteristics of sublimation ink?

Common characteristics of sublimation ink include the following:

  • Vibrant colors: Sublimation ink produces vivid, highly saturated colors and crisp, detailed imagery.
  • Water-resistant: Due to the nature of the sublimation process, these inks are water-resistant.
  • Quick-drying: The sublimation process also ensures that these inks dont require a lengthy drying time.

What sublimation ink colors are available for Epson printers?

Most Epson sublimation printers achieve a vast color gamut with only four colors. Epson offers its own line of dye-sublimation ink, UltraChrome, which is compatible with many of the brands sublimation printers. These inks are sold in 1000mL packs, and they follow the CMYK color model standard in digital printing. Available ink colors include the following:

  • Cyan: Cyan is the midpoint between green and blue, and its a key color in the subtractive color model used in sublimation printing.
  • Magenta: This key subtractive color is a bright purple-red.
  • Yellow: When yellow is used in combination with cyan and magenta, these three color elements can produce almost any color on the spectrum.