How to Use Dye Sublimation Inks in Ink Jet Printer

Dye sublimation ink differs from common dye-based ink because the ink is transferred to the medium from a solid state to a gaseous state. The medium for dye sublimation has a special coating to trap the ink, resulting in more precise blends than those created by fine dots from an inkjet printer. Since the dye sublimation ink penetrates the medium, the ink dries instantly and does not fade over time. According to DyeSubInks, select models of inkjet printers can be used with dye sublimation inks because the printer heads use micro Piezo print head technology, which transfer sublimation ink through the jets.

Install the Epson utility software and sublimation ink colour management software on your computer.

Plug the USB cable into the appropriate slots on the printer and computer to connect. Plug the printer power cord into an outlet.

Lift the printer lid to open and replace the ink cartridges in the Epson printer with the compatible dye sublimation ink cartridges. Make sure the cartridges click into the slots to lock in place.

Turn the printer on and launch the Epson printer utility, and select the function to clean the printer head, so that the ink is forced through the print heads.

Insert sublimation paper into the paper tray and print a test page, if desired.

Install the Epson utility on your computer.

Connect the USB cord to the appropriate slot in the printer and insert into the appropriate slot on your computer.

Lift the printer lid and replace the ink cartridges in the printer with the ink cartridges in the continuous ink system, making sure each cartridge clicks to lock in place.

Plug the printer into a power outlet and turn the printer on.

Unplug the printer power cord as soon as the printer cartridges move (unlocked).

Hold the connected tubing above the interior of the printer and gently push the bank of cartridges to the left side of the printer.

Attach the plastic holder to the inside centre panel and insert the tubing into the clip. Make sure the tubing does not dangle inside the interior of the printer, to avoid entanglement as the print head moves side-to-side.

Gently push the bank of cartridges to the right side of the printer. Adjust the tubing, if needed, to create slack as the printer head moves to each side of the printer.

Place the remaining end of the tubing to the left side of the printer and secure to the printer with the clip.

Remove the plugs from each ink container in the continuous ink system and insert the air filters, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Launch the Epson printer utility and plug the printer's power cord into an outlet. Turn the printer on.

Select the function to clean the printer heads and run the ink through the tubing. Repeat the printer head cleaning function, if desired.

Insert sublimation paper into the paper tray and print a test page, if desired.


The dye sublimation ink supplier will provide the appropriate colour management software, according to the ink composition for the printer. Use sublimation paper and transfer media with your sublimation inkjet system because other media may be too absorbent or thin for the ink. Consult with your dye sublimation ink distributor for compatible printers (See the first link in the Resource section for an example).


Refill the sublimation continuous ink system with sublimation ink, according to the manufacturer's instructions, to avoid clogs in the tubing.

Things You'll Need

  • Epson utility software
  • Sublimation ink colour management utility
  • Epson R1400 printer
  • USB cable
  • Dye sublimation ink cartridges
  • Optional: sublimation paper, dye sublimation continuous ink system
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Regina Edwards has been a freelance writer since 1990. She has penned video scripts, instructional manuals, white papers and abstracts. She has also ghostwritten diabetes journals. Edwards is a scuba instructor and Usui and Karuna Reiki teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Saint Joseph's University.