Choosing a t-shirt printing system can be challenging. There are lots of options. Looking at the price tag doesn’t always make the choice easier. Some options, like laser transfer, have higher upfront costs, but low operating costs. Others, like desktop sublimation, tend to have low up-front costs, but high operating costs. Some sublimation printers have such high printing cost that they prove to economically unsustainable. We wanted a better solution for our customers. So we’ve added a new desktop sublimation system that offers the best of both worlds: low up-front cost and low operating costs. We’re proud to present the Sublime DS170 desktop sublimation system. The sustainable sublimation solution.

Overview. What is Sublime DS170 Sublimation system?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, one of the meanings of the word ‘Sublime’ is to inspire awe or wonder. As a verb, sublime means to pass from a solid to gaseous state. Both of those definitions fit here because our Sublime DS170 starter bundles are dye sublimation printing systems intended to inspire creative people to make awesome transfers.

The DS in DS170 stands for desktop sublimation. The package is based on a desktop inkjet printer with a piezo-electric print head. It’s an advanced but easy-to-use printer engineered from the inside out for dye sublimation. The drivers are optimized for dye sublimation with settings such as default image mirroring, and built-in sublimation ICC profiles.

EnduraINK Sublime genuine sublimation ink

But the real power and magic of sublimation isn’t in the printer. It’s in the ink. Some desktop sublimation printers on the market deliver inconsistent or frustrating results because they use dye and pigment inks that aren’t optimized for sublimation. The Sublime DS170 system runs on EnduraINK Sublime genuine sublimation ink. It’s made in the USA by a top-tier manufacturer with decades of experience in digital decoration and ink technologies. EnduraINK Sublime ink produces great color, excellent image quality, and OEM grade viscosity. That means you get to spend more time printing and less time fighting to recover clogged nozzles. And it comes in Eco tank-sized 140ml bottles for outstanding economy. More on that later. The magic happens when the printed transfer is heated to about 400°F, so this is a heat transfer technology. Speaking of outstanding economy, the DS170 solution is about as affordable as they come. We’ve been doing this for a while. We know that getting started means more than buying a piece of hardware. That’s why the compact desktop printer comes packed with value-added extras like sublimation transfer paper, software, and sublimation blanks. Our Sublime DS170 sublimation starter bundles help you save money on up-front equipment costs, save time in design, and save money on ink.

Sublimation Applications

What can you do with your Sublime DS170 system? A whole lot. To be more specific, you can print transfers that can be used to dye polyester fabric and polymer-coated blanks. You can decorate and personalize all kinds of things. The two major categories are apparel decoration and hard surfaces.

Apparel applications: Since dye sublimation requires polyester, the traditional apparel applications are for printing transfers on white 100% polyester apparel. Shirts, socks, scarves, and such, are all favorite targets for transfers. Because this is a transfer technology, getting correct, vivid color requires a white substrate - just like printing on paper. More on that here. Newer fashion trends have broadened the envelope. You can transfer dye sublimation to cotton-poly blends for a ‘distressed’ look that comes from the dye washing off the cotton fibers. And sublimating gray or pastel polyester garment results in more muted tones that appeal to some fashionistas. There are lots of creative opportunities, as long as polyester is involved.

Hard surface applications: This is where the big picture gets clearer. Using a dye sublimation system to decorate non-textiles requires an object that has a polymer-coated surface that can be subjected to temperatures up to 400°F. That sounds like it might be limiting but it’s not. There are literally thousands of items on the market that are polymer-coated just for dye sublimation. The possibilities are virtually endless, especially with our expanded line of HTX sublimation blanks. We offer oodles of options. We have license plate blanks, keychains, tablet covers, head bands, face masks, koozies, mouse pads, and over 50 varieties of drinkware – including ceramic mugs, stainless steel travel mugs, aluminum skinny tumblers, wine tumblers, Yeti-size tumblers, sports water bottles, and more. Oodles of options.

HTX polymer-coated sublimation blanks include mugs & tumblers galore.
There are oodles of options. The HTX line of sublimation blanks now includes over 50 varieties of drinkware.

Sublime DS170 Features & Advantages

So, if you’re a creative type looking for fun and exciting opportunities in digital decoration, why should you spring for a Sublime DS170 system? I’m glad you asked! Here’s a short list of the main features and benefits.

Proven print engine: The Sublime DS170 is built around a well-known desktop inkjet printer with an advanced piezo-electric print head. This is the technology that makes desktop sublimation possible. Because the print engine is engineered specifically for dye sublimation the drivers are all optimized for transfers. Mirroring of image output is automatic, so there’s one less thing to remember when you’re creating graphics. And the built-in ICC profiles are made for sublimation ink and transfers, so you don’t need a PhD in color management to get vibrant, sellable color. Just design, it, print it, and press it. It’s that simple .

Mac, Windows, & Wi-Fi: The print engine works with both MAC and Windows PCs and supports connection via USB, ethernet, and Wi-Fi. The combination of the compact desktop proportions and wireless connectivity make this a great option for home & office use or for use in remote locations such as fairs, and festivals. Click here to download drivers for Windows 10 & 11

Genuine dye sublimation ink: You might think that it’s automatic that a sublimation printer system would come with genuine sublimation ink, but you’d be wrong. Some desktop printers are sold with other inks marketed for heat transfer that are not actually sublimation ink. Some are a mashup of pigment and dye inks that produces inconsistent results and complicates problem-solving. With EnduraINK Sublime, you get a complete solution with genuine dye sublimation ink in a printer engineered for this application.

Eco tank sized ink bottles: Speaking of ink, the other benefit of EnduraINK Sublime is the fact that it comes in eco-tank sized 140-ml bottles. This benefit goes right to the bottom line and makes the DS170 system doubly economical. You have a low upfront cost and a low operating cost. Other major brands in this segment offer affordable printers with small, low-yield cartridges with high operating costs. More on that later.

Dollars & Sense

It’s later. Let’s talk more about the economical advantages of the Sublime DS170 sublimation system. Our Sublime DS170 systems offer two economical advantages: value-added starter bundles, and lower operating costs. In other words, the Sublime DS170 option saves you money now and later.

Save Money Now: You can save a bundle in up-front equipment costs by getting all the hardware you need for less with one of our value-packed starter bundles. We offer a range of starter bundles designed to fit lots of needs and budgets. If you already have a good heat press, maybe what you need is the basic launch package. That includes the printer, a set of 140ml ink bottles and sublimation transfer paper, all for $549. If you’re starting from scratch and want the best deal on everything you need, perhaps the Complete Launch bundle has your name on it. The Complete Launch bundle includes LXI Master software and an EnduraPRESS MF15 combo heat press for shirts, caps mugs and plates - plus the ink bundle and an assortment of HTX sublimation blanks - all for only $1,699. Whatever your needs and budget, we bet there’s a Sublime DS170 desktop sublimation starter bundle that’s just right for you

Lower ink costs. This one’s pretty simple. The DS170 system includes 140-ml bottles of EnduraINK Sublime sublimation ink. This is much more economical than the alternative cartridge-based printers. Those are limited to 31ml cartridges. The cost of a 31-ml cartridge is $77.00. That comes out to $2.48/ml. EnduraINK Sublime bottles cost only 20¢/ml. That’s less than a tenth of the cost. Put another way, printing with the DS170 sublimation system is ten times more economical than Brand S.

For those who don’t see math problems as practical, consider this. Many customers using the other desktop printers found that, with such small cartridges, they could run out of ink just having the printer sit idle doing cleaning cycles. And it can cost over $300 to refill the cartridges. That can be frustrating and cost-prohibitive for craft & hobby decorators. They could afford to buy the printers, but often found that they couldn’t afford to run them. To high-jack a phrase from the environmental movement, desktop sublimation just wasn’t sustainable. The Sublime DS170 system makes desktop sublimation sustainable for entry-level artisans on a budget.

So if you’ve been thinking about the creative possibilities of desktop dye sublimation, but were wary of the price, think no more. We’ve got your affordable and sustainable desktop sublimation solution. The new Sublime DS170 starter bundles package traditional SIGNWarehouse value with a new expanded line of sublimation blanks to create new opportunities for crafters. And EnduraINK Sublime genuine sublimation ink in 140ml bottles make it affordable by giving you all those creative opportunities at a tenth of the cost. Sustainable sublimation starts here.