Sublimation Printing: Overcoming the Speed Barrier

Some sublimation printers print slowly, and there are two reasons why that might be the case: it’s either because of the printer itself, or because of how you’re using it.

If you notice that your printer has been printing more slowly than usual, or if you’re having trouble with parts of the image getting washed out from too much ink being applied to it, take a look at this article on why sublimation printers print slowly, and how to fix it!

Reasons Why Sublimation Printers Print Slowly

Poor quality printing

The quality of your printing is a direct result of the number of dots per inch, or DPI. Lowering the DPI will lower the print quality, but it will increase the speed at which your printer prints. The high-quality setting on most printers is between 600 and 1200 DPI.

If you’ve already lowered the DPI and you’re still experiencing slow print speeds, there are a few other things you can check for. Firstly, make sure that you’re not trying to print on too many pages at once.

Printing on one page at a time will increase your printer’s speed as well as improve quality of each printed page.

Secondly, ensure that your printer is not overworked by printing jobs from other computers in your office or home. Your printer may be busy elsewhere when you need it to print something, which slows down its process.

To prevent this problem, use only one computer to access your printer via the USB cable and share with others if necessary.

Lastly, keep an eye out for any paper jams! Jammed paper is often the cause of low quality printing because it forces the ink cartridges to start drawing ink before they’re ready, leading to pixilation and inconsistent lines.

Poorly calibrated printer

The sublimation printer may be printing slowly because it is poorly calibrated. To calibrate the printer, use the two knobs on the top of the machine and turn one knob until it moves an inch. Make sure you do this in both directions.

Once you have finished, print a design on fabric to see if the calibration fixed your issue. If not, contact the company that made your printer for help. If they are unavailable or unable to help, contact another company that specializes in printers like ours and ask them for assistance with calibration.

Keep in mind that other companies will likely charge for their time.

Cause #1: A faulty print head

A print head can be faulty if it has been left sitting idle for an extended period of time, which can result in clogged nozzles. To address the issue, power up the printer and run a nozzle check. If there are any clogs, use compressed air or a needle to clear them out.
If you continue to have slow printing after clearing the nozzles and you suspect that your print head is faulty, replace it with a new one.

Cause #2: Improper use of media

The media you are using is either too thick or too thin, and that is why your printer is printing slowly. The technical term for this issue is media feed. If the media you are using has a thickness that falls within the range of 1mm-2mm, then it will move through the printer smoothly.

However, if your media has a thickness that falls outside of this range, the rollers in your sublimation printer will not be able to grip it properly. This causes an issue called media feed, which can cause your printer to print slower than normal.

To resolve this issue, you need to adjust the thickness of your media so that it falls within 1mm-2mm.

Some people do this by cutting their media with a sharp knife. Others use machines like roll processors, specifically designed to handle even large quantities of material.

Whichever method you choose, remember: The goal is to have the appropriate thickness so that when it reaches the rollers in your sublimation printer they can grip it properly and print at full speed.

Cause #3: Heater problems

The most common cause of slow printing is a heater problem. The heaters in your machine are used for many different tasks including drying the ink, heating it up, and melting the carrier film.

If your heater is stuck on or has a short, it will not be able to do these tasks effectively which can cause prints to take longer than usual. In addition, if you have a dirty or clogged nozzle, this can also lead to slow printing because it will take longer for the ink and carrier film (which dry together) through the system.

To fix this problem, use a q-tip with isopropyl alcohol to clean out any gunk that may be blocking the nozzle and make sure your heaters are working properly by running some test prints.

Cause #4: Low quality inks

Inks can be one of the reasons that a printer is printing slowly. The problem is not limited to sublimation printers, but there are some differences in how to resolve it.

For example, if you’re using a solvent-based ink with your sublimation printer, use the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Cleaning the print head and rail regularly will help prevent clogs from forming.
  2. Printing with the least amount of ink possible will also help keep the drying time and overall print time shorter.
  3. When printing with solvent-based inks, make sure that you have enough ventilation so fumes don’t build up and cause problems in your home or office space. Ventilation is especially important when printing large quantities of images.

Cause #5: The ink cartridge’s lid isn’t closed properly

If the ink cartridge lid isn’t closed properly, your prints will print slowly because the ink is leaking out onto the rollers and pads before reaching the media.

To fix this problem, check that the ink cartridges are screwed in securely before powering on your printer and running a cleaning cycle.

Make sure you have new printer paper in place as well; if there’s any old paper left on the rollers or inside of the printer it could be preventing ink from reaching them as it should.

If you’re still having problems after following these steps, contact customer service for help troubleshooting.

How do I increase sublimation printer speed?

Sublimation printers are often slower than other types of printers because they have a larger heating element. This means that they take longer to heat up and cool down, which takes more time.

There are a few ways that you can make your printer faster:

  1. Make sure your sublimation printer is at the correct temperature before printing so it doesn’t need to wait for heat-up or cooling-down periods. This will help speed things up by about two minutes per print job.
  2. Reduce the size of the design file if it is too large for the available space on your fabric sheet, or increase the fabric width settings if it is too small for the file size.
  3. Try lowering the print resolution from 300 dpi to 150 dpi; this should cut printing times in half.
  4. Change your ink type from water-based ink to solvent-based ink; this will increase print speeds dramatically.
  5. Switch from a direct thermal printer to an indirect thermal printer; this has shown some promising results as well.
  6. If none of these solutions work, then try sending your designs to the printer through email or downloading them onto a flash drive.
  7. Alternatively, you can use a transfer press to print smaller images without having to use high heat settings.
  8. And finally, consider using an alternative printing method like lithography for big jobs that require multiple prints per day. Your stencils will be stronger with higher quality because there’s less chance of peeling off after time.


Sublimation printers typically print slowly because the machine needs time to warm up. You can expedite this process by printing a test image first and waiting for the printer’s heating mechanism to heat up. You can also make adjustments in your settings if you need it.

Finally, ensure that you’re using a high-quality ink cartridge, as these tend to have better results.


Why does my Epson printer print slowly?

There are a few reasons that your printer might be printing more slowly than usual. One reason may be that you’re running out of ink and the printer is trying to conserve it. Another possibility is that there’s an issue with the nozzle on your print head, which can be cleaned in order to speed up your printing time.

How do I make my Epson printer print faster?

The slower printing speed on an Epson sublimation printer is typically due to the plate being too close or too far from the print head. To fix this, turn off your printer, unplug it from the power source, and then follow these steps:

  • Unscrew the two bolts holding down your printer’s top cover by hand.
  • Lift up the top cover with one hand while you unscrew the four bolts that hold it in place with another hand.
  • Set aside the top cover where you will not lose track of it and lay out all four of the bolts onto a flat surface where they will not roll away.
  • The next step is to take out all of your ink cartridges before proceeding any further! -Gently push the cartridge carrier towards the back of the printer until it stops.
  • Pull up on the cartridge carrier arm and wait for it to return to its original position automatically before pushing it forward again until you can pull out your cartridges.
  • Now go ahead and remove each individual ink cartridge from its slot by grabbing hold of both ends of each cartridge with your fingers and pulling them straight out towards yourself. Remember that you should have removed all four ink cartridges before continuing any further!

How do I fix a slow print speed?

There are a few things that can slow down your printer. There could be a paper jam, which would cause the printer to stop printing and start making noises.

Check your manual or online instructions on how to clear the jam, and then resume printing. You may also need to clean the print head with water or alcohol periodically if there are clogs in it. There is also a possibility that your printer is low on ink, which means that you’ll need to replace the cartridge soon.

Last Updated on March 21, 2023

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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is an editor and author for Printerchief, specializing in creating informative content on the topics of office printing and paper processing technology. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring the great outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, along with activities like hiking, cycling, fishing, and reading. Additionally, Andrew loves working on various projects for his home and garden to keep himself busy and continue learning new skills.


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