Honestly, there are factors determining how many prints you can get from sublimation ink. Are you using a bottle or cartridge? What is the ink-consumption rate of your printer? How much quality does your ink provide? What’s the resolution you’re printing? All of these word out how many prints per sublimation cartridge.
Considering the factors from printer and ink type to the resolution settings and energy consumption, one sublimation cartridge can print between 50 to 200 pages. In contrast, the branded inks on low-consumption printers can produce 500 prints per cartridge. So, to figure out how many prints you’re going to get, let me introduce you to the exact working of sublimation ink and printers, factors affecting ink consumption, and strategies for cost-adequate ink consumption on high quality.
- 1 Understanding sublimation ink and printer:
- 2 Ink bottle vs. cartridge:
- 3 Factors that Affect the Print Count Per Ink Cartridge/Bottle:
- 4 Cost-effective printing: Strategies to save money and increase paper print count per cartridge.
- 5 It’s a wrap!
Understanding sublimation ink and printer:
Sublimation printing is a breakthrough in the market, but sublimation ink sits at a relatively high price compared to pigment and dye ink. This is why people go the cheapest route to attain sublimation ink to save up a few pennies. The cheaper ink ends dramatically because the density is low, the quality is reduced, and the printer consumes more.
Suppose there are two ink types: cheap and expensive. Cheaper sublimation ink is $10, and branded ink costs $30. Now, you bought a sublimation ink for $10, thinking you’d have saved $20. You’d expect to last for 2 weeks, printing 200 pages approx. You installed it in the printer, and because the resolution is increased, the ink ended in just 50 pages–not even living up the whole week. You’ll buy the ink again, and the same happens, which makes your total expense $40 for 200 pages.
In the reverse case, branded ink works as advertised and provides quality that you wouldn’t receive in the cheaper ink. And in terms of price, you still save $10 buying $30 ink for 2 weeks that prints 200 pages or even more, depending on your printer and paper size, compared to buying $10 ink 2 times a week. This will also save you from the extra hassle of installing the ink and cleaning the printer time after time. However, if your printer is of good quality and you use branded ink, i.e., Cosmos, Hippo, or Printer jack, you can yield 500 prints per cartridge in regular paper size.
Ink bottle vs. cartridge:
Now that’s where the actual dodge is. Many manufacturers claim that a sublimation cartridge prints less paper than a bottle. Traditional artists in the arena argue that it’s just a myth. The claim is to make the Tank printers popular. Well, here are the facts.
Both the cartridge and the bottle indeed have the same quantity, and it’s not the consumption. It’s the design of the cartridge. Inside the box, there are patterns that take the space and lessen the amount of ink. In contrast, the bottle has no such patterns, so when it says 100 mL, it’s the same amount of ink in the bottle.
Although, the Tank version of printers is a breakthrough compared to the old-style cartridge printers. However, nothing is perfect, and you may have less productivity of ink in a Tank printer because cartridge vs. bottle isn’t the only factor involved in determining how many prints you can get from sublimation. So let’s move to…
Factors that Affect the Print Count Per Ink Cartridge/Bottle:
The 4 most important factors determining the cartridge’s life are as follows:
The ink brand is the most important thing, and as I already spoke in my previous blogs, your ink is the soul of your printer, and it should be of quality. Low-quality ink has less density, and the printer consumes more quantity in order to live up to the required resolution. This way, low-density ink can quickly end in 100 pages compared to high-density ink in the same printer that would cover over 200 pages, and you’ll still have a significant quantity left.
It also depends on the printer’s acceptance. Some inks perform better in specific printers, while others don’t. You can get a broad idea of the best sublimation ink for your printer in the recommended article. Otherwise, you can experiment with different inks on your printer and see yourself which one works best for you.
Type of printer:
The ink type may be the dominant factor, but when it comes to deciding the ink’s running time, the printer type takes its place. Because no matter how expensive the ink bottle or cartridge you’re using, if the printer consumption is high, the ink’s gonna end way before the deadline.
So, the type of printer has a lot to do in deciding how many prints per sublimation cartridge it’s gonna provide. The cartridge-free printers have an edge for delivering more pictures than a cartridge printer. Plus, the internal mechanism of the printer should also be considered. Some newer models of Epson printers have technologies that reduce the amount of ink while keeping up the quality.
The resolution is the most forgotten factor in the equation. High-resolution prints mean your printer will double or triple the amount of ink, resulting in the early end of ink. Plus, the color type is also included. Darker colors eat up more mount ink than lighter shades. High-resolution printing also drains extra time and sometimes heats your printer. Whereas low-resolution prints use less quantity but also provide less vibrant results.
I’d suggest if you’ve less work and quality is a concerning factor, go for a high-resolution and switch on the energy-saving mode, if you have any. Don’t print on low resolution, though. Find a moderate one, i.e., at least 300 dpi, and then give it a go.
Last, how many square inches do you print out? It’s pretty understandable that if you use 4 x 6 sublimation paper, you’ll have at least 500 prints or more per cartridge in high quality. Reverse the situation if you have a large image, Let’s say, 24”; your ink will be ended every other week in just 50-60 prints.
The paper size isn’t the only factor. You may have a 30” paper, and the print area only takes 10”, so it all comes down to the intensity and size of the design you’re printing. For example, 11 x 19 paper will print 3 tumbler designs, which means the design area is large, and your ink intake will be higher.
Cost-effective printing: Strategies to save money and increase paper print count per cartridge.
Sublimation printing might seem expensive initially, but here’s the cheat code. You can literally stop buying ink after every 50 prints and still have the same quality results. How? Change the printer and ink brand.
A low-consuming printer will utilize the ink productively, in the exact resolution and quality, while taking down your ink usage by 80%. It means if you print 100 pages per week, you’ll save 4/5 of the cost of your weekly expense. That means your one regular cartridge will last only half a week, while branded ink in an energy-efficient printer will last for 5 weeks.
It’s a wrap!
While sublimation is an excellent way to start any small printing business, knowing how many prints you can get from a sublimation ink will give you an edge over your competitors. This way, you can manage your accounts for the profit margins and regulate your printing outcomes better with a well-established plan. Since when you know the ink will average 200 pages, you’ll be able to finalize the deadlines and pre-order the product, which will also save your printer from having unnecessary clogs and blockage, which happens when you’re entirely run out of ink.
So, this is it. I hope you find this fruitful for your sublimation business and regular printing work. For any further queries, reach out through comments. I’d love to help. Until then, Good luck!
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