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25 Best Sublimation Printer Business ideas

Do you want to start a sublimation printer business but want to go niche? If YES, here are 25 best sublimation business ideas & opportunities. The use of heat to transfer ink to a material is what the sublimation printer does.

If you are seeking to start a business that specializes in personalized items, using a sublimation printer would be a great investment. It differs from traditional printing methods because it bypasses the liquid step. There are no inks drying on the printed object.

Note that for bigger sublimation printers for mass production, the cost alone can eat up to $10,000. Other required products include a heat press and printing paper, which can significantly bring up the cost. Well-made heat presses can cost from $150 to $500, and the sublimation paper used for the printer can be worth over $100 depending on how much you need.

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Another important disadvantage of this printer is that this type of printing can mostly be done on polyester fabrics. They need to be 100% polyester for the best outcome. If you want to print on items that aren’t made from fabric, they must be poly-coated for the process to be most efficient.

Best Sublimation Printer Business ideas

  1. Digital Printing Press

Digital printing is renowned for quality and less quantity printing requirements. It eliminates the numerous mechanical steps required for the offset printing process, including making films and colour proofs and making plates for ink rollers.

It is among the most lucrative printing business ideas with high returns. It simply denotes the act of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media.

  1. Mugs Printing

Coffee mugs are very popular in the corporate gifting industry. Also, people buy these mugs as a personalized gift. So, if you want to initiate a sublimation business with a niche product, you can consider this opportunity.

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The first step in printing on a mug would be creating a design or a pattern on the computer, and then printing it into the surface of the mug using the sublimation printer. Printed mugs can be sold for as much as $2 to $5 a piece, and it is one of the easiest ways to earn a huge profit.

  1. Flex Printing

Flex printing has grown very popular in the united states. Earlier flex printing was confined only to the banner printing of political parties at the time of the election. However, nowadays, flex is an important tool for the outdoor advertising industry.

With a sublimation printer, you can make different types of flex that are very popular like; star flex, vinyl, solvent flex, solvent vinyl, eco-solvent flex, eco-solvent vinyl, backlit, etc. The business is very profitable not only in urban areas but also in small towns.

  1. Phone Case Designer

This is quite popular especially amongst Gen Z and millennials. Almost everyone that has a phone seems to have some sort of cover.

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This classic hard shell case protects phones from accidental drops and scrapes, keeping it in great condition. Phone cases are also a great marketing option for businesses, since they can incorporate message to their team’s phone cases for a modern, professional look.

  1. Art Headboards

Headboards for beds featuring elaborate art or photographs are beginning to become popular in specialty retail stores across the U.S., as well as being featured increasingly in interior decorating magazines and publications.

This creates a terrific opportunity for the enterprising entrepreneur to capitalize on this new furniture fashion trend by starting a business that designs, manufactures and sells art headboards for beds. The headboards can feature original art paintings or enlarged photographs that are adhered to the headboard.

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The art headboards can be sold on a wholesale basis to furniture and decorating retailers or directly to consumers and decorating professionals.

  1. For Sale By Owner Boards

Uncountable numbers of cars, boats, homes and businesses are sold each year in the U.S. privately by the owners of these items, and this creates an outstanding opportunity for the innovative entrepreneur to capitalize by starting a publishing business that specializes in creating for sale by owner marketing kits.

For sale by owner marketing kits should be created specifically for the purpose of marketing one particular item, such as a car.

  1. Pizza Boxes

Owners of pizza shops get their pizza boxes for 50 percent of the regular cost for allowing local noncompeting merchants to advertise on the pizza box, and this can potentially save them thousands of dollars each year.

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Local merchants that advertise on the pizza boxes receive low-cost highly effective advertising and the advertisement can be in the form of a cut out coupon featuring a discount for the merchant’s products and services. Consumers still receive a great-tasting pizza, plus valuable discount coupons that can be redeemed at local stores.

  1. Mouse Mats Making

In this modern US, almost everyone in an office has a computer and most people at home too. Sublimating your business details onto sublimation blank mouse mats and hand them out is a great idea.

Note that many people these days give out mouse mats with their own personal images to family and friends so why not start a business that renders this service? A customer service call can go a lot quicker when your staff have your business features and benefits at their fingertips.

  1. Make and sell Cut Coasters

Coasters have utilitarian value, but when you make them visually interesting with some high design, they’re even more appealing—whether you’re selling them for a profit or using them as a promotional tool for your brand. Consider this option extensively if you are planning on getting into the sublimation business.

  1. T-Shirt Printing

The most common business involving the use of sublimation printers would be t-shirt printing. Many individuals looking to earn a lot of profit use their knowledge in graphics editing software to create designs that will be printed onto a piece of fabric.

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The end result would be a cool shirt exhibiting designs with complex structure. These shirts can be sold online and in physical shops, and the price depends on the skills of the graphic artists who made the design, and the craftsmanship exerted to create the finished product.

  1. Sign making

If sign making is one of your talents, then you should consider using a sublimation printer and see the fruitful rewards later. The machine is commonly used for printing signs in various materials, which include aluminium, wood, bronze, and plastic. You won’t have issues with 3D designs.

  1. Photo-Blocks

In recent years, there have been increased orders for the classic photo-block, as well as the more modern rounded style. Photo-blocks can be used a special gift from one family to another, or for remembering that great holiday snap. Those in this business are seeing strong sales in the sporting event sector because they favour photo-blocks instead of the traditional trophy.

  1. Niche Greeting Cards

If you enjoy picking out and sending just the right card for every occasion, and if you’re a whiz at designing that perfect card yourself from non metal equipment, then niche greetings cards is the business for you. You can help businesses create and maintain a rapport with their clientele by making customized cards for special occasions.

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You can also send cards announcing clients’ special events and even embellish cards with your customers’ signatures and logos. The advantages to this business are that you can start part time, it’s fun and creative, and a feel-good business–even though you don’t see the recipients of your cards, you know they’re enjoying them.

  1. Promotional Sticker Printing

Promotional stickers are a very popular tool for advertising. You can set up a printing business focusing on different types of promotional stickers.

With a sublimation printer, you can transfer images onto a substrate, usually a polyester cloth material, metal or coated ceramics, by using three ingredients – sublimation ink, heat, and pressure. You can use this specific type of printing for promotional and personalized items printing.

  1. Puzzle Making

If you are at a vendor fair and are able to make puzzles on the spot, they will most likely be top sellers, especially during the holiday season.  A customer could send an image from his or her phone for you to print and press. Most puzzles are rectangular, so this is a super easy feat!

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It would, of course, mean having a portable heat press to bring with you to the fair. Although most puzzles are rectangular, you want to have a variety to choose from.  You can choose from cardboard, hardboard, and magnetic puzzles.

  1. Wallpaper Printing

Wallpaper is a kind of material used to cover and decorate the interior walls of homes, offices, and other buildings. Usually, it is available in rolls and is put onto a wall using wallpaper paste. Two different types of wallpapers are popular in the market.

These are PVC and non-PVC wallpapers. The market demand has increased by 5 % in 2014-15. You can start this business on a small and medium scale basis.

  1. Children’s Designer Clothing

There are several ways to market your finished products; you can visit local children’s boutiques to see if they’d be interested in carrying your line or you can sell the clothing online with your own website and/or on auction sites. Local craft and art fairs may also be a good outlet for your wares. You could even host monthly fashion shows right in your own home.

  1. Pet Tags Production

Pet tags come in various shapes and are super lightweight. These can easily be brought to a vendor fair for customization. Aside the common name and phone number tags, you might also include whimsical sayings like, and “My name is Sinclair. Please call my Mommy.” You might consider two sided tags for these types.

  1. Customizable Accessory Company

Note that this type of business holds infinite opportunities. People like personalized items, be it pet collars, phone cases, glass frames, picture frames, you name it. This type of business has enormous growth potential, provided that you discover your niche.

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You can start your business by offering customizable phone cases. You can start by offering cases that can have custom inscriptions on them. Later, you can expand your offer by including phone cases with custom 3D graphics.

  1. Cardboard Box Printing

Notably, corrugated boxes and cardboard boxes are popular for outer packing of both the food and non-food items. These are essential items for bakery, sweets, electronics; garments, gift packing and any sort of industrial and domestic goods. Any individual can start this business with moderate capital investment.

  1. Package Design Service

Most manufacturers realize that product packaging can be just as important as the product itself in terms of sales and overall success.

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This is why many manufacturers enlist the services of a professional when it comes to design of packaging for their products. This is a terrific opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs to capitalize by starting a packaging design service.

  1. Textile Printing

This is the process of applying colour to the fabric in definite patterns or designs. In properly printed fabrics, the colour makes a bond with the fiber so as to resist washing and friction. It refers to the production of designs of any kind that could not be made on textile fabrics by normal weaving/knitting techniques.

Generally, you can do textile screen printing on finished fabrics, curtain, clothes, ladies’ dress materials, bed sheets, bed covers, fabric for children garments, gents’ shirts, etc. to improve its attractiveness, marketability, etc.

  1. Ornaments Designing

If you are in this sublimation business you need to have a variety of ornaments in stock at all times. These are available in aluminium, FRP fiberglass, glass, natural wood, and porcelain. There are many shapes to choose from as well.  They even have a ghost shape for Halloween and an egg shape for your Easter tree!  This can be a year round business.

  1. Invitations

You can also consider starting a business that designs and produces custom made-to-order invitations. Not only can this business be started for literally peanuts, but there is also gigantic consumer demand for custom-designed invitations.

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Marketing the business can be as easy as contacting event and wedding planners in your community and presenting them with samples of your work.

  1. Guitar Picks

If there are local bands in your area who might be interested in purchasing these, then consider starting this business. A selling point is that they are great for promoting a band by throwing them out into the crowd. One custom guitar pick is sold for $13.70!

When ordering 5 picks, the cost goes down to $6.85 per pick.  Even if the customer orders 50 or more, the price is still well worth the profit at $2.74 per pick.  The cost to make one is about 50 cents plus the very small cost of paper and ink.

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Whether you’re planning on using sublimation to construct your own ideas, or if you are looking for quality made products, this information should be helpful in finding what you’re looking for.