Sublimation printing has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its ability to produce high-quality prints. The process involves printing designs onto a particular paper, which you then use to transfer the ink onto your intended material through heat and pressure. However, the sublimation printer industry is full of different brands, and finding the right sublimation printer for your application can be challenging.
The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer is designed to produce high-quality prints for both personal and commercial use. It’s also a popular choice if you’re looking to create professional-grade sublimation prints for your home office or small business. But don’t just take our word for it.
This review will provide an in-depth analysis of the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer and highlight its strengths and weaknesses. It will also describe the printer’s features and functions, as well as evaluate its performance and output quality. Then it will provide a final verdict on whether the SG500 is a worthy investment if you’re in the market for a sublimation printer. So keep reading to learn more.
1. Design and Build
The Sawgrass SG500 is a sublimation printer that boasts a sleek and modern design, making it a stylish addition to any office or workspace. The printer’s dimensions are 15.5″ x 8.5″ x 16.25″, making it relatively small compared to other sublimation printers on the market. It weighs approximately 15.5 pounds, making it relatively lightweight and easy to move around.
This makes it a great choice if you need a printer you can easily move from one location to another.
The SG500 also features a high-quality plastic construction that is both durable and long-lasting, and you don’t have to worry about scuffing or scratching it when moving it. Moreover, the printer’s exterior has a glossy black finish, giving it a premium look and feel.
The front of the printer features a control panel with a range of buttons and an LED screen that displays essential information, such as ink levels and print progress.
Another standout design feature of the SG500 is its built-in ink system housed within the printer’s body. This design element keeps the printer’s exterior clean and free from ink spills, a common issue with other sublimation printers.
In addition, the printer’s paper tray is at the back of the unit and can hold up to 50 sheets of sublimation paper at a time. The tray is also easily adjustable, allowing you to customize it to fit a range of paper sizes. Furthermore, the printer also features a rear paper path that can accommodate thicker paper and cardstock, giving you greater flexibility when printing.
2. Print Quality
The Sawgrass SG500 is known for its excellent print quality, producing vibrant, true-to-life colors with incredible detail and clarity. The printer utilizes a built-in ICC profile system that ensures accurate color reproduction, delivering prints with excellent quality, vibrant colors, and sharp details.
The printer also has an advanced ink system and specialized Sawgrass sublimation inks designed to work seamlessly with the printer’s hardware and software. Moreover, the printer can print up to 8.5″ x 14″ sheets, making it a versatile option if you need to print various materials and paper sizes.
The SG500 can print at a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi, resulting in crisp, detailed images free from pixelation and other visual artifacts. This high resolution is particularly important for printing images with fine details, such as photographs or graphics with small text intended for sublimation.
The printer is also impressively accurate, with consistently aligned prints, free from smudging or other imperfections. Additionally, its advanced printing technology helps ensure prints are produced with a high level of consistency, making it a reliable option if you need a sublimation printer for commercial or personal use.
3. Connectivity and Compatibility
The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer has various connectivity and compatibility features, making it a versatile and user-friendly option for personal and commercial use.
It has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to print directly from your computer, tablet, or smartphone without additional cords or cables. This feature is particularly useful if you work in small or shared workspaces.
In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, the SG500 also features a USB port that allows you to connect directly to the printer using your computer or a USB. This is useful when you prefer a more traditional wired connection or the Wi-Fi network is unstable.
Additionally, the SG500 is compatible with various software programs, including Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW, and CreativeStudio, which is Sawgrass’s proprietary design software. This compatibility makes creating and printing custom designs directly from your chosen software program easy.
However, to print from a device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you will need to download the Sawgrass Print Manager app, available for free on both App Stores. The app allows you to print directly from your mobile device to the SG500, provided you’re on the same Wi-Fi network as the printer.
4. Ease of Use
The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use for personal and commercial sublimation printing needs. Its intuitive 2.4-inch touchscreen interface makes navigating the printer’s settings and menus a breeze. Moreover, it provides access to helpful tutorials and guides right from the screen.
The SG500 also features a range of automation features that simplify the printing process and help ensure consistent results. The printer’s built-in software automatically adjusts print settings based on the substrate and transfer paper you’re using, which helps reduce the likelihood of errors or misprints.
You will also be glad to learn CreativeStudio is user-friendly and accessible even with little to no design experience. It also includes a range of pre-designed templates and design elements to customize your unique designs.
Furthermore, the printer’s setup process is straightforward and comes with a comprehensive user manual that walks you through the process step-by-step. The SG500 also features automatic maintenance and upkeep functions, making it easy to keep the printer running smoothly without requiring extensive manual intervention.
5. Ink System
The ink system on the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer has a four-color dye-sublimation ink cartridge system. This allows the printer to produce high-quality prints with vibrant colors and sharp details. It’s also easy to install and replace individual cartridges with simple instructions in the user manual.
Moreover, the ink cartridges are available in high-capacity sizes, which helps reduce the cost per print. And you can also replace individual cartridges as needed rather than the entire ink system.
The SG500 has an ink level indicator that allows you to monitor ink usage to avoid running out during print jobs. Moreover, the ink formulation helps produce prints resistant to fading and scratching, making them last longer and look better.
Additionally, the ink system is well integrated with the printer’s software, allowing it to work seamlessly and ensure consistent and accurate prints.
6. Cost and Value
When considering the cost and value of the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer, it’s important to weigh the upfront cost against the long-term value and benefits of the printer.
The Sawgrass SG500 is a mid-range sublimation printer, with a retail price of around $500 to $1,000, depending on the retailer and current promotions. While this may seem like a significant investment, the SG500’s high-quality design will provide consistent and reliable results over time.
Its ink system is also pretty efficient and cost-effective for sublimation printing compared to other sublimation printers that use cartridges. Sawgrass’s free proprietary design software, CreativeStudio, helps streamline your workflow and reduce the overall cost of making your designs. This can equate to great cost savings when you don’t have to lease editing software such as the Adobe Creative Suite.
Finally, Sawgrass offers a two-year warranty on the SG500, which provides added peace of mind and value.
Advantages of the Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer
There are several advantages to using the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer.
1. High-Quality Prints
The Sawgrass SG500 design produces high-quality prints with vibrant colors and sharp details. The printer uses a four-color dye-sublimation ink system and a 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution to produce consistent and accurate colors.
2. Easy to Use
The SG500 features an intuitive touchscreen interface and automation features that simplify printing. The built-in software adjusts print settings based on the substrate and transfer paper you’re using, which helps to reduce the likelihood of errors or misprints. It’s also easy to set up and get running.
3. Compact and Portable
The SG500 is a lightweight and compact printer, weighing in at just 15 pounds and measuring 14.25 x 17.75 x 8.5 inches. This makes it easy to move between locations and fit into small workspaces.
The SG500 uses a high-capacity ink system that helps to reduce the cost per print, especially compared to other sublimation printers that use cartridges. This can equate to significant cost savings over time, especially if you do a lot of printing.
5. Proprietary Design Software
The SG500 comes with Sawgrass’ proprietary design software, CreativeStudio, which is free and includes a range of pre-designed templates and design elements. This is significant value if you don’t have your own design software or want to avoid paying for additional design resources.
Disadvantages of the Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer
Here are some of the shortcomings with the SG500 you should watch out for.
1. Limited Wireless Connectivity
The SG500 offers a limited array of wireless connectivity options. This may add steps to your workflow if you’re used to printing from a cloud system via AirPrint or Google Drive.
2. Limited Paper Size
The maximum paper size that the SG500 can handle is 8.5 x 14 inches, which may not be sufficient if you require larger print sizes.
3. Expensive Consumables
The ink cartridges and transfer papers for the SG500 can be relatively expensive compared to other printers, especially if you plan to do a lot of printing.
4. Slow Printing Speed
The SG500 can print at a maximum speed of 15 pages per minute (ppm), which may be too slow if you require faster printing.
5. Limited Color Range
While the SG500 can produce vibrant and accurate colors, the four-color ink system may not be able to reproduce every color in the same range as some other printers with more ink colors.
6. Small Ink Capacity
While the SG500 ink cartridges are available in high-capacity sizes, they still have a relatively small capacity compared to other printers, so you may need to replace them more frequently.
The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer is a powerful and versatile option if you need high-quality, durable prints for your business or personal projects. Its compact design, user-friendly interface, and high-quality printing capabilities make it a top choice if you’re considering sublimation printing.
However, its four-ink cartridge system limits the scope of its color gamut, which can limit your creative freedom. Moreover, it can only handle a limited range of paper sizes, limiting your output capability, especially for commercial use.
We recommend looking at other sublimation printer options if you need a machine you’re more than going to put through its paces. However, if you’re looking for a printer that gets the job done and don’t need much complexity from your machine, the Sawgrass SG500 is an excellent sublimation printer.
What is sublimation printing, and how does the Sawgrass SG500 work for sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing is a printing method that uses heat and pressure to transfer dye onto various materials, including fabrics, ceramics, and metals. The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer works by using specially formulated sublimation ink cartridges to print high-quality images onto transfer paper, which are then heat-pressed onto the desired substrate.
What materials can I use with the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer?
You can use the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer to print on a variety of materials, including fabrics such as polyester, cotton-poly blends, and certain types of nylon, as well as hard surfaces such as ceramics, metal, and glass.
Can I print photographs with the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer?
The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer can print high-quality photographs with vibrant colors and sharp details, making it an excellent choice for photographers, artists, and designers.
Is the Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer easy to set up and use?
The Sawgrass SG500 sublimation printer is user-friendly and easy to set up and use. It has a simple user interface that allows you to start printing quickly.