When it comes to wide-format sublimation, the labor is a big factor in your costs, and there is plenty of margin in most products to handle the increased ink costs in a small-format printer. All it takes, though, is a little breakdown and you will find that things change pretty quick once you are able to jump to wide-format sublimation.
If you are a small-format sublimator, you are likely paying about $70 for a 30ml ink cartridge. That is about $2.30 per ml. A typical sublimation transfer uses about 1.5ml of ink per square foot — you have about $3.75 per square foot of ink and paper cost (assuming paper is about $.25 per square foot for paper cost). Compared to large-format sublimation, where you pay approximately $0.15 per ml of ink, your cost is now less than $0.50 per square foot.
—Aaron Montgomery, MontCo Consulting, 2 Regular Guys