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A ? for the successful homemade decal printers out there

August 12 2017 at 8:54 AM
Marc Rocca  (Login wing_nut55)
HyperScale Forums
from IP address 67.81.142.43

Time to buy a new color printer. I am thinking there 3 3 basic choices. Color laser, those that use dye based inks and those pigment based inks.

Gotta look at the cost of a laser... only if it’s the best way to go for a decal.

But I have heard that a pigment based ink is better in terms of opacity than dye based. I know in the past that my decals have looked like stained glass. Which would be fine if I were building St. Patrick's Cathedral. But I'm not. Jeez, I may catch fir if I just walked in the place.

 
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Barry Berman
(Login berman4)
HyperScale Forums
75.139.203.65

White toner?

August 12 2017, 9:39 AM 

There are no white laser toner cartridges because printers are made to work on white paper. However, if it was possible to find the same type of fusible toner powder in white then an old cartridge could be refilled with white. Then it would be possible to configure your computer so that your laser printer would first lay down a base coat of white. This would make custom decals opaque and also allow printed white decals.

 
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Bruno
(Login ser400)
HyperScale Forums
70.24.117.137

Not totally true.....

August 12 2017, 1:56 PM 

Okidata has several laser printers that will print with white toner, however, for me anyway, they are cost prohibitive. The following link shows one in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYiZrxy0cB4

 
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Barry Berman
(Login berman4)
HyperScale Forums
75.139.203.65

Okay. Then the Okidata OKIc711wt might be a good replacement for the old Alps printers.

August 12 2017, 4:15 PM 

Given the price of the OKIc711wt at $2,500 this would be cost prohibitive for the average modeler plus the replacement white cartridges are quite expensive. However this might be viable for someone to create and sell custom decals. Toner Top Up in the UK sells one kilogram bulk toner plus the necessary replacement chips (these electronic chips count the pages and eventually disable the cartridge). It might be possible to use the white bulk toner in other laser printers but a thorough cleaning of an empty cartridge plus printing drum would be necessary.
You can see "white toner bulk bag" on Ebay. $390 for a kilogram but that would print a lot of decals.

 
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Tim Campbell
(Login timhcampbell)
HyperScale Forums
209.169.65.39

Not true - white toner now available for HP LaserJet

August 14 2017, 11:26 AM 

Saw this on a Facebook group when looking for advice on an ALPS printer (which I've just acquired).

https://www.ghost-white-toner.com/?lang=en

Looks like a really interesting option. Works with a HP LaserJet Color Pro 200.

Almost makes me consider selling the ALPS with all the print cartridges I just bought for it and going with the Laser. Would replace the home inkjet machine also.

Cheers,

Tim

 
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Tim Campbell
(Login timhcampbell)
HyperScale Forums
209.169.65.39

Actually for other printers than just the HP models...

August 14 2017, 11:31 AM 

Didn't realise this as I'd only previously read their home page. A rane of printers are supported:

https://www.ghost-white-toner.com/product-category/toner-supplies/?lang=en

Cheers,

Tim

 
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Joe Lyons
(Login jlyons97)
HyperScale Forums
97.75.154.44

Dell C1660W

August 12 2017, 9:39 AM 

Cheap, and it works.

I use it for duplicating and filing all decale sheets for all kits I purchase.

It's color laser, and much better than anyone's dot matrix

Joe
Average Modeler and Builder of legacy kits Beyond the Pale. Proud builder of 3' "shelf" models for over half a century; 4' for Spits.

 
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Ferdico
(Login ferdico)
HyperScale Forums
76.173.10.11

Dot matrix?

August 12 2017, 2:50 PM 

Modern inkjet printers don't print in a matrix, especially when printing from a vector-based file. They lay drops of ink wherever needed to reproduce the image in a file and are thus more analogous to a photographic emulsion, on which dyes appear only where activated by the light energy of a projected image.

Raster files, such as jpegs, are technically grids, but since it is native to the file, any type of printer would reproduce their file matrix.

Inkjet printers are designed to print with a fidelity and sharpness meant to supersede traditional photographic quality, and print generally sharper and clearer images than do laser printers. Color fidelity and richness is far better with pigment-based inkjets, too.

For decal printing, color laser printers held an advantage in the earliest days of inkjet technology (circa 2002) but are now long obsolete for image printing. Black and white laser printing, however is still a good choice for printing all-black decals.


    
This message has been edited by ferdico from IP address 76.173.10.11 on Aug 12, 2017 2:53 PM


 
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Joe Lyons
(Login jlyons97)
HyperScale Forums
97.75.154.44

it works for me.........

August 12 2017, 5:51 PM 

and has for some time..

My standards are problably not up to yours, but then I'm not making a living at doing this.

Joe




Average Modeler and Builder of legacy kits Beyond the Pale. Proud builder of 3' "shelf" models for over half a century; 4' for Spits.

 
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Ferdico
(Login ferdico)
HyperScale Forums
76.173.10.11

Anything running Epson Durabrite Ultra inks

August 12 2017, 10:19 AM 

You're right, it's the characteristics of the ink that is of greater import for decal printing. The Durabrite Ultras use a pigment based, resin encased color particle that has excellent color density and water resistance. The particles that make up the image are less likely to migrate around when introduced to topcoats, water, and setting solutions.

I know the C-series photo printers and the CX- series all-in-ones run them, so look into whatever features you need, and what you want to spend.

I've used Epson for projects making decals from actual photographs and they did a good job transferring the fidelity of the image to the decal paper.


 
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Greg in CA
(Login Whiterabbit72)
HyperScale Forums
184.23.252.55

Clog & Hog?

August 12 2017, 3:06 PM 

This ink technology is very interesting, but customer reviews of the CX printers has cast a pall over my initial enthusiasm.

The majority of reviews say the CX series constantly clog up and use a lot of ink in the cleaning cycle. Clogging seems to be a common problem with infrequent use.

Another common complaint is very high ink consumption in general. And the software prevents you from printing to the last drop - i.e. when the software thinks the cartridge is empty, you are DONE.

I have both an ALPS and an HP inkjet photo printer. The ALPS produces the best decals hands down, but it is a royal pain in the *** preparing the artwork, test printing, high reject rate - blah, blah, blah. Oh, yeah - and the drivers only work on XP, another problem I have to solve since my last PC croaked. I have to be REALLY motivated to use the ALPS.

I use the HP for everyday printing, photo printing (great!) and simple decals. It has a lot of limitations for the latter (no white, lack of opacity, water soluble ink...) but there are workarounds for many situations.

My current HP is on its last legs and I'm looking for a replacement. If I could find a replacement that uses "pigment based, resin encased color particle" ink AND was just as reliable and economical for every day use as my HP, I'd jump on it.

Are there printers other than the CX series that use these inks? Does any other company use this ink technology?

 
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Marc Rocca
(Login wing_nut55)
HyperScale Forums
67.81.142.43

The last line in this post seems to be the answer to the "question" at hand.

August 12 2017, 4:39 PM 


 
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Anonymous
(Login Whiterabbit72)
HyperScale Forums
184.23.252.55

n/t

August 12 2017, 5:45 PM 



    
This message has been edited by Whiterabbit72 from IP address 184.23.252.55 on Aug 12, 2017 5:50 PM


 
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Ferdico
(Login ferdico)
HyperScale Forums
76.173.10.11

Funny Greg, In Nor Cal it never clogged,

August 12 2017, 6:34 PM 

but here in Hawaii it's a much bigger problem. The variable in this equation is humidity, obviously, so I think clogging issues have much to do with where one lives. This, of course, is with the older Durabrite pigment inks.

That said, I can't endorse the CX series, as I have never owned one. Suffice to say, they're consumer-market priced, so any real unreliability might have more to do with the price point. I've had several Epson photo printers and all have worked reliably. So if you are willing to invest in something a little higher end, I would recommend one, while keeping the HP for everyday use.

As to the reviews and complaints, I'd regard them with an appropriate amount of incredulity. Plain truth is the pigment inks are a more expensive product because they are more opaque and lightfast, and printing a vivid image is going to make any good printer drink ink like it's a tailgate at Candlestick. (See how long I've been gone?) I think bad reviews of these issues often come from people who aren't yet accustomed to the appetites of a photo printer, as opposed to the consumer and business-targeted models with which they may be familiar.

The clogging complaints are a little more discouraging. The pattern points to the Ultra ink, which is somewhat new, causing the clogging. I wonder if it wise to wait for their next generation of printers to see if they can solve the problems.

Epson says the resin polymer is their baby, but I wouldn't be surprised if Canon and HP has similar technology in the worls. Haven't been keeping track like I did when I was at the Art Studio at Cal. There, we ran printers from all three, and I never noticed a real difference in the reliabilty or ink consumption from one to the next.


    
This message has been edited by ferdico from IP address 76.173.10.11 on Aug 12, 2017 6:56 PM


 
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Marc Rocca
(Login wing_nut55)
HyperScale Forums
67.81.142.43

Tx to all the answered. So, apart from getting the answered to Greg's last line question.

August 12 2017, 4:43 PM 

Beside other printers that may use "pigment based, resin encased color particle", are there other types of pigment based inks that will get the job done.

 
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