Archive for the ‘Color Laser Printer Copier’ Category

Getting to Know Your Digital Printing Choices

Sunday, February 28th, 2010


Take heart, this article isn’t going to try to sell you anything. Its goal is just to help you become better informed about your choices when it comes to digital printing.  One thing everyone agrees on is that digital printing is ideal for short-run garment decoration (although I do know of companies that use it to print jobs that run in the hundreds) and has opened up new markets and new profit opportunities for a lot of companies.


First of all, let’s define the technologies available today that are considered digital. In no particular order they are: Sublimation, direct to garment or ink-jet to garment, ink-jet transfers, CLC (color laser copier transfers), and print/cut. All of them have their advantages and their limitations. 
With sublimation, everyone knows that it won’t work on dark garments and that it is primarily designed for use on polyester or polyester-blend garments. Application on cotton is possible with some pre-treating. There has been progress made in the development of sublimation systems that permit more flexibility, but the technology has a reputation as being difficult to perfect. It remains an excellent method for customizing hard goods such as mugs, mouse pads, coasters and more. 


There has also been a lot of excitement over direct to garment printing and many people have invested in this ink-jet based system that prints directly on textiles. Some limitations of direct to garment technology include its cost, not all print successfully or easily on dark garments (so do your homework), the need for pre-treating on dark garments and sometimes on light colors to make them brighter, the lack of opacity and brightness, the length of time needed to complete a garment—especially dark garments, and the skill level needed to run the equipment. Some direct to garment printers are designed to print on tile, wood, golf balls and mouse pads, but not all of them.  Direct to garment printers achieve best results on cotton but can be used on silks, blends and some other fabrics but can’t really be used on polyester without a pretreatment. However, all that being said, it is still one of the most popular digital printing methods on the market today. 


Ink jet and CLC transfers are known as the most inexpensive, entry-level, anyone-can-do-it technology in the digital garment decoration arena. There are dozens of different papers available that can take artwork from your computer desktop to a t-shirt in minutes. Again, you are limited by the substrates to which the papers will apply, and it is still difficult to find a paper that does a fantastic job of printing on darks. There is also the issue of ghosting, unless one uses precise hand-cutting to trim the excess paper or uses paper in combination with a cutter that does it automatically. 


By taking that type of thinking to the next level, a list of digital garment decorating methods to consider would not be complete without print/cut technology.  While virtually unknown as a technology to the average personalization specialist, this technology has had years of proven performance in the garment manufacturing sector—you’ve probably encountered print/cut applications on brand name performance wear, shoes, nylon bags and more without even realizing it.  Print/cut technology is probably the best-rounded of all the digital technologies available today. It gives you all the advantages of the previously mentioned digital methods, with virtually none of the disadvantages. 


One of the biggest reasons for the excitement over print/cut technology is its versatility—not only can you print on a wide variety of garments with print/cut, you can also use it to print everything from helmet stickers and window clings to vehicle wraps and banners. Print/cut technology incorporates technology originally designed for use in the sign industry, a wide-format, eco-solvent printer that instantly prints and then automatically contour cuts full-color, photorealistic logos, designs and names in any quantity “on demand.” These images are printed on specially developed digital media that can be heat applied to any fabric, of any color. 


With a print/cut system, there is virtually no limit to the jobs you will be able to do.  In the textile world – literally anything that can be fit under a heat press can be decorated, from caps and nylon bags to performance wear and swimsuits. It even works on leather. There is no need to pre-treat the garment, there are no limitations as to the type of textile that can be printed and there are even specialty media available, such as puff and metallic that allow you to create full-color fashion effects that are not possible with any other digital printing method. The recent development and availability of new digital media is what is propelling this previously unknown garment decoration method into the spotlight.  
Better yet, the technology has been tested for many years in the sign industry as being durable and easy to operate. It’s just a matter of using the correct digital media for the job on hand. Its greatest limitation would be the cost of the equipment, but with more and more business owners ready to invest in something that can be used as an alternative to screen printing and embroidery, print/cut is becoming a popular choice, especially thanks to the introduction of more media designed specifically for use with the print/cut system. 


It’s probably only a matter of time before you invest in some type of digital garment decoration technology, if you haven’t already. Whether you’re a screen printer, embroiderer or plan to specialize solely in digital printing, there’s a method available that meets your needs. And if you still unsure about making a large investment, go on-line and join in an industry user -forum chat. Benefit from the experience of current users of the technology you are most interested in and weigh all the facts. I’m not promising you still won’t feel confused, but at least you won’t feel alone!  


Martin Borley

Printer Rental: Do Business Need Them?

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Printer rental is not the most economical option for a small home office or a small business entrepreneur whose printing is limited. If a business requires occasional printing tasks, with one or a few copies than it’s far better to buy a printer, or even an all-in-one that combines printer, fax, scanner and copier tasks. These retail for just a little over $100. A printer that is used primarily for word processing business task such as reports, speeches, in house documents and so forth need not even use the color copy function to any great extent. These are economical printers and a printer rental for these would be a waste of money.

Where printer rental is an economically advantageous idea is for firms that produce multiple copies day in and day out, that provide printed copy to clients, that use their company printer to product marketing materials, and so forth. If the tasks that will be undertaken by the company printer are extensive, especially if they require graphics, collating and batches of 100 or more, a printer rental is generally a more sound decision than a printer purchase. One of the advantages of a printer rental or lease is the service and on site repair that come with the business printer rental.

Here is a typical printer rental offer.

This company specializes in the powerful Hewlett Packard 4600 color laser printer rental although it also offers many makes and models of both laser and inkjet printers.

The printer rental firm has a large inventory of printers both black and white as well as color. You can have your printer rental directly connected to your firm’s business computer or you can rent printers that are network enabled. If you know your company’s network settings, this printer rental vendor can configure the printer with the IP you’ll need and the gateway information.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you may have to update your printer drivers whether your operating system is Windows or Mac. This firm will help you get that accomplished.

Another option you may want to consider when you get your printer rental is the rental of a wireless server for your later printer. If you’re using a temporary wireless business computer network, or you are in any way constrained from having additional cables in your location this would resolve that issue. This printer rental vendor can rent the wireless server to you and can also integrate all the hardware into your network. They can even set it up for a situation such as a trade show, where you’ll need to network from the exhibit hall of a convention center and so forth.

This printer rental provides a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Included in the printer rental are the firm’s assurance of sales experts with printer and other rental equipment expertise, and a huge inventory of top of the line products that include Hewlett Packard, NEC, Apple; Compaq, Pioneer and Fujitsu, and others.

Printer rental includes software loading and configuration prior to delivery. This includes your firm’s proprietary imaging. Your printer rental equipment is tested for quality assurance, to ensure that the equipment you are renting works as it should. The rental guarantee also includes delivery and installation by technicians who are both certified and in uniform.

Technical support of the printer rental equipment is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The response time for on-site delivery, service and support is short, and the technicians all carry two way radios for instant communication with clients.

Replacement service is guaranteed on printer rental equipment that is faulty, and help desk support is unlimited and available via toll free number.

Robert Michael

Disadvantages of a Laser Printer

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The laser printer’s cartridges are more expensive then the cost of inkjet printer’s toner. However they do last longer especially if you remember to set the printer in black and white printing mode when printing black and white and only using the color mode when it is really needed. Another way to make an expensive color laser toner cartridge last longer is to keep the printer in low quality mode unless you are printing out the final document.

There are very few disadvantages to owning a laser printer in general but one of them is definitely the cost. The money that you could spend on a very high-end inkjet printer will only buy you a very low-end color laser printer with limited capacities. Color laser printers with multi-functions such as a copier and a fax all in one are even more expensive. However a middle of the line black and white laser printer is comparable to the price of a top of the line color inkjet printer.

Another disadvantage is the cost of the cartridges inside a laser printer. Sometimes the cartridges cost almost as much as the printer did which is why many people throw the entire printer out and buy a new one after the cartridge expires in year or two.

If you live in a hot or humid climate a laser printer may not be the ideal solution for you. This is because running these machines can make a room very hot. The fuser inside them, which is the device that melts the plastic granules that constitute the powder that makes up the toner onto the paper, heats up to as high as 200 degrees Celsius.

Another limitation of a laser printer is that they only really print on certain kinds of paper. If you want to print out photographs then a laser printer is not for you as they are not yet capable of printing high-resolution images. Also you cannot put photographic paper through a laser printer. For the best quality images you need to buy a bubble jet ink printer that can transfer an image onto photographic paper. The color quality that you get with a bubble jet ink printer is just as good if not better than the color quality that you can obtain with a laser printer. A high-end color printer that produces quality color images can cost as much as $3,500 to $10,000 whereas you can get a good quality ink jet printer for about $200.

Another disadvantage of laser printers is that many of them are limited by the amount of memory that they are sold with. This can sometimes limit the number of fonts that you can use. To expand the memory of your color laser printer you usually have to buy a small RAM board. This is the only reliable way to install memory so that the color laser printer can utilize a number of fonts.

The more expensive a laser printer is the faster it is. The affordable models only print out about four pages a minute. Top end models print out about twelve pages a minute but they are not really affordable for the individual.

Laser printers, especially the color laser printers, can also be heavy and take up a lot of desk space or room in the office. At the time of writing there was also no such thing as a portable laser printer. The reason that a portable laser printer has yet to be invented is because a battery does not yet exist that is small enough to provide laser printer functions with enough power so that it can be taken on the road.

Steve Buchanan