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View Full Version : Printer that prints with white ink?


mdowney
2011.01.29, 03:49 PM
I've resolved to do my own water slide decals because I need to do a bunch of Microsoft-specific logos (think: Halo car!). I can get them printed locally but I would really prefer to just do them myself because I don't want to have to run to the printers every time I think of a decal I need.

Only problem is most of the bodies are colored and will require a hefty amount of white color on the decals. I could use white decal paper but that is really tricky to get right.

Does anyone know of a sub-$1,000 printer that prints white ink?

Thanks!

soulstice
2011.01.29, 03:53 PM
The only one I know of is the ALPS line of printers which haven't been sold since 2000 but you can get used ones of ebay still and cartridges are still available. It uses a dye sublimation process to get the ink down.

There's a few models to choose from ranging in price but i'd recommend getting the 5000 series as you won't need to add the white cartridge when you need it.

mini-z
2011.01.30, 10:42 AM
Yep, what soulstice said. All of our recent logo stickers etc. are printed on white vinyl (well, except the ones on clear) but the original waterslide decals were printed on an ALPS which was pretty much the only way to do it, and, unfortunately, extinct. :rolleyes::(

The other option is of course to print color on clear and then just ensure that the portion of your body which needs to be white is unpainted/painted white. :)

mdowney
2011.01.30, 03:05 PM
I just ordered some white waterslide decal paper and I'm wondering if it will work. If I just print everything but the white (just like printing a photo with white in it) then cut it precisely I think it might work. Only catch is that anything with white on the outside edge will need a colored border around it or I won't know where to cut.

Or - perhaps I should pick up a cutting plotter? I could print the decals first then use the outline of the design to cut it. I don't know how precise those cutters can get. Some of these stickers will be pretty small.

mini-z
2011.01.30, 03:14 PM
Yep - that will work for sure - and you can add a bleed on the colored areas to make cutting more forgiving etc. too. The "Support the Forums" stickers (and soon to be released MZR10 (http://mini-zracer.com/forums/tags.php?tag=mzr10) commemorative logo stickers) we have are printed and cut on a really nice color plotter, yet even as high-end as that is it doesn't handle minute details well - and that's when everything is lined up properly; LMK if you want me to hook you up w/ our vendor, they do all of our banners/decals/etc. and do a great job. :)

Dudemeister
2011.03.14, 06:22 PM
The only one I know of is the ALPS line of printers which haven't been sold since 2000 but you can get used ones of ebay still and cartridges are still available. It uses a dye sublimation process to get the ink down.

There's a few models to choose from ranging in price but i'd recommend getting the 5000 series as you won't need to add the white cartridge when you need it.

Minor correction here. The process for printing decals is not a dye sub. While some of these printers are capable of dye sublimation printing with the correct inks and paper, printing on water slide decal paper does not require, in fact it doesn't work with the dye sub ink cartridges.

So if you're looking for used Alps printer, if you're planning on using it only for decals, you don't need the dye sub function.

So here is some information you might need when looking for a used Alps printer.

There are/were a few Alps models: 1000, 1300, 2010, 2300, 4000, 5000 & 5500. Model 5500 is specific to Japan, and I don't know if it works here correctly, although it should. Models 2010, 2300 & 4000 can't use white ink so for what we need, they're not very useful.

Models 1000, 1300 & 5000 are all capable of producing wonderful decals. The 1000 & 1300 are capable of printing @ 1200 dpi in dye sub mode and 600dpi in spot color, however, because the printers use halftoning instead of dithering to print full color images, highly detailed color images are best printed using spot colors rather than full color CYMK/RGB printing. This process requires that you make one separate pass for each color you plan on printing. The Alps printer driver gives you access to this functionality.

The Alps 5000 has a few additional advantages. First it can print up to 2400 dpi, including 1200 dpi in spot color, which gives you a much finer halftone when printing in full color mode. Secondly, it can hold 8 cartridges instead of 4, making it a lot more convenient to use as you don't have to swap color cartridges in and out.

Last but not least, the available drivers were really meant for Windows 2000. They work on Windows XP, but not in Windows 7 and especially not in Windows 7 64 bit. The in-built Windows 7 drivers for the Alps printer will NOT give you access to the special features of the printer or the capability to print white. It is possible to install the Alps drivers if you run Windows XP mode (emulation) in Windows 7, but as far as I know it only works in the 32bit version.

So before anyone goes out looking for any old Alps printer, I hope that this little rundown will help with their decision.


Good luck. :D

Skv012a
2011.03.14, 06:27 PM
Out of personal curiocity, what sort of printers and ink/paint are used to make the durable CLEAR stickers? For example, the typical logo sheets by PN, logo sheets by Atomic, etc?

Dudemeister
2011.03.14, 06:45 PM
Out of personal curiocity, what sort of printers and ink/paint are used to make the durable CLEAR stickers? For example, the typical logo sheets by PN, logo sheets by Atomic, etc?

As far as I know those used to be silk-screened on vinyl, then die cut. Whether or not they still use a silk-screening process or some digital transfer, the final product is still vinyl with solid inks layered in multiple passes, then either laser or die cut to shape.

Sometimes in order to enhance durability, they also laminate a very thin sheet of clear vinyl on top to protect the design.

Definitely not something we can easily do at home.

Skv012a
2011.03.14, 08:37 PM
Well, there's always hand-making variants of those kinda stickers, but it indeed would be WAY too tedious. I think I'll stick to just keeping my bodies white and cheap ink-jetting the designs to life on clear mailing label paper. Wasn't too shabby 3 times I've done it.