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Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby inkslinger10 » Fri May 25, 2007 9:03 am

Guys or gals,

Im in the market for a new printer. I was thinking of going with a Laser printer this time around but I ran across the Epson on the US Screenprinting website. I want to start doing process print, and also improve my quality. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
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Postby ftembroidery » Fri May 25, 2007 11:52 am

If you're going to do process (which is multicolor by nature and therefor several screens), I'd suggest an inkjet over a laser. Laser printers "fuse" the toner to the film with heat. The heat shrinks the film and can make proper registration of the positives and screens difficult if not impossible. That having been said, there are a lot of screen printers using laser printers successfully. Some run one color of the separations and let the printer cool down a while. Some run all of them at the same time (maybe even running multiple copies) so all the films might be heated up and shrunk equally. Some keep their films in a "hot-box" like a drying cabinet to remove/reduce any moisture thereby hoping to reduce shrinkage.

Inkjets do not use heat, so there is no shrinkage of film and proper registration is no problem.

With respect to Epson printers, there are a lot of screen printers out there using them. Some (many?) have complained of head clogging and failure, others have not. Some (many?) have complained of feed wheel (daisy wheel) problems messing up the ink as the film comes out of the printer and have done all sorts of things from removal of wheels to using plastic wire ties, etc. to correct the problem. There are a few 3rd party RIP progams available for Epson printers so halftones can be printed.

There are a growing number of screen printers using HP (such as the HP9800) and Canon printers (I personally use a Canon PixmaPRO9000 and a Canon MP780 with the 9000 being used for larger 13x18 films). While there are some aftermarket/3rd party RIPs available such as Harlequin, they are very expensive ($K+), so many if not most users of HP and Canon, etc. use GhostScript/GhostView as their postscript program. It's free, but you'll need to do some searching on the various screen printing forum boards for all the proper ways to use it, where to find & download it, what postscript printer drivers you can use along with it, etc.
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Postby ROADSIDE » Sun May 27, 2007 9:37 am

ftembroidery wrote:Laser printers "fuse" the toner to the film with heat. The heat shrinks the film and can make proper registration of the positives and screens difficult if not impossible. That having been said, there are a lot of screen printers using laser printers successfully.


I use LASER & an EPSON.

If you use the proper film in a laser it will NOT SHRINK!
Laser prints cleaner lines and edges then any ink jet....
.... I can give you my opinion but I can't tell you if it's right or not.
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Postby ftembroidery » Sun May 27, 2007 1:34 pm

ROADSIDE wrote:
I use LASER & an EPSON.

If you use the proper film in a laser it will NOT SHRINK!
Laser prints cleaner lines and edges then any ink jet....


I will not disagree with the capability of printing fine lines and edges with respect to laser printers. However, you are the first person I've EVER seen make the claim that there's a film for lasers that will not shrink. Everyone else admits that when printing out separations with lasers there is or can be a problem with proper registration because of the heat/shrinkage problem.

Also, known with lasers is the concern of positives that are not dense enough, ergo the various sprays and other methods (like placing the printed positive under a flash dryer) of darkening up the toner. Do you use your Epson (and 3rd-party RIP) for printing separations and your laser for single-color designs?
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Postby ROADSIDE » Mon May 28, 2007 9:36 am

ftembroidery wrote:
ROADSIDE wrote:
I use LASER & an EPSON.

If you use the proper film in a laser it will NOT SHRINK!
Laser prints cleaner lines and edges then any ink jet....


I will not disagree with the capability of printing fine lines and edges with respect to laser printers. However, you are the first person I've EVER seen make the claim that there's a film for lasers that will not shrink. Everyone else admits that when printing out separations with lasers there is or can be a problem with proper registration because of the heat/shrinkage problem.

Also, known with lasers is the concern of positives that are not dense enough, ergo the various sprays and other methods (like placing the printed positive under a flash dryer) of darkening up the toner. Do you use your Epson (and 3rd-party RIP) for printing separations and your laser for single-color designs?


I rarely use my epson for films.... when i do use it, its for large format, single color films.

I use an Xante Colour Screenwriter 4, for my multi-color jobs. This is also the same machine I use for Dye Sublimation.
We are now about get Xante Plate Maker 5.... its better then what we currently use and will allow us to have 1 machine dedicated to each process http://www.xante.com/products/pm5/

I will agree that the film is not as DARK as the epson but they are dark enough to burn screens.
I never use a chemical or flash to darken my film. (The trick is to keep your toner FULL and if its not used for a couple days give it a gentle shake)

As for the film itself..... I use 13x18.5 myriad film ($100 for 100 sheets) expensive but worth it.
I have not experienced any shrinking (with the film) and I normally do not trap my artwork. 95% of the time its "butt registration" using an M&R Tri-Loc Registration system.

My screens are Mel-Ray Aluminum Forever Screens....

My grandfather always says to me "Spend the money and do it right the first time! The customer will appreciate the quality when its all said and done!"
.... I can give you my opinion but I can't tell you if it's right or not.
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Postby DTGPrinting » Tue May 29, 2007 1:35 pm

I agree with Roadside. There are films that do not shrink with the heat. I've used a frosted laser film by Kimoto for years and nothing ever shrunk.
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Postby corradomatt » Thu May 31, 2007 5:33 pm

Kimoto does have a terrific product, but some of our customers have had their film shrink slightly. We had two separate customers complain of their film shrinking. It only happened once for each customer and they are still using kimoto's products, so it must not have been a big deal. :)
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Postby DTGPrinting » Thu May 31, 2007 6:15 pm

Some laser printers get real hot. Some of the hottest I've seen are HP's. I use an Okidata.

We now have our own inkjet films. After using them, with the density, I don't even use the Laser for films anymore. The films are worth the wait.
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Postby ROADSIDE » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:12 am

If I could get my hands on a QUALITY RIP for my epson I would probable use it more.
I have been experimenting with power rip X but not really liking it.

Oh well....
.... I can give you my opinion but I can't tell you if it's right or not.
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Postby ftembroidery » Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:07 pm

I wonder if we, as the screen printing industry, could convince HP and Canon, etc. to put a PostScript 2 or 3 into their printers that will do 13x18" and up (or maybe 11x17 and up). Most of them already have a RIP that is for color blending. All they would need to do is incorporate a decent RIP for doing half-tones. It wouldn't take very much on their behalf. Not only are there already a lot of RIPs out there (FastRip, PowerRip, Ghost, Harlequin, etc.), but they already have RIPs in many of their lasers and wide-format (24"+) printers. Maybe lots of emails could get something accomplished. I know I personally have sent such suggestions to HP and Canon.
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Postby DTGPrinting » Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:28 pm

That's a nice thought, but it's such a small percentage of people who would want this capability in their printers. They look at the bottom line and it simply would not be a good enough margin for them to spend the time and resources to do such a project. IMO
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Postby tnelson42345 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:03 pm

OK, Stupid question...

What is this 3rd party RIP you guys are talking about? Is this how you seperate the colors on the printing? Please explain..I'm hoping to get into this business fairly soon!
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby tompaine » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:03 pm

Laser film will always be less dense in the centre of blocks, it's related to the static electricity charge that they use to attract toner - it repels to the edges.
Ink jet is denser and more reliable, there are shrinkage problems when the toner is cured at 170 degrees.
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby Business Forms » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:36 pm

laser toner cartridges print far extra sheets comparative to their cost than inkjet cartridges ….laser printers print especially quickly – once the printer is warmed up, pages are printed as speedy as they can pass during the machine, with no waiting for ink to dry…. lasers are much better at printing fine details, such as very small fonts….
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby locohenry » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:10 pm

I use to work for a screen printer that used Xant laser printers. This was quite awhile back (8 year ago)
We would burn all the screens and start to registering the screens on an auto t-shirt printer. You would have the job all in register and then we would find a mistake in the artwork. The owner would output a new laser print seperation or two to correct the mistake. We would shoot a new screen or screens and go regiter the job and they would not fit/match the previous seperation. So he would have to output a whole complete set again and we have to re-burn all the screens.
Maybe they have fixed this. I just remember it was such a waste of time and labor
If I was going to buy a printer for seperation I would buy and Epson with the proper rip. I have a friend that has an Epson 7600 (not sure the mdel) and he makes re-production pinball playfields and he swears buy his Epson.

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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby taglessthreads.com » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:31 am

We use the Epson 7880 Inkjet Printer and like it. I have see a lot of crappy laser films that were nowhere near dark enough.
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby corradomatt » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:01 pm

taglessthreads.com wrote:We use the Epson 7880 Inkjet Printer and like it. I have see a lot of crappy laser films that were nowhere near dark enough.


Yea, with the cost of inkjet printers and film these days and quality RIP programs like AccuRip, I think that inkjet printers are the way to go for sure!
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby Business Forms » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:43 am

In the early days there was a vast difference between an inkjet printer and its laser version but with time the difference has narrowed down to point where it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two. Most individuals continue to use the Inkjet printers, as they are less expensive and nearly all of them are color capable. The quality of the inkjet printers has improved over time and now there is not a huge difference in printing quality with the Laser printers. It’s for this reason that small or home business can use an inkjet printer without having to worry about documents looking unclear or looking cheap.
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby mona55 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:54 am

I think I'd choose Epson Inkjet. Cuz one of my friends has been using Epson 7880 and he says it's pretty good.
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby Tonerrainbow » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:09 am

How does color laser printer fare as compared to inkjet printers when it comes ..... Now I am using an Epson 1800 13" wide injet printer for photos.
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby Emily Blunt » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:13 am

I won't differ with the ability of printing almost negligible differences and edges as for laser printers. In any case, you are the primary individual I've EVER observed make the claim that there's a film for lasers that won't contract. Every other person concedes that when printing out partitions with lasers there is or can be an issue with legitimate enlistment on account of the warmth/shrinkage issue
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Re: Laser printer vs. Epson Inkjet

Postby levirichard » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:38 pm

In my view a laser printer is the best choice because it provides high quality images and prints.
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