What is a CD DVD Disc Printer?

CD and DVD Disc printers have become VERY popular in recent times. The Direct to Disc CD and DVD printer uses either thermal or inkjet techniques to apply graphics and text to the surface of special discs. The finshed results vary according to the quality of the printer, the time spent preparing the grahpics and the concessions made by clients and designers. Printing CDs and DVDs in house does open up a world of opportunity where creativity and flexibility are important requirements. In house printing solutions are VERY different to those used in traditional commercial replication processes.

What printing methods are available? What is the quality of each?

CD DVD Printers are available in three types:
Inkjet - Most common and most poular are inkjet CD DVD printers. The inkjet technology is used in the same way as inkjet paper printers work, ie by spraying droplets of ink onto a printable surface. Inkjet CD DVD printers are used in a variety of systems at all price points, from 100 Epson printers to 4000 automated solutions. However much you pay the results will ALWAYS be similar and often determined by the quality of the printable CD surface. Printers to consider would be the MicroBoards Print Factory, Primera Signature Z6, Seiko CDP2500 and the Verity Vision. Pros: Low cost and accesible. Cons: Ink will smear when in contact with moisture. Thermal - Traditionaly where low DPI printing on silver or white top discs is required a thermal printer is used. Thermal CD DVD printers are fast and relatively cheap to run. However they are restricted in their output by their method of printing, ie the use a ribbon that is usually just one colour that will support line art and text only. If you wasnt to do multiple colours you can over print after changing the ribbon. Print on any brand of blank CD or DVD media. Pros: Permanant printing, Very inexpensive when used for monochrome printing. Cons: Low print resolution 600dpi, More expensive than Ink-jet printers. You might want to consider the Rimage Prism Plus or the Primera Inscripta. Thermal Re-transfer CD DVD printers are capable of printing much higher resolution photo type quality prints. They use heat and pressure to bind a very thin thermal transfer onto the top of the CD or DVD. The thermal transfer applied image is permanent and durable. It will be resistant to abrasion and waterproof. However, the Thermal Transfer print method is choosy regarding campatible thermal printable disc. Pros: Permanent photo realistic quality. Cons: Choosy media requirements, higher printing costs. Look at the Rimage Everest2 and Teac P55.

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