Aug 19

Disc Printing Tips: Part Two – Printing

Now you have your artwork complete the next step is to get those discs printed. Once again there are a few things to look out for so we’ve put together some more advice and tips to ensure your job runs smootly.

1. Disc Type & Printable Surface- Ok, this sounds stupid but we get lot of people complaining that the ink isn’t drying on their disc or that the quality is awful. It’s really important to make sure that the printable surface on your disc is correct for your printer.

Printer & Disc Types

Thermal Printer- The disc needs to have a thermal surface. Some unbranded discs might work but all good thermal printable discs have a protective layer applied. This ensures the pressure and heat that’s produced by the thermal printer during print doesn’t effect the quality or stability of the disc. Full Colour Thermal Printers such as the Everest and Teac P55 have been known to strip the surface and dye from a disc if the disc is not correct. The problem with this is that you could damage a printhead or heat roller inside your printer meaning expensive repair costs.

Inkjet Printer- Look out for the Inkjet, Photo Quality or Watershield discs. All of these work well on an Inkjet printer but with Inkjet printable surfaces you do get what you pay for. Inkjet printing involves water based ink so there is a chance of smudging or bleeding once printed onto the disc. If you use a very cheap disc the chances are they will not dry correctly. This can lead to ink being left in drive as the disc spins, or ink on customers fingers which all leads to a bad impression of you and what you’re company has produced. Taiyo Yuden Watershield & Photo Quality discs have a glossy surface and lock in the ink giving the impression it’s a thermal disc. You can also lacquer the discs after Inkjet printing to ensure the quality of the print and protect the disc surface. (Link to Artcoater at the base of this Blog)

Smart White- Falcon Media have produced a Smart White disc that is actually very good in both Inkjet and standard thermal printers. If you’re looking for full colour thermal printing then use a thermal disc but black thermal printing looks great on the Smart White disc. This is handy if you have a few different printers in the office.

The moral of the story, when it comes to choosing your disc really is “you get what you pay for!”

2. Record First- This isn’t always possible as the artwork quite often is ready before the master but if you can avoid printing first then do. Once a disc has been thermal printed there can be little ribbon particles left on the disc edges like dust. These will be cleaned of during duplication and if you’re producing a lot of discs this isn’t great for the recorders. If you’re recording to a Inkjet disc and it’s perhaps not fully dry or you’ve overprinted onto the plastic edge of the disc then your drive gets splattered with Ink. Again this isn’t great for your drives life.

3. Spare Ink or Ribbon – Why is it you only ever run out of Ink or ribbon at 6pm on a Friday when you’re about to run your printer all weekend. Always keep a spare and make sure to re-order once you’ve used it.

4. Servicing - Make sure your printer is regularly serviced especially if printing a lot as this will pro-long the life of the printer and help avoid and expensive repair bills caused by parts wearing out or clogging up.

5. QA- Once you have produced your first disc that you’re happy with. Use this as your guide and randomly compare the output to make sure there is no gradual colour change or movement during the job. Printers these days are very consistent in both colour and alignment but the last thing you want to do is have the system print hundreds of incorrect discs. Regular service also prevents these issues.

6. Give it a go- There is no real limitation to what you can print on a disc so have a go and you might be surprised what you come up with.

For any further advice, support or repairs please get in touch and we’ll help make sure you’re getting the most out of your printer.

Call 01264 335118 or Email info@handisc.co.uk

Here are a couple of useful links:

Disc Printers – http://handisc.co.uk/Disc-Printers.html

Disc Lacquer Systems – http://www.handisc.co.uk/Artcoater.html

Blank Discs, Inks & Consumables – http://www.handisc.co.uk/Consumables.html

Thank you

Handisc Support