How do I prevent printed image cracking during folding?

Discussion in 'How Do I...' started by DJPinter, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. DJPinter

    DJPinter Trusted Confidant

    I'm using a HP Color LaserJet CP4025 to print my patterns/parts. It gives a sharper image than my ink jet, the image doesn't smear when my gluey fingers touch it and I don't want to buy fresh ink jet tanks. ;)

    Can I use Testors Dullcote to prevent image cracks during folding?
  2. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    The main problem is that you are using a laser printer. That is a common trait with all printouts from a laser printer.
    You really should go back to your inkjet printer. After you have printed the parts sheets, it is always best to let them dry for a few hours. That way the ink will not run.

    As for using anything on the laserjet printed sheets to keep them from cracking, that I do not know.

    Good luck with it though.
  3. micahrogers

    micahrogers Active Member

    You can try Krylon Krystal Clear varnish over the printed sheets, I use this over both inkjet and laser printed sheets. If the finished model needs a dull finish you can use a dull coat. Testors dullcoat is good if ya have access to it.
  4. Cforrest900

    Cforrest900 Member

    I don't use color laser for that reason, but i'd say make sure you score all of your fold lines lightly.

    I prefer using glossy paper with my inkjet printer, as it gives the same glossy-looking finish, but the ink won't crack.

    This way, I can also use plain printer paper for less shiny models
  5. Jyoung147

    Jyoung147 New Member

    Thanks for the info! this is really good to know
  6. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    Stay away from laser printing. Try to get a printer that uses pigment Ink, not Due ink. It will not run from water drops, and is less affected bu U.V. rays. :) I use Epson Printers, currently a Workforce 1100, and a NX410, for scanning, and get my in from, that sells O.E.M. in in bulk, very inexpensively.
  7. daishi

    daishi Member

    I can just agree laser printers (usually) print very pretty pictures but the moment you try to fold it It will crack or just peel right off. I personally use an Epson Stylus P50 altought not with pigment ink (couldn't find any cheap for reasonable postage to/in Hungary), and it works really well with either plain or matte photo paper.
  8. DJPinter

    DJPinter Trusted Confidant

    I did not want to start a flame war between the inkers and lasers. I personally believe that ink printers don't produce accurate images. The images are fuzzy because of the ink spreading.

    Besides, if I wanted to start a flame war I'd say, for example, "Han shot first!"

    But I'm not going to do that. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  9. daishi

    daishi Member

    Yes that's definetely a con for inkjets, using (matte) photo paper and a photo printer does improve print quality (and the cost ;) ) a lot though.
  10. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    Depends on the Inkjets, as I know a person who designed quite a few inkjet heads, and have some of his prints that look like artwork, with detail that I have not seen anywhere, in Inkjet, the difference between pigment and dye is very big indeed. It is with Dye ink you get much spreading and blurring. not so with Pigment, which is using heat to put the ink onto the paper, not absorbing through the paper as dye does.'

    Stating fact is not flaming. There is a very simple answer to your dilemma, do not fold any parts, cut them, then use a "L" shaped strip to tie the pieces together.

    The consensus is that Laser, for paper models isn't for the most part, is not the way to go. However, with due diligence, you can make a model using both types of printers, it's your technique that will get you the results you wish. :)
  11. bobw63

    bobw63 New Member

    My Ricoh color laser prints fine - understanding the limitations. Under a microscope the ugly white ridges that show up in the fold appear to be cracked paper. As the laser color is a coating of sorts, when the paper cracks underneath the white of the paper shows through. Inks absorb into the paper to some extent and I believe this saves you some headaches as the white shows through less, if at all.

    Things I have done with varying degrees of success -
    • Score, score, score. Especially the heavier papers. YouTube bone folder and scoring. I also use a ball stylus when a crisp fold would look odd or when contouring paper.
    • Paper often has a grain. Print so your primary bends are parallel to it.
    • I am still not certain whether preheating the paper with a desk lamp helps prior to bend sharp corners. It seems to. It can also burn your house down if left unattended.
    When all else fails I touch the edge up like I would exposed edges. Felt tip markers.
  12. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    I would cut the part, the use an appropriately shaped piece of paper to hold the two surfaces together. I cut a lot of parts that would otherwise be folded. Makes for a stronger model two, as you are reenforcing the edges with an L shape and glue. A frame work of sorts. :)
  13. Zubie

    Zubie New Member

    I've built a couple of things with laser printed parts and did not find cracking to be an issue nearly as bad as that of plain spottiness which, since I'm not a printer engineer, I can only guess are drum issues (shhh!, it was the office printer). I have been using the home b&w laser printer to print out things I intend to paint over, prototypes, paper I've silvered and structural parts to save on the inks. I have found that a coating of Krylon matte fixative (used to protect sketches in pencil and pastels) prevents flacking and provides some protection from the scrapes that comes from part handling. There's a version that provides UV protection, but I haven't used that. A wide collection of felt tips or artists color pencils can also help fix/disguise problem spots.

    I also used my ALPS once to try it out, and well that did crack pretty badly and didn't like the glue, but then again it is wax based so no surprise there. Shame because those colors were pretty stable.
  14. gregh

    gregh Member

    Everyone,....Thanks for the good advice. I have in the past used the office laser printer for just the black&white portions of a model and joining strips. My epson wf 1100 is used for color portions.
  15. Tonino

    Tonino Member

    I used to print all my cardmodels with inkjet until I had the chance to access a good quality color laser printer. The resolution is a little lower than my old inkjet but the colours are really brighter and better looking. Even using specific inkjet paper the inkjet give me dull colors, like if a dust layer is fallen on the sheet. Perhaps it depends on the printer and the cartridges I 'm using (my old Epson was a better printer than the HP I 'm using now).
    My scoring technique, however, minimizes the color cracking problem.
    I score the folds with the knife using only light pressure on the blade. This way I cut the cardboard halfway the thickness. It's something like cut away the parts, like @zathros advices, but with no need to put "L" shaped pieces inside. The folding line results white (and very visible) because the underlying paper is exposed. The solution is accurate retouching with felt tip pen of the right colour (I have a big collection of felt tip pens).
  16. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    I have an EPSON Workforce 1100 Wide Format Printer. Some color adjusting, and I get fantastic prints from it. These printers, Epson, are mostly designed to use Pigment Ink. Sometimes people use Dye base and this is not recommended. It will no print right and the colors will be dull. I have a bulk supplier that I get O.E.M. Epson ink from, for a very, extremely reasonable price. I use refillable cartridges, and clean my inkjet nozzles if the printer has not been used in a week or more. It is important to know what kind of ink your printer uses. I highly recommend printers that use pigment ink as it does not run if wet, and does not fade from U.V. Sunlight rays. Epson now makes Dye based printers, so this has to researched to make sure.

    Tonino's advice is the only way you can prevent cracking that I know of. My experience with Laser printers is limited as they do not suit my needs. Tonino's pictures attest to his methods. :)

    p.s. I get my ink from they can be reached by phone, and give you some excellent advice on what printer to get. :)
    Tonino likes this.

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