Laser printing vs ink jet printing

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by cgutzmer, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Shhh, don't tell anyone - I printed a model at work on the laser printer to see how it worked out.....

    I printer the one of the Yamaha bikes and it printed out great! Only problem was when I folded the pieces the ink tended to flake off at the crease. Has anyone else encountered this? Don't tell anyone that I tried on a different type of laser printer at work (one xerox one Minolta) and had the exact same problem. I printed photo quality on heavyweight paper 44 lb for one 67 for the other. I never run into this problem on my ink jets at home.

    Is this a problem with all laser printers? How do those of you that use laser printers get around this (if you have experienced it) I also see it fairly frequently where people take their Internet downloads in for "professional" laser printing - is this any different? I think that both of the laser printer types at work use solid ink that melts (however I am not certain on that)

  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    Laser printers fuse the toner to the paper, and then when manipulated, will flake off(being scored and folded)
    also, the toner is dry, a powder.

    whereas the inkjets use a liquid, and we all know what happens when paper gets wet, it soaks in.
    exactly what an inkjet does

    as for the wax based prints, they hold up a little better, mainly because the wax has some flexibleness to it, but you need to make sure that the tabs you are trying to glue are clear of wax, or the pva glue will have a hard time sticking, some of the solvent based glues and I know CA, won't have a problem too much with gluing tabs with some wax toner on them.

  3. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    I've printed some black and white models at the office. The printer, HP1000 series, has a very good resolution on cardstock paper... but even scoring the model will flake off! As Rick says, it is powder. So after the printing I give it a couple of Krylon Crystal Clear coats.

    I've never tried color laser. But I've printed on transparency (for the Galileo Space Craft antenna), and I had to work it VERY careful, as it trends to flake off too.

    B&W models may work, but it depends on how to prepare the printed cardtock paper afterwards.
  4. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    When you buy a kit, what kind of printing is that?
  5. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    4 color ink printing.

    An image for press is divided into the 4 print colors and variations of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black known as CMYK. Each color is separated onto a film like transparency which shows the amount of that color by translucency.

    The film is then used to 'burn a plate' by aligning the film on a chemically treated thin metal band. The chemical is burned off the plate by allowing light through the transparency film. The chemical that remains allows ink on the press to be passed onto a sheet via pressure.

    Combining plates produces the various colors. A run of a plate is done until all of one of the prime colors is finished. The machine is cleaned and the next plate is run on the same sheet (hopefully after the previous plate's work is dry). Sheets are randomly checked for registration which is why when you see something 'out of register' it's because one of the plates slightly ran out of alignment and the pressman was'nt paying attention.

    The color is applied via thin metal plates.
  6. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Steve has described offset printing which how big print run commercial printing is done. I've heard of some equipment that will do offset printing with small print runs but I don't know much about it.

    I used a color HP laser printer for my models for several years. I got around the flaking problem by spraying it with artist's fixative, clear coat, or spray acrylic (Krylon Crystal Clear) The usually advantage of laser printing is that it's faster and so suitable to medium quantities of printing at a low price. For highest quality go with an inkjet printer using pigment ink(Epson Ultrachrome K3). I still spray it with Crystal Clear. For photos I use Epson's expensive coated paper. For model I use ordinary acid free cardstock. The coating on the paper makes for crisp photos but a creates a fragile surface. I like the ink to soak in a bit.

    Right now I have two printers. For writting I have a Brother Laserjet (HL-5140). It does black-and-white cheap and fast. For models and photos I have a Epson Stylus Photo R2400. It's expensive for both the ink and the paper, but is supposed to be the best for archivability.

  7. Jacobs40K

    Jacobs40K New Member

    I have had the same flaking experience with laser printers and copiers as well. I have access to many here at work. Thankfully, I also have access to a few inkjet printers.

    Anyways, I find that I have to spray a sealer on the print, usually a couple of mist coats.
  8. rowiac

    rowiac Member

    If you spray the laser print with Krylon Crystal Clear as Lizzie suggests, the clear coat dissolves the toner a little bit and seems to fuse it better to the paper. The sharp color edges may get a bit fuzzy, but you end with a durable surface.

    You might also try checking the paper type settings in your print setup screen. I don't know about the Xerox or Minolta printers, but the HP 4550 Color LaserJet we have at work has a "card stock" setting that seems to fuse the toner onto thick paper better. My guess is that it runs the paper a little slower through the fuser to make sure to get enough heat transfer for fusing the thicker papers. Before I discovered that setting, the red toner would flake off easily.

  9. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I think I will just stick to my trusty inkjet. I dont want to do any additional sprays or anything if I can avoid it. Both the minolta and xerox had cardstock settings and thats what I used on both.
    Thanks for the replies!
  10. missymouse

    missymouse Member

    i'm not exactly sure what kinkos uses but i have never had problems with their toner flaking off on the color laser printers. but i have learned that if i go to the 24 hour kinkos in monterey vs the one open from 8am to 9pm in salinas, i get better color results because when the commercial type printers are shut off for the night, the pigment in the gel toner they use settles and reds become pink when the printers are turned back on and takes a few thousand prints for the colors to come back while the ones in monterey never shut off unless they go poof. i got the digital navy oslabya black hull version done at the kinkos in monterey and then needed a reprint of the waterline skins and went to salinas. i got 2 different shades in the ship :) so it seems the toner kinkos or any other big commercial print place uses is a gel base and soaks in slightly rather than the home/office units that sit on the surface.
  11. TheWebdude

    TheWebdude Just a Member

    I used to print everything on a xerox phaser at work (for cost. not a bad deal). They're wax based and this was when I developed the habit of making my own scoring tool using a small paper clip as the rounded edge wouldnt break the surface of the print. My home printer is an inkjet. I prefer the matte like finish of the laser prints for vehicles and other models which benefit from a sheen but it is more difficult to work with and requires a bit of TLC in the handling.
  12. wojtek

    wojtek New Member


    You should use CANON color printer thats what Kinko in Phily. use
  13. wojtek

    wojtek New Member


    You should use CANON color printer thats what Kinko in Phily. use
  14. sforbes

    sforbes New Member

    This works amazingly well. I have an HP Color laser and had problems with flaking when I was folding. The Krylon Crystal Clear not only keeps the toner on, but really gives the model a nice finish. Additionally, it seems to make my cuts a lot sharper for what ever reason. This is going to be my standard for all of my models.
  15. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    My Update. Well, I`ve been printing at the local Office Depot here in Juarez, Mexico. They have this Xerox Docucolor 250, and the printing is magnificent, although the price is not (I bet it`s cheaper in a house inkjet). Anyway, the thing is that I`ve built several models with that kind of printing without a single problem. In fact I`m right now sitting in the store waiting for my printing of the Deguchi Submarine diagrams. Maybe it is just like in Kinkos, and they never shut it off. Hope they can lower their prices though.
    But I still don`t know how you call this kind of printing.
  16. sforbes

    sforbes New Member

    A while back I was able to get an HP Color Laser 2600n for about $299 from Office Max. Typically if you look at the cost of inkjet cartridges versus toner cartridges you will find laser printers are much more inexpensive.

    I am very happy with my laser printer and would recommend it to anyone that wants color copies at an affordable price. While mine was bought for business use, it is nice not to have to run out to get started!
  17. mb1701d

    mb1701d New Member

    When using Laser printers/copiers see if you can change the paper type settings. Setting to a thick paper mode will fuse the toner to the paper better.
  18. MapleLeaf

    MapleLeaf Member

    Laser vs InkJet

    Given the low prices of color laser printers today, I am considering getting one. I wonder if anyone has anything to ad to the opinions expressed in this thread. I ask because it has been almost a year since the last posting and things may have changed since then.
    Happy new year all!

  19. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Ahem, I really don't like to admit but, erm, it does seem like coating laser print works. If you can't stand the smell of sprays, then a cheap sorta inkjet will do. Bearing in mind that inkjet are more expensive to maintain than laser printers. Their cartridges cost a fortune...
  20. The Hermit

    The Hermit Member

    i use the giant format color laser printer at work

    i agree that laser printers are best if you spray the sheets after printing.

    if i do that i do not have any issues with the toner pealing ever...

    even with 90' bends it doesnt peel

    the only time it might wear is if i score the paper too hard.

    i use decorative crafts clear acrylic sealer

    and i get it at walmart in the crafts section

    i like it so much that i use it on all of my printed models period

    i dont print my models with out it. lol

Share This Page