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What printer would you buy? Decals, scanning, etc.

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Tramper Al

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Hi,
I need to buy a nice printer for home, and printing rocket decals figures pretty high up in the priority list. I can spend a little money on this.
I despise the industry methods of having perfectly full and good expensive ink cartridges "expire" and render the printer inoperable, but I realize it might be too late in the game to avoid that.
So, for b&w and color decal printing, should I prefer inkjet or laser? I know that decal paper is available for each. I don't think I can get a new printer that prints in white ink, but I intend to try some of the white (instead of clear) decal paper too, if that might be useful?
Any other features you might look for, specific to printing decals?
I will be scanning kit instructions/decals too, though perhaps most any printer could handle that. Not sure how widely the resolution ranges.
Thanks in advance . . .
 

K'Tesh

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While I cannot recommend a brand, you might try looking them up in Consumer Reports... They're pretty reliable at getting things tested.
 

C-3-7-ADA

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As a graphic designer by trade, I swear by Epson scanners and printers. Now, when you talk about decals, are you creating decals for model rockets or high power, where you need larger decals?

If I'm creating decals for large rockets, I create them in Adobe Illustrator as a vector file and take it to FastSigns. They'll print anything I bring them in vinyl, as long as it's not violating any trademark or copyright laws.

Usually, the decal is cut out of one color of vinyl material at a time and each color is applied separately, being careful to align things properly.

Hope this helps
Steve Graham
 

rosko_racer

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I only build low to mid power rockets so inkjet printed decals work for me. I print my decals on a Canon MX860 inkjet printer. I prefer Canon as I can replace each color tank separately and they print fantastic photos. After planning the color theme for my rocket, I design my decals using PowerPoint and save them on a PDF using another app at 600 dpi. If I want to color match, I do test prints on regular paper first until I have or am close to the color I want. It prints solid black, red is good but translucent, the yellow and orange are acceptable. If you apply a red decal over a silver surface it will look like metallic red which is cool, check the Century UFO. Look at these and judge.


Centuri Alien Scoutship 01.jpg
Vulcan001.jpg
20150908_210716.jpg
20150908_210740.jpg
20150908_210804.jpg
IMG_2427.jpg
IMG_2429.jpg
IMG_2430.jpg
 

Marc_G

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This spring I will be doing the first decal prints using my new (bought September last year) Brother 9130CW color laser printer. I have not yet printed any decals on it, but this model was recommended to me by others who do print decals. Obviously it won't print white or any of the other special "colors" the ALPS printer can.

Putting aside decal printing for a moment, I've got to say I LOVE THIS PRINTER. Here's why:

1. It was inexpensive to buy. Typically under $300 (often around $279), including the starter toner cartridges. I'm 5 months in and still have half capacity in the color cartridges and I'm getting to the end of the black cartridge.
2. Its cost per page is relatively low. You get a lot of mileage from the toner cartridges, and since it's a big name brand, generic cartridges are available. Also, when the software tells you the toner is getting low, you can reset that counter and keep using the toner until it runs dry.
3. The print quality looks nice for the kind of stuff I do (text, business graphics, etc.). It's probably not the best "photo printer" you can buy, however.
4. The scanner works well, and the Paperport software for PC performs well and is easy to use for my needs (I prefer it to the Canon all-in-one Pixma 922 that was my prior printer [dead print head])
5. It's Google CloudPrint Ready, and works well with CloudPrint. It doesn't keep disconnecting at random times like the Canon printer did. I set it up with Google once in September, and it's still connected today.
6. It doesn't make all that noise that a lot of inkjets make when they get ready to print, or just printed, or just because they feel like it.
7. It's speedy, in terms of when I tell something to print, there's only a short delay before it starts printing.

What don't I like about it? Well, recent editions of this printer no longer have an Ethernet wired port. Your options are WIFI or USB. Since it sits within a meter of my WIFI router, this isn't a problem, though I do find it an annoyance because in the world according to Marc, major appliances should have wires coming out of them. But it connected right up and has not had any connectivity issues in my experience.

I'd love to hear other comments about this printer or similar Brother models (like the next one up, that can do two sided printing), specifically about decal printing.

Marc
 

BDB

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Can I hijack this thread to ask what kind of decal paper you guys prefer to print on?
 

Micromeister

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As a graphic designer by trade, I swear by Epson scanners and printers. Now, when you talk about decals, are you creating decals for model rockets or high power, where you need larger decals?

If I'm creating decals for large rockets, I create them in Adobe Illustrator as a vector file and take it to FastSigns. They'll print anything I bring them in vinyl, as long as it's not violating any trademark or copyright laws.

Usually, the decal is cut out of one color of vinyl material at a time and each color is applied separately, being careful to align things properly.

Hope this helps
Steve Graham
Ditto!
Been printing my own decals for Decades now on Epson C88 Can't say enough about the Durabright inks. Scanner is also an Eposn flat bed.
 
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