Author Topic: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line  (Read 1405 times)

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sirenwerks

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 11:49:01 AM »
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I'd be happy if I could figure out how to repurpose a decent quality ink jet to white-only printing and being able to get the cartridges filled with a good quality white ink.

Or better, get someone else to figure it out, test it, perfect it, and then provide me with clear and concise direction how to DIY and cartridge refilling services. 

After all, printing all white is the same as printing all black.  But I feel  :scared: there's something to the concocting of white ink and (re)engineering of printer heads to get the unique qualities of white ink to flow through them that I'm not realizing.
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sirenwerks

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2014, 11:50:41 AM »
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I'd be happy if I could figure out how to repurpose a decent quality ink jet to white-only (or gold or silver) printing and being able to get the cartridges filled with a good quality white (gold/silver) ink.

Or better, get someone else to figure it out, test it, perfect it, and then provide me with clear and concise direction how to DIY and cartridge refilling services. 

After all, printing all white/gold/silver is the same as printing all black.  But I feel  :scared: there's something to the concocting of white ink and (re)engineering of printer heads to get the unique qualities of white/gold/silver ink to flow through them that I'm not realizing.
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

sirenwerks

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2014, 12:08:28 PM »
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I'm curious, what's the going rate for a custom white decal page?  Not the design/layout, just the printing?
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peteski

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2014, 03:55:41 PM »
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I'm curious, what's the going rate for a custom white decal page?  Not the design/layout, just the printing?

Good question. Whatever market will bear?  :D  I print decals for myself so I never really did any cost calculations.  If you are curious, go to http://robdebie.home.xs4all.nl/models/decals.htm then look up and contact one of the custom decal producers and ask them.

As far as your idea for converting ink jet (or laser) printer to print white goes, sure, that would be ok of all you need is white color. But good amount of decals need other colors too.  Since inkjet and laser CYM inks (which are used for color images) are translucent, then need a layer of opaque white under them to make a proper decal image.  So your printer would have to be able to print a layer of white first, then the color image registered perfectly on top of the white ink area.  None of the consumer inkjet or laser printers have that capability. Alps printers do. That is one of the features that makes them so desirable for this kind of task.
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glakedylan

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2014, 09:27:00 PM »
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very curious and apologies for going off topic but a question, please:

what is the difference between an ALPS 5000 and an ALPS 5500?

any information will be appreciated.

also, what is the likelihood that a refurbished one would work well enough to provide for business use in producing decals?

thinking out loud here....

Gary
"...that each may live for all,
and all may care for each..."

sirenwerks

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2014, 09:43:23 PM »
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Yea, I get the tech. There is a laser printer that is set up to print white but runs in the a little bit more than $3,000 category.  The problem is, it's designed to print white last so the white can't be used as a ground layer.  And the registration is +-1/32" so refeeding is kinda not gonna work very well for N scale.
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

peteski

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2014, 09:44:04 PM »
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very curious and apologies for going off topic but a question, please:

what is the difference between an ALPS 5000 and an ALPS 5500?

any information will be appreciated.

also, what is the likelihood that a refurbished one would work well enough to provide for business use in producing decals?

thinking out loud here....

Gary

Yes, we have derailed this thread!  :D
As far as answers to your questions go, even though the new Yahoo groups interface really blows, I recommend that you join the Alps and alpsdecal yahoo groups, then browse through the Files sections of both (Alps one is better organized).  There is lots of very useful info in there plus in message archives.

A quick answer is:  5500 was the last released model of the MD printers.  It has all the features of a 5000 plus ability to natively recognize opaque white cartridge (different than standard white).  The other big feature is that it has a built-in USB interface (which some people find irresistible when they try to run these printers on new PCs with no parallel port).

IMO, starting a new business using Alps at this point in time  would be highly discouraged.  Consumables (cartridges) will not be produced much longer and the only "real" repair facility is in Japan (very expensive shipping).  They also offer refurbished Alps (again pricey). There are couple of Chinese refurbishes, but I would not go near those printers.  Main cause of printer failure is damage to the print head. Chinese refurbishers seem to indicate that a printer with a damaged head (lines of missing ink in the printout) is normal and to be expected.  Not!
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DKS

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2014, 10:12:19 PM »
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After all, printing all white is the same as printing all black.  But I feel  :scared: there's something to the concocting of white ink and (re)engineering of printer heads to get the unique qualities of white ink to flow through them that I'm not realizing.

There's a massive difference between printing white and printing black. Opaque white ink requires particles of a size and density that are not conducive to inkjet printing, which involves heating microscopic droplets of fluid and squirting them through a hole a few microns across. Dense black dyes have particles small enough for this process; also, black ink does not necessarily need to be totally opaque to look black.

ALPS printers use a totally different process called dye sublimation. The wax-like inks are dry and applied to a thin film wound in a cartridge. The print head uses pinpoints of heat to transfer the dye from the film to the printed surface under direct contact. Because the dyes do not need to pass through a tiny opening, they can contain larger and more opaque particles--including exotic materials such as metallic and reflective films. The process also permits the application of more than four colors, all in perfect registration.
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glakedylan

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2014, 10:34:44 PM »
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thanks, peteski....very helpful info, esp. re: print head von refurbished.
Gary
"...that each may live for all,
and all may care for each..."

peteski

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2014, 11:36:28 PM »
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ALPS printers use a totally different process called dye sublimation. The wax-like inks are dry and applied to a thin film wound in a cartridge. The print head uses pinpoints of heat to transfer the dye from the film to the printed surface under direct contact. Because the dyes do not need to pass through a tiny opening, they can contain larger and more opaque particles--including exotic materials such as metallic and reflective films. The process also permits the application of more than four colors, all in perfect registration.

While I don't know the actual composition of the Alps white ink, I feel that additional info is needed here.

While certain Alps MD printer models are capable of dye sublimation printing, the standard printing mode is simply a thermal transfer printing.

The DyeSub mode uses special ink CYM cart which are useless for printing decals. DyeSub mode also needs a special photographic quality print media.  It will not work on decal paper.  It will not work printed over white ink. DyeSyb mode vaporizes the dyes which then sublimates (get absorbed) into a special print media.  Since the dye is absorbed by the media, it will not scratch off.  But decal paper is not compatible with DyeSub mode.

The inks used for printing decals are printed using thermal transfer.  Basically the wax/resin ink is heated by the print head elements until is liquifies and transfers from the ink substrate ribbon to the paper.  That ink can be applied in multiple layers and since it is wax-based it scratched easily off the decal paper.
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sirenwerks

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2014, 02:13:55 PM »
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Are you saying all dye sub needs photo-quality media?  I worked with a Xerox Phaser for a while, which had beautiful outputs.  It's a wax based toner dye sub that has excellent coverage.  I never tried to print on decal paper with it or test its coverage on dark paper stock though.  Too bad.  The wax toner had limitless shelf life, which was nice.
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peteski

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Re: Printer Giant HP Slated to Announce 3D Printer Line
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2014, 04:17:33 PM »
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Are you saying all dye sub needs photo-quality media?  I worked with a Xerox Phaser for a while, which had beautiful outputs.  It's a wax based toner dye sub that has excellent coverage.  I never tried to print on decal paper with it or test its coverage on dark paper stock though.  Too bad.  The wax toner had limitless shelf life, which was nice.

Phaser is not a dye sublimation printer. It is also not a conventional thermal transfer printer.  It is it has a fixed head which squirts hot wax onto  the paper.  The wax hardens on the surface of the paper.  The result is a printout very similar to a standard (not DyeSub) Alps print mode.  The ink can be scratched off easily.

Phaser would make excellent declas except that it (like other standard CYMK printers)  is unable to deposit whiel opaque ink under the areas printed in color.  The printer depends on the print media being white.

If you printed the color image on clear decal paper, the image would be translucent. If applied over dark model surface, the colors would be greatly affected by the background color.

DyeSub printing does require special media. That is because the dye (not ink) is vaporized (instead of being melted). The vapor gets absorbed into the special surface on the print media (instead of being deposited on top of it).  Not very print media is designed to absorb the dyes.

Both, thermal transfer and DyeSub methods uses heat during the printing process, but in different ways). Here are some references.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_transfer_printing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye-sublimation_printer
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