Cheap way to make pro-looking DVD’s on an inkjet printer…

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    • #41050
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Since I started doing DVD’s a couple years back, I’ve just been labeling them with those photo labels you can get at office supply stores. To date, nobody has complained about this, but I don’t like it. I’m a professional, and disc labels, to me, look cheezy. I should be above that.

      After shopping around for a good thermal printer to produce DVD’s for my clients, I came to the conclusion that I can’t afford the printer I want to allow me to print full color discs, so I started researching inkjet printers.

      I found a great little all-in-one unit from Epon at Sam’s club for $90. Aside from printing discs, I can also use this for other business stuff, as opposed to the family printer, making it easier to justify itemizing printer costs on my taxes (:-P). So I got that, as well as a spindle of 100 printable DVD’s.

      Let me stop to point out the obvious information that any inkjet owner knows about: running ink. As soon as inkjet ink gets wet, it goes all over the place. Now, again, we go back to the whole "professional" issue. Being in that category, I don’t want to give someone a disc that looks beautiful, but as soon as Aunt Rhona spills a little watter on it, the image washes away. So, to solve this problem, I used a technique that I learned from my dad, who runs a small auto body shop: clearcoat!

      I went out to the auto parts store and bought a can of automotive high-gloss clearcoat. Automotive clearcoat is the way to go on this, because unlike some paints which eat away plastic on contact, automotive paints and clearcoat is designed not to harm plastic, since in this day and age half of your vehicle’s body is made of the crap. Plus, they take high heat (in this case, from the laser) better than conventional paints.

      I printed off a test DVD, let the ink dry a few hours, and took it out to paint. I had a surface that would prevent the clearcoat from hitting the data side of the disc, but I didn’t want any clearcoat to get on the inside rim where computer drives and some DVD players "lock onto" the disc. The solution? Those little round stickers for yard sales. they cover just enough to keep the clearcoating from going in the center of the disc.

      I’ve been doing this for a while now, and I love it. People have actually asked me where I get professional DVD’s made! The nicest feature is that with the clearcoat, there’s a nice uniform glossy surface on top of the disc, giving it the look of a thermal printed DVD.

      So all-in-all, here’s the breakdown for the startup cost of this:

      Inkjet Printer: – $90 (includes ink)
      100 DVD’s – $40
      Auto Clearcoat – $3.50
      Total – #133.50

      Knowing that I saved hundreds, if not thousands, on a system that would print full disc images – Priceless

      I’m sure someone out there will have objections to this idea, but I’ve not yet come across a reason I won’t keep doing it this way. The automotive clearcoat is also designed to flex (in case something bumps the panels on your car), so it won’t crack if they flex their DVD a little. It looks great, and since I started doing this, it’s just made my finished product look amazing.

      NOTE: Practice clearcoating a few junk discs first. You have to be careful or else your clearcoat will go on blotchy. And unlike cars, you can’t sand this down and recoat πŸ˜›

    • #174993
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Epon or Epson? Also, could you provide a link to the product. I’ve been looking for a disc printer.

    • #174994
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Epson. My little laptop keyboard’s keys are so close together that when my fat fingers start typing, typos abound.

      I’ll try to find a link. If you go to your local Sam’s Club, it should be in their printer section.

      It prints cds/dvds and regular stuff, and it has a USB port on the front that you can connect cameras to to print out images. The one thing it doesn’t have is a scanner, but I already own one, so no worries there.

      It’s cheap, and with a can of automotive clearcoat, it looks really good, even without the Turtle Wax πŸ˜›

      I’ve taken my DVD’s in the past and let them sit at the bottom of a sink for 15 minutes. The clearcoat holds, and the discs look almost as good as a thermal printer. And considering a nice thermal printer that does full color on a full disk can cost thousands of dollars, I think this is a fair price. I just need to get my uncle in law, who fabricates new technology, to help me fiqure out a way to incorporate a clearcoat sprayer onto the inkjet heads and I’m sure I’ll make millions.

      Of course, in 2 years, someone else is going to beat me to it now that I said that outloud πŸ˜›

    • #174995
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I found a cleaner way! I create and distribute various marketing materials and training videos. I found using the TEAC P-11 Thermal Disk Printer. This printer prints only ONE color at a time, but I found using a TAIYO YUDEN DVD-R8x silver media the results are great!

      The printer runs $119.00, and depending on your labeling; most disks cost approx 50 cents. (approx 50 disks / $24.00 print ribbon cartridge.

      Back to work! I’ve got 50 to do right now! πŸ™‚

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