Can you get quality color prints from home printer?

Discussion in 'Print Community General Printing Discussion' started by jh2020, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. jh2020

    jh2020 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2020
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    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Hello! I am new to these forums and hopefully am in the right one, or the right place. I am not a professional printer, in fact, I am brand new and trying to print high quality color graphics on thick paper out of my home. Ultimately, I am trying to create custom baby books to sell on Etsy, so I need quality that looks professional. Since they are personalized and on-demand; its too expensive to try and use real, professional printers (or so I have found so far) and make any kind of profit since my quantity is always a quantity of 1. So from a recommendation from HP printer sales, I bought a HP Officejet Pro Premier 9010 series to do quality color prints (roughly $400), and could handle card stock (for my cover); but the graphics don't look good, particularly when I have a solid background color I am trying to print. (navy blue looks like a gray/blue with visible thin lines in it) And from just my trial and error prints I have used almost half the ink already!
    So... is there a home-use printer out there that will make quality color prints on thicker paper, or does that require investing thousands of dollars? I am willing to go up to $1000 or so. From initial research it seemed that everyone said I needed inkjet for color prints, but does anyone think laser is better? Any advice would be great! Thank you!
     
  2. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    united states
    Welcome to the forum.
    It's hard to get started. What kind of print quantity do you hope for within a year or two?
    Have you tried printing on different stocks? With inkjet, the paper is critical. With a quality inkjet coated paper, the print will be more crisp. With an uncoated paper, the ink soaks in, colors are more dull and details not crisp, etc.

    Have you also tried different quality settings in the print driver?

    Thin lines in the print with an inkjet usually indicate a nozzle clog, a print head that hasn't been aligned properly, or printing on the high speed / low quality setting.

    See if you can change quality to best quality and use an inkjet coated paper, and select the coated paper in the print driver so it allows the higher quality printing modes to be selected. (In best quality modes, inkjets will usually make more overlapping passes with less ink per pass which minimizes lines between passes and results in better quality.)
     
  3. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    united states
    Laser can be better. It depends on many things.

    I've been able to do short run books profitably on larger laser, but not really on inkjet to date as I couldn't charge enough to cover the cost per print on inkjet.

    For art prints, an 8 or 12 color inkjet can achieve color ranges that a 4 color laser cannot.

    However, a laser printer uses toner that fuses on top of the paper, so you can use less expensive stocks that don't have to be inkjet-coated and get good, crisp, results.

    Laser printers also tend to have better postscript drivers and higher end laser printers / copiers have more expensive RIPs which take the input you give it and optimizes it for the printer to print. Lasers tend to be much faster than inkjets for "commercial quality" printing, although small lasers can slow down dramatically on heavy stock. Inkjets tend to produce office-type output when printing in faster modes, and high quality modes can be very slow for most small inkjets that have moving printheads.

    Price per print can go from several dollars per print for an art inkjet printer, to 30 cents for a laser, to 5 cents for a $50,000 digital press on a click contract if you can get to enough volume to make that work.

    Welcome to the world of printing! Some of my most fun (but also most frustrating) days were when just starting out reaching to do a new type of job. It's hard getting equipment to start that can do jobs profitably. Just remember to enjoy the trip as you get more and more equipped to handle bigger and bigger things!
     
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