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

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    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

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    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

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    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!
     
  4. jh2020

    jh2020 New Member

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    First, thank you for replying! I did adjust the settings and that helped a lot. I think I need to tinker with the paper more. The uncoated definitely serves its purpose to write on, but I am still trying to crack the code on my cover since it is flooded with color, and as you stated, the uncoated just soaks up all the ink and makes it a different muted color. I tried glossy paper and let it dry forever, but it still smudged and didn't print very smooth. Maybe I need a coated, but not glossy option, so I will try that next. I'm definitely getting closer, so thank you for your help! Jill
     
  5. jh2020

    jh2020 New Member

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    Thank you for this...I smiled at your memory of getting started. It feels frustrating right now, but it does feel good to get closer and closer to my goal. I appreciate your words of wisdom and will try to enjoy the journey! Jill
     
  6. xfactor printing

    xfactor printing Senior Member

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    As far as the glossy paper not drying, getting the correct glossy paper for the inkjet you're using is critical--and where inkjets can be fussy. If the ink isn't drying after many minutes, try a different glossy stock or a few different samples or one branded from the printer manufacturer. That will give you a baseline.
    An inkjet coated non-glossy stock will also deliver much crisper prints than an uncoated stock, and at a cost much less than the gloss coated stock.
     
  7. Stuart Smith

    Stuart Smith New Member

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    Hi All,

    Im hoping someone on this Forum might be be able to give me some advice?
    I wasnt too sure which section would be best to ask, so hoping this is correct area.

    I recently purchased the Xerox C8000 Laserjet Printer - since the spec said it could handle heavy cardstock.
    But when we tried to print all the double sided prints came out misaligned, quite a lot jammed, and the colours were all incorrect.
    The Xerox engineer came out and was able to fix the misalignment, but in the end said the colour wasnt able to be fixed.
    Ive now had my money refunded, and Xerox will be collecting the printer in a few days. So back to square one................

    Im now trying to find another printer that is capable of printing heavy card stock.
    My thoughts were to purchase an inkjet printer that will print high quality prints.
    I have a friend who works in a print company who confirms he can get me 300gsm, 350gsm, 400gsm, 450gsm - all Glossy, Silk, Matt, Uncoated.
    Im getting a great deal with this since he isnt going to charge me anything for the stock (since I wont be doing huge stock turnover....) - although he has specified a limit per month.

    So, all I actually need to do is find a suitable printer that will be capable of printing on these types of card.
    I found an Epson inkjet printer that says it can print up to 1.3mm (800gsm) - but the spec doesnt say what types of media it can handle (other than Epson Glossy Photocard)
    Ive emailed Epson and asked them to give more details but am waiting to hear back.

    Does anyone know of any other printers that I could have a look at?

    Any advice you could give would be a massive help.

    Regards,
    Stuart.
     

  8. OkiTech

    OkiTech Senior Member

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    Be careful Stuart, usually when we say high quality print with inkjet we mean on specially designed/treated paper and thats usually mean high price. It does not have to be Epson Glossy Photocard, but it still could be a very very expensive stock.
    It will help if instead of just typing "suitable" you'd mention suitable to print what? Regular commercial stuff? Business Cards, Post Cards, Promotion Cards? In what quantities per order?
     
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