Printing directly onto a CD has many advantages over printing onto an adhesive CD label first and then attaching it to the CD. By just having to purchase printable discs, rather than both discs and adhesive labels, a significant difference to the overall cost can be made. It will also save on production time and give a better finish. That’s because it’s a one-step process which eliminates the possibility of label damage or misalignment.
Adhesive labels also have the habit of peeling with time, either from general wear and tear or from the heat generated by the CD drive. Hardware manufacturers tend to prefer customers to use only printed CDs in their drives and warn against the dangers of using CDs with adhesive labels on them.
When printing CDs, a few other things need to be considered. If the CDs are to be printed in bulk, an auto loading disc printer or one that integrates the printing with the duplication may be the best solution. If only a few are to be produced at a time, perhaps for personal use, one of the many inkjet printers available today could be more appropriate for the task. The quality of print required could be another deciding factor and, depending on the simplicity or complexity of the image to be printed, thermal or thermal retransfer printers could be an option.
Inkjet printersThese printers have been in operation for some time, originally to print standard 8 inch x 11 inch paper or ‘A’ size material. There are inkjet printers available now that will also print directly onto CDs with the additions of an extra piece of software and a printer CD tray attachment. They utilise the same ink cartridges used to print on paper, which adds to the convenience, and some models offer up to 4800 dpi resolution for printing high quality images and text straight onto disc.
Thermal and thermal retransfer printersBoth these type of printers will connect to a computer via USB cables, just as a desktop inkjet printer does. The basic thermal printer has a much lower resolution than the inkjet and transfers the image directly onto the disc via its colour-coated ribbon. This process generally works well for text and simple designs but cannot mix the colours sufficiently for more complex image reproduction. Thermal retransfer printers, however, use the same technology but instead of printing straight onto disc, first conveys it to a transfer ribbon which mixes the colours before printing the image onto the disc. This one extra step results in the highest quality of printing to disc available.
Auto loading and integrated CD printers and duplicatorsAn auto loading printer does exactly what its name suggests – loads the disks automatically for printing. Similarly, the Integrated CD printer and duplicator will not only automatically load the CDs but will also duplicate the content onto them while printing the image directly on the disc face. These two types of CD printers are both ideal for bulk printing as they save process time and, just like other forms of printing, the initial set up is the costly part, the longer the print run the more economical it becomes. These printers come in the different varieties of printing technology already mentioned above.
About The Author
Martin Jonson is director of the UK's leading DVD/Blu-ray/CD duplication company providing exceptional quality at the lowest UK prices. He offers next day delivery anywhere in the UK and will complete your job quickly with the greatest care. You can connect with him on Google+.