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Old Nov 2, 2005, 8:37 PM   #1
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Hi guys! I was drawn here by the great printer reviews. I have the need to print on 100lb cover (~270 gsm) card stock. What I'm doing is printing playing cards, so the paper needs to be thick and the ink needs to hold up well to play. Here is an example image of one of the cards...



A grid of images like this will be printed on the largest size paper the printer supports and then cut out with a die cutting machine. This image will be printed at 3.5" x 2.25".

Given the quality of the images that I'm printing and the thickness of my paper, what printer options do I have?

I have looked and looked and many printer specs don't even list what paper thickness they support. The printer needs a straight through paper path or the thick card stock will come out a semi-circle. The only really viable I can find is the Epson 2200, which supports thickness up to 1.3mm. It also is said to have durable ink.

I've heard that the Epson 2200 only prints well on Epson paper. Is this true? Since I want card stock, I'll have to use non-Epson paper.

Another issue with this printer is that the ink is quite expensive. I guess this is fine, as long as it looks good on the card stock.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 2:13 AM   #2
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As an experiment i grabbed my heaviest card (160gsm Rey Text & Graphics card) and popped it through my C86 printer.

The card itself goes through without any problems...

The only problem I could see was that the output seems to warp the card slightly although whether this would be a problem for your card I couldn't say.

So, I'm guessing slightly here but you probably don't need to look at a 2200 as minimum.


As to saving costs, I'd recommend you look at investing in either refilled carts (good quality ones) with quality bulk ink or a CIS (Continuous Ink Supply) system.

Hope that helps... and worth bearing in mind I'm a n00b in the world of printer quality so take a pinch of salt with it.
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 10:51 AM   #3
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To NatesS,

Some printers have a paper thickness lever which raises the printhead for thicker stock.
My MP 730 is one of them. But cheking the fine print in the manual shows it still won't do anything thicker than 28 Lb. paper.

But you have a certainly non standard need and that specification is unlikely to readily appear in printer advertisements. So I would recommend you go to various printer web sites, find the telephone number or e-mail address, and ask if they have any printer in their lineup that will do what you need.

If you can find one or more inkjet or laser printer that can handle paper that thick, you then have one remaining step which is to figure out if you can do it yourself cheaper or if it would be cheaper to farm the job out to a printing company which would use far different technology to do such a job.
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Old Nov 3, 2005, 4:42 PM   #4
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websnail, 100lb stock (270gsm) is quite thicker than 160gsm. I don't think a printer wtih a 180 degree paper path could bend it that way, and if it did it would come out pretty warped. I checked out CIS and it looks pretty cool, though its pricey to get started.

Osage, so you are saying that you can print on much thicker paper than the specs would have you believe? It is terribly frustrating to not have any options because paper thickness is almost always excluded from the specs.
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Old Nov 4, 2005, 10:14 AM   #5
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NateS wrote:
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I've heard that the Epson 2200 only prints well on Epson paper. Is this true? Since I want card stock, I'll have to use non-Epson paper.
I wouldn't use UltraChrome inks on 3rd party glossy paper, particularly if you are interested in durability. Even Redriver glossy paper that claims to be compatible needs to be handled with some care after printing with ultrachrome inks. 3rd party mat paper is probably okay. If you are particular about colors, it might take some work to get them the way you want.

Ken
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Old Nov 4, 2005, 1:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip. I tried out glossy paper and it seemed to not shuffle well. The gloss is actually pretty sticky when two pieces are rubbed together. I found a paper called 100lb silk that is great. I'm not sure if "silk" qualifies as a matte finish?

I've called Epson, HP, and Canon. Sat on the phone forever! HP and Canon don't have a printer that will do it under $1500. Epson said the 2200, 2400, and 4800 could do it. I've been fighting ebayers to get a 2200 at a reasonable price, but its tough. Going to cost about $300 shipped, without any ink. Genuine ink can be had for about $5-$6, so add another $45 for the first round of ink. I'll try a CIS if I end up blasting through the ink, but I don't have another $275 to drop right now.
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