How to Find an Inkjet Printer That Prints on CDs

by eHow Computers Editor

Sticky CD labels are problematic on many levels. Now manufacturers are coming out with inkjet printers that print directly onto CDs. Here is how you can find an inkjet printer that prints on CDs.

Understand the difference. The main difference between printers that can print on CDs and printers that cannot is the paper carriage. Just like normal printers that have thickness settings to accommodate envelopes and labels, a printer that prints on CDs is designed to handle thick, rigid discs.

Most printers have a special tray that you place the CD into and then run through the printer. Others have a special slot or drawer for CD-Rs. You will need to change the printer settings on your computer to print CDs.

Determine your needs. You'll probably want a printer that you can use for photos and documents, as well as CDs. Dedicated CD printers for bulk labeling exist, but these are usually high-end, high-priced and for professional use.

Go shopping. There are many CD printers on affordable on the market. Simply do an Internet search for "CD printers." Look for models in your price range that fit your needs. Go with brands you trust.

Look for the right features. You want an inkjet printer that functions as a normal printer and has the ability to print CDs. Stand-alone, dedicated CD printers are probably not what you want.

Read reviews. The technology is relatively new and a lot of models have some kinks. See how the loading mechanism works. Many users report problems and some minor annoyances, such as having to load and reload and problems with alignment.

Buy a printer. Once your research is finished, go out and buy it.

Tips

  • check You can modify firmware and hardware on some printers to allow them to print CDs. However, that's for very advanced users and will undoubtedly void your warranty. The Canon Pixma is one such printer that can be modified.
  • check As of 2006, Epson owns the patent in the U.S. for printing DVDs and CDs directly. But you can order a printer from other manufacturers if you are willing to have it shipped from Europe.

Warning

  • close You cannot print on just any old CD-R. You will have to find media that is specifically designed for inkjet printers. If it's not, it won't print correctly.

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