Photo: Brother laser printer1. Problem Printers:

Years ago BROTHER changed their toner formulation to a very high temperature toner and that along with some non-plastic ingredients is the crux of the problem. Conventional toner used by all other manufacturers use "styrene" plastic (what makes the toner melt into the paper) in the mix of 9 elements that makes up toner powder. Brother went to what is believed to be an epoxy type of very high temperature re-fusible material.


Photo: Printer settings2. Laser Printer Settings:

There are 2 settings on your printer you want to set...


1) Toner Density:

This setting normally ranges from 1 to 5 (or similar) with the factory default is the mid-range setting. When printing  text and graphics you want the highest amount of toner deposited to your specialty papers. Our 'toner reactive foils' (TRF) will only transfer to toner, but... if the toner density is too low, you can get other than perfect transfers. Keep in mind that the foils transfer to the "plastic content" in the toner - one of the 9 elements that makes up conventional toner. This printer setting is normally not within your standard "printing dialog box" on screen, rather, you use the on-screen LCD display (if your printer has one) or the manufacturer's "Printer Utility" program that sends parameter changes directly to the printer.


2) Paper Type:

All laser printers default to standard 20~24# bond paper. When you run heavyweight and/or textured papers through a printer, you may not get a great result because printer parameters need to set to let the printer know what it's printing on. You want to find the list of available "presets" for different weights of papers, normally listed as "Paper Types" like, Plain, Transparency, Coated, Uncoated, Gloss, Card Stock, etc. It doesn't hurt to go with the heaviest sounding paper in the list to guarantee you'll get a good dense printout that the foils will easily transfer to without any foil transfer errors. Keep in mind that you can't "re-foil" a page to correct a hiccup due to the height differences of the existing foil, so a second foil can't get down into the pits of missing foil to fix a problem. Set the printer parameters and you shouldn't ever have a foiling problem.


3. What if I only have an Inkjet printer?

Photo: Inkjet printerBecause our TRF foils will only transfer to "toner" text or graphics, you have three options here...


• Laser Printers:

Photo: Laser printerMost all are great (except for BROTHER as mentioned above). New, entry level printers aren't expensive but you can get much better bang-for-the-buck by considering older 'refurbished' printers.


• Quick-Print Copy Shops:

Photo: Commercial copierUsing your local print shop is fine but can be a hassle to always have to drive down to them. This can also complicate things if you are wanting to do some of the more advanced techniques, as you'd be making several trips back to the store. However, doing just simple one-color foiling jobs makes this option a viable way to go.


• Desktop Copiers:

Photo: Desktop copierSpecifically the micro-sized units from Canon®, called the 'PC' series (as well as other manufacturers). These units are briefcase sized photo-static copiers that make a GREAT reproduction from your inkjet original. The 'PC' series of the Canon® copiers have been around for many years so you can pickup a used one for pennies on the dollar from outlets like eBay® and Amazon®. The oldest units are the PC-140 and every few years they increased the number but with no real changes to the product's internal guts - strictly cosmetic changes to the case. Models include the PC-140, PC-150, PC-160, PC-170, etc. No need to buy the newest as they all do a great job of converting your inkjet original to a toner-based reproduction. We've had a PC-150 in our office for about 15 years now and it keeps cranking out great reproductions on-demand.


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