Manual Disc Printers
Manual disc printers are entry level devices that are suited to print low to mid-volume amounts of direct disc printing with the assistance of an operator. These printers are equipped to carry a single CD, DVD or Blu-ray for input rather than multiples and are suited for weekly throughput capacities of approximately 25 to 50 discs. They are more time consuming for a user as discs have to be loaded and unloaded one at a time from the printer's disc tray. Manual disc printers tend to employ a compact, portable design and can weigh as little as two to three pounds.
Due to the device's lower volume capabilities, one may find that in most cases the price point is a fraction of that of autoprinters and publishers. They will require a computer and USB connection to operate.
Label design software is often included in the purchase of a manual printer, which can both enhance and streamline the disc design process. Most professional-grade manual print devices can be combined with an autoloading base unit to enable hands-free printing.
A manual disc printer consists of six primary components: a printer service door (to gain entry to the machine's moving parts), an ink access door (to remove and replace ink cartridges), a power cable (to power the unit), a fan (to regulate the device's temperature), a printer control panel (to set additional printer preferences or commands) and a printer tray (to be used to place the disc for insertion into the device).
The two main types of manual loading printers are inkjet and thermal. Inkjet provides high-resolution and a saturated color payoff at a cost-effective price point. Thermal printing renders superb color consistency through the use of film ribbons that transfer images and text onto a disc's surface. As a result, users will receive the same caliber of results they would from higher volume, more expensive autoprinters.
Manual printers require more labor input from the user than automated printers. To operate, raise the cover of the printer or eject its disc tray. Handle the CD, DVD or Blu-ray by its outer edge before insertion into printer. Use the designated application to set up properties and click print. Once the print job is complete (which can take approximately one minute per disc), remove the media by ejecting the tray. Examine to make sure the ink on the surface of the disc has dried completely before carefully removing the disc and placing it into a protective case or onto a spindle.
A compatible media surface that functions with the printer's ink type will ensure that the ink will adhere properly to the surface. While manual CD, DVD and Blu-ray printers may only have one disc tray, they are often multipurpose. For example, manual Epson disc printers can also print, scan and copy using standard A4 copy paper.