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As I stated in my last post I am a print design hobbyist and part time graphic designer.

I am interested in trying to produce some of my designs onto the surface of blank CD / DVD optical discs with the same level of quality that you would find on professionally printed optical disc media.

Initially I thought that the only way to produce such artwork was with an incredibly expensive optical disc offset printer but someone told me recently that it is possible to produce similar results with a disc production system such as one from the Epson Discproducer series.

I contacted that person back to ask for further information but they never got back to me.

So the question I wish to ask here is..

Can a disc producer system such as the six-color inkjet Epson Discproducer achieve near-identical quality to that of a highly expensive six-color offset printer?

(Previous Post) What printers or methods are used to apply a matte lamination finish to the blank surface of an optical disc?

  • How many discs are you going to be printing? For the price I would think professionally offset printed discs would work out cheaper anyway – Cai Jun 28 '16 at 11:48
  • Thanks for your comment. It's not really about which option is cheaper it is about whether the quality of the artwork would be the same. Or almost just as good as an offset printed disc. In terms of how many I intend to produce, I'm not sure but I would say probably a lot but not as many as an optical disc offset printer would be producing in a day, which is about 4 or 5 hundred. – Kojo Jun 28 '16 at 11:50
  • Have you tried contacting Epson's sales department directly? You could perhaps ask them to send you a printed sample. Just a thought! – Billy Kerr Jun 24 '17 at 14:29
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The big question here is quantity.

If you are not printing many at a time or your artwork changes often it will be more cost effective for you to go with the Epson Discproducer or a Microboards printer. The Microboards printers that I have are reengineered HP inkjets and do a great job for small quantity runs.

If you need a large quantity, I'd go with Cai and look for a professional printer.

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I am not sure I will answer your question. I will only list some things you need to consider.

Do you need to:

  • Have actual data on the CD? This will afect on the brand of disk you need, potentially afecting if you can print on it or not.

  • Have thoose data for a long period of time? Cheap disks use pigments to store information. Long lasting cd/dvd has a real "burn" on the disk.

  • Your design needs to be printed in large numbers?

  • It is just a hobby and you want to print only one pice or two?

  • The design must endure time or be in public place?

  • The original surface should be painted? or can be a sticker?

  • Will be seen at close range?

  • Do you want to make test after test?

  • Do you need gradients?

  • Is the saturation and "vividnes" of the inks an issue?

  • Do you need an error difusion pattern?

  • Do you really need 6 inks?

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I believe you would find that a disc producer system is much more cost efficient and gives good enough results if you are really a print design hobyist. I suppose you would want to be able to print different types of artwork on your CDs. I have worked for a company where we printed on CDs and DVDs with six-colour inkjet Epson (can't remember the exact model) and it gave really great results. Plus it is not so expensive to buy. Although you shoud know that depending on how many disks you plan on printing you will change inks every 4-6/10 weeks. It also depends what kind of inks you will be using (if you go for the ink-jet). Original inks are best, of course, but once you choose your inks you should stick with them since changing of the type of ink used is quite difficult job and almost always leads to problems with a lot of the following output. I have never dealt with offset printers before and since you depend on so many things using them, I'd go with the Epson.

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    Offset printing is in no way going to become "outdated" anytime soon! – Cai Jun 28 '16 at 16:30
  • LOL, didn't mean to offend anyone, just stating an opinion. – Tanya100 Jun 28 '16 at 16:34
  • I'm not offended and didn't mean to sound it I'm just disagreeing. Offset printing is a completely different process to digital printing and is nowhere near being anything resembling outdated. Digital printing is a tiny fraction of commercial printing. – Cai Jun 28 '16 at 19:00
  • Tanya100: The only thing I am somewhat apprehensive of is that if I were to buy one of the Epson Discproducer systems I am unsure whether the design I try to print onto the surface of the disc will print all the way to the center ring of the optical disc. Because I've seen pictures of digitally printed discs produced by the Epson disc printers and many of them have a white ring just outside the center ring of the disc. Would you be able to confirm whether there was a white ring around the center ring of any of the discs your company produced? – Kojo Jun 29 '16 at 13:45
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    Nope. No white rings were visible. It is a setting in the print preferences (inner and outter diameter of the disk) and you can play around with it till you find the result you are looking for. Also visible white rings depend on the design itself (for example: If you design something that has outter diameter of 12,5 and inner of 3 but the disc's size is different). Although there is one thing we did often, waiting for the ink to dry because other way you'd get a little smudges in some spots. – Tanya100 Jun 29 '16 at 16:55

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