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  1. Member The village idiot's Avatar
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    This was the second, and will be the only Lexmark model shown. Found the Epsons for sale through a retailer , so get it while you can! There are several updates for this, but you will not be getting them, Sorry!




    Here it is, the Lexmark disk printer.

    Made from a Lexmark Z25 printer from Walmart (Z23 at CompUSA). The cost of the printer is approximately $35USD. Before you buy one, open the box and make sure it has both the black and the color ink cartridges! If it doesn't get another box and do the same until you find a complete set, or the manager gives you the missing cartridge.

    Make sure it is working before starting the disassembly process. Install the drivers and print a few things. If it isn't working to your standards, bring it back for a refund or exchange! It should work as well as any $35 printer should work. It is not the best printer on the market. It is mearly a cheap printer.

    The tools required are fairly common, with the exception of the Dremel rotary cutting tool.


    You will also need those pictured above. A #2 phillips screwdriver, ruler, right angle triangle, scissors, utility knife, metal file, small drill, paper cutter, some tape, and a sharpie.

    Start by turning the printer off, and unplugging the power. Remove the power adapter from the back of the printer too. Disconnect the USB cable.

    Next remove the paper support.
    #1
    The side with the arrow is the side that flexes for removal. Now remove the print area cover.
    #2
    The side with the arrow is the side that flexes for removal. Now remove the output tray from the bottom.
    #3
    It flexes in the middle for removal. It does very little during the printing process, and may be left out when you re-assemble the printer. Next remove the 5 screws that hold the top of the case to the bottom of the case, marked with the arrows.
    #4
    Flip the printer back over, and remove the top case. Now you need to remove the printer chassis from the bottom cover. Just push the printheads out of the way, and remove the 5 screws indicated by the red arrows.
    #5
    Remove the plastic pieces at the blue arrows. There are 3 small black rectangles, and the paper guide. These will only be needed after the mod is finished, if you intend to restore paper printing to this device. When you handle the chassis, be very careful of the plastic ribbon near the top of the printhead assembly!
    #6
    If you damage this ribbon, the printer will not operate properly! It is used to determine the position of the printheads. Now you need to mark the area to cut. Use a sharpie and draw a line across the back of the paper tray at the top of the guides. Along the right side edge. Along the front edge of the paper tray. And along the left side where indicated by the shaded portion.
    #7
    If you haven't done so yet, remove the pieces at the red arrows. There is a support located between the blue arrows, you do not want to go past this support, it will be used as a caddy guide. Next draw the area to be cut from the back of the case.
    #8
    Between the blue arrows are the sides of the "new" media port for the caddy, do not damage either of those 2 supports! The measurements are as follows, and are approximate. The bottom portion of the slot is 30 mm up from the bottom edge of the case. It extends from 65mm to 235mm from the left hand edge as viewed. The upper portion is 35mm from the bottom edge, and again between 65mm and 235 mm. After cutting they will look like these:
    #9
    #10
    Here is a detail of the support on one side:
    #11
    Do not cut that support! Now just clean up the edges, and set the case bottom aside. DO NOT throw the removed pieces of plastic away, they will be used for some un-mod work to return paper printing to this printer.
    Next we need to raise the printhead height. I did this by raising the guide bar that the head glides on. It is the shiny round rod that runs through the printhead. There are 2 springclips that hold the guide rod in place. Remove those, and carefully remove the rod and printhead as an assembly. Also unplug the ribbon cable that runs to the printhead at the main control board.
    #12
    Set that assembly aside. You need to oval out the holes that the guide rod sits in, so that they look like this:
    #13
    #14
    #13 is the large end on the left, #14 is the small end of the guide rod on the right. Do this very carefully, as you only need to raise this assembly 1 mm. If you raise it more, the guide on top of the printhead will not track along the chassis. This would be incredibly bad! I suggest you use a small round file to oval these holes. You can use a grinder, but the chances of damage are much greater. Make sure the holes do not more to the front or back of the chassis, this will change the way the printhead tracks and would be bad. You will also need to drill a small hole next to the left side oval hole. Slightly above the rod's center. It is visible in picture #13, but not marked. Opposite from the text 1mm. Now you can put the guide/printhead assembly back into the chassis. Use the springclips to secure the rod in this manner, which is opposite the way you took them off.
    #15
    #16
    #15 is the left side, and #16 the right side. You will need to file a notch at the blue arrows so that the springclip has a place to latch. The drilling spot is indicated in picture #15 by one of the blue arrows. Make sure the head position ribbon (picture #6) is back in its sensor, and not twisted. Also that the top head guide is still resting against the top of the chassis. There is no room for overshoot when making the guide holes oval! The top guide just hangs onto the top of the chassis, Half of 1 mm too much, and your printer may be junk!
    #17
    #17 shows the top of the head assembly. It is on the last 1 mm of chassis, and is just barely hanging on to the edge. You now need to remove all of the pressure rollers from the paper feed roller. Do this before putting the chassis back into the case. They look like this:
    #18
    You need to pop the rollers out, and file the areas colored white, indicated with the red arrows. Those will drag on the caddy, and mess with the feed rates. Put the rollers back in, and mount 3 of them starting on the right. Refer to #19.
    #19
    The red arrow indicates the missing pressure rollers. You will also need to move one of the rubber rollers on the output roller. So that they all line up with the blue rollers. Now you can put the chassis back into the bottom case and screw it down. You will also need to remove the pizza wheels, and file some plastic away from their mounts. Do not discard the pizza wheels and springs. You might need them later depending on you media.
    #20
    Now it is time to make the disk caddy, leave the top cover off while making the caddy. The materials for the caddy can be cardboard and paper, or vinyl. You will need one sheet 0.040 (approx 1mm) inches thick and one that is 0.010 (.25mm thick). You can get them from this link in the USA http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=USPlastic&category%5Fname=...id+Vinyl+Sheet. Product numbers are as follows: 0.010 sheet is #43315, 0.040 sheet is #43320. The numbers are in case the link doesn't take you directly to the page, just put them in the search boxes at the left of the USPlastics page. I am using a spray type of general purpose contact cement by 3M. I tried other PVC cements, but had little success. The caddy is 167mm wide, and about 277mm long. Make sure the edges are square. You will need to add 2 friction areas to the bottom side of the caddy. These must line up with the 2 feed rollers along the sides of the caddy. Just stick the blank caddy into the printer and make a mark where those 2 rollers are located. Then do the same on the other end of the caddy. Draw lines between the points. You will now need to make the friction surface. I did this by gently cutting a cross hatch into the plastic. Don't press to hard. If using cardboard, you can skip this step.
    #21
    After you get those cut, you can connect the printer to your computer and prepare to make the template. I used Photoshop to make my template. Just start a new project. Make the project size 12 cm by 12cm and 300 dpi. Then create a circle that touches the sides and top and bottom of the project canvas. Fill this circle with black. Then create a slightly smaller circle and fill it with white. It should look like this:
    #22
    Now put the caddy blank into the printer so that about 2 or 3 mm can be seen past the pressure rollers.
    #23
    Mark that spot on the rollers with a sharpie. I cut 2 small notches into the caddy for when the sharpie wears away. They are indicated with the blue arrows. This will be the spot you line the caddy up when you print from now on. Now print the template onto the caddy blank. I used a custom paper size of 6.5 inches wide, and 11 inches long. Use the best quality setting or you will have feed problems, and your circle will be extremely oval. You should also cut a paper that is the same size as the caddy, and print the template onto it. This will let you compare the circle on the caddy to a true circle. Then cut the circle out from the caddy material. You may need to add about 1 mm to the top and bottom of the circle. The top is the area that is printed first, the bottom the last to be printed.
    #24
    The blue arrows indicate where the friction area is cut. The black arrow is the direction of feed for the caddy. Take you time cutting the hole. Do not try to do it in one pass, and use a sharp blade. Your accuracy will depend on how well this hole is cut. Make sure a disk fits into the hole with out problems. Trimming after you glue the backing plastic onto the caddy, will be very hard. Now you need to cut the friction area again (for plastic caddies). Remember that the backer plastic is very thin, do not press too hard! You can now put the top printer cover back on, and screw it back down. Do not replace the print area cover, or you won't be able to see when the caddy is in position to print. You could cut a large hole in that cover, and glue some clear plastic in the hole if you want. Now you are ready to start printing. I suggest cutting some paper that is disk sized to make sure the template prints in the correct spot. If not adjust the template to work.

    That's the nuts and bolts of it, this one still needs some fine tuning. It does not like thick disks! So if you try putting a sticky label on a disk, and then printing, it may not come out as planned. But then again, what do you want for $35USD.


    REAL printed disks! first the source image, then a picture of the final output. So far 3 disks nearly perfect!



    Dry time on these Memorex disks was instant, dry when it came out of the printer! For the cost it is a champ! (note: there is a slight color cast from the photo of the disk, in real life it is much closer to the image.)

    NO MORE PAPER PRINTING ADAPTOR

    If you buy this model, or any similar Lexmark, there will only be one way to know you have an original. Look for a special feature that was never mentioned here, You just might be able to buy this very soon, and it will go for a lot less than any other disk printer that is out!




    Please no comments, or discussion in this guide. Please direct questions/comments to the media forum.
    Hope is the trap the world sets for you every night when you go to sleep and the only reason you have to get up in the morning is the hope that this day, things will get better... But they never do, do they?
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  2. Will this conversion void the warranty?


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  3. Member The village idiot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MOVIEGEEK
    Will this conversion void the warranty?


    ABSOLUTELY!

    But at $35 do you care about the warranty? OK yes you do, but You could always buy another and switch the insides. No one will ever know (I think). There are NO stickers over any of the screws! So they can not be too worried about people opening their products.

    I should also add, that I did a search for ink for this printer. There are more refill kits than you can shake a stick at. Prices from $12USD to about $22USD for ink and a device to move the ink from bottle to cartridge.
    Hope is the trap the world sets for you every night when you go to sleep and the only reason you have to get up in the morning is the hope that this day, things will get better... But they never do, do they?
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  4. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
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    How about a HP guide in the future? I am asking for selfish reasons
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  5. How bout one for a canon s series like the s800 r s900
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  6. how about the lexmark Z11 is it the same?
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  7. I think wallmart still has their 30 or 90 day refund if your not happy with a product.

    So should I consider your guide as advertising for the printer, then if I don't like it after I mod it, I could return it to Wallmart because it didn't work as advertised

    If I can ever get all the pics to download I may give this a try soon myself.

    My lousy connect speed, I can get about half the pics then I normally get an error and the page stops loading. Same thing lattely at newegg and some other sites, so it's not a site problem.

    Just got bad like this recently, but I can't find anything workng on my system. Got all the anti spyware, anti virus and such.

    SO if I get the pics, I'll be buyng another new prnter it looks like
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  8. Member The village idiot's Avatar
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    Overloaded, I just read your post in MEDIA, this will be a poor choice for anything but home use.

    ANd to the rest, If you have a printer you want modded, I'm going to say this here, as I've said in other posts:

    Not every printer can be easily modified, there are many things to consider. And I can not provide modifications for every single type of printer that everyone already has. I do not have enough money to track down and buy every single printer that everyone wants. And some do not make sense either. Why would you want to render something that costs about $100+ USD down to printing only onto CD/DVDs. The Canon 8XX and 9XX series are far to expensive to wreck in this way.

    There is no doubt in my mind, that I can modify any printer on the market in the past 5 years to work. There is significant doubt as to whether the average mechanically competent person would be able to follow those guides. Some printers are just too involved to bother trying. This Skidmark is borderline. The way that the head has to be moved has some sever consequences for the person that removes to much material. It is only a $35 dollar printer, but how many times do you want to buy one because of a mistake. Most of the newer HP printers are just plain of out the realm of consideration. The cheap HP's only use a 3 color cartridge or a black cartridge. That means every time you print black, you are using all 3 colors! This is not cost effective! They also do not have the room for thick media! They will not pass 1.5 mm thick anything through their guides. That means you would have to cut and lift the frame for the guides and head. That seems to be much too much work when there are better choices to be made. Many of the newer Epson are the same. Their paper feed has become very complex, and therefore not worth messing with. The only exception might be the Epson C82 as it uses waterproof pigment inks! I may look at the new Canon i250 or i450, but only from a price standpoint.
    Again, this Lexmark was borderline. I delayed cutting the case for several days while deciding on a course of action. I delayed its release for several more days trying to decide if it was too difficult. When I say a HIGH degree of precision, I mean .5mm too much or off to the side, and your printer will most likely be scrap. Did I have a fix if this had it happened to mine, of course I did, but it is un-tried and may not work. And it may be very complex to create.

    PLEASE, leave discussion of ALL other model printers for the MEDIA or COMPUTER forums all the rest of them is really off topic and clutters the guide.

    Most people have an old printer they would love to convert, and I am more than willing to help. But you will need some tools to be able to get that help. One of those things is a good digital camera. You also have to be willing to sacrifice your printer for the greater good. I did not own this Lexmark before starting this. I bought it specifically to make this guide! And I was willing to throw it in the garbage if it didn't work! If you don't have the same commitment, then it is pointless to request another model. After all, how many printer do I need. I own 3 now, all Epson. Those being the 1520, 640 and pro9500. I have absolutely zero need for another printer, espcially a cheap thing like these under $50 printers are. These are printers for the masses, consider how much you have spent on testing different disks. This is very cheap compared to that price. It also brings disk printing to the masses! Something that will help all of us in the long run with cheaper prices for printable disks! In that way it was truly selfish, I want cheaper printable disks for my use. I still recommend the Epson printers over this Lexmark, but I also can see that some people will not want to buy a used printer. None of the new machines, with the exception of the C82, will work as well as the old Epsons. But that is part 2 of the Epson guide. sorry, there will be no part 2
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    The long time techie in me applauds you for these guides. The lazy slob in me would rather just buy a dual purpose printer and be done with tinkering. Now if you want to tinker me up a cheap to make Time Base Corrector so I don't have to lay down $500CAD for one, I'd be much more interested...

    I personally have no need for a DVD/CD printer but some of my friends might. Alas, they aren't the tinkering type, so these guides would be useless for them. To them blowing $200 for a printer that works as advertised out of the box vs. $50 for one that would have to be modified would be justified.

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  10. Member The village idiot's Avatar
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    If I could rig up a TBC, I might be more tempted to sell that. It's tough to etch the boards for all the surface mount stuff, so I would have to have the boards created.

    You mean your friends wouldn't want you to make the printer for them?
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    In my haste to get this out, I realise that I left a few things out. 2 that are slightly important, one that is not real important but will become a tiresome. I'll address those when the need arises. Waiting to see how a few things turn out.

    Also going to start working on returning this to some form of paper printer. This will be a 2 part re-conversion, and requires ripping out one of the things that I neglected to put in the guide. Both parts are very likely to be fairly crude, but will prove effective. If they are not effective, you won't see them or hear about them again.
    Hope is the trap the world sets for you every night when you go to sleep and the only reason you have to get up in the morning is the hope that this day, things will get better... But they never do, do they?
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  12. does this work any better than a factory made, brand name, couple hundred bucks disc printer?
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  13. Member The village idiot's Avatar
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    Work better? No not better. But not much worse either. At least not much worse for disks. I don't know about the un-mod for paper functions yet.

    And when you consider the price difference, you could buy this printer and materials, and still have enough left over for 50 DVD-R and 100 CD-R to print onto. For those people that want the best no messing around disk printers, I suggest any of the Primera printers. I think the cheapest of those is around $1000USD from Rima.

    For hobby use this should work fine. If you want better then build the Epson mod. I'll stand behind that one as being better. Better if only because it does not use a chipped ink cartridge like the Epson 900, and 960. And that opens a whole world of possibilities like waterproof pigment inks. Also the no nonsense put it where you wnat it caddy, as opposed to the print it where Epson wants it, and with only the software that Epson want you to use, etc. Next would be any of the other caddy based printers (though the 6 disk Epson 1520 mod is real tempting to be better, but I can't think of too many times I would be printing six disks at a time). Then the special purpose disk printers like the Primera printers. The best would be a thermal wire printer. Those will print onto any disk that is smooth, with NO special coatings! After that would be silkscreened disks or other printing press disks. Hard to beat those! Again, if you are burning a few disks a day, this should work just fine. Any more with different art and I would get a different model. I would not get an Epson 900. That caddy is messed. Go the extra and get the 960, or make a new caddy for the 900. Actually, I wouldn't buy one of thos new printers. I can do better easier with the 640 and it's siblings. And if my disks ever get here, I will show you what I mean. they should stand up to any of the other new Epson models. But first I need to finish this Lexmark, 'cause the idea is eating at me like a dog knaws a bone. The epson is done enough that I don't need to change it right now. I can simply fill it with pigment ink, make an ICM profile, and be happy (when I get my disks).
    Hope is the trap the world sets for you every night when you go to sleep and the only reason you have to get up in the morning is the hope that this day, things will get better... But they never do, do they?
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    Originally Posted by The village idiot
    In my haste to get this out, I realise that I left a few things out. 2 that are slightly important, one that is not real important but will become a tiresome. I'll address those when the need arises. Waiting to see how a few things turn out.

    Also going to start working on returning this to some form of paper printer. This will be a 2 part re-conversion, and requires ripping out one of the things that I neglected to put in the guide. Both parts are very likely to be fairly crude, but will prove effective. If they are not effective, you won't see them or hear about them again.
    Just wanted to touch upon this again. DO NOT throw the removed plastic pieces away. You may want or need them. Just put them somewhere for a while, shouldn't be more than a couple of days.
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  15. As someone else said I applaud you for these guides, but this is not an idiots guide, this is a handymans guide. If I tried this I would be left with a pile of plastic junk... but thats just me.
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    Updated to show the paper printing adaptor, and a very brief description of how to make it.
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    Found that printing paper may not be all that good. Not that it doesn't print as well as a $35 printer should, but some other things....

    When printing in color If there is anything on a part of a page that uses color, this printer prints everything with the color cartridge, even black! It uses CMY black instead of true black! This means you might as well not put the black cartridge in the machine if you are printing disks. This means I will have to look at some of the rejected printers again, they may now qualify for testing.

    After printing paper you will have to clean the feed rollers in order to print disks. The rollers will get slippery from the slightest amount of paper use, and the caddy will not feed properly. Maybe paper printing isn't worth the trouble!

    Here is a test disk I printed with artwork from the web:


    Please ignore the magenta marks in the upper right of the picture, this label went through the printer twice. Once before cleaning the rollers, and then once after. This is just a sticky label on a disk sized piece of plastic, still waiting for disks to arrive.
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    Real printed disk now in the guide, 3 for 3 worked great! Well worth the time and money invested!
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  19. What about this printer? It seems to have a straight through port and supports card stock and such.

    http://www.lexmark.com/Canada/printers/inkjet/i3/i3_tech.html
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    Is it really straight through feed? I thought it had the feeder tray underneath the output tray, so it would need to bring the paper up and around to print. Otherwise I can't really say because I have only seen similar pictures. Seems like there would be a lot of stuff to cut out of the way no matter how it feeds the paper. Do you have one of these, or looking to buy one? If you have one and want to take it apart with pictures I might be able to help, otherwise no real idea if it would work.
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  21. Well mine works very well, Thank you!

    Having just completed this mod myself, I can say if you need a nice disk printer cheap this is a great deal!

    Cost me just $35 plus tax for the printer.
    A few hours fun time with the kid last night and now we have a very good disk printer! We had fun doing it, too. And now we have something we made ourselfs, together.

    I haven't tried a much yet, but it does print disks! I still need to build a better caddy. All I could find last night was either far to thick or thin here at the house. SO I used the front and back of a ceral box, (cheerios) glued together. Lined it up in the printer and marked it, so I get the correct location each time, then printed a CD label on it. Cut out the cd label for the hole. Glued on a piece of paper to the back to protect the disk. Then printed a disk! Only problem is my caddy is not stiff enough. It droops down when 3/4 out of the printer which pushed up on the disk, but a little support and it works fine! Just lay a thick book in front of the printer for the caddy to slide across and hold it up and it has no problem!

    Today I will build a better caddy!
    Also going to look for an epson to try

    This is fun!
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  22. Originally Posted by oldnail74
    how about the lexmark Z11 is it the same?
    Just to let you Know i have now converted my lexmark Z11 and its working perfectly
    the mod was slightly different to that of the Z52 but anybody who tinkers should be able to figure it out
    so i would like to thank The village idiot for the idea
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  23. Picked up a cheap Z25 and had a go, no luck! Found the guide easy to follow but something has gone wrong on the printing side. Printer will feed through the caddy all day but when the caddy is put in (or anything) and print is selected the print head goes to the left (with a bang) and both power and paper lights come on? Anybody got any ideas on how to reset the printer.
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    Did your printer work before you tried the conversion? Also check to make sure that the ribbon in picture #6 is riding in the groove on the back side of the head. If it is not in the groove, the controller can not read how far the head has moved or how fast it is moving and would result in the problem you describe. I tried this on my printer and the head moved twice as far as normal and twice as fast as normal went I powered the machine up. Nomally it moves about 2 inches at power up, but with that ribbon outside of the sensor, it moved half way across the printer, and very fast!.
    Hope is the trap the world sets for you every night when you go to sleep and the only reason you have to get up in the morning is the hope that this day, things will get better... But they never do, do they?
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  25. You are totally correct! Although I checked the ribon twice on the third check I realised it was out of the groove, put it back in and yes! Works!

    Importance of good caddie quality can not be understated, looking now for some plastic sheets to finish off, but still success, even with cardboard. Many thanks for a great idea!
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    You are welcome.

    If you find different plastic from what I used, please give us a link. I'm allways looking for other suppliers, even though USPlastic has been great!
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  27. Originally Posted by FMJaguar
    What about this printer? It seems to have a straight through port and supports card stock and such.

    http://www.lexmark.com/Canada/printers/inkjet/i3/i3_tech.html
    It possible if you can keep the print head from wacking the disk. Got one from Tiger last year since it does have a pure path. Actualy jamed a raw cd in it and it did print the MS printer test sheet on top of it! Was wiled hearing the head wack the cd as it printed.

    All that would be needed to do this mosters is to get the print head to ride a bit higher.

    At one time Tiger was dumping it for about 10 dollars.

    The other use for this type of printer that can print on very thich items is to print on PC board to etch for electronic circuit.
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  28. Member The village idiot's Avatar
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    I new I should have grabbed one when the price was low.
    Hope is the trap the world sets for you every night when you go to sleep and the only reason you have to get up in the morning is the hope that this day, things will get better... But they never do, do they?
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  29. It not a bad little printer.

    The path can take a raw disk. As fare as I can tell no sharp wheels like on a epson. It go thunk when it hits the edge of the disk.

    The only problem is it not that tall but has one heck of a foot print! Wow!
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  30. Originally Posted by The village idiot
    You are welcome.

    If you find different plastic from what I used, please give us a link. I'm allways looking for other suppliers, even though USPlastic has been great!
    ive done a search on Google for plastic sheet and there are loads of online model stores that do 0.25/0.5 plastic sheet @ around 50p/60p a sheet
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