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Printing with Laser printers



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I would have a concern about using Laser printers for printing books...

Laser printers are similar to photocopiers in that you have a powdered
toner that is electrostaticaly deposited on the paper and then fused into
a solid mass with a heat source. The resulting print (on a 1200dpi
printer) looks clean and sharp but I have seen some problems arise.

We use the printers at work to print large volumes of paper for archival
storage of data. I have notice that over time, facing pages in a volume
(usually a three ring binder) have a tendancy to "stick" together. That
is, the fusable toner on each page actually merges where the print on one
page touches the print on another page. The problem is worse where the
toner is touching a plastic or glass surface and over a period of time,
where it touches a flat surface. Heat also makes the problem much worse.

I have seen circumstances where paper was fused together so well, it was
difficult to separate the pages (usually on documents that have been
stored over 5 years in a flat orientation with weight on top of them, such
as several other volumes)

We don't consider the problem bad enough to change our procedures for
document storage, but then asthetic quality isn't what we are after
either. For quality books, I would suggest an inkjet printer as you won't
have those type of problems there. Of course, you have to be careful about
the paper you use with an inkjet or you end up with other problems such as
"fuzzy" printing. You can also get large format inkjet printers that can
print an entire octovo making the book much higher quality. (Though you'll
need the apropriate software such as FrameMaker or Quark Express to use
it)

Another drawback to inkjet process is that the ink is generally not
waterproof. If you get the page wet, you'll have problems. i wish
manufacturers would make a waterproof ink for inkjets and that would solve
that one. Inkjet printing is also several times more expensive than
laserjet printing.

Randy

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