In the early days of using a computer to burn CD’s and DVD’s, the only way to put a professional looking label on your homemade disc was with the use of printer software and CD labels that you would manually stick on to the disc, presenting two problems. Printing labels is expensive and time consuming. Stuck on labels can also damage your disc player, or cause playback issues if the label isn’t placed properly. With today’s printer technology, the best way to get a clean professional looking CD or DVD is with the use of a CD/DVD printer. For more information, please check out this video on Youtube.
CD/DVD printers print directly onto the surface of a printable disc avoiding any label peeling or label alignment issues. The initial cost of a CD/DVD printer can be a bit much, but if you produce a large number of CD’s, DVD’s or picture discs, it is quite cost effective in the long run.
There are several types of printers available to print your discs. CD/DVD inkjet printers work just like standard inkjet printers using ink cartridges to transfer images. The only drawback is that the ink needs time to dry and can become smeared or smudged on the surface of the disc.
To prevent this, there are thermal printers that use heat and pressure to transfer images from a ribbon. The problem here is that ribbons don’t mix color very well, so you will not get the result you want if your design is too complex, although thermal retransfer printers are available which use two ribbons, mixing colors more efficiently.
If you mass produce CD’s and DVD’s, an auto loading printer may be your best choice. Larger models can hold up to 300 discs and are available in either inkjet or thermal models, and can be integrated with a CD duplicator to burn and print CD’s and DVD’s simultaneously.