Digital Ceramic Printing – How to Convert a Standard Laser Printer.
FotoCeramic is a supplier of digital ceramic printers and digital ceramic systems for printing custom ceramic transfers or decals using a laser printer and special ceramic toners.
The ceramic digital printing system uses a standard colour digital printer. Printers such as the Ricoh SP C440 and the larger Ricoh SP C830 printer can be used for this purpose.
To be suitable for digital ceramic printing the laser printer must be toner based and use a two component technology.
This means that it must have a separate developer unit containing the toner and a carrier.
To convert the digital printer for printing custom ceramic transfers the colour developer units containing the carrier must be emptied of the original developer and replaced with a ceramic developer containing ceramic toner and the metal carrier. The developer units can be easily removed from the printer.
They are then taken apart to separate the photosensitive drum from the developer unit.
The developer unit is opened and the original developer is removed. Usually a toner vacuum cleaner is used here to remove the last remnants of the original developer. The new ceramic developer containing ceramic toner is then added to the unit, which is then reassembled and put back in the printer. Each developer unit should be removed in turn and the carrier replaced with a new carrier containing ceramic toner. FotoCeramic is supplier of the ceramic developers in which the carrier and ceramic toner have been mixed in the correct proportions for the digital printer.
The Ricoh SP C440 and SP C830 digital printers have different sized developer units and the developers containing the ceramic toner are made up separately for each printer.
The next stage of the process is to remove the original toner from the toner cartridges in the digital printer and replace with ceramic toner. The tops from the toner cartridges can be removed by pushing a screwdriver between the container and the top and twisting to separate the top. The original toner should be emptied into a plastic bag, sealed and discarded. Any remaining toner should then be removed using a toner vacuum cleaner.
The toner bottle can then be refilled with ceramic toner. FotoCeramic supplies ceramic toners for use on digital printers which are converted for digital ceramic printing. Each toner bottle should be emptied and refilled with ceramic toner in
turn. The top of the cartridge now containing the ceramic toner should be reattatched and the newly converted ceramic
toner cartridge replaced in the digital printer. You now have a digital ceramic printer, but the printer is not yet ready to
use. There are still a few more stages to go before the digital ceramic printer is ready to begin printing custom ceramic
transfer and decals.
The next part of the process is to intialise the digtital ceramic printer so that it recognises the ceramic toners.
The colours of the ceramic toners are slightly different to the original toners and the digtial ceramic printer must be
set to recognise the amount of ceramic toner in the developer unit. In order to do this it is necessary to enter the
service mode of the printer. On the small Ricoh SP C430 to enter the service mode you need to switch the digital
ceramic printer on whilst pressing the up and down arrows. On the larger Ricoh SP C830 digital ceramic printer you can enter the service mode by simultaneaously pressing both the ‘Home’ and ‘Simple Screen’ buttons for 5 seconds followed by ‘User Tools’. From the menu select ‘Engine’ then ‘Process’ and page through to 3.013 TD Sn Initial Set.
From here select the appropriate colour and then ‘Execute’.
When the process is finished select ‘Escape’ and then ‘End’.
The digital ceramic printer is now ready to print ceramic transfers.