Finally, an affordable CD label printer!

August 14th, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

Update: The Signature Z1 is now no longer available.  We are told it is due to the overseas factory that formerly produced them closing down.  Our supplier has been given no information about how long the ribbons will be available.  Unfortunately, a motor from our unit stopped working, making it impossible to change print areas, so we have switched to the (also now discontinued) Casio CW-100.  Annoyingly, there is apparently little market for affordable disc label printers.

Thermal CD Label PrinterWell, I've tried CD Stomper, LightScribe, and now this.  My only regret is that I wish I had tried this first!

CD Stomper was...well, paper labels.  'Nuff said.

LightScribe worked relatively well, but it was slow, the media was expensive, and the finished product only looked satisfactory.

The Signature Z1 works like a hot damn!

The Signature Z1 is a thermal printer for CD and DVD labels.  Instead of ink like an inkjet printer would use, it uses a ribbon and heat-transfer technology to transfer your designs to a disc.  And it's FAST!  An entire disc will take less than a minute to print.  There's no worrying about getting a paper label on straight.  And the best thing is, inexpensive, generic, unbranded discs not only work, they're in fact recommended.

I've seen mixed reviews about this printer, but purchased it anyway.  According to other reviews, it was the "Cream of the Crap" as I like to say.  Well, I beg to differ, and I'd like to write a slightly more enthusiastic review than I read.  I made sure to get Express RMA coverage, but I didn't need it. As soon as I got it back to the office, I printed about 100 DVDs right away to give it a workout. I was pleasantly surprised - the printer performed without complaint and the finished product looked SO professional!!

A few notes:

I've found best success setting the printer to its darkest setting.  I actually don't notice the print any darker or lighter when playing with this setting, but the printer takes slightly (only slightly) longer on the darkest setting, and intricate designs or very small text can be printed more reliably.

Make sure the label-side of the disc is clean and as dust/smudge free as possible before printing.

For those of you who have quickly become bored with PrimeraPrint as I did, it's easy to create designs in Photoshop or with any other graphics software. For best results...
1) Your images should have two colors: black or white. No antialiasing.
2) Side images should be 192x378, top & bottom should be 529x192.
3) Have fun!

Here is a video of the Signature Z1 that I made.  (Quicktime, 6.19MB.)

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