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Laser printer = Powder Coat Printer?

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  • Laser printer = Powder Coat Printer?

    Anyone try using a laser printer to create designs for powder coating?

    I was wondering if you took all the toner out of a laser printer and replaced it with Poweder Coat powder, could you then print a design on something, then bake it for the powder to set?

    You'd have to modify the printer so the powder coated part did not go through the printer's fuser. Instead, you'd just take the part with the electrostaticaly adheared powder coat powder to your oven for standard curing.

    I gotta try this.

  • #2
    Ok. but there is one thing the paper travels through the printer and how are you going to get the part to move at the right speed for the printer to print on it. Its a good idea, especially if you have a printer to try it with. You would have to build like a miniature convair still controlled by the printer port. It definitely wood beat having to tape the design out. Keep everyone updated on how this works!!!


    • #3
      I already have a cheapo Lexmark laser printer I modified for printing directly to circuit boards -I cut the bottom guts away and setup a sliding table underneath it, driven by a belt connected to the drum cog with the electro static wire jumped to the board.

      I just don't know if I have the guts to refil the toner cartridge with powder coat powder

      If I get lucky at another garage sale, I'll make another just try try it.


      • #4


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        • #5
          caswell what do you mean by that ?


          • #6
            I more or less understand your concept. I understand how you print the circuit board cause they are flat. But what if you wanted to do a design on a cylinder, or a valve cover, how would you go about that?

            I need to review exactly how a laser printer works, any body got any good links?



            • #7
              Originally posted by etyrrany
              I more or less understand your concept. I understand how you print the circuit board cause they are flat. But what if you wanted to do a design on a cylinder, or a valve cover, how would you go about that?

              I need to review exactly how a laser printer works, any body got any good links?

              hmmm, ok.
              First, there's a great description on how laser printers work.
              Laser printers are fast, precise and inkless. So how do the words get there? How can a laser beam write on paper? Read about laser printer technology.

              From a practical application standpoint, the first thing you gotta ask is, "what kind of use could I get out of this" and the second thing to ask is "is it worthwhile to try to do it myself".

              Your question regarding the ability to do anything but flat pieces within the 8.5 inches of the printers width range is a valid one. You also have to keep in mind, that if you could do it on a bare piece of metal, let's say print words or graphics with the printer so that after baking, you'd have those words/graphics perfectly powdercoated on the bare metal exactly as it appears in your computer graphic program, like Corel or Photoshop; you'd still be left with the task of puting color on the rest of the bare metal, without obliterating the graphic you just put down.

              I think the problem with curves could be solved by having the printer move it's drum along the workpiece, instead of the workpiece being moved under the drum. The inability to do curves is a limitation of the feed table, not the drum that's depositing the toner. The "drum" is just a cylinder that holds the toner until it's in contact with whatever it's going to deposit the toner on. Only about 1/8 of an inch of the drum is ever in contact with the paper at any given time. As long as you can run the drum over the item at the proper speed, the toner/powder will still be deposited correctly. How about using one of the newer portable laser printers and replacing the feed mechanism with a little wheeled carraige, driven by the drum's drive shaft? -Be kind of neat to see a little laser printer crawling over a cars hood, drawing flames or other pictures as it trundles along.

              As to the second problem of doing multiple colors, I don't see why this couldn't be solved by doing multiple passes, with the first pass being the actual artwork and the second pass being the negative of that artwork, with a different color powder. Kind of like the way they do silkscreened t-shirts.

              I think there are some interesting ways to take advantage of the electrostatic simularities of laser/toner printing and powder coating, but the first thing I gotta do is see if my theory will even pan out. As soon as I have any results, I'll post them here.


              • #8
                I understand the basic concept and principal behind this thread but I don't think you'll be able to "silk screen" a powder coating on there much as you would think you can. Even if one were to leave a crisp definitive mark with powder on your substrate, the edges would invariable "round" in the cure. I may be totally way off base on the whole thing but man, wouldn't it be a fantastic thing if it would work. I look forward to the progress reports in this thread. I'm sure there's a viable way to get from "A" to "B" and we have only to put our collective thougts together to figure it out.


                • #9
                  Don't do it

                  It is a waste of money, you will cause the printer to fail. Printer toner is made up of pigment and metals. Each color has a different type of metal that sticks to the transfer belt, if you switch it out, it will cause the printer to melt the material in the wrong place and you will permanently render that printer useless.


                  • #10
                    Have you tried this? Some pigments of the powder are metallic. Do you think that it would get hot enough to melt the powder before it was applied?


                    • #11
                      you need to use a thermal image set up .. now i can see using a ploter set up but you would need to run the table hight some how ...

                      now how about a transfer ?


                      • #12
                        Wax Thermal Printers. For Example Alps can do Water decals and prints for candles etc.