Direct to Disc Printing and CD/DVD/BD Duplication Options.

I just want to say off hand i am not 100% sure this is the right place for this post, if not please forgive me.

I truly hope someone can help me.

I am currently looking into starting a small business doing cd/dvd/bd printing and packaging mainly for one local company. I have done some googling but i seem to not be able to find what i am looking for.

First off i understand the difference between disc replication and disc duplication, however as i understand it getting a replicator is costly and the actual process is quite involved, as such i believe duplication is the way for me to go, at least for now, unless someone here knows something i do not.

Secondly i will obviously need a printer or printers for printing directly to the disc. What i want to know is what is the best option available, can i only go the inkjet route or are there other options?
Everything depends on quality and cost, obviously i am looking to create a good looking product without incurring high costs. At the moment estimated output is somewhere between 500-1000 discs per week.

Last of all is the printing of the paper inserts, what is the best option there? color laser?

Thanks In Advance for any help!!
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about direct disc printing dvd duplication options
  1. Duplicators burn discs with the same kinds of burners that PCs use. The duplicator is built from a power supply, a case, a controller head that fits in a 5.25" drive bay, a bunch of DVD drives, and a few power splitters.

    Replicators stamp into the discs.

    Most of us build/buy duplicators, but for large quantities (1000s of each disc) You may want to order duplicated discs. It depends on the mix. For 50,000 of one disc per year, go with replication. For 10 of each disc, go with duplication.


    I do not print Your quantity of discs. I use a couple of Canon MG5320 inkjets. They have a plastic tray that loads a single (InkJet Printable) CD at a time.

    Other printers will change the discs for You. I have no experience with these printers. Most people I know just run large groups of Inkjets.

    Buy waterproof inks. It does cost a few bucks extra, but it's worth it. It does not look professional when ink smears on a CD.

    Buy generic inks off Amazon. They will save You money.

    When You find an excellent batch of ink carts from a reputable seller, buy up to a 2-year supply so You do not have to keep experimenting. After 2 years, they are dried out and no good.

    Occasionally, a cheap ink cart will mess up a print head. It's a cost of doing business. Get Your money back plus the cost of the printer from the scumbag who sold the defective ink cart.

    --- has lots of inkjet printable discs for sale at not-horrible prices.

    You will often be in line at the local store that is running a sale buying a basket full of cheap discs to save money, or buying one spindle at a time, and going through the line for 6 hours straight.


    Not all white CDs are inkjet printable.


    For inserts, get a couple of used HP Color LaserJets off CraigsList and buy remanufactured toners off eBay. I suggest something like a LaserJet 4600, 4700, or 8500. I've used these for years, and they rock.

    I'm not sure where to get the small slips of glossy paper that look good.


    Test everything. Don't run 1,000 bad discs.


    You might get into legal issues if the MAFIAA decides to harass You. If this happens, a 12 gauge beats a lawyer.


    I hope You are good with layout design, and Photoshop or a Photoshop clone like You need to be to design disc labels.

    Printers come with their own quirky disc-printing-programs, but Photoshop or the GIMP is still necessary.
  2. Best answer
    Some inkjets have replaceable printheads. Others just need to be thrown away when the printhead wears out. This is not a big thing, since printheads cost the same as printers.

    The big name brands in inkjets are Canon and Epson. This is a deeply personal and possibly religious choice. I will never buy an Epson, as I am a faithful follower of Canon ;o)_

    Whatever You pick, make sure all the printers You but (if You go with inkjets) use the same printheads and ink cartridges.

    You will probably want to look into Continuous Ink Systems (see eBay.) These are definitely high-maintenance, but they let You buy quarts (gallons?) of ink and pour it in! I stick with cheap generic carts off Amazon, but I don't print Your quantity.

    Of course, You may decide not to go with inkjets, and instead get a dye-sublimation thingy. I have little experience with those things.
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