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DIY Edible Printing

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'd like to do my own edible printing, but the printers are rather expensive (£150 + inks) which would take me a long time to recoup the price.

Reconditioned printers (exactly the same model required to fit edible ink cartridges) sell really cheaply on ebay, but they'll have had normal ink used in them; apparently the ink can be cleaned out / flushed through, does anybody know how??

 

Any advice along these lines would be appreciated.

 

Thanks, Katie

post #2 of 17

Reconditioned is not a good idea.  But ANY printer that will accept the edible ink cartridges will do.  I bought a couple over the years at my local office supplies store for cheap.

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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #3 of 17

In the long run, it is not the printer but the ink and paper which will be your biggest expense. In the USA, edible ink friendly  printers are relatively inexpensive and food safe - buy a new one.

post #4 of 17

Brand new printers on ebay.co.uk for 15 pounds, and you can then sell off the regular ink cartridges.  FYI the edible inks only come in black-cyan-magenta-yellow so you are NOT looking for a higher quality photo printer with 6 or 8 cartridges.

 

Buy one set of refillable edible cartridges, and edible ink in bottles of at least 100mL.  Only buy the "gold" quality as lower quality ink will cause more waste of edible sheets.  Overseas shipping of the highest quality may be economical in the long run.

 

Finally you can sell just printed edible sheets to other bakers.  Good supplementary source of revenue.   


Edited by BakingIrene - 1/14/13 at 11:37am
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

That's good advice about buying the best ink! How do I know what brands are best & which to avoid?

 

I htink one of my problems is that in the UK we have a lot more VAT on everything we buy compared to you guys i the US, everything is depressingly expensive here in comparison!

 

Plus the fact that ink cartidges are only suitable for certain printers limits matters, I only know of a supply of cartridges that suits canon printers.

 

Why isnt reconditioned a good idea?

 

Do please post a link if any one knows of a Uk source of a cheap printer that's suitable for edible inks!

 

I've just found out that some canon printers arent compatible with Mac software, which further complicates matters!
 

post #6 of 17

Reconditioned printers are not an option because they had the non-edible ink run through them. It cannot ever be all cleaned out.

 

We pay tax here too (for our national healthcare) but the printers run half of what you were quoted.  The four-colour are low end and ebay is as good a source as any. You can find any 4-colour printer compatible with Mac and then buy empty refillable cartridges for it on ebay.

 

For brands of edible ink, look at www.goldaskitchen.com or www.icingimages.com for information.  

 

I don't know if there is a reputable UK brand of edible ink. Read the reviews if you find any online listings.  You are looking for "ultrafiltered".

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

That's useful advice, thank you Irene, so to get a good quality print I should look for a printer that holds more than 4 inks and ultra filtered ink?

 

I'll let you know what I find! Thank you.

 

Katie
 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakie View Post

so to get a good quality print I should look for a printer that holds more than 4 inks and ultra filtered ink?

 

 

No, sorry, you must look ONLY for printers that use four inks.

 

They will print photos very well for cakes because the sugar sheets impose some limitation.

 

But there are ONLY four edible ink colors.

post #9 of 17

I got a Canon MG5150 from these guys in Germany: http://zuckerpapier24.de/ I also got bottles of their edible ink to refill the cartridges. This printer has 5 cartridges but there are 2 black ones (the others are yellow, cyan, magenta). They are pretty fast to ship, I also get my paper from there. On the top right of the page is the button to change the language to English. Hope that helps!
 

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ah I see, I was a little confused about the 2 black colours for a moment! ;)

 

$109 is a good deal, the best comparable deal I can find is £130....in GBP!

 

Just looking at it though and I'm now concerned about shelf life, it says the colours only last about 9-12 months, whereas I only do about 1 print per month, so worried it would block up and turn faulty on me because it's not in use enough?

post #11 of 17

With various brands of inkjet printers, I know that it suffices to print one sheet per week to keep the heads clean without wasting ink on the "head clean" cycle.

 

If you print that much less, then you would be better off paying somebody else for that one sheet a month.

 

Or else set up to print edible sheets for other people--you only need to print 3 sheets per month for $$$ to keep the printer in fine condition.

 

The refillable cartridges can also be refilled halfway. 

post #12 of 17

The only sure ways to completely remove all traces of non-edible ink, without replacing enough parts to cost more than a completely new printer, would also turn the printer into a large paperweight.

 

Which is to say that the first rule of edible printing is that the printer designated for that purpose is never to be used with any other kind of ink. And the second rule of edible printing is that the printer designated for that purpose is never to be used with any other kind of ink.

 

No picture on a cake is worth making anybody even a little bit sick (q.v., the Disco Dust thread).

 

(And since I [1] don't allow inkjet printers in the house, and [2] use maybe 3-4 sheets of edible images per year, at most, and generally gang the images to make the best use of the media, I just drop $9-10 at the local cake supply when I need one made up.)


Edited by hbquikcomjamesl - 1/15/13 at 9:10am

James H. H. Lampert
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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, I was so nearly there with the purchase, until I spotted about the frequency of use problem!

Like the idea of selling the prints, but then creating the market for it is another problem in itself.

Thank you everyone for all your advice, I'll keep the advice safe in case my needs do increase.!

 

Katie
 

post #14 of 17

I print about as often as you and I just order my sheets individually, as needed. There are quite a few other bakers selling individual sheets online, or local cake stores sometimes do it too. It's easy and you can just add the cost of the printed sheet to your cake quote. 

post #15 of 17

I would suggest that you surf the internet for suppliers of the edible ink first and they will give you the names of the printers that they are compatible with.  You can then find the printer that you can afford knowing that you can buy the colour.  Also you must have a dedicated printer, which means that it can only be used for the one purpose ie. solely for edible colour or solely for normal inks.  You can never interchange as the chemicals in the normal printing inks can cause sickness or allergic reactions.  I agree with some of the other replies that if you are only printing 1 per month it makes them very expensive and will be a few years before you see any return on your investment. 

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