Is ther a laser printer able to print/duplex using thin paper?

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Is ther a laser printer able to print/duplex using thin paper?

Have a small business and need to print, preferably duplex on legal size very thin and slippery pages. Tried to print on other laser printers, but they reliably jam! Is there a laser printer out there that can do the trick? Don't want to pony up and spend a small fortune, but would love to know if any such printer is compatible with a finisher - stapler or anything that can bind four pages at a time.

Thank you!

Ask the folks that supply/manufacture the paper

Without more detail about the paper, one can only guess.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

re: ask folks who manufacture paper

thank you for your reply! Unfortunately the pages are parts of the multipart form that is designed to be fed into a dot matrix impact printer, then carbon copy added, the page reversed and reprinted. That is a bit too archaic for me. The individual pages are part of the multipart form, so dont know their exact specifications, nor is there a way to contact manufacturer to find out their exact weight, but it suffices to say they are much thinner than 20lb standard paper. So, do you know any printers that are designed specifically or that are intended to print to an ultra light weigh paper?

Your comments are much appreciated.

not likely

I would have a hard time believing there would be a laser designed to handle this sort of paper. Believe it or not, laser printers are rather brutal to paper--heating it up, forcing it through pressure rollers, and frequently, convoluted paper paths --all at the same time. That said, you can find the specs for every printer, and they will tell you the minimum paper weight they are designed to handle--but I highly doubt you will find something to handle this sort of paper. It works in an impact printer, because the feed is both simpler, and the printer is dealing with all the layers held together on the sides by the perforated tear-off section. To try to send one of these through any printer, whether dot-matrix, ink jet or laser would result in problems. If my memory serves me correctly, even a cheaper offset press would have problems with paper this thin. You need to treat this paper with kid gloves, yet have the pressure on the rollers to actually draw the paper. You can look, but you will need to look in specialty places--in fact, the best people to ask would be a local print shop. That said, there are some people here who have or do work in a print shop. Maybe they will speak up. But don't get your hopes up. :-)

-Jon

Impact on the paper

the pages are parts of the multipart form that is designed to be fed into a dot matrix impact printer

Jonglass has described the brutal handling that paper goes through within a laser printer. But the one thing that isn't involved is the word you used in the description of the paper. Laser printers do not use impact to print on the surface of the paper; they use an electrostatic charge. Without impact nothing is going to be impressed onto the other layers of the form. You probably out of luck with this one.

Use the proper tool for the job

the pages are parts of the multipart form that is designed to be fed into a dot matrix impact printer, then carbon copy added, the page reversed and reprinted

OK, then either use a dot matrix impact printer -- if them thangs are still made -- or go to proper laser printer compatible paper and print as many copies as necessary.

You are doing the equivalent of using a butter knofe as s screwdriver. You may get it to work, but it is usually a lot of trouble.

Is there any reason you cannot just print multiple copies ?
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

If you have the entire form

If you have the entire form electronically, so that you can print any lines or other decorations aside from the actual form data, this kind of paper will help you fake multi-part forms. But then again, so could any colored paper, I expect.

Many other options may be found that might work: starter Google search.

Very Pricey

A great idea, but to your wallet's disadvantage. All you are getting is collated colored paper. Color laser paper can be had for less than $10 a ream. All you need after that is either cheap labor to collate it or a gadget like this -- Google shopping shows it available for under $50
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

comments...

Guys/Gals, thank you much for your suggestions, explanations, options, etc. The reason using dot matrix is cumbersome is because one either has to manually feed these multipart forms or use a cut sheet feeder which kills about a quarter of forms. Secondly, since forms are intended to have text on both sides, we run the forms through printer backwards after putting carbon paper between each sheet. This is too cumbersome, inefficient and time consuming, so was/am looking for a laser/inkjet w duplexer and if possible finisher solution.

Search google up and down, gone through forums, even registered for several. Can only come up with commercial printing companies who sell industrial size machines which take up more space than the office i have. :)

Unfortunately i cannot use any other paper as the pages of the multipart form are watermarked and are unique - have serial numbers, etc.

Will talk to a local print shop.

Love the colator idea given that there is a laser printer that can handle thin light paper...

will look in to offset press, however it sounds like a major investment and more burden$ome than a small business can afford, plus the docs i print differ each time, so couldnt print the same one over and over...

Thank you for your answers, if anyone has any other ideas would much appreciate hearing from you.

-Mark

multipart

Mark-

Are you saying that these multipart forms are not made for tractor-feed impact printers? If not, what are they made for? Or, is the problem that you want to print one form at a time, and not keep them fed via the tractor-feed?

It seems to me that if you have more than one form, that probably it would be in your interests, and cheaper than all the other options, to simply have multiple printers, and connect them via a switch box. So, to the computer, they would be "one" printer, but you choose what printer at the switch box before you print. That way, you aren't swapping out forms, and creating extra work for yourself, and you aren't spending boucoups of money on a specialty laser--you'll be saving money over something like that, and still have your flexibility--so saying that these forms are tractor-feed forms.

I agree with Jon

It also seems to me that you are trying to accomodate an out-dated paperwork method. If you cannot get a reliable printer that can handle the forms, I would recommend you re-think the forms to something that standard printers can handle.

Numbering, watermarking and such can be done with software.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Printing on forms

It sounds like the form you're using is an old official government form or some type of invoicing/shares form etc that's made to be written on by hand.

As was mentioned above, you need impact like a key or a mechanical print head to work on carbon paper.
So, if you have to use those forms, my suggestions are
- stick to dot matrix
or
- investigate if you can find an electric/electronic typewriter that will hook up to your computer. It may be easier to load than the dot matrix

Alternatively, if you only have to produce the paperwork and the only limitation is that it be individually numbered (that is the specific forms are optional so long as the numbering is unique)
- investigate some cheap software options for unique numbering of papers/files

Multiparts on both sides???

Hi.

Can't say as I've ever seen a multipage form that requires each sheet to have stuff on both sides. I've only ever seen multipart forms that had the carbon *included* in the paper, or bound within the stack. To have a bunch of sheets bound without any carbon, yet require them to be filled out identically, sounds amazingly weird.

I'm gonna guess you're filling these things out for a vendor or customer. Within a single company people would never stand for such inefficiency. :)

This is that thin onion-skin paper, right?

Wild. Why would anyone make forms like that, rather than just a two page multipart with carbon?

Good luck, man. That form was designed without machinery in mind.

shris

I'm actually surprised

By how many dot-matrix printers are still around. Especially in medical/dental offices. Some have gone to laser, but for patient charts, etc., I still hear the dot.dot.dot.dot. zzzzzzzzzzzz of the old dot matrix printers all the time.

There are lots on Google Shopping

and quite a few look like new stuff as opposed to old, used hardware. Apparently, the dot matrix printer is not dead yet.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

curious if....

I'm curious if any run off of USB, or if they are all the old parallel kind. Of course, I'm curious, but not curious enough to actually go and look for myself. ;-)

-Jon

Many do, according to Google

I was curious, too.
The nicer ones have serial, parallel, and USB.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

to all who replied

Guys, thanks again for all suggestions and attention to the archaic practices of printing on both sides of multipart forms. yes, it is ridiculous, and perhaps is designed to be such for reasons of inhibiting commerce. yes, these are old government forms that cannot be tractor fed (or at least they dont have the perforated strips on either left or right side. Switch box would select the correct printer, but still the printer cannot print these forms properly, so would have to either manually load them or find an inkjet/laser that can either feed each piece of the ultra light (onion skin) part of the multipart form or all of them together, both of which result in jams. unfortunately cant do much about the forms - cant pick different ones; any kind of watermarking using software could be considered forgery. yes, some dot matrix printers run off usb, mine is networked :)

thanks for all your help, feel free to write if there is anything new, but looks like we've picked everyone's brains... :(

Last idea.

Hi.

I have one last idea for you. Ask the people who are forcing you to use the forms what they'd do in your shoes. Ask if any of their other business associates have found a way to print on the pesky things. Ask if they'd consider changing their forms. All you can do is ask, and the worst they can do is say no, look dumb, plead ignorance, or cry shame on you for asking. None of that is fatal, so why not try it?

shris

Impact printer

In case you can't convince the bureacracy to change its ways and forms...

I've done a bit of research and if you want to keep using the carbon paper the printer you're looking for is an "impact printer". They're a more modern version of the dot matrix with a slightly different mechanism.

Alternatively, if you want something to print on very fragile paper you'll need a small Plan Printer (they're used by engineers and artists).
The one I've seen was a few years old. It looked like a picture frame with a cross bar that moved up and down the frame. You put a sheet of paper on a tray, put the frame on top of the tray. When you print the bar with the printer head moves up and down over the paper, with the printer head moving from side to side. So the paper remains flat all the time with the printer just touching it where it needs to add ink.