Metallic Inkjet Ink

The existence of metallic inkjet ink is a myth that has been around for many years. Plenty of people on the internet claim that they have used it or know where to buy it, but actually finding a cartridge is practically impossible. Even if one were to be found, it’s highly unlikely that a typical desktop inkjet could use it. The only printers that are capable of using metallic inks are expensive commercial ones. As disappointing as this may be, there are several options available for creating a metallic look with a desktop inkjet. These include using colored paper, digital metallic paper, and even inkjet-printable metal sheets. The choice of which one to use depends on how good a document needs to look and the cost of printing it.

Gold, silver, and bronze have always been associated with wealth, power, and high social status. As every sports fan knows, gold is the color of medals and trophies for first place, followed by silver and bronze for second and third place respectively. Along with being highly sought after, gold and silver create feelings of permanence and stability because they last forever. Using these colors is a good way to convey feelings of importance and security. For this reason, invitations for wedding, anniversaries, and other celebrations are often printed in gold or silver. They are also used for certificates and academic qualifications. Promoters for investment schemes are heavy users of these colors, as they try to make people feel secure enough to part with their money.

Desktop printing has made it possible for everyone to create their own documents, brochures, invitations, greeting cards, and artwork. It’s unfortunate then that metallic inkjet ink is not available because there is a lot of demand for it. The problem lies in the way that desktop inkjet printers work. They are very sensitive to the type of ink used and can even clog up if ink for a similar model is used. Inside the printer head, the ink passes through tiny tubes that are about the same diameter as a strand of hair, and needs to be heated to just the right temperature for it to shoot out onto the paper. Metallic inks have different properties to regular inks because they are thicker and contain metal flakes.

With metallic inkjet ink ruled out as an option, it’s time to look at other ways to create metallic colors with an inkjet printer. The simplest way is to blend colors by printing them onto colored paper. The overall effect is not very convincing but it’s good enough for party invitations and school projects. Yellow ink printed onto silver paper looks like gold, and orange ink printed onto silver paper look like bronze. There are plenty of other effects that can be created by combining colors in this way. One word of caution, ink takes longer to dry on silver colored paper so allow more time for it to dry before handling.

Digital metallic paper has a thin coating of metal on top of a paper base. The metal layer has a special coating that allows ink to be printed on it. Prints look much better on digital metallic paper that on colored paper because of its high gloss, smoothness, and reflectivity. It’s ideal for creating a warm and serene glow on wedding photos, something that even metallic inkjet ink could not produce. Digital metallic paper is more expensive than regular paper but cheaper than metal sheet. However, buyers should take care when selecting this paper because some brands cannot be used with inkjet printers.

Some art suppliers stock thin metal sheets that are inkjet printable. They are about the same thickness as light cardboard and can pass through the direct feed slot on most inkjet printers, but they cannot be used from the paper tray. The sheets are available in matte or satin finish and some even have an adhesive backing. They have a special clear coating that allows ink to be printed on them, but it’s still good to apply an overcoat afterwards to stop the ink from running. The sheets are very expensive but the effect of printing directly on metal is unique and well worth the cost.

This Metallic Inkjet Ink Review is Written/Updated on Jan 15th, 2011 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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