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Can I print on vinyl with a laser printer?

One common question I see posted from time to time is, “Can I print on vinyl with a laser printer?”  Unfortunately, the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.  Most printable vinyl is intended to be used with a standard inkjet printer such as ORACAL 1917, with some types becoming available for sublimation in recent years.

I have seen laser printable vinyl on the market, but you have to be careful with this type of media.  The laser printable vinyl I looked at (and I don’t remember where, someone had posted a link) was only rated up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Laser printers can get up to 400 degrees, so you have to understand the limitations of the vinyl as well as the operating parameters of your laser printer.  If you have a Cricut series of die-cutting machines, another limitation may be whether the machine can read the registration marks.  For color laser printers, the color “black” is not always as dark as it is for an inkjet printer.  It can also present a bit of sheen to it so any glossy appearance can affect the sensor accuracy.

Hopefully that will help answer some of the questions regarding laser printable vinyl.
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