What is an Edible Printer?

An edible printer comes under the banner of specialised printing, meaning it is simply a printer that is capable of printing specialised ink onto specialised printable media. In the case of edible printing, edible inks are printed onto icing sheets, cakes, or other edible media.

Why the article?

Once again, we find that we need to address the issue of edible printers. This is owing to yet another customer who did not read our listing description and who clearly made no attempt to understand what she was purchasing. Please see the link above which shows one of our listing descriptions.

When a customer orders an item, we kind of expect that they understand what they want. We also expect that they will have researched the subject to establish product suitability, and have considered what they are purchasing. In this latest instance, that appears to have been too high an expectation.

What is most galling for HobbyPrint® is that we promote our “We Love to Talk” program, on all of our listings, advising customers to call us on the telephone to talk an application through. This ensures that the customer understands and gets the purchased item that they need. It also ensures an environmentally friendly transaction – See Link

Thank goodness that the printer bundle is being returned. Based on the messaging, our expectation of competency to actually be able to use the printer, or take advice on how to use it, would be low.

Is there such a thing as an edible printer?

The answer to that question is yes and no.

To understand the answer, we need to comment that research and production of printer components and printheads are very expensive. For a company to develop the required components for a specialised edible printer would be cost-prohibitive.

There are examples of “wrap-around” specialised printers that take the form of using existing printer internals and creating specific outer and accessories to print onto T-Shirts, Cakes, and so on. Good designs and do a great job but, I am not going to cover these in this article. To complex.

So, what exactly is supplied as an edible printer?

Most printers being used as edible printers are made up of a bundle of items, including a desktop printer. Different printer models are used in different countries, all fall within 3 main manufacturers, Brother, Canon, and Epson. HobbyPrint® supplies printer bundles selected from Canon or Epson printer models.

Several factors have been taken into account in selecting the desktop printer models that we supply as part of an edible printer bundle. This ensures good service life in application. Points such as:

  • Edible Inks have a higher viscosity than standard desktop inks. In simple terms, thicker.
  • Different printer manufacturers use different methods of ink delivery through their printheads.
  • Inks need to be supplied specifically to the printer manufacturer or printhead printing method.

Using incorrect inks with a printer could well clog the printhead fairly quickly, as would using a printer model incapable of handling edible printing.

Why Buy a bundle from a specialist company

Because they should know what they are supplying and will have ensured that they are supplying according to best-known practices. We have come across many instances of self-specified edible printers and are never too surprised at what we hear and see.

Using an off the shelf, self specified ink tank printer model for edible printing, without understanding these points, causes many issues. A further complication in the selection of a suitable tank printer is that Canon G series printheads are supplied pre-filled with desktop ink. These printers require specialist understanding and attention to overcome this before using them as edible printers.

Customer and Product Support

Another very important reason for buying an edible printer bundle from a specialist supplier is the supplier’s ability to support the product. We are aware of several good suppliers of edible ink bundles in the UK. All support the products that they sell, in different ways, but importantly, based on product knowledge.

In HobbyPrint’s case, we support our products by many methods and we go a step further in that we train customers how to properly use the products that we sell. We operate our own online TV studio to produce sales and “how to” videos. We will broadcast live online from July/August 2023.

We offer live or remote training free of charge for 30 days and further training can be arranged. This is backed up by a video library, telephone, messaging, text and video chat, Zoom, and others as required.

Warranty for specialised printers

This is a massive grey area and we would urge that all customers ask about printer warranty before they purchase.

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