Author Topic: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?  (Read 398 times)

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Offline Chris56000

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Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« on: October 23, 2020, 08:41:07 am »
Hi!

Does anybody know, or can recommend a cheap machine that will print numbers/bar codes on self-adhesive labels?

I often remove old ones or accidently clean off the lettering as part of my duties cleaning PCBs at work - I'm looking for something that will print up labels up to about 20 x 50 mm in size or so,. thermal or or a free PC softwarev will do!

This'd be useful for printing new labels for replacement EPROMS, GAL chips, etc.

Chris Williams

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Offline Ranayna

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2020, 09:54:24 am »
One thing that immediately comes to my mind with that question would be Brother P-Touch.
Get one with a USB Connection and the software should be free as far as i remember.
There are ones that can print on up to 36 mm wide tape. Up to 24 or 18 mm is significantly cheaper though.

The label tape is not exactly cheap though.

But the labels are *very* durable and actually can be hard to remove after a couple of years.
 

Offline Thomas

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2020, 10:28:06 am »
Agree on the Brother stuff.
I have a Brother QL800 and use it for everything. Supports width up to 62mm and has a knife for cutting the length I want.
Software is nice and free with basic vector drawing, barcodes, fonts, pictures and I can paste anything to it.
 

Offline E-Design

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2020, 11:44:30 am »
I also recommend brother P-touch. Been using it for years. You will be very happy with the resulting look. These can produce professional looking labels.

One note: there are a variety of sizes and also color schemes (like Black on blue and black on orange etc..) its tempting to buy the knock off brands for these that Brother doesnt offer

STAY AWAY from the knock off vendors for the tape cartridges. I know the Brother brand cartridges are a bit more expensive.
I have found that the knock off brands all use the same plastic mold design and it happens to be flawed. After running some length of tape through them, they lose registration (due to a mold design flaw) and come apart.
They will work for a bit and then you will have to keep "fixing" them. Its not worth the hassle or few dollars saved in my opinion. In some cases for me the knock offs were so flawed/unusable and I just threw them out being mostly full. What a total waste of time and money. They are total junk. How bad they can be depends on the size used. But they are all flawed. Learn from my mistake.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 11:49:01 am by E-Design »
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Offline DrG

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2020, 03:56:04 pm »
I got into the habit of using one of these at work and liked it so much that I bought one for home about three years ago.

https://www.amazon.com/DYMO-LabelWriter-Thermal-Printer-1752264/dp/B0027JBLV4

I like labels - they give me the illusion of order.


edited to add: I'm not sure if their smallest label size available suits your needs, but I do like this one.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 04:00:05 pm by DrG »
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Offline Gribo

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2020, 05:27:12 pm »
We use Zebra printers for PCBA barcode and other labeling requirements. What are your requirements? just standard labels?
I am available for freelance work.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2020, 06:09:58 pm »

If the labels don't need to be particularly large (max 1/2" wide, but practically any length) there is a good cheapskate option: 
https://www.amazon.com/DYMO-LabelManager-Label-Maker-1768960/dp/B00464E5P2

They can be found on eBay for <$30 and for this guy, the cheap clone label tapes actually work better than the originals for me.

You can do text, bar codes, pictures, etc., all monochrome of course.
 

Offline jc101

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2020, 06:16:53 pm »
Hi!

Does anybody know, or can recommend a cheap machine that will print numbers/bar codes on self-adhesive labels?

Chris Williams

I used to use a Brother P-Touch 9700 USB printer, this prints self laminating labels up to 38mm wide and as long as you want.  I used the TZe label tapes in it.
The labels can be expensive if you print lots, but 3rd party ribbons are available.

The software is free and supports bar-codes etc. too.

It is sitting in a box, could probably be persuaded to part with it if you don't find anything else.
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Printing PCB Labels - Anything to do it cheaply?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2020, 06:21:57 pm »
+1 for the Brother P-Touch. Compatible labels from Amazon are much cheaper and just as good.
 


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