Gamma Electronics Heat Shrink Tubing Printers Comparison

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Gamma Electronics Heat Shrink Tubing Printers Comparison

Gamma Electronics offers several different types of heat shrink printers, built to print on and cut heat shrink per your specifications.  In other posts we’ve discussed the advantages of these types of printers, (called Thermal Transfer Printers), and we’ve even given advice as to when you should look at investing in such a printer.  This post is meant to purely offer a comparative look at the 3 different printers we offer and where you might use one over another.

So rather than opening multiple tabs and trying to find and sift through loads of information we put it all in one place for you.  You’re welcome.

The Gamma Bolt is a printer designed to be used in shops who need to print on heat shrink in low to medium volumes.  The Gamma Bolt will print on and cut heat shrink in sizes ranging from 1/16 up to 2.5 inches and in lengths from a minimum of a 1/2 inch up to any length.  It comes with Gamma Label, our proprietary software that makes designing labels for and printing on heat shrink easy.

The Gamma Bolt is perfect for shops that need to print on heat shrink often but not in volumes in the several thousands (at a time).

The Gamma Mark III Plus prints on and cuts heat shrink and has the added bonus of being able to perforate heat shrink if you so choose.  It is capable of printing on heat shrink sizes ranging from 1/16 inch up to 2.5 inches.  It can also print and cut (or perforate) in lengths as small as .25 inches up to whatever length you want.  More impressively it can print up to 11 inches/second.  The Mark III Plus also comes with Gamma Label.

The Gamma Mark III Plus is a great high volume printer that can handle print jobs starting at 5,000 at a time and can go well beyond 10,000 at a time.  The Gamma Mark III Plus is built to be the heat shrink labeling workhorse for shops that need to print in very high volumes.

The Gamma Double Mark is so named because of its ability to do double sided prints on either heat shrink or labels.  While not able to print as fast as the Gamma Mark III Plus the Double Mark is able to handle the same workload, (several thousands at a time).

The Gamma Double Mark is intended for shops that need a high volume printer with that double sided printing ability.

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Gamma Bolt

Gamma Mark III Plus

Gamma Double Mark

Printing MethodThermal TransferThermal TransferThermal Transfer
Key FeaturesLow to medium volume heat shrink tubing printer that prints on and cuts heat shrink to specifications. Comes with Gamma Label software.High volume heat shrink printer that can print volumes starting at 5,000 labels at a time, at up to 11 inches per second. Can also cut or perforate heat shrink to specifications. Comes with Gamma Label software.High volume heat shrink printer that can print and cut or perforate double sided labels.
MSRP$1850

with Rotary Cutter $3,545

with Perf Cutter $3,900

with Rotary Cutter $11,800

with Perf Cutter $12,265

SpeedUp to 4 inches/secondUp to 11 inches/secondUp to 5 inches/second
Resolution300 DPI prints (12 dots per mm)300 DPI standard, (600 also available)300 DPI standard
Shrink Tube Sizes(1/16”,3/32”,1/8”,3/16”, 1/4”,3/8”,1/2”,3/4”,1”,1.5”)(1/16”,3/32”,1/8”,3/16”, 1/4”,3/8”,1/2”,3/4”,1”,1.5″, 2.25″, 2.5”)(1/16”,3/32”,1/8”,3/16”, 1/4”,3/8”,1/2”,3/4”,1”,1.5″, 2.25″, 2.5”)
Size8 (W) x 7.75 (H) x 11.5 (D) inches9.92 (W) x 11.34 (H) x 18.11 (D) inches14.1 (W) x 15.5 (H) x 21.8 (D) inches
PC CompatibilityCompatible with Windows 7, 8, 10Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10

Conclusion

Only you can decide what printer best meets your needs, pricepoint, etc.  Our hope in making this chart was to make the information more quickly accessible so readers like you can make a more informed decision.

For more information regarding our printers please visit our Cable Identification page, or reach out to our sales team by emailing us at Sales@GammaElectronics.net.

At What Point Should You Buy A Thermal Transfer Printer?

Gamma Electronics Blog

At What Point Should You Buy A Thermal Transfer Printer?

Here at Gamma we make a lot of customized labels, mostly printed on heat shrink tubing.  Our Thermal Transfer Printers are great for printing these labels and while we primarily use them for heat shrink tubing these printers can be and are commonly used in far more applications including paper labels and receipts.

Some of you may be asking why you would use a Thermal Transfer Printer for labels, which is a topic we’ve addressed in a previous blog post.  For the purposes of this blog post let’s just say that the reasons to use a thermal transfer printer are numerous, especially when printing in high volumes and/or with materials like heat shrink.

The real question is at what point is it more cost effective to purchase a printer and create your own labels as opposed to ordering custom labels through a company like Gamma Electronics?

How Often and How Much

The simple answer comes in the form of a question: how much are you printing?  That question sounds simple but can in truth be difficult to answer.  How much you’re printing is likely to fluctuate depending on the given day, so we’re better served by first asking how often are you printing followed by how much?

How Often

If you’re printing daily, you’ll want to own a printer.  If you’re printing multiple times a week, again, you should probably have your own printer, otherwise you’ll be placing a lot of orders. But what about those who are just printing every now and then?

We like to suggest that if you’re ordering around 4 times a year you might want to look into purchasing a printer, but that is only true if the volume is high, (which we’ll discuss more in the next section).  If you’re ordering every few months at a lower volume it’s probably more cost effective to order labels than to purchase a printer, but to better answer that question we should really pin down how much you’re printing.

How Much

As the print volume grows things get a bit more tricky.  Let’s say you need 1,000 to 1,500 labels a couple of times a year.  At that point you are probably still better served ordering the prints.  Once you start ordering those same volumes around 4 times a year is about the time we recommend looking at getting a printer.

So to sum things up: If you’re ordering multiple times a month you probably want to get your own printer or if you’re ordering volume that reaches into the thousands 4 times a year or more you should also look into purhcasing a printer.

Printers Matched to Printing Volume

Our team at Gamma Electronics has developed several printers designed to specifically match different volumes of printing.

If you need to print hundreds of labels and maybe go as high as labels in the low thousands then the Gamma Bolt is your machine.  It can print on varying heat shrink sizes and cut them to your specifications.

If you need to print in higher volumes, starting at around 5,000 prints at a time, then you will want to look at the Gamma Mark III Plus.  The Mark III Plus can easily print above 10,000 prints at a time and it gives you the option to print or perforate heat shrink.

Our third printer option is the Gamma Double Mark, which offers a number of the perks of the Gamma Mark III Plus but also offers the ability to print double sided labels.

The Gamma Bolt and Gamma Mark III Plus also come with Gamma Label, a proprietary software that makes designing and printing your own labels easy.

Pros and Cons: Ordering Prints vs Purchasing a Printer

There are a couple of other things to consider when trying to make the decision between purchasing a printer or having your labels printed for you.

First, having your own printer means no wait times. 

Owning a printer means you can print anytime you need to, (assuming you have the needed materials).  Anytime you order prints your order will take time to be printed and shipped meaning it’s probably a matter of a few days before you receive them, (at a minimum).  If you consistently need prints and need them almost immediately then you’ll want to own your own printer.

Second, printers have costs that go beyond the purchase price of the printer. 

Printer ribbons will need to be replaced as needed and software will need to be renewed on a yearly basis. Certainly, these costs aren’t enormous but you don’t have to worry about them when ordering prints.

Third, it’s almost always going to be easier to order prints than it is to make your own. 

There’s incredible convenience in ordering prints and having a professional take care of it for you.  However, there is also incredible convenience in being able to make your own prints when and where you need them.

To that point, we’ve gone to great lengths to make our Gamma Label software incredibly easy to use but, like any software, it does require a bit of learning.  Just know that owning a printer means taking the time to learn and operate it which is much different than asking an experienced professional to do those things for you.

For more information regarding our printers make sure to check out our Cable Identification page where you can also find information about purchasing a printer from Gamma Electronics directly.

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What in the World is a Thermal Transfer Printer?

Gamma Electronics Blog

What in the World is a Thermal Transfer Printer?

What in the world is a thermal transfer printer and why should you care?  Well if you need to print receipts, barcodes, and any number of different labels it should probably have some importance to you.

At Gamma Electronics we primarily focus on printers for labels: heat shrink labels, packaging labels, cable tie tags, etc..  While it’s true that you can go buy labels at your local office supply store and print them on your home printer there are good reasons you might want to invest in a different type of printer, and that quite possibly includes a thermal transfer printer.  For example, if you want to print on a material like heat shrink.

So in what scenarios do you need to use different types of printers and what are their advantages and disadvantages?  We’re so glad you asked because we’ve broken it down below.

Different Printer Types

Ink Jet Printers

Ink Jet Printers are the types of printers you most commonly use at your home or small office.  Ink Jet Printers have small ink tanks of various colors that are sprayed out of a jet and combined to create images and/or text.  As you’re probably well aware of the ink tanks require replacement depending on how heavily they’re used and they come in all sorts of varieties depending on the printer/manufacturer.

Direct Thermal Printers

Direct Thermal Printers utilize a special chemical paper that when heated changes color in the areas that where heated.  They do this by means of electrical currents which run through the thermal print head which heats as the treated paper runs over it.  This is how barcodes and receipts are typically printed as it means you have a printing system that doesn’t require you to replace ink.

Thermal Transfer Printers

Thermal Transfer Printers follow the same basic process of the direct thermal printer but instead of a paper it’s a ribbon that’s heated and the material on the ribbon, (often a wax-like substance), adheres itself to the material being printed on.  It’s probably obvious at this point why they’re called Thermal Transfer Printers as the heat causes the wax-like substance to transfer from the ribbon to the material being printed on.

It’s incredibly helpful to know about the differences in printer types so you can also know when and where you should be using each type of printer, which we go into greater depth on below.

Printers: Pros and Cons

Ink Jet Printers

Ink Jet Printers are great at printing high quality images.  Because you can combine so many different ink variations you can produce incredible images.  Depending on how often you use the printer you’ll need to replace the ink and ink jet printers tend to break down more often because of the many moving parts involved.  In addition, the prints may not hold up great over time, (depending on a number of circumstances like temperature, paper quality, etc.).

Ink Jet Printers are the least expensive of the 3 printer options listed but they can get quite expensive depending on how much you want the printer to do and what quality of print you want it to produce.

Direct Thermal Printers

Direct Thermal Printers are much more limited in terms of the quality of their prints.  The prints do tend to last longer however and do so under more difficult circumstances, (i.e. warmer temperatures).  Direct thermal printers don’t have all the moving parts of an ink jet printer but they do have direct contact with the printing material and the print heads tend to get more scratched up and worn out over time.  Direct thermal printers are great for printing high volumes of prints that don’t require photo quality prints, like receipts.

Thermal Transfer Printers

Thermal Transfer Printers share many of the perks of direct thermal printers while adding a few more.  They don’t have all the moving parts of an ink jet which means less repairs and down time, and because the print head isn’t making direct contact and is instead using a ribbon the print head has improved durability.  The prints are also more durable than those of ink jet or direct thermal printers but you will not get the photo quality prints capable with an ink jet printer.  While thermal transfer printers can print on paper one of their unique attributes is their ability to print on unique materials like heat shrink.

Similar to ink jet printers running out of ink you will also need to replace the printer ribbon in thermal printers.  Because the prints tend to be less intensive than what is often printed with ink jet printers you also tend to get a greater life span out of printer ribbons than you would with ink tanks, but of course it all depends on how much you’re printing.

Gamma’s Thermal Transfer/Heat Shrink Printers

For the reasons listed above it’s probably obvious why Gamma printers are all Thermal Transfer Printers.  Gamma’s thermal transfer printers are able to produce high quality, long-lasting prints that can be printed onto heat shrink and more.  The printers require less repairs and maintenance, and you won’t have the issue of constantly replacing ink, although you will need to occasionally replace the printer ribbon(s) depending on your usage, (a thermal transfer printer ribbon often runs about the same price of an ink cartridge).  At Gamma Electronics we also offer our own printing software, (Gamma Label), to be used with the Gamma Bolt, which makes printing on heat shrink an easier process than ever before.

In short: if you want long-lasting prints to go on labels of all varieties you should be utilizing Gamma Electronics Thermal Transfer Printers.  Check out our printers by clicking here.

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Gamma Electronics 2018 Recap

Gamma Electronics Blog

Gamma Electronics 2018 Recap

2018 was a very busy year here at Gamma Electronics.  We wanted to take a moment to thank all those who have been part of our journey and provide some updates as to some of the exciting things that have happened during 2018.

New Location

First things first, we moved!  It wasn’t far, (ok, just a few doors down), but it did allow us to get a much larger warehouse to better accommodate the needs of our partners and customers.

Gamma Electronics Warehouse

New Logo/Branding

We also updated our logo and website this year.  We wanted the website to be easier to navigate and explore while also providing a fresh new look to match some of the innovative products we’re bringing to the market.

Low PIM, Low Loss Cable Assemblies

Speaking of innovative products we have had a great response to our new line of low PIM, low loss cables.  We’ll be providing more information about this new product line in the coming weeks but for the purposes of this blog post we’ll just share an excerpt from an email we received this week from a highly satisfied customer:

Low PIM, Low Loss RF Cable Assembly

“We saw the biggest improvement on the worst connections. Anything above -105 RSRP saw 2-4 db improvement.  The CINR SINR levels pretty much improved across the board…The general reliability of UEs from ICMP and SNMP on the sector improved greatly.”

Kaleb Rounsevel, ST. Marie’s Internet

Needless to say we are excited about what these cables are capable of doing.

RF Weatherproof Boot

We pride ourselves in not only providing the best cable protection options but the fastest cable protection install options available.  The Weatherproof Boot was a great addition in 2018.

Closeup of Gamma Electronics Boot on Cable

Updated Printer

Our Printers continue to be an industry leading solution for printing on heat shrink tubing and we made exciting updates to our Gamma Mark III Plus printer specifically.  It has a large new touchscreen, an updated interface, it can be connected via Bluetooth and it prints much more quietly and smoothly.

Gamma Mark III Plus Printer

New Resellers

Purchase Gamma Electronics through Streakwave
Purchase Gamma Electronics through Winncom
Purchase Gamma Electronics through WAV
Purchase Gamma Electronics through CTI Connect

We’ve added a number of new resellers in hopes of making our products more accessible to customers.  In recent months we added Wincomm, Streakwave, Wav, and CTIConnect.  For a full list of all of our reselllers, see our Where to Buy page.

Trade Shows

Gamma Electronics WISPAPALOOZA18 Booth
Gamma Electronics WISPAPALOOZA18 Low PIM Mini Golf

We had a great time attending a number of trade shows this past year including Wispapalooza, ConnectX, IWCE, Wispamerica, and the Assembly Show.  We particularly enjoyed sharing our mini golf visual aid which highlighted how Gamma products help eliminate obstacles like PIM and water ingress to ensure that you have a clean signal.

What’s to Come in 2019

 While 2018 was a great year for us we are even more excited about what’s to come in 2019.  We will be regularly updating this blog in the coming year and will be releasing monthly videos and newsletters as well.

 We would also love to meet face to face and have already set up our trade show schedule for the coming year.  Please come say hello to us at: 

  • Nate Unite 2019
  • IWCE
  • WispAmerica
  • CanWisp
  • Satellite 2019
  • Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo
  • ConnectX
  • Wispapalooza
  • The Assembly Show

 You can also visit our trade shows page to learn more about our presence at each of these shows. 

We also have some new products in the works that we will be announcing in the first half of 2019.  To keep up with all the new updates make sure to follow us on social media, continue to check into the blog, and sign up for our newsletter below.

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