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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X System
Just thought I'd share this as I haven't seen this posted anywhere else, and this looked like the best place to post to about it.

Casio makes these neat thermal wax printers that print directly on the CD. The current model is the CW-100, which can be had from J& for $109 with a $30 rebate. Casio doesn't support this printer under Mac OS X, but TDK sells the exact same printer in Europe as the LPCW-100, and they have some OS X software available on their website for free download. It works perfectly with the Casio printer.

There are some limitations to the software: it is extremely limiting in the amount of text formatting you can do. It also doesn't handle DCBS fonts. But this can be overcome easily, as it allows for images to be dropped in the print areas in the layout software. What I did was use TextEdit to layout my text for the label, then print to PDF and use Graphic converter to crop and convert to JPG, and finally, dragged the JPG to the print area. But you can use whatever layout tool you want, be it Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.

I tried using Preview to convert the PDF, but it kept reducing the resolution from 300 dpi to 72 dpi, so the text looked fuzzy when actually printed. Graphic converted kept the resolution at 300 dpi, which is the printer's resolution. One further benefit is that you get roughly twice the number of prints from a ribbon cartridge as you would under MS Windows. The printer is able to print to a rectangular area top and bottom of the CD in a 1" by 3" rectangle. The Windows printer drivers advance the ribbon the length of a print area between each print. So it wastes three inches of ribbon for each print area. The Mac OS X drivers don't do this; they only advance the ribbon between 1/8" and 1/4" between each print area. Casio specs a ribbon as able to print 40 areas, which is only 20 discs if you print top and bottom. In practice, I've gotten as many as 42 discs from a single ribbon. This is signifigant, because a three-pack of ribbons costs $19.88 from J&R, and that is the lowest price outside of eBay.

I've been using the printer at my church as we make CDs of the Sunday message for the members; we are printing between 60 and 80 disks each Sunday. So far, it works quite well. Print time is about 30 to 40 seconds for each disc. I do wonder how long the printer will last, as it is obviously not designed as a high volume printer. Since it is so cheap, replacing it when it burns out is no big deal -- we are spending way more on ribbons. There are more economical thermal disc printers to operate, but they cost about $2500 (but they do print on the entire surface of the disc). There really are no mid-range options for this type of printing.

I hope this tip helps at least a few people.
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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: Essington on Feb 16, '05 02:00:26PM

I don't suppose you've seen the Epson Stylus Photo R200 yet.
This printer lists for $99 and prints full color at a ridiculously high resolution on the whole surface of the disk. It also comes with software and drivers for OS X so there is no fooling around with image conversions. In addition you can use 3rd party labeling software with it.

It is an inkjet though, so you'll have to let the disks dry a bit before stacking them.

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: cstumpf on Feb 16, '05 05:15:22PM

I'm the guy the submitted this tip. I know all about the Epson inkjet's ability to print CDs. It was not an option for our application for the following reasons.

1.) Speed - it's over 1 minute to print a disc
2.) Cost - printable discs are much more expensive than standard discs.
3.) durability of print - injet prints are not waterproof and will smear with just fingers on a humid day or if your fingers are a bit sweaty.
4.) Dry time - it takes a long time for the print to be dry to the touch.

The thermal wax technology that the Casio CW-100 uses has no dry time and isn't affected by water. We need to be able to print about 80 discs in an hour and then immediately duplicate them and stuff them in evelopes. That is not possible with inkjet. Yeah, you give up the full coverage photo quality prints, but for most uses that is note needed, particularly ours.

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: rpaul on Feb 16, '05 05:42:30PM

Perfect hint for me. I was stuck using a PC 'till this. The app isn't very robust, however creating images with PhotoShop works well.

The app reads mono psd's perfectly, even multi-layered text layers work fine. I recommend no anti-aliasing on the text as the printer is just
printing a bit map.

You can create a blank template as 74mm x 16mm at 300dpi.

Compared to ink-jet, this is definitely the way to go. Ink jet will still
smudge months after printing if your fingers are damp.

Also, has blank cartridges at about $8 pop (less for

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: RBR on Feb 16, '05 07:45:34PM

I don't recall the name, but there was a spray to put on ink jet printed CDs to 'set' and protect the ink very much the way that some sprays work for ink jet photo (paper) prints. It may even have been the same stuff.

If I were burning *lots* of CDs I think that I would give consideration to one of the CD burners that burn the image onto the CD itself with a laser. The reduced consumables costs could be important. The major drawback would be the comparatively slow burn time for the 'label', particularly for complex images.

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: cstumpf on Feb 16, '05 08:07:10PM

Well, that's fine if you are only doing a few discs and have time for them to dry and such. Not practical for my use.

The other option you listed is not practical because the time to burn the image takes a very, very long time. Simple text is like 15-20 minutes and a complex image can take 4-5 hours per disk. And the media is very expensive compared to the cost of plain discs and ribbons for the CW-100. Believe me, I looked at all possible options and this is the fastest, trouble free and most cost effective solution available.

I am currenlty producing a labled disc for about $41 cents each.

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: RBR on Feb 16, '05 11:45:39PM

It's true enough that the laser burns are slow, as I commented, but I am not sure that they require special media.

Still, if you are able to produce the CDs for $.41 each (I presume this is consumables only) that is certainly "good enough" to not be overly concerned until something much better comes along.


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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: cstumpf on Feb 16, '05 07:56:53PM

Runtechmedia prices are a lot more expensive than J&R. The cost from runtechmedia for a ribbon in a 10 pack is $7.80. The cost per ribbon in a 3 pack at J&R is only $6.63 per ribbon.

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OSX Drivers?
Authored by: GORDYmac on Feb 26, '05 11:10:55AM

Where? I've been to the TDK site, downloaded the installer (44MB) and there's no OSX driver.

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OSX Drivers?
Authored by: Mark D. Falcone on May 08, '06 10:28:26AM

have IMac G-5 OS 10.4 and a casio CW-100... checked TDK site downloaded what was labeled (Mac installer) it contianed the same drivers as the software that came with the Casio....none of which I could open.......or were workable.
Anything new about solving this problem?

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: cstumpf on Feb 26, '05 11:46:51AM

TDK Europe has recently removed the link to download the software from their website. The direct link still works for the time being. Although I suspect they will removed the file soon enough.

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: asenseofplace on Mar 01, '05 01:44:38PM

I've got the software and templates off the TDK site - but I'm having trouble making it work. OS X not recognising it in the Printers folder in Users/Library.
Any suggestions?

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: cstumpf on Mar 02, '05 01:56:03PM

Try rebooting. Someone else reported a similar problem and rebooting allowed them to print. One guy reported that he had to hook up the printer via USB and have it powered on, then reboot the computer for it to work. I didn't run into this problem because I had installed the software before the printer arrived and the computer had been rebooted. It just worked for me.

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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: cstumpf on Mar 05, '05 03:56:10PM

Well, seems TDK has updated their website again, or at least finished the update they started that resulted in the removal of the link to the OSX software. There is a link on the left side of the LPCW-100 page called Support -> Downloads. Click on the downloads link and you will find an item called General Downloads on that page, to the right of it is a link to download the software for Mac OSX.


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Use the Casio CW-100 CD printer with OS X
Authored by: stimyg on Jun 29, '05 02:39:11PM

Are there drivers I'll need to download as well? I see the actual application software, but didn't notice any drivers in that link...



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Anyone know if this will make the earlier CW-50 work with a Mac?
Authored by: Lunatic Prods on Apr 11, '05 06:08:00PM


Don't you hate it when you put the whole question in the title?


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