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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing Printers
I burn a fair number of CDs and DVDs at home, and I've never been thrilled with my labeling options: stick-on labels can come unstuck, or unbalance a disc, and LightScribe takes forever and looks, well, not all that good. I own a Canon printer, and was thinking "there must be a way to do this; it's a newish printer." But after some web searching, it seems Canon users -- at least in the USA -- can't print directly on CDs and DVDs, thanks to an Epson patent (I believe it's this one) on such technology!

That was frustrating, to say the least, and I thought I was resigned to either buying an Epson printer, or perhaps a customized CD/DVD printer (quite spendy)...but then I stumbled across this page. It turns out that many Canon printers can, with a bit of work, print on CDs and DVDs.

The secret is that Canon ships the same printer models in both the US and Europe, and European models can print on CDs and DVDs by default. So that means that many Canon printers (including my Pixma iP6600D) include the hardware necessary for printing on CDs and DVDs (namely, a slot into which the CD/DVD can slide), but it's blocked off on printers sold in the United States. So with just a bit of work and a minor expense, I was able to add CD/DVD printing capability to my Canon printer. After testing it last night (I had only one printable CD in the house!), I can say it works amazingly well.

The above link got me started, but after more Googling, I found The-Five-Easy-Steps.html, this page, (Ed. note 7/16/10: that link is now broken, so you may need to search again) which has a big FAQ, and a bit more detail on some of the steps. I won't replicate the modification steps in detail here, because they differ for each model of printer, but read on for some basic notes on my experiences with the modification.

First, note that if you do this, you'll probably void your printer's warranty (mine's out of warranty already), it's possible you could break something while gaining access to the CD slot, and if you make a mistake, you may wind up with a printer that won't work until you rectify the problem.

The basic steps to modify the printer are:
  1. Remove plastic trim covering CD slot
  2. Order the proper CD tray for your printer
  3. Change the printer's region from USA to Europe
  4. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver
You need to use one of the above links to find your model of Canon printer, and then buy the proper tray (mine uses Tray C) from eBay. I just ran a search on Canon CD Print Tray ip6600d, and came up with a number of hits. I wound up ordering this one, because it was the cheapest.

The tray arrived in a few days, and was clearly new and still packed in the factory packaging. That was the easy part of the project. Resetting the printer's region is the toughest: follow the directions for your printer closely, as there is zero feedback as you work through the button presses. You may see blinking lights, but the LCD display won't update at all (at least on my printer it didn't). So you're basically working blind.

After changing the region, go to the Print & Fax System Preferences panel, and remove your printer, then add it back in. This should be enough to get it to detect the newly-enabled CD/DVD printing capability. If you have troubles, the second link above has a good FAQ and some troubleshooting ideas. For me, though, it worked on the first try.
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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing
Authored by: OverZealous on Jan 22, '10 12:23:07PM

This post just inspired me to get my MX850 CD-Tray working.

I have an MP830 (older model) which uses a "D" tray. Loved being able to print CDs with it. (In fact, I did some graphic design work that I printed 100 CDs and got paid more than the printer+ink was worth!) But it only has a USB connection.

The MX850 (which has Mac & Windows network-capable drivers) uses an "F" tray. Since $30 is not worth it, I've left the 830 hanging around for the occasional CD printing. But I hate the thought of expensive ink waiting just for CD prints.

It turns out that the only difference between a D and F tray is that the right-hand shiny foil spot is offset to the left by about 1/4" (7mm) on F. Otherwise, the dimensions are exactly the same. (That link can also be used to make your own "F" tray.)

So, I covered the old one with a bit of black construction paper (using double-sided scotch tape), and made a new foil spot using aluminum foil. I think I moved the spot around about 5 times before I thought to cover the old spot.

The end result: my D tray works perfect in my MX850, and I just saved $30!

Thanks for the inspiration!

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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing
Authored by: sjk on Jan 22, '10 01:43:59PM

Thanks for the inspiration to try this on my now long-out-of-warranty iP5000, after deciding if it's worth paying extra for the roller assembly with Tray B.

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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing
Authored by: Makosuke on Jan 22, '10 06:28:05PM

This really is quite easy to do, and SO worth it--I've modified an older IP4200 and a 9000Pro in a few minutes, both of which worked perfectly (and you can download the OSX software to print discs free from Canon's non-US website, which is functional if rather ugly in terms of interface).

I bought a tray off eBay for the 9000, but I managed to successfully make a crude but fully functional one with an old DVD case (it's the right thickness and size for the base, and it's even black), some foil, a box cutter, and tape. So long as the holes are in about the right place it worked fine after a bit of calibration in the software (it lets you offset prints in tiny increments).

Nothing to be afraid of, I just wish my new multifunction series printer had that feature available.

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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing
Authored by: KentD on Jan 27, '10 05:10:14AM

It looks like HP is licensing the Epson patent. Several of their printers have CD/DVD capability.

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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing
Authored by: everkleer80 on Jul 16, '10 01:28:18PM

FYI, I clicked a link in this hint (the one in the 4th paragraph - I didn't try any of the other links) and an ad poped up on the page that started launching java and then my OfficeScan antivirus program popped up a few warnings. Just want to warn anyone who views this... Of course this was on Windows, which I'm forced to use all day at work, so Mac users are probably safe.

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Modify some Canon printers to enable CD/DVD printing
Authored by: crarko on Jul 16, '10 01:56:23PM

OK, I've removed that link. Thanks.

Craig A.

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