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I got fed up with color inkjet printers some time ago. The ink cost, mfg s/w ended the cartridge life long before the ink is used up, cartridges not working from from lack of use, etc. So I moved to B&W laser printers and never looked back.

But how can you print some color billboards without buying an inkjet or a costly laser color printer?

So I had an idea. I grabbed 3 images from the Net and had CVS print them. Just upload using their website. In the pic below, the prints are 4x6. A little big for O-scale but this was just a test. I opted for matte finish instead of glossy. That requires printing at "CVS central" and shipping.to my home. Glossy prints can be picked up in person at a local store.

Each print was 34 cents and shipping was 99 cents plus sales tax; total $2.18. I uploaded on Wed and received them today (Fri). My quick pic, below, doesn't do them justice (glare).

You can print virtually anything. Lots of street signs on one print and then process with an Exacto knife. One caution, you need to have a border that measures the exact print size or the processing will enlarge or shrink the image to fit. In the middle pic, "The Fordson" image had white space above and below the horizontal lines top and bottom. The print processing enlarged the image to fit the 4x6 print.

547375
 

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Hmmm. Good way to get them I guess. I have an HP color printer. Only had it about seven months but it is great!! Not sure what it costs per page but it seems okay.
 

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Looks like the CVS service would be good for the occasional print, thanks for the examples. We have used HP ink jets for a long time with no issues. We currently have two (one at each house) Office Jet Pro 8710's, about 2 years old. No issues. My wife prints about a ream/month with the book and manuscript editing she does. The cartriges cost a lot but the XL versions print a lot of pages so the cost/page is low. I print out graphs and things, can't beat the instant turn around. With all the printing my wife does I think I will spring for a laser jet if we need a new printer. The main reason I passed on it two years ago was the physical size of the printer she wanted, the 8710 ink jet was a lot smaller.
 

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Yep, the lasers are big. But they just keep printing. Last one I got was $59 + tax shipped to my door from Staples. I like the Brother series. Big, not suitable for a kitchen counter or what not. And the printer's s/w will stop when it thinks your toner is out. I've reset the printer each time that occurs - 4 times over the year. But I print a ream of paper a month and it still prints like new - no additional cost.
 

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I have a compact Lexmark color laser. Think it ran me $250 shipped to my door. Does double sided to cut down on paper waste. Cost of the color lasers is down....as is the size.
 

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I have a compact Lexmark color laser. Think it ran me $250 shipped to my door. Does double sided to cut down on paper waste. Cost of the color lasers is down....as is the size.
Yes. But for me, it's a color print "once in a blue moon". For pennies I can get a color print when I need it from CVS or Walgreens.

BTW: My $59 Brother laser also does two sided printing which I use most all the time. To be fair, I think I had a $30 coupon from Staples and the printer was actually priced at $89.
 

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Not to beat a dead horse but (there's always a but, isn't there?),

Walgreens advertises their photo print lifespan of up to 100 years under ideal conditions. I don't have knowledge of the inkjet or laser print's lifespan. But I imagine the choice of paper will have a noticeable effect.
 

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The color prints I make usually have to last a week until the end of the meeting or presentation. If the color is slightly off it does not matter, as long as the lines on the chart are distinguishable. All in all, a very low performance threshold. If any of us really want high accuracy, long lasting color prints that is the world of Epson printers. They use 8 color archival pigments with special papers to produce a completely different print than a color laser jet or standard 3 pigment ink jet.
We had one years ago, again for something my wife was involved in. Back then it had 7 color archival pigments. When she moved on from those assignments we never replaced the Epson. I'm sure it would now be far easier and cheaper to use Walgreen's or CVS for those prints.
 

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Not to beat a dead horse but (there's always a but, isn't there?),

Walgreens advertises their photo print lifespan of up to 100 years under ideal conditions. I don't have knowledge of the inkjet or laser print's lifespan. But I imagine the choice of paper will have a noticeable effect.
I know inkjet colors fade pretty fast. I haven't seen that with laser printer colors, I have color prints that are many years old, they're still looking like when I printed them.
 

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Not to beat a dead horse but (there's always a but, isn't there?),

Walgreens advertises their photo print lifespan of up to 100 years under ideal conditions. I don't have knowledge of the inkjet or laser print's lifespan. But I imagine the choice of paper will have a noticeable effect.
Not that you'll be around in a hundred years to call them out if they are wrong...... :LOL:
 
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