Author Topic: My Systainer Label Printing process  (Read 5090 times)

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Offline dbroere

  • Posts: 2
My Systainer Label Printing process
« on: July 07, 2016, 03:28 PM »
For those that want nice custom labels for their Festool/Tanos T-Loc Systainers… I’ve spent some time working on a solution and I’m really happy with it.

First thing to note is that the standard and midi size T-Loc Systainers are designed with 4 label locations - one on each side and two in the front.  The label locations are actually slots that are designed to hold standard CR80 PVC cards.  CR80 cards are 2 1/8” x 3 3/8” x .030 thick, with radiused corners.  CR80 PVC cards are available from most ID card suppliers.

There’s two main print methods methods;  InkJet and Die Sublimation.  Industry standard ID printing usually uses the Die Sublimation printing process but the printers start at around $1000.  Printer ribbons are costly.  I’ve found I can achieve excellent results, at a much lower cost, using the InkJet process.  I can’t stress this next part enough — you MUST use InkJet cards!  InkJet cards have a special surface that will accept and absorb InkJet ink.  The ink dries almost immediately after printing.  Once printed and dry, the cards won’t smear and are water resistant.  It’s also worth noting that Most Die Sublimation printers print a clear protective layer over the card after all the colors are applied.  InkJets do not have the ability to print a protective layer.  So, unlike Die Sublimation cards, InkJet cards can be scratched.  It might be possible to spray the printed cards with a clear protective layer but I haven’t experimented with this.

For years printer manufacturers have made InkJet printers that can print CDs.  They usually have a tray that holds special InkJet CDs or DVDs.  ID card suppliers now sell a printer tray that holds 2 x CR80 cards, side by side.  Canon and Epson are two of the more common printer makers that offer Photo Quality printers that can accept CR80 printer trays. 

So, what about cost?  Photo quality InkJet printers start as low as $80.  The InkJet tray costs about $18.  InkJet CR80 cards cost about $20 per hundred.  Ink cost varries quite a bit from printer to printer.

As to the card artwork - you can use almost any of the software tools available to your computer (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.)  I’ve found pictures of power tools and company logos from serveral sources on the internet.  If you can’t find a picture you like, take a picture of the tool yourself.  What you put on your labels and how you arrange them is a matter of personal preference.

My personal solution is a bit complicated by past personal preferences.  I use a Mac as my main machine.  I use Pixelmator, on the Mac, to tweak the artwork if needed.  The Mac runs VMWare with an instance of Windows 7.  Windows 7 is used to run VISIO (which unfortunately doesn’t have a Mac equivalent).  VISIO is the tool I use to “build” and print my labels.   Printing is therefore done from VISIO on the Windows side.  I print to a Canon MG7720, connectd by USB to the Mac/PC.  The Canon MG7720 uses a “J” tray for the PVC cards.  The printer, “j” tray, PVC cards, etc.  were all available from Amazon.

The ID card label process gives you labels you can move when re-arranging tools in the T-Loc boxes.  If you’re unhappy with a label, just re-do the artwork and make a new one. 
Note that there are several Festool/Tanos products that don’t have the label slots — T-Loc mini, Sortainer, Systainer Tool Boxes and Storage Boxes, Systainer Maxi,  and finally, all the older design (non T-Loc) Systaners.  So it’s not a complete solution for everything.  I haven’t experimented with attaching PVC labels to boxes without slots.  Maybe double-sticky tape would work.  I suspect I’ll eventually need a solution for the Tool Boxes and Storage Boxes. 

Happy Label Printing

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2709
Re: My Systainer Label Printing process
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 08:20 PM »
Thanks for sharing the detailed process.

I use a 1" clear adhesive label stock with black ink from a P-touch labeler.  I stick the labels on the green front of the T-loc latch and find that the black ink on green background is FAR more visible from across the room than any of the custom labels I have printed.

The ID card idea sounds cool, but it sounds like I need new printer and card carrier to use.

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 738
Re: My Systainer Label Printing process
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2016, 10:33 AM »
Thanks @dbroere

I have a laser printer.  I simply print on standard paper and then cut out the label.  I then stick it behind one of the Festool clear plastic inserts.  The labels are part number 497855 and are $8 on amazon for a 10 pack.  They hold the paper label in place very well.

I use photoshop elements on my windows 10 laptop to create the labels I need.  I've posted many of these in the past under various threads.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7652
Re: My Systainer Label Printing process
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2016, 11:57 AM »
Thanks for the tip about CR80 stock .. That may come in handy down the track [wink]

Offline Magpal

  • Posts: 74
Re: My Systainer Label Printing process
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 04:57 PM »
I didn't know inkjet printers worked on the PVC cards. That is very nice! Thanks for the info!

I do however only find US models that accepts the J-tray. Does anyone know of any EU model that can print on CR80?