Toner Transfer Troubleshooting
1. LOW TONER: Using a low (near empty) cartridge?
When toner gets too low, it can produce a “thin” layer of toner
2. QUALITY TONER: Are you using an after-market cartridge?
One of the first things to address when having this partial type of foil transfer problem is the toner cartridge. If it is an 'after-market' (no-name) toner cartridge it's possibly suspect as being of poor toner quality. These cartridges use a lower percentage of styrene plastic as compared to "brand-name" cartridges which are always of the highest possible toner quality. They cost more but there is a reason for this ... of the 9 elements that makes up 'toner', the styrene plastic is the most expensive element and it accounts for about 55% of the total content. It's this plastic that enables the foils to transfer in the first place. Styrene plastic that make the toner expensive so it stands to logic why these toner cartridges are much cheaper than 'brand-name' units. Most people think it's the 'brand name' that makes the cartridges more expensive. Actually, the name only accounts for about 15% of the price The rest is for very high quality toner.
3. TONER DENSITY: Setting the printer to its highest density.
All laser printers have a "density" control, however, finding it on some printers may be a bit of a challenge. Lower cost printers use a software Utility application that comes with the printer to change printing parameters on screen. More advanced printers have an LCD window on the front of the printer to effect changes direct. If you can't find a term that sounds like a "printing density" control, you might have a 'driver' that just doesn't include that parameter. In that case, call your manufacturer's customer support and ask them if there is a different 'driver' you can download to give you access to setting the density higher than the factory setting. When you have access to this setting, increase it to the maximum. In the case of HP printers, they use a scale of 1~5 (5 highest) with a default factory setting of 3. Once set, it stays there so you will want to change it back to 1, 2 or 3 to extend the life of the cartridge for all subsequent printing.
4. PAPER TYPE: Setting the printer for the kind of paper to print to.
If this particular parameter has not been changed from the factory, the printer is expecting 22~24# bond paper to be coming through. Most likely you're using a heavier or specialized paper type. A mismatch here can be a direct reason for not getting proper toner density to print to the paper. The options for setting a heavier-weight paper varies between printer manufacturers but in general you're looking for a listing of paper types to select from.
5. COVER SHEET: Are you using Drafting Vellum as a cover sheet or regular paper?
If you are using a paper cover sheet over the foil, it MUST be a very lightweight paper. The cover sheet laid on top of the foil is an insulator so not all heat gets through to the foil/toner contact point. If you are having issues with the particular paper stock you're using, we suggest that you DON'T use any paper cover and use a longer piece of foil to wrap about an inch around the leading edge going through the laminator.
6. BACKING BOARD: Are you using a "backing board" for the foil covered print?
It's necessary to use the Carrier Board as a rigid base to transport the paper/foil combination perpendicular to the heated rollers. IN other words, keeping the foil flat as it goes through the laminator, and also enabling a higher pressure to be applied to the print
7. LAMINATOR: Are you using one of the recommended laminators?
Not all laminators work properly because they either don't get hot enough, the rollers turn too fast or provide insufficient roller pressure. If the laminator you are using isn't the ideal all-metal type, you definitely want to NOT use a cover sheet over the foil when you run the foil through the unit (enabling more heat to get to the foil and toner image to make the transfer properly) and use the alternate foil-covering method where the foil is cut long enough to have an inch or so wrapped around the leading edge of the Carrier Board and long enough to be able to pull on the tail the entire length of the printed image going through the laminator. Multiple passes through the laminator can also give better results.