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Ultimate Epson TM-C3500 Printer Test
In this ultimate <a href="http://posguys.com/barcode-printer_1/Epson-TM-C3500_2486/" title="Buy the Epson TM-C3500">Epson TM-C3500</a> printing quality test we performed five tests; control, submerged, splashed, frozen, and outdoors. Our first scan of the labels was at 1 hour, the second at one week, the third at 1 year. <div style="float: right;padding: 20px;"> <h3>Epson TM-C3500 Video Review</h3> <iframe width="400" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ebCzEFGicFM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> <h2>Summary</h2> Before showing the images of our results here is a quick summary. When labels are printed on media designed specifically for the Epson TM-C3500 the ink does not bleed or smudge. UV light exposure after 1 year causes some light fading. The label that maintained its original quality the best after one year's time was the label in the freezer due to very low UV exposure. Paper labels scrape off with a fingernail when submerged for long periods but do not bleed. Periodically splashed labels maintain excellent quality. In all cases media that suits the application should be chosen. Note: Our test labels are 4"x6". We scanned them at a much higher resolution to allow you to see closeups of the printing quality. Enjoy and call us if you have any questions. 1.800.903.6571 <h2>Control Label</h2> This was supposed to be the control but it was exposed to more sunlight than the other labels and after one year was slightly faded. We did have one label stored in the dark between books and it was perfect after one year but we don’t have a before/after shot for that label. The one below is the label that was exposed to an open/blind-covered window for a year. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/control-tm-c3500.jpg" title="Click To View Full Size Image" target="_blank"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_control-tm-c3500.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Control Label Test"/></a> <h2>Submerged Label</h2> We submerged a printed label in a plastic tote. Here are the results. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/submerged-tm-c3500.jpg" title="Click To View Full Size Image" target="_blank"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_submerged-tm-c3500.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Submerged Label Test" /></a> <h2>Splashed Label</h2> We splashed and dipped a label in the water of the plastic tote. We also sprayed it with a spray bottle. Here are the results. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/splashed-tm-c3500.jpg" target="_blank" title="Click To View Full Size Image"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_splashed-tm-c3500.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Splashed Label Tests" /></a> <h2>Frozen Label</h2> This label was stored in the POSGuys.com break room freezer. Make sure to get freezer adhesive. The printing was not affected but our general adhesive was not as tacky as you would need for food labeling processes. For example when I first stuck a label on an already frozen box it was ready to peel off with little effort. It did better when you stuck the label on a room temperature product and then placed it in the freezer. The lack of UV light exposure resulted in the best color steadfastness of all of the test labels. Results below. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/freezer-tm-c3500.jpg" title="Click To View Larger Image" target="_blank"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_freezer-tm-c3500.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Freezer Label Test" /></a> <h2>Outdoor Label</h2> We stored the bottle behind our offices where cars drive by every day. We are based out of Bellingham, WA so there is a fair amount of rain with a period of low precipitation for about three months June - August. Unfortunately the label we were scanning for this test was lost a few weeks before the year was up. We have a photo of the bottle we used to test the adhesive strength but unfortunately no high resolution scan. The label was heavily worn but there was minimal color fading where paper media was intact. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/outdoor-tm-c3500.jpg" title="Click To View Larger Image" target="_blank"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_outdoor-tm-c3500.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Outdoor Label Test" /></a> <h2>Approved Media vs. Non-approved Media</h2> We also did some testing of the TM-C3500 on non-approved generic media. (Who doesn’t want to save a buck?) We learned that the media does make a big different. Quality was inferior on the non-approved labels with lighter blacks, softer edges, and less saturated color. See the results below. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/media-comparison-tm-c3500.jpg" title="Click To View Full Size Image" target="_blank"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_media-comparison-tm-c3500.jpg" alt="TM-C3500 Label Media Comparison" /></a> <h2>Printing Cost</h2> How does the TM-C3500 ink cost compare to other printers on the market? A study by TUV Rheinland compared the ink costs of the TM-C3500, Primera LX900e, and VIP Color VP495 and found that per print it was lower. Check out the test details <a href="http://www.smart2b.nl/assets/c31cd54-t-v-final-report-corrected.pdf" title="Leave POSGuys.com to view a PDF on Smart2b.nl" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a>. <a href="http://www.smart2b.nl/assets/c31cd54-t-v-final-report-corrected.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/epson-tm-c3500-print-cost.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Ink Cost Per Print" /></a> <h2>Printing Quality and Resolution</h2> The TM-C3500 printer is 360dpi x 360dpi for Speed Mode and 720 dpi x 360 dpi for Quality Mode. Note that all of the images you see in this post were printed on Quality Mode. <a href="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/print-quality-tm-c3500.jpg"><img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/print-quality-tm-c3500-smaller2.jpg" alt="Epson TM-C3500 Printing Quality" /></a> <img src="https://posguys.blob.core.windows.net/content/images/blog/9275/tn_cr3500-printed-jewelry.jpg" alt="TM-C3500 Label Example" class="left" /> <h2>Conclusion</h2> The Epson TM-C3500 is an excellent label printer that is well suited for operations that need a print on demand label or who print small batches of custom labels as new products come out. (pharmacy, food, freezer, chemical labeling and more) The quality of printing is fair as it is a high resolution printer but it does not print ultra-realistic photographic images. We printed photos to show you what that looks like, it is not offset label quality but it IS high quality. The printer is priced fantastic for what it can do and the media has come down in price since the earlier Epson TM-C3400. If you are looking for extremely durable, affordable, fast, no bleed, color labeling this is the printer for you. If you're looking to buy the Epson TM-C3500 it is available with free shipping and lifetime support <a href="https://posguys.com/barcode-printer_1/Epson-TM-C3500_2486" title="Epson TM-C3500">here</a>. We also sell approved label media on the same <a href="https://posguys.com/barcode-printer_1/Epson-TM-C3500_2486" title="Epson TM-C3500 Labels and Ink Cartridges">page</a>. We also list the part numbers for the ink cartridges there in case you need to reorder and have lost the original ink cartridge. POSGuys.com, we support what we sell! <br><br><br> <i>Camille Meehan, POSLady since 2011, is the resident in-house printing nut. She loves all things printing from offset, inkjet to thermal. She spent a year jealously guarding the ColorWorks C3500 label test, like a dragon on its' gold hoard she made sure the labels stayed in the freezer and in water filled tote under her desk. Camille isn't a scientist (or a dragon), she has a BA in design, and over eight years print/design experience. Note: Camille would love to do a similar test as above with acids, bases, and salt water exposure as she has heard these labels have been used on buoys in the ocean!.</i>
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