Author Topic: Our Paper Print experiences  (Read 1674 times)

Martien van Overeem

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Our Paper Print experiences
« on: September 25, 2015, 08:57:27 AM »
Sharing our DICOM Paper Printing experiences with you


First at all about the printer type: I would advise NOT to use a color printer as although the print quality of x-ray and medical images in general, printed on a color printer looks perfect, in particular where it concerns the black areas, the disadvantage is that you need a printer with 4 different toner cartridges. I have experienced serious issues in Nicaragua and I am quite sure it will be the same in other countries. As soon as one of the cartridges is running empty, the users will continue printing with the result of very bad image quality till also other cartridges run empty. This will go on for a significant period with bad image quality as the consequence. Using a monochrome printer, once the cartridge is empty, printing is done completely and one has to put in a new cartridge, but of course only one, the black. If you look to the difference in image quality between a monochrome print and a color print, there is no reason for using the expensive color printer with the disadvantage of 4 cartridges in use. I have done several tests at OKI Netherlands and together with the sales people and technicians we came to the choice of the B432DN for A4 or B840DN for A3/A4 printing. We have also shown the test results to a group of radiology doctors/teachers in the Netherlands and they all say that our solution works perfect in 99% of the cases.
Regarding the used paper: printing on ordinary 60 or 80 gr/m2 paper works but printing on paper of 170 gr/m2 gives a much more professional feeling to the end result and when printing is done on A3 sized paper it comes very close to the feeling of film. However the image quality on paper is even better than film. Black on paper is almost pure black and white is clear white from the paper. With film, black is still somewhat colored by the type of film and those areas still show some back lite from the viewer box. White is not white but film translucent and the impression strongly depends on the backlight and applied film type. Common practice is that most doctors will hold the film in front of a lamp or in the free air and that's even worse. Printing on paper makes reading the image as comfortable as reading a magazine.
Now about our printer interface box:  CRCB-PACS has designed a hardware interface box with a special software solution by which the amount of black is reduced as much as possible, like unused areas and around annotations. This all due to the fact that we print on paper with standard printers, to save toner as much as possible. The box is provided with an Ethernet connection and can be accessed as a standard DICOM entity.
Coming to the cost aspect: To our experience it is possible to make about 3000 x-ray prints (MRI and CT comparable) with one B840DN cartridge. Such a cartridge can be purchased for less than 300. A package of 250 sheets of paper of 170 gr/m2 will cost about 25. Altogether this will make a cost price per A3 print of 20 euro cent. The costs of one print on digital film however is about 2 which is a factor 10 higher, not even speaking about the costs of a digital film printer compared to our printer interface box and an A3 printer like the OKI B840DN.
I hope I have given some new insights in using standard paper printers for medical imaging printing. Please feel free to respond to this post and contact me if you like.
kind regards,

Martien van Overeem. For more info, see us on www.crcb-pacs.com

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Re: Our Paper Print experiences
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 07:26:36 PM »
Thank you Martieen for sharingyour experience with all of us.
We really appreciate it!

Kind regards,

CharruaSoft team
CharruaSoft