I wrote an earlier message, saying that I used a Canon PC428 copier.
Folks here are mentioning “ink jet” vs. laser printing. Just to
clarify, you need a COPY machine, not a computer ink jet printer! An
ink jet printer will not work. It’s the wrong kind of ink. However,
there are two kinds of black and white copy machines: those that use
laser toner and those that do not. You do NOT need a laser copier to
print PnP, although you will get a blacker black that will possibly
hold up in the etchant better.
There are consumer priced copy machines that are not laser copiers
that are available from the large office supply places such as Office
Max or Staples. Canon makes good ones that are reliable with PnP and
are reasonably priced. The model I mentioned above cost about $150.
It is not a laser copier. The model has been superceded by a newer
ones but you can still find something in this price range or even
less on sale.
I bought the Canon because someone I knew taught etching and she had
one she used in class. I’ve also taught etching classes and needed
something for my students so we weren’t dependent on a local copy
place. It’s a great inexpensive little machine and does the job. It
accepts half sheets so you can copy something for smaller projects.
One thing you need to consider is whether the machine will reliably
feed the PnP through it. Some laser printers get too hot and the PnP
ends up as wadded plastic inside. Bad bad bad. Melted PnP doesn’t
stick to anything, but can be very difficult to extract from the
machine. It sometimes depends on the method that the machine uses to
deposit the toner on the page, whether it’s a “straight feed” through
or whether it has to wrap around hot rollers.
I have not heard good things about the Brothers accepting material
other than paper. There’s another transfer process I use and the
feedback about it pointed to Canons and Hewlitt Packard copiers being
the most reliable and using the kind of toner that would work.
Brothers didn’t work for that process at all.
To summarize, any black and white big commercial copier is going to
work, depending on how easily it will feed. Most accept the PnP just
fine. If you decide to buy your own copier, I’d suggest sticking with
Canon or HP models. It’s not necessary to buy a laser printer.