ALPS MicroDry Printer Drivers 64-bit Windows Utility The new 64-bit utility program can be used with a USB-to-parallel adapter cable to print prepared images from 64-bit Windows systems (tested on Windows 8.1 and 10). Note that this is not a driver, and requires a different workflow for printing. Free ALPS drivers are available for all models. Note that these are the official ALPS drivers to give access to the full functionality of these unique printers, not the generic Microsoft printers under Windows which are installed by default on Microsoft systems. To get the free drivers: 64-bit Windows Utility. Downloads 11 Drivers for Alps MD 1000 Printers. Here's where you can downloads the newest software for your MD 1000. ALPS Japan no longer repairs or refurbishes printers, nor do any ALPS branches outside of Japan. Servicing (maintenance), repairs and refurbishing are handled in-house and in partnership with the official ALPS agent Elephant's Rocket (see conditions ) as applicable.
Many people know that you can print your own decals from your computer,but the Alps printer lets you print colored decals which can even be usedon colored rockets!
|Note that the Alps MD5000 described here is no longer in production(and I haven't used one in a long time).However, this popular printer still has an active following and a discussion group:alpsdecal on Yahoo Groups.|
Some of the techniques described here might also be useful to people using other printers.(For example, there are decal papers that work with ink jet printers.)
Custom water-slide decals are easily available through Internet businesses.I have usedTango Papa DecalsandBedlam Creationsand been happy with both.
Another alternative is vinyl sign shops such asFast Signs,which is what I use for larger artwork.
What you need:
- computer and drawing software (I use Adobe Illustrator 8.0)
- an Alps micro-dry printer (I have the MD5000)
- decal film (available fromScale Sports)
- decal set to 'melt' the decal (available from hobby shops)
The Alps printers do something very unusual and very useful: they can print white!This is important because if your rocket has a colored background,decals which use color will have their colors altered by the rocket color.Of course, if you want white lettering or graphics on a colored rocket you also needto be able to print white.
The Alps printers also work better for decals than laser printers or copiers.Laser printer (and copier) toner is too granular and will flake off the decal paper whenthe sheet is bent. It also tends to run and smear when you try to cover it with a clearcoat. The Alps ink goes on with a smooth, slightly raised surface which looks much betteron the decal film and stands up to Testors Top Coat.
These printers are also very good for digital photographs,especially MD 5000 with the optional dye sublimation kit on the special paper.I've used an Alps MD 1000 and had great results with it for rocket decals.I recently bought the Alps MD 5000 because of its high quality with photographs.
The Alps printers use cartridges like the old typewriter ribbon cartridges.When you buy your printer, you will get a set of cartridges. Be sure to buya white cartridge at the same time.They also have some other special cartridges which print metallic colors.The MD5000 holds up to seven cartridges so you can put white in place of one ofthe two black cartridges.
There are two tricks you will use to make a colored graphic with a white background:'spot colors' and the 'overlay option.'The Alps printer software allows you to print using only a single one of the specialcolor cartridges such as white or the metallics.This is called a 'spot color' andthe artwork you print will use only that color.Typically your artwork will be all black, but will come out the special color because ofthe spot color option.The overlay option allows you to print multiple times to the same page.The page is not ejected from the printer so the different printings are aligned properly.The sequence of steps is described below.
First off, draw your logo in your favorite drawing program.Normal text is quite easy. If you have a bitmap, you can import it, but the qualitywill not be as good unless the bitmap is very high-resolution.Once you have your graphic done to your satisfaction, group it and save your file.
I use layers to keep the white background separate from the images.If your drawing program doesn't support layers, you can use separate files.Make a new layer below the current one and name it 'background'.Name the current layer something appropriate (such as 'logo').
Select the logo layer and copy your grouped graphic.Select the background layer and paste the graphic.Align the two graphics so they exactly overlap by dragging the copy on thebackground layer. Once they overlap exactly, hide the logo layer.
Now we need to make the background into a solid black mask. Select the entiregraphic element and give it a black fill.Change the color of all text to black.You should end up with a solid black shape with the same outline as your logo.(If you like, you can delete any graphics totally inside the outline.)
Once you have your background image properly blacked out,hide and show the layers alternatelyand make sure the images still overlap properly.We're going to print in two passes, using only one of each of the two layers ata time. The white layer will be printed first and provide the background forthe colored layer.
The way drawing programs (and printers) work is that white areas are not printedsince it is assumed that the page is white.If you draw a white square on the page and give it no border (or a white border)and print it, no pixels will be drawn. This is also true of the Alps, but wework around this problem by using the spot color feature.
Hide the logo layer and show the background layer.What you see it what will be printed in white on the first pass.Print, bringing up the printer properties as you do.(On Windows, select File Print then click the Properties button.)Select 'Single Spot Color' as the Color Format and a dialog boxwill pop up and you can select 'white'.Make sure the Overlay box is checked.If you're not sure, see thescreen shot from my machine.
Now go ahead and print.You may have problems with the decal film feeding into the printer.I always have to help mine a bit. If you don't succeed the first time,hit the 'ready/insert' button on the printer and you'll get another chance.
Once the layer is finished, the page will remain in the printer and youcan go on to print the next layer.Hide the background layer and show the logo layer.Again when you print, bring up the properties dialog.This time, select 'Standard Color' as the Color Format.Your colored logo will be printed on top of the white background.
To put the final coating on the decal and seal it, it is a good idea to printa final finish layer.If you print without the Overlay option, the finish will be put on automatically.But if you print with overlays (as we did above), you will need to do it manually.Show the background layer (which covers the entire printed area) and print again,this time selecting 'Finish' as the Color Format and uncheck Overlay.Since Overlay is not selected, the decal will be ejected from the printer afterwards.
These decals apply just like other water transfer decals.I recommend using decal set, which is a water-like solution which melts thedecal after it's been applied. This will help feather the edges of the decaland really make it stick to the surface.
Once the decal has thoroughly dried, you should protect it with a clear coat.I've had good luck with Testors Top Coat.Warning: Krylon Krystal Klear will attack the decals.It's a good idea to apply one of your mistake decals to a scrap body tube andtry out your clear coat just to make sure it is compatible.
Note that the white and light colored areas in the rocket body tube on theright show up in their correct colors, even though the decal is applied to adark green rocket.You now have a way to make any logo you need for your rocket!
Custom water-slide decals are easily available through Internet businesses.I have usedTango Papa DecalsandBedlam Creationsand have been happy with both.For larger projects, I use vinyl sign decals fromFast Signs.
If you have questions about the Alps printers and decals,there is an active discussion group:alpsdecal on Yahoo Groups.
Copyright © John Coker 1998-2020
These models have a very robust chassis and are not as prone to breakage as the later MD-1xxx and MD-5xxx models. They handle CMYK and can do white, metallic, and other colours with requisite cassette re-labeling as needed (see References at bottom of page for detailed printer specifications).
These models are definitely recommended for users worried about robustness.
Interestingly, they have far more LEDs for status and error warning than later models. There are LEDs for individual cassette check, media type, and media selection button, so there are definite advantages for users who can use parallel cables or SCSI converters without bi-directional support but still obtain information about the cassette state.
The 'S' suffix models (MD-2000S, MD-2010S, MD-2300S, MD-4000S) indicate SCSI interface, and are intended for Macintosh, but they will work fine on linux too, using the linux ALPS driver (which is the same for all the ALPS printers and supports spot color printing).
The driver required is v6.43 (Japanese users can use v6.46 but this is not available in English) for MacOS7, MacOS8, MacOS9.
There is no Windows SCSI driver, and I have not found any information on using SCSI-to-USB adapter cables with the ALPS.
However, it is possible, using SheepShearer or Basilisk, to install PowerPC MacOSX 7, 8, 9 on a Windows or linux machine with a SCSI card, and thereby install the v6.43 (or v6.46) driver and use it from inside the PowerPC virtual machine.
Alps Printer Drivers For Windows 10
- MD-2000: 25000 JPY
- MD-2010: 25000 JPY
- MD-2300: 25000 JPY
- MD-4000: 35000 JPY
We purposely do not stock large quantities. Please contact us if you are interested in more printers. Restocking takes approximately three business days.
Currently available ALPS MD printers of the following models (SCSI port 'S', parallel-port 'J' models):
Alps Printer Drivers For Windows 7
- MD-2000: 3 x MD-2000J, 3 x MD-2000S
- MD-2010: out of stock
- MD-2300: out of stock
- MD-4000: 1 x MD-4000J