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I occasionally get some 4x6 photos printed and send them out as postcards. For things that are always the same, like my return address, I'm considering using a printer to print the common bits on the back of each photo.

However, I only own a laser printer.

I know that certain materials are unsuitable for running through a laser printer due to the heat in the printer's fuser. Will this heat damage a photo print (or worse, cause the photo to disintegrate and damage the printer)? Are there other factors I should consider before running prints through my laser printer?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider printing some self-adhesive labels to stick onto the back of the photos. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24, 2022 at 20:58

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It is going to be hard to find because they are maaaaaany subtracts, papers, inks, and systems. You would need to test and risk damaging either the printer, the photo, or both. I would not take the risk.

Just use some adhesive stickers, but you also need to see if they are meant for laser printers.

You could explore different printing systems like silk print for the adress.

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Why not print both sides on the laser printer?

I don't know anything about your laser printer, but colour laser has gotten very, very good these days, and the consumables cost way less than ink cartridges.

I supported myself with my fine-art photography for five years. I had 24"x36" prints for $500, and hit every price point down to 50¢ bookmarks that I cut up out of failed or damaged prints.

By far, the best seller (by volume) was $2 laser-printed postcards!

Consider that, if you're actually sending them through the mail, your photo-quality ink-jet print isn't going to look lovely after the trip through sorting machines, etc., only to be tossed into a mail-delivery-person's bag, squished with so much junk mail, then forced through a slot in your mailbox.

But if what you really want to do is re-print on the back of existing photos, consider that laser printers often have a fairly large minimum area they'll print. If your laser printer will do envelopes, it may do 4"x6" photos okay, but many inexpensive laser printers will only do US letter or A4 paper.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately I just have a basic black-and-white laser printer \$\endgroup\$
    – maples
    Sep 26, 2022 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Printing both sides on a normal laser printer is NOT good advice. The heat can peal the first side and damage the rolls. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Sep 28, 2022 at 19:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Rafael, many colour laser printers have a built-in duplexer, for printing both sides. My preferred solution would be to print both the photo and the postcard info on the colour laser printer, but @maples only has a B&W laser. I agree that the heat of a laser printer might damage the print, but unless it's made of plastic, I think this is unlikely — I've put a LOT of alien stuff through laser printers! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 29, 2022 at 22:20

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