why TSC invented the 300-meter-ribbon desktop printer

Why TSC Invented the 300-Meter-Ribbon Desktop Printer

For over 20 years, TSC has been pioneering the development of low-cost desktop printers with dual gear-driven motors and 300-meter ribbons.

After all, desktop printer designs that use 300-meter ribbons have a much lower operational cost than the shorter, 74-meter ribbons that are common in most desktop label printers.

Here’s a quick overview of why TSC invented the 300-meter-ribbon desktop printer; what these advancements have looked like throughout the years; the benefits these printer models have brought to our customers; and why the TTP-247 is our most popular printer in North America over 15 years later.


300-Meter-Ribbon Printers since 1996

TSC introduced its first 300-meter-ribbon desktop printer model in 1996, just one year after we issued our first private labeled, TSC-brand direct thermal printers.

Since then, we have offered the most affordable, durable, and lowest-cost-of-operation desktop printers on the market.

TSC developed small desktop printers using 300-meter rolls of ribbon and 8-inch-OD rolls of labels – large sizes typically used by much more expensive metal-chassis industrial printers.

Our popular desktop printers feature dual gear-driven motors that have the power to pull those large rolls of thermal-transfer ribbon and labels through their print mechanism.

By using two motors instead of one, our motors use less torque, which means our printers run quieter and create less heat – the enemy of any electronic device and often the source of premature failure.

Also, TSC printers are designed to print more labels per day than any other desktop printer available, producing labels consistently year after year.

The durability of our design – along with our long history of manufacturing and selling desktop printers – gives us the confidence to offer our customers a two-year warranty on all our desktop printers.


The TTP-243 Printer Series

TSC TTP-243Pro

Introduced in 1996, the TTP-242 printer was the first TSC model to feature a 300-meter ribbon design. Then, in 1998, we upgraded the electronics of the TTP-242 with the introduction of the TTP-243, which featured print speeds up to 3 inches per second.

The TTP-243’s dual-gear-driven design has repeatedly proven its worth, with hundreds of thousands now installed around the world.

Using the TTP-243’s trusted design, subsequent electronic and print head upgrades, we introduced two newer models: the TTP-243 Pro Series and the TTP-244 Pro.


The TTP-245 Printer Series


In 2002, TSC introduced the TTP-245, another desktop printer designed to use a 300-meter ribbon.

The TTP-245 took many of the design elements of the TTP-243 Series and incorporated them into a modern clamshell design.

Like the TTP-243, the TTP-245 relies on two powerful gear-driven motors that can support large, 300-meter ribbons.

The new clamshell design made loading ribbons and labels easier than ever.

The internal media cabinet was larger, and a low-cost optional external media un-winder was able to handle large rolls of labels typically used by metal-chassis industrial printers.

Since its introduction, the bestselling TTP-245 has gone through several upgrades that have added faster electronics, more memory, and faster motors.

The progression of upgrades eventually led to the introduction in 2010 of the faster TTP-247 thermal-transfer desktop label printer.

The TTP-247 Printer Series


The TTP-247 Series has proven to be one of the most durable desktop printers ever built and has been our most popular printer in North America since it was issued eight years ago.

Why? you might be wondering. Well, to begin with, it features a premium print head that meets the specifications of much more expensive all-metal industrial printers.

In addition, the TTP-247 prints at speeds up to seven inches per second and is designed to work 55 minutes out of every hour. (The extra five minutes gives operators time to replace ribbons and labels and clean the print head.)

The advanced firmware developed for the TTP-247 – known as TSPL-EZ – was designed to easily replace existing printers that use ZPL or EPL2 printer languages.

Moreover, the TTP-247 also comes with DiagTool setup software that greatly simplifies printer installation.

The firmware also has programming and file-storage capabilities that are ideally suited for many tasks, including patient-ID tracking, automobile service center labeling, retail price marking, and various manufacturing applications.

To further boost the performance of the TTP-247, we released a special “TTP-247 Performance Kit,” which includes Ethernet, a battery backed-up Real Time Clock, and an external media un-winder – all for one low price.

The Performance Kit delivers fast print speeds, large ribbon and media capacity and the communications options normally associated with industrial barcode label printers – but at less than half the price.


2015: The TX200 Series of Desktop Barcode Printers


In 2015, we announced the introduction of new TX200 Series, high-performance desktop label printers that are designed to handle a wide variety of applications ranging from high-volume production of shipping labels to safety signage and fine-jewelry labeling.

For this series, we applied our knowledge, engineering, and success from our prior 300-meter-ribbon printer models – especially the TTP-247 Series – to support economically efficient 300-meter ribbon on a one-inch core.

The new printer features several firsts for TSC, including an LED multi-icon display (standard), blazing fast print speeds of up to 8 inches per second, a more user-friendly patented label-holder design, and an optional color LCD display.

 With three available models, the four-inch-wide-format TX200 Series can address a wide variety of print jobs, including high-volume 4 x 6 shipping labels, higher-resolution product marking and graphics, and high-resolution labels used in electronics marking applications.


2017: The TE210


Last year saw the release of our latest affordable, high-performance, 300-meter-ribbon desktop label printer model: the TE210.

Part of the TE200 Series, the TE210 offers customers a great combination of price and performance.

Along with other models in the TE200 Series, the TE210 is a competitive, durable, entry-level desktop printer that is both versatile and easy to use – only further attesting to why TSC invented the 300-meter-ribbon desktop printer in the first place.

So, what will the future hold for 300-meter-ribbon desktop printers?

Currently, the TTP-247 remains our most popular printer model to date, but the newer models are quickly picking up steam, and we can expect to see the reign of 300-meter-ribbon desktop printers continue.


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