I purchased an Alps MD1000 printer off E-Bay several months back and it is terrific for printing decals.
The Alps MDs are thermal type printers and use similar technologically as laser printers. The Alps uses small ribbon cartridges very much like an old IBM Selectric Typewriter. They work similar to an old HP Pen Plotter.
The front door folds down and there are four slots for holding ribbon cartridges. The cartridges have a unique code identification on one end very much like a bar code that the carriage reads as it passes by.
The carriage "picks" the proper color ribbon, prints that color, then it puts it back in the same slot where it got it and goes onto the next color. It's an amazing piece of machinery.
The Alps Driver lets you select a individual color such as, black, white, gold, silver or print in standard color with the correct combination of ribbons. The standard color configuration will not print white. White must be printed individually. The repeat capability of the printer is amazing, it will print white over a standard color print with great resolution if your program will produce colors in layers. You need to select white only on the Alps Driver over a full color print.
I have a good friend that has an Alps MD1000 and he is the one that put me onto the Alps for printing decals. He also give me a "heads up" on the printer sounds when it starts to print. I'm so glad he did, when an Alps printer goes into action it's scary. It makes more noise than a thrashing machine! Several motors making mechanical starting and stopping noises, paper going back and fourth, lots of clicking & clanking of the carriage picking up the ink ribbon cartridges, it will scare you to pieces. Had I not known that it was super noisy in advance I would have pulled the plug to save it from exploding.
The Alps MD1000 printing quality is extremely good and it makes fabulous decals.
I must warn you that the thermal print head is very easily damaged and a bad heating element in the head will leave a no ink stripe across the printed page one pixel wide on every pass of the head. Alps printer parts are no longer available! Alps discontinued support for their thermal printers in 2005.
The first Alps printer that I bought off E-Bay had a bad print head and I had to send it back.
Ask the seller the condition of the printer before you bid on it! You will also need a printer driver for your operating system as well as a parallel port on your computer. If the printer doesn't come with a parallel cable you will need one of those also.
Alps Ink Cartridges are available at Micro Parts & Supplies, Inc.
For more info on Alps Printers you can go to Yahoo Groups Alps