With more and more tattooers putting their sketchbooks on the shelf and picking up iPad Pros and Apple Pencils, it was only a matter of time until we’d see a more digital-friendly thermal imaging option show up, and it has in the form of the S8 Stencil Printer by Brother.
On the surface, the S8 Stencil Printer appears to bring only a few refinements over its older cousin, the Spirit Pocket Jet (also by Brother), but look a little closer and you’ll find that S8 and Brother have designed this printer with tattoo artists in the front of their collective minds. It offers ultra portable, carrier-free thermal printing in three simple heat settings, a huge improvement over the Pocket Jet’s complicated heat density settings.
Setting up a printer is usually a pain in the ass, so we’re here to walk you through the process of setting up this sharp new piece of tech.
The first thing you’ll need to do is download and install the drivers for the correct S8 Printer model. If you have the USB only model, PJ-723, click here. If you bought the Bluetooth model, PJ-763, click here. If you purchased the AirPrint model (the one that wirelessly prints from iPads, iPhones, and Mac), PJ-773, click here. From here, you’ll select the operating system version that you have installed on your computer from the available options, and then you’ll click “search”. You’ll have to enter the last 9 digits of the printer’s serial number. You can find that on the sticker on the bottom.
Download and install either the full software and the drivers, or just the drivers. Both will do, but the software package will give you some setup tutorials and additional options.
Inside the S8 Stencil Printer box, you’ll find a Mini USB-to-USB 2.0 Cable, User Guide, Safety Guide, Cleaning Sheet, Quick Print Guide, and a couple of other miscellaneous sheets.
You’ll be connecting the Mini USB-to-USB 2.0 Cable from the printer to your computer for your initial setup. If you’ve got the USB only model, you’ll want to keep this cable handy, as you’ll be using it every time you want to print. As for the other wireless options, once you’ve completed the initial setup, you’ll be free to print wirelessly. To do so, you’ll press and hold the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi button (depending on the model), until you see the blue indicator light turn on. If you’re pairing your computer to the Wi-Fi (AirPrint) model, keep reading to learn where to find the password for it.
Setup is a little easier on an iPad or iPhone: fire up your printer, hold down the Wi-Fi button 2-3 seconds (the product manual says one second, but it’s a little longer than that), until you see the indicator light blink and stay on.
From there, you’ll go to the Settings on your iPad/iPhone, select Wi-Fi, and you’ll see your printer show up in a few seconds as if it’s a wireless network. The network name will always be “DIRECT-*****_PJ-773”. The 5 characters between “DIRECT-“ and “_PJ-773” are the last 5 digits of the printer’s serial number (knowing that will make the next part easy).
When you tap the printer name in you Wi-Fi settings, it will prompt you for the device password. The password is “773” followed by the last 5 digits of the serial number. For example, if your printer shows up as “DIRECT-42069-PJ-773”, your password will be “77342069”.
From here, you’re able to print from any app that allows you to print. The icon you’ll be looking for will look like this:
If the App supports printing, you’ll see a “print” icon show up. Considering that you’re printing stencils, they’ll most likely be coming from your Camera Roll, or from a creative app of some kind (e.g. Procreate, Adobe Illustrator Draw), and all of these apps support printing.
You can also print using the Brother iPrint & Scan App. This free app will allow you to control the print density (the heat level that the imager will use), change your print dimensions and more.
Android is a little tricky because there are so many different mobile devices with different features. Some support Bluetooth printing, some support Wi-Fi Direct. Regardless, the simplest way to print wirelessly from a supported Android device is to use the Brother iPrint & Scan app.