of web sites extoll the virtues of a partcular wide format
printer, luring you to buy one. But how many web sites help
you understand how to feed and take care of your wide format
printer after you have brought the printer into your office. It
is easy to ruin countless prints very quickly. With wide format
media costing up to $300 per roll (for 36" widths) and
more for wider paper, you throw a lot of money into the wastebasket.
are some practical tips on how to avoid ruining your prints.
if you are shopping for a wide format printer for a commercial
shop, be sure to get one with a drying system (usually a row
of small fans). If you already have your wide format printer
you can probably situate some fans nearby to help out the
drying process. Just don't arrange a hurricane that will blow
the wet ink around.If
you have an older system (which thus probably has no fan)
then you need to arrange your printing so that the fresh print
does not touch any other surface (especially the floor and
even more especially the front or even the back of the wide
you are a small home business or hobby printing just a few
images a day then you don't need a fan or drying system.
and dust are the two enemies of large format inkjet printers.
Many print shops have a "clean room" to keep down
the dust. A dehumidifier is also a crucial item of equipment
since an air-conditioner may raise the humidity. When
it's humid, and your media curls (forming waves) be sure
to cut off the wavy portion before you start to print. If
you have a Roland or other piezo printhead, the waves will
cause a head strike. A head strike will probably destroy
your piezo printheads. A replacement will cost between $530
and $1000. That's one reason we prefer thermal printhead
systems. We have been unable to destroy our Hewlett-Packard
printheads despite many attempts during our testing. The
HP printheads have extra printhead nozzles so the system
just replaces whatever nozzles we try to destroy.For
additional information and for help making your decision,
ask for the "FLAAR report on signs, posters, banners"
(specify whether for indoor signs or outdoor signs in the
rain and sun) or for the FLAAR report on "Piezo vs
Thermal printheads, fact vs fiction, pros and cons of each
kind of inkjet printhead."
back of the wide format media sometimes has a surface
that is very sticky. So if you roll up your wide format
print within half an hour of printing, when you unroll
it, you may find the image has stuck to the back side!
It may take over an hour to dry enough to allow rolling.
I have ruined posters that I thought would have been
dry. To be on the safe side, wait over an hour unless
you have a fan system or some other clever means of
drying the prints.
you first pull out a fresh roll of media from the plastic
wrap the roll will probably have one or more pieces
of tape, to hold the roll firm during shipping. If you
try to print on this initial foot of media you will
get a nice imprint of where the tape was. This is because
the tape has pulled off the coated portion of the media.
The coated portion is so thin you might not note it
with your own eye.
other damage you can cause when loading the new roll,
or changing media at any time, is that your fingerprints
will also ruin that section of the roll. Even if you
do not consider yourself an oily-skin person. Just normal
natural skin oils. So unless you are a robot with no
natural skin, you need to wear gloves or wash and dry
your fingers immediately before touching the roll of
media. The best gloves are the disposable surgical gloves.
Most recently updatedAugust 02, 2001.