I need to print a few 148"X24" in my Epson 7600. Is this possible to do without a rip?
You bet - there is a way! I have a client (www.ansenseale.com
) that's been installing ~100 foot long prints in galleries made from 24" Epson printers without a RIP for many years now. Epson's driver limitation is a *per page* limitation, so, if you chop an image up and put the pieces onto several pages in a multi-page application like Adobe InDesign you can print the the whole thing seamlessly. In fact, this process can produce prints longer than most RIPs are capable of. Here's how:
1. Start with an image in Photoshop. Cut it into smaller "panels" of, say, 40 inch widths; they just have to be smaller than your printer's largest page size. Save each panel as it's own file with an approbate name.
2. Mac users with Ultrachrome printers should add a new printer using the "Roll Paper - Banner No Margins" Page Setup option. When added correctly, your printer will be listed as something like "Stylus Photo 9600 - Roll Paper - Banner No Margins." Users of newer K3 and up printers can skip this step, but will need to select the "Roll Paper - Banner No Margins" options under Page Setup prior to printing. Unfortunately, Epson is not consistent in how this banner option is selected across their different printers. Experiment as needed to find this feature for your printer.
3. Make an InDesign document with page HEIGHT EXACTLY as big as your photoshop panels are WIDE, or 40 inches to continue with our example from #1 above. Make the page width the size of your paper, like 24 inches for an Epson 7600. Create as many pages as you need to print your panorama. Place one image or "panel" per page, and turn each -90 degrees (clockwise). Use the numbers to align each panel, with their edges touching the top and bottom edges of each page. Start with the LEFT EDGE of your panorama on Page 1, and work your way to the end.
4. When setting up to print, choose your "Roll Paper - Banner No Margins" Ultrachrome printer or your "Roll Paper - Banner No Margins" Page Setup for newer printers. Configure the print dialog the way you normally would, but under the Roll Paper option, deselect "Auto Cut" and check "Save Paper" instead. This leaves absolutely no paper between one page and the next without cutting them. The printer hardware can still be set on Auto Cut, as it will be overridden by your software selection.
5. Be sure to deselect the "Collate" or "Reverse order" options, to ensure that the pages emerge in regular numerical order.
6. Make sure that you have PLENTY of ink and paper loaded!