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Author Topic: z3100ps and nesting on leopard  (Read 1818 times)
tonywong
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« on: September 30, 2009, 01:58:17 AM »
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I'm trying to use the nesting function on my 44" HP z3100PS GP APS, but for some reason I can't get it to work. Perhaps I just don't 'get it', for some reason all my prints never queue up for nesting, they just start right away and of course I'm wasting a whole strip of paper each time.

For what it's worth, here's what the embedded server has to say about my settings:
Job management
Queue:    On
Nest:    Optimized order (Also tried "In Order" with no change)
Max. number of printed jobs:    32
Start printing:    After processing
Max. number of stored jobs:    10000
Username is required    Off
Use crop lines when printing    Off
Use crop lines when nest is enabled    Off

I have the timer setting to wait 2 minutes for jobs submitted to end before nesting, but the printer somehow decides that either these jobs can't be nested and starts immediately, or I've left a setting out.

The jobs all qualify for nesting according to the manual, same quality, detail, margins, mirroring, rendering intents and other adjustments.

The clue that I am doing something horribly wrong is that the nesting timeout never shows up on my display, it just starts up right away before any subsequent job can be loaded.
The manual says "While the printer is waiting for nesting to time out, it displays the remaining time on the front panel. You can print the nest (cancel the nest wait) by pressing the Form feed and cut key." I've never seen the printer show a timer.

My normal workstation is a Mac Pro on 10.5.7 with the last driver from last year (the one before the 1.1.1 HP Driver package that shows up in Apple's software update), driver version 4.3.3.109. The firmware is the very latest. The printer is addressed over IP, with the first instance of it using the PCL driver, and the second instance over IP with the postscript driver.

I tried printing using the postscript driver in every instance, and tried once using the PCL driver with no nesting luck. I also tried pausing the print queue in the OS so then all the jobs were batched and sequential without delay, in case I exceeded my timeout limit to nest jobs.

I also tried my backup dual G5 10.5.8 with the same postscript drivers only (fresh install of OS and printer, postscript drivers only), and the results were the same.

The main application I am trying this from is iPhoto 09.
I tried a quicky print test from Lightroom 2.5 but I have no clue what I'm doing there and the print jobs just gave me 61:01 errors on the HP.
Photoshop CS4 also didn't nest but the images printed out serially, just like they did in iPhoto.
In every case I've tried using 4" wide by 6" tall prints to nest, and the print driver doesn't complain that the page is too small (although rotated it does complain).

I also tried submitting images directly to the HP via the embedded web interface to see if nesting worked. I added 2 images to the job queue and again, only one showed up on the print, the second one didn't want to nest to the first, so now I'm beginning to suspect it's the printer instead of the workstations.

Does anyone have any hints for me on how to get these images to nest? Is there a setting on the printer that I need to turn on first? Should I load the updated drivers or downgrade my firmware?
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tonywong
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2009, 05:08:10 PM »
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Update: I'm beginning to suspect it's the printer versus the application/OS.

I can view the jobs that I had queued/printed/cancelled, and the jobs appear fine, the page size is detected and the note even says "Nesting may alter the layout of the job", yet it still prints immediately without any delays after processing. I have tried setting the time out to 5 minutes and the printer still plows through the job immediately.

I also tried turning on print preview to see if the time out worked on starting the job. No dice. Rebooting the printer didn't change anything either.

As a hunch, I tried turning on crop lines when nest is enabled, and leaving crop lines when printing is off. Upon reprinting one of the jobs in the queue, no crop lines were displayed, which is telling me that the printer isn't trying to nest the job at all.

As loathe as I am to do it, I may try other versions of the firmware to see if it will fix things. Of course one bad move there and I may have a very big and expensive brick, unless anyone else has any suggestions. The current firmware is the latest one for 2009. I have no idea if the updater will let me downgrade to the previous version(s).
[attachment=16930:Capture8.jpg]
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tonywong
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2009, 01:26:54 AM »
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I was all ready to start changing firmware versions when I decided to look over all the settings on the printer itself versus the embedded web server. I finally got Nesting to work by going into the Printer Settings and hitting Reset to Factory Defaults, then re-enabling the Nesting functions.

I guess the various firmware updates I had performed may have gotten the printer into a state where Nesting wasn't recognized even when turned on.

Now to figure out the various specifications and limits in Nesting.
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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2009, 06:37:06 AM »
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Hi Tony,
Glad to hear you got it working.

Thanks for sharing.

So long for now, TOM

Quote from: tonywong
I was all ready to start changing firmware versions when I decided to look over all the settings on the printer itself versus the embedded web server. I finally got Nesting to work by going into the Printer Settings and hitting Reset to Factory Defaults, then re-enabling the Nesting functions.

I guess the various firmware updates I had performed may have gotten the printer into a state where Nesting wasn't recognized even when turned on.

Now to figure out the various specifications and limits in Nesting.
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tonywong
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 01:58:42 AM »
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Thanks Tom.

I've been playing with the nesting functions but I can't seem to locate any real documentation regarding the built in nesting function. If anyone has any pointers or links it would greatly appreciated, otherwise I'll keep posting here as I discover more about the onboard nesting function.

From iPhoto I can get it to nest with the PCL driver but not the PS driver (probably since the application doesn't use a standard page setup dialog). I was a bit surprised that the PCL driver could be used to nest, since I was under the impression that lessor models than the GP couldn't nest, but I guess that's due to not being able to spool up jobs rather than the print language.

Not really a big deal, but I've been looking at some features and I'm not sure if I can work around some features or not.

I've tried to print some 4 x 6"s and nest them on 42" paper, and I've only gotten 8 across before it starts printing, and queues the other jobs for the next row. It seems to automatically decide to make 8 by 4" across, leaving 10" left on the paper end (not including the margins). In theory you could fit 2 more 4 x 6" prints at the end but it doesn't seem to want to do it.

I tried 8 5" x 7" across on the 42" paper and it works fine. Is there an 8 tile span limit on the nesting feature?

I was thinking a work around could be to print 2 ups of the 4 x 6" (on a 8" x 6" paper size) but I suppose the nesting might decide that 6" would be a better rotation and instead of 4 tiles of 8" across it might choose 6 tiles of 6" across (wasting about 7 inches of paper). Is there any way to control the tiling rotation or preview the tile set?
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dandeliondigital
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 07:48:59 AM »
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Quote from: tonywong
Is there any way to control the tiling rotation or preview the tile set?

Hi Tony,
Maybe you should ask HP for a feature request. They haven't been afraid to change the software over the past few years. It's too bad they couldn't be clearer in showing the end users their aspirations.

It sounds like you are making headway.

8 tiles wide limitation theory - will have to test this when I get time.

More info on nesting - like many other details on software and hardware are hard to come by.

There should be so many sources for info, but they remain elusive.

Thanks, and so long for now, TOM
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tonywong
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 06:20:37 PM »
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Quote from: dandeliondigital
Maybe you should ask HP for a feature request. They haven't been afraid to change the software over the past few years. It's too bad they couldn't be clearer in showing the end users their aspirations.

8 tiles wide limitation theory - will have to test this when I get time.

Where do you think the best place to make feature requests are? I'm not sure if HP is going to add any new features for the Z3100, but maybe the Z3200 or future models should have better nesting features. Well, better documentation would be a start.

I'm pretty certain the nesting maximum is 8 across, since my 2 minute delay setting after each upload doesn't show up after the 8th image is processed. ie. the printer no longer pauses for 2 minutes and it starts the entire nested job immediately upon receiving the 8th image. It could be based on file size(s) or resolution, etc, but I haven't tried smaller jobs than the 4"x6" ones. Controlling rotation would be nice since the printer decided to nest them as 8 across of 4" = 32" on a 42" sheet. The nesting seems pretty simplistic since it could have saved 2 of them (for the next run) and went for 6 x 6" across, but I don't know what the minimum vertical height is, perhaps it doesn't like a 4" long print versus the 6" long it chose.

I'm not certain if it only does 1 horizontal nest across or if it will do a grid of sheets. From my suspicions it looks like it is a very simple nesting function which will not grid the nest.

As well, it defaults to putting the minimum (5mm) border around the full nest. There doesn't seem to be a way to print entirely border free, but at least my nested images were fully butted up against one another like I specified. I guess I can try turning off the cutter to see if it will save 5mm of space between one nest run and the one following.

It sure is a lot less featured than something like imagenest, but I'm cheap to shell out the $599 for the extra nesting functions at the moment since I'm not printing that much volume from my Z.
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