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Author Topic: 3880 occasionally prints only on right side of canvas  (Read 4451 times)
dbolt
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« on: October 08, 2012, 06:09:29 PM »
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I'm wasting about 1/3 of my canvas because the printer sometimes prints only a portion of the image.  I'm printing 16x22" on a 17x23" canvas.  I tape a 1" strip of photo paper to the leading edge of the canvas and square the paper with the side of the canvas with a Rotatrim.  Getting the canvas to feed is not a problem.

The right side of the canvas is on the top side of the attached image.
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Doug Bolt
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darlingm
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 07:54:08 PM »
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I'm a bit confused about the orientation.  I'm even more confused about the photo paper strip.  Anyways...

Is the issue that each pass of the heads only prints part of the image, so the whole time you're seeing it print wrong?

Or is the issue that it looks like it's printing fine, then suddenly quits like 1/3 through the job?


If it's the first issue, sounds to me like you have a mismatch on paper width somewhere.  When I first got my 9900, I was confused about length/width, portrait/landscape.  I had a few situations where my incorrect settings led to it not printing left to right wide enough, since the settings made the printer think the media was less wide than it really was.  It knows enough to try to not print off the edge, but it doesn't know enough to not print in the first place since it won't fit.

If it's the second issue, sounds to me like you're running out of hard drive space.  I have seen the Windows print spooler many times run out of one of these resources, and just stop spooling -- rather than erroring out -- which leads to the printer seeming to suddenly stop in the middle of a job that was going well.  Learned to leave plenty of space on my drive.

Of course, it's always possible neither of these are your issue.  My printer periodically does things that make me call it a moron, and others have the same experience.  But, you shouldn't be having anywhere near a 1/3 waste issue die to the printer acting badly...
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dbolt
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 07:43:28 AM »
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Thanks for your reply.  I have attached a pic of a different example that shows the entire 17x23 canvas.  The portion of the canvas that got printed is about 7" along the right side.  The direction the canvas was fed into the printer is indicated on the card.

I don't know if the print head just moves from the right side of the canvas toward the left and stops at about 7" or moves the normal full path from side to side and only lays down ink on the right side.

As to canvas size versus print size, canvas was cut 17x23 and defined in CS6 as 17x23.5 (+.5 for the paper leader).  Printing area was set manually, but within the printable area.

Regarding hard drive space, there are two scratch drives defined.  Both with >400G available.  The drive with CS6 (separate drive) also has >400G.  PC has is 16MB mem with PS set to use 71%.  Printer is connected by Ethernet.  

I too find myself frequently uttering the word moron while printing, but the focus of my displeasure is generally the operator.

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Doug Bolt
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 12:20:44 PM »
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This is a very common symptom when transposing the width/height setting when creating a custom paper size.
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dbolt
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 12:43:43 PM »
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I understand the problem you describe.  I learned that lesson some months ago. 

I used the same User Defined profile for the attached "failures" as I did for the photos that printed properly.   In fact, for one image (the one of two Laysan Albatrosses), I have two failures and two successes - same file.  Maybe I'm missing something here. 
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Doug Bolt
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hugowolf
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 01:04:50 PM »
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What software are you printing from?

Are you using the print preview, and if so: does it appear ok in that?

Have you watched the operating system's printer window to see if the entire image spools ok?

Brian A
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dbolt
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2012, 04:17:21 PM »
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Thanks, Brian.

I'm printing from CS6.

I am not using Print Preview, but that is an excellent idea.  I'll do it until I figure out what's causing the problem.

Not sure how to tell if the entire file gets spooled, but it seems to me that the printer is not receiving all of the data.  I sometimes watch the progress bar as the file gets spooled, but in the past I have not watched long enough to see if the the bar moves all the way to the right, which I assume would indicate the entire file is spooled.
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Doug Bolt
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hugowolf
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 06:03:50 PM »
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Not sure how to tell if the entire file gets spooled, but it seems to me that the printer is not receiving all of the data.  I sometimes watch the progress bar as the file gets spooled, but in the past I have not watched long enough to see if the the bar moves all the way to the right, which I assume would indicate the entire file is spooled.
In Windows, I am unsure about Mac OS, you can tell from the difference between the rendered print size and the printed print size. It will say something like 25.1 MB of 27.4 MB printed, the former figure getting greater as more is printed.

I have, on rare occasions, had large prints where there has been 1/2" missing from one edge - the print hasn't spooled to the printer as a whole.

Brian A
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dbolt
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 06:05:34 PM »
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Following Brian's question/suggestion about checking the box for Print Preview, I rushed down and loaded up another 17x23 sheet of canvas with 1/2" paper leader (no problem getting it to feed), checked Print Preview (the entire image was displayed), and clicked print expecting to see a successful print when I looked at the printer.  No such luck.  Same problem - only about 7" of the image printed on the right side of the image.

Any more suggestions?  I don't have very many sheets of Lyve canvas left from the test roll. 
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Doug Bolt
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dbolt
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 06:10:47 PM »
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Brian,

I'm not clear as to what you mean by "rendered print size and the printed print size".  Where do you see the numbers? 

I'm using a Win7-pro PC.  I am tempted to try printing from a MAC-Air via Lightroom 4.2. 

I wish I were only missing 1/2 inch of the image.  More like 10".
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Doug Bolt
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AFairley
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 06:35:28 PM »
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What happens if you use use the same custom paper size but use a different print path (top if you are using rear, or rear if you are using top)?  Try with different media.

I'm not sure spooling is an issue, because you are getting the whole length of the print, just not the whole width, I would think that if the image stopped spooling, the print would jus stop, but I know nothing at all about how images are spooled or how the printer treats them so this is rank speculation.
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dbolt
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 07:00:54 PM »
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Brian,

I have only used the rear path for canvas.  I successfully made a 16x20 print using 17x22 Hot Press Bright White paper after I started having the 7" problem with canvas.  But, I also made several successful 16x22 canvas prints on 12x23.5 canvas after having the 7" issue. 
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Doug Bolt
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dbolt
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 08:02:42 PM »
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UPDATE:

I just got off the phone with Epson printer support.  The tech says that the 3880 will not work with Breathing Color Lyve canvas.  I either need a 4900 or Epson Exhibition Satin Canvas, which is much stiffer (more like Hot Press paper) than the Lyve.  He said that Exhibition Satin Canvas will work fine and not even require a paper leader taped to the leading edge of the canvas to feed successfully. 

Can't say that I liked his explanation, but I don't like wasting ink printing 7x22" images that should be 16x22 on 17x23" canvas.

Just curious, has anyone tried printing with an 3880 on BC Lyve canvas.  Also, anyone using Epson Exhibition Satin Canvas?  And, if so, what do you use as a varnish?
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Doug Bolt
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dbolt
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 09:05:05 PM »
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Update on the Update.

In response to a suggestion by someone on another board, I cut a 2.5" wide x 17" long strip of heavy photo paper and taped it on the back side of the Lyve canvas as previously described and the printer printed the full 16x22" image as it should.  Note the difference is the width of the paper leader 2.5" now vs. 1" before. 

I don't know exactly why the extra 1.5" of paper leader caused the printer to print the proper sized image, but as pointed out by others, the printer checks to see that the width of the paper in the printer matches the width designated in the profile sent to the printer by PS.  If it senses that the paper in the printer is narrower than specified, it does not allow the printer to lay down ink where there is no paper.  Apparently, the paper leader needs to be more than 1" of paper leader for the printer to confirm that the paper/canvas is actually 17" wide.  Or so it seems to me.

Thanks all for your help and suggestions.  I'm going to go watch a little TV now under the assumption that my problem is solved.
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Doug Bolt
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 04:12:22 AM »
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Interesting, would it indicate that the paper width sensor on the printer is dirty or is it another type of sensor than used on the wider formats? The  fabric texture of canvas will show fluctuations in reflectance between threads and mazes but that is usually no issue on the wide format models. I guess the sensor on the 3880 measures with a very small beam. Or the distance from the sensor to the substrate is narrower than on the wider format models.

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RHPS
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 04:18:24 AM »
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I have a 3800, not a 3880, but I believe the paper transport is identical. My 3800 has worked well with every canvas I've tried, including Lyve. Like you I use a strip of paper taped to the end of the canvas but I always use the top feeder.

Your cut-off looks rather extreme, but I have experienced something similar when the leading edge of the paper is not perfectly square. Before printing, the head moves across the paper to measure the width. If the edge is not perfectly square it can ignore the left-hand edge of the paper. If this happens my 3800 doesn't bother to tell me - it just stops printing at the point where it thinks the left-hand edge is.

If this is your problem the solution is to turn off the paper size check. You can do this through the printer control panel - it's under "PRINTER SETUP". If you do turn it off then naturally you need to be a bit more careful when specifying paper size or you could end up printing way past the left-hand edge!
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darlingm
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 11:28:04 AM »
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Glad you found the source of your problem.  All of Epson's wide format printers really need to error out when a print job is received that is wider than the media width it thinks it has, but they don't currently do this.  At least, it could have an error on the LCD screen like when there's a roll vs cut sheet mismatch, and it allows you to stop or continue...
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Mike • Westland Printworks
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dbolt
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 07:19:37 PM »
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If this is your problem the solution is to turn off the paper size check. You can do this through the printer control panel - it's under "PRINTER SETUP". If you do turn it off then naturally you need to be a bit more careful when specifying paper size or you could end up printing way past the left-hand edge!

So far (3 of 3 successes), using a wider paper leader has prevented the problem, but turning off the paper size check seems like a little insurance.  I'm wondering what happened if I miss identify the paper size and the printer and there is no paper under the print head.  I'm assuming the waste tray catches the ink.  Is there any downside other than wasting ink?
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Doug Bolt
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dbolt
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 07:23:59 PM »
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Glad you found the source of your problem.  All of Epson's wide format printers really need to error out when a print job is received that is wider than the media width it thinks it has, but they don't currently do this.  At least, it could have an error on the LCD screen like when there's a roll vs cut sheet mismatch, and it allows you to stop or continue...

Thanks for your help.  Yes, as good as it is, the 3880 can be improved as you suggest.  One improvement I'd like is to give a warning that the paper catcher is not open when starting to print.  Heavy paper will open the door, but the the finish print falls on the floor. 
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Doug Bolt
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2012, 08:06:25 AM »
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If you print when no paper is under the head ink will NOT go to the Maintenance Tank. There are pads across the print platen of the printer that are spaced for specific BorderFree sizes. These are engineered to be at the edge of each size to route excess ink to the tank. These pads are visible under the top front cover. The balance of the excess ink will sit on the platen and can be a challenge to clean.
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Randy Carone
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