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Author Topic: Epson 3880 track marks on large format prints  (Read 3073 times)
bcroslin
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« on: February 25, 2013, 09:09:46 AM »
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I'm about at the end of my rope and I'm hoping someone here has a solution. I purchased a 3880 back in Sept and I've never been able to get a usable print out of it larger than 11x14. Every 16x20 and 17x22 print shows tiny track marks and what looks like dust marks. This has been happening since the very first day I unpacked the printer. I'm able to make 11x14 prints and I've made 20 or so for my portfolio but anything larger and I'm just wasting ink and paper. I'm printing on Epson exhibition fiber and I've not run anything other than Epson or Ilford papers through the printer - and very little at that. I've tried different platen gap settings and even at the widest I'm seeing the issues. I called Epson and they instructed me to try cleaning the rollers with poster board and that almost ended in disaster. If anyone can help me get a workable large print out of this thing I'll send them a signed print as thanks!

I've attached a few images that show the issues.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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kdphotography
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 10:00:30 AM »
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I believe those are the infamous pizza-wheel marks.

You can try rear-feed front manual feed.  Search the internet on 38** pizza wheel marks.  There are some workarounds, though not always with complete satisfaction.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 10:49:43 AM by kdphotography » Logged

bcroslin
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 10:12:23 AM »
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Forgot to mention I'm already using the rear feeder. Epson mentioned that I might try feeding the paper in the front but I've not been able to get the 3880 to take the paper.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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jrsforums
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 10:18:11 AM »
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Forgot to mention I'm already using the rear feeder. Epson mentioned that I might try feeding the paper in the front but I've not been able to get the 3880 to take the paper.

Have you adjusted paper thickness?  Say to '4'.

With rear feed and wider/widest platen gap.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 10:21:30 AM by jrsforums » Logged

John
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 10:36:55 AM »
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I may be off track here (no pun intended) but I think this may be the situation I have read about in several posts. Not having to deal with the problem since I don't have a 3880 or print large, I may be off base, but the posts mention placing a magazine or two to support the large sheet of paper as it emerges from the printer. The thinking is that if not supported the paper "tilts" against the rollers or some other part resulting in the streaks you show. Worth a try if not already done.
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bcroslin
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 10:50:06 AM »
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wow, googling 3880 pizza marks does not instill much confidence in this printer. seems like if you've got the marks your printer will never produce a large print without them. I can't get the printer to accept paper through the front load and even if I could I can't print on 17x22 paper to make a 16x20 with borders. Even the rear feed is problematic with the printer only accepting the Epson 17x22 printer 1 out of every 10 times I try and load it. I'm beginning to think I've got a lemon.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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bcroslin
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 11:09:21 AM »
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Just got off the phone with Epson and they're shipping me a reurb unit to replace my printer. If the new one does the same thing I'm liable to take hostages.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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kdphotography
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 11:16:21 AM »
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Bob, I've also seen recommendations of using a 2-ply mat board when front feeding papers can help...
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bcroslin
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 11:19:49 AM »
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I can't even get the damn thing to reliably load paper in the rear feeder. New one will be here tomorrow and I'll try again. What makes me crazy is that 3 or 4 years ago I SWORE I would never give Epson another dime because of the level of frustration and expense using their products but here I am again pulling my hair out. It's like I've got sucker written across my forehead....
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 12:10:44 PM »
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Bob, I don't have any issues like that with my 3-year old 3880.  No marks and no problem feeding sheets on 17x22 prints (I only use the rear manual feeder.) 

There are very few complaints about the 3880, so just make Epson give you a "good" one.  If all Epson printers were as maintanance-free as the 3880 I wouldn't be considering Canon for my next upgrade.

Sal
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mvsoske
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 03:29:41 PM »
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Bob, I feel your pain, but, I found a solution that worked for me.  I had the same issue printing on a Bayrata surface paper at 17x25.  I set platen gap to "wider", paper thickness to 6 instead of the default 3, then I set the drying time to maximum (which will cause the print head to pause longer between passes) and also dialed down the print density to -15.  You'll have to mess with the last two to find what works.  I am assuming that due to the large surface and the fact that the 3880 doesn't use vacuum to hold down the paper that the paper surface swells with the larger surface ink load - particularly in the darker tones - compared to smaller sizes and therefore contacts the exit wheels leaving the marks.  I do not get this issue when using an RC or lustre paper.

I really hope this works for you too as I've gone through the torture and expense myself.

Mark
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jrsforums
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2013, 03:46:11 PM »
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Bob...

You have not commented on the paper thickness setting you used.

Exhibition paper is 13mils = .33mm

If you used the default setting of '3', one would expect marks at some point. 

'6' is probably too much, but would be a good test.

I would expect the possibility of swelling on a matte paper, but not a gloss.

If it were only on the tail end of the print, it might be curvature of he paper, but I suspect you would know that already.

John
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John
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 02:42:11 AM »
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I may be off track here (no pun intended) but I think this may be the situation I have read about in several posts. Not having to deal with the problem since I don't have a 3880 or print large, I may be off base, but the posts mention placing a magazine or two to support the large sheet of paper as it emerges from the printer. The thinking is that if not supported the paper "tilts" against the rollers or some other part resulting in the streaks you show. Worth a try if not already done.

I used a similar trick with some papers (cannot remember the brand) and it worked well but my problem wasn't pizza wheel marks but head-strikes.
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Francois
kath60
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2013, 07:57:38 AM »
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Widening the "platen gap" solved the problem for me.
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bcroslin
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2013, 10:42:46 AM »
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I threw everything at the wall and I'm still seeing the pizza wheel marks. They're faint but still there.

I've attached a screen shot of my settings. Like I noted before, I have a refurb printer coming today so hopefully that's the solution.

I also had a long talk with a friend today who's of the opinion that you can't make large format prints with thicker paper on a 3880 but instead you need a thinner substrate. He went through the same thing with his 3800 and finally just gave in and bought a 9900. I unfortunately don't have the money or the space for something as big as a 7900/9900.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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mvsoske
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2013, 12:00:42 PM »
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Bob:

Sorry you were not able to solve the issue.  You may still want to reduce ink density a bit more until you begin to see a marked change to the image.  I earlier suggested -15 as you did, but that is what worked for me after a number of adjustments to it.  You might want to try even less.  Also, did you rotate the image from within the Epson driver 180 degrees?  For some reason, that sometimes works.

I hope your replacement works.  BTW, did you purchase the extended warranty?

Mark
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 12:52:30 PM »
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You may have to change the width in the printer itself, not in photoshop. There are some papers I have to do this with on my 3800.

Sharon
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 12:57:02 PM »
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I threw everything at the wall and I'm still seeing the pizza wheel marks. They're faint but still there.

I've attached a screen shot of my settings. Like I noted before, I have a refurb printer coming today so hopefully that's the solution.

I also had a long talk with a friend today who's of the opinion that you can't make large format prints with thicker paper on a 3880 but instead you need a thinner substrate. He went through the same thing with his 3800 and finally just gave in and bought a 9900. I unfortunately don't have the money or the space for something as big as a 7900/9900.
I have run several boxes of 13x19 and 17x22 Epson Exibition Fiber and Canson Baryta Photographique paper through my 3880 with no problems, so there must be an adjustment for this.  I did have occasional head strikes with EEF but setting the platen from normal to wide fixed it.  I don't see how this can be a general 3880 issue if mine doesn't do it.

Sal
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bcroslin
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 02:11:42 PM »
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Just unpacked the refurbed printer Epson sent me and the front load is broken and the door fell off. Wow, just wow. They're sending me another one.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 03:30:54 PM »
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Ask them about keeping the inks. My first 3880 came through with issues and they told me to keep the extra set.
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