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Author Topic: Epson 3880 print hints  (Read 687 times)

Dean Cully

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Epson 3880 print hints
« on: March 02, 2020, 10:19:47 pm »

This explanation of papers is highly informative and welcome due to the vast selection, to say the least.

My comment regards a "hack" I've been using for a few years with my Epson 3880 printers, one of which has been delightfully converted to the Cone Piezography K7 neutral carbon pigment B&W system; the other, in use since 2010, is gradually having its color inkset replaced with the Cone Color Pro pigment set.

I haven't used sheet paper for my large prints for several years. I purchase 24" roll paper, typically Canson Platine Fibre Rag 320, set it up in a horizontal holder made of 1-1/2 inch black ABS plumbing pipe (utilizing the 3" plastic tube inserts that come with the paper; never discard these. The inside diameter is slightly more than 1.5") adjacent to a 36" paper cutter. Usually I cut several sheets to 17" and lay them flat for a day or more to let the curl relax. I usually lay a thick bath towel over a glassine sheet on top of the sheet(s) to apply light, even pressure, though, I've found this isn't strictly necessary, as the printer is pretty well behaved in accepting freshly-cut sheets. I load only one-at-a-time, of course, through the usual vertical sheet feed.

I've also fed sheets cut from 17" wide rolls at up to 37.4" long (going by memory on that dimension, at the moment). Apparently the Epson print driver refuses to go any longer. I've yet to test this limitation when using the Piezography system, which I think uses a different driver ("Print-Tool," if that's actually a "driver"). I don't have a good technical grasp of all this stuff going on behind the scenes; so I'm only guessing there's a possibility that there may be no such length limit when printing on my Piezography setup. However, my main point in mentioning the 17" roll is the direction of curl, lengthwise instead of by width; I have more-or-less equal success in loading sheets with either curl orientation, and, of course, allowing the sheets to relax over several days, helps mitigate any loading errors you may encounter. The machine can be finicky about accepting such sheets. My preference is to utilize 24" rolls, as this allows me to use a factory-cut edge for feeding, my big old (second-hand 1970s-era Premier 36, a lucky find for $50 at my local Anchorage ReStore a few years ago) paper cutter not being perfectly square.

I'm also careful to use a squeezbulb blower to eliminate/ameliorate any dust and lint particles from the surface before printing. A nice thing about the Piezography process is that I can use a fine-tip spotting brush dipped in whatever shade of pigment ink (from its storage bottle) that I need to obscure whatever tiny imperfections that may have occurred due to debris. I intend to learn more about de-static techniques; any suggestions are appreciated. So far, however, using my lens blower appears to be mostly successful without need for spotting.

Roll paper, even with some trim waste when using 24" or 36" widths, is a considerable savings over boxes of sheets, and, most of my prints are better suited to something a little more than 22" in length at the printers' maximum 17" width.

Another significant money-savings strategy, which has been working just fine for me: Other than having an unused one on-hand for initial chip resetting, there is no reason to ever buy another waste tank. Simply purchase the appropriate chip resetter on eBay for about $20 and follow the instructions found on several Youtube videos. This is an item that is obviously designed as a resource and environmentally wasteful cash generator for the manufacturer.
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