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Author Topic: My solution to the pizza wheel problem  (Read 338 times)


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My solution to the pizza wheel problem
« on: April 30, 2022, 01:14:08 pm »

So I'd been printing for a while before noticing pizza wheel marks in some of my prints. This is on Baryta, luster, and even a smooth Rag paper. My work tends to have a lot of solid black areas, and while not visible under most lighting, the pizza wheel marks were very visible under direct "gallery" lighting. Extending the drying time per pass was not enough to prevent them. Instead, I used the front feeder on my Epson P900, using the no eject roller setting. This does work to prevent the marks, except a different problem occurs. The paper loaded with ink swells which causes the paper to lift, and the head scrapes the print. So that's no good either.

So my solution, currently for up to 13" paper, is to attach the sheet to a platen then send it through.

The platen is 0.040" thick 12x24 aluminum.

To hold it down I use 3M double sided tape. One side high tack, one side low tack. I wanted something with the tack of a post-it note. I tried a different cheaper tape, but had too much tack. This is the one to use.

3M Scotch 9415PC Removable...

I used the front feeder set to no eject roller, created a new media in EMI with 1.50 mm thickness (more than enough), and 2.1 mm platen gap for safety. For some reason, when I used the same platen gap as I use with the rear feeder, it was not enough. Also set the printer to "thick paper". I have a 6" speedball rubber roller Speedball Deluxe Soft Rubber... that works great for ironing it down.

I was finally was able to produce a print without pizza wheel marks. The tape is expensive but can be used several times at least before you have to peel it off and put new tape down. Use it only in the areas of the print where it's necessary.

If you want to try this, I suggest starting with the maximum 4.5 mm platen gap and stepping down from there.

One last point, if the paper you attach is not as wide as the 12" of the platen, define the media width to be 12" so that the printer doesn't get confused. Also, correctly offsetting the paper in the length direction can compensate for the printer's extra margin in that dimension. Otherwise you lose about 1.6 inches total.

I hope this is helpful for someone.
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