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Author Topic: Epson 3880 paper scratching solved  (Read 11704 times)

robgo2

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« on: June 21, 2010, 10:08:37 pm »

Not long ago, I started a thread on this forum regarding scratching of paper surfaces by my Epson 3880 printer.  The scratches were long straight lines parallel to the direction of paper travel and only occurred with 17 x 22 inch sheets of Ilford Gold Fibre Silk and Canson Infinity Baryta papers, both of which have alpha cellulose paper bases.  After discussing the matter with Epson, they were kind enough to send me a brand new 3880 that, sadly, exhibited the same behavior.

At that point, I decided to try my luck with a 100% cotton rag paper, hoping that it would be less prone to buckle in the printer when it becomes moistened by the ink.  On the recommendation of Erik at Shades of Paper, I ordered a box of Canson Platine 17 x 22 inch sheets.  I am very pleased to report that the Platine shows no scratches whatsoever, even with a really dark B&W image having large areas of dense black ink.  So the scratching issue seems to be related to alpha cellulose paper buckling as it passes through the paper pathway of the 3880 (and presumably the 3800.)  Although I had to go through a period of much aggravation, I am happy to have found the solution.  It also helps that Platine is a beautiful paper with no OBAs.  I will most likely make it my paper of choice for now, while I continue to test other rag papers.

I hope that this will be of help to others with the 3800 and 3880 printers.

Rob

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Gemmtech

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2010, 11:33:39 pm »

Fortunately for some of us this just hasn't been a problem.  I have looked at my prints under every type of condition imaginable and can't find any type of scratch.  Sorry you had problems because those are some very nice papers.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2010, 08:39:41 am »

Glad to see that you solved the problem as well.  I suspect the problem may be with the 17x22 papers as I've never seen any scratching with 13x19 which is what I print with (though I can see the buckling as it comes through the printer).  It may be that the 3880 just cannot use the 17 inch alpha-cellulose papers and these really need a vacuum feed to keep them from scratching.

I tested a sample of the Canson Plantine paper it it looks quite good.  It doesn't give as deep a black as the Infinity Baryta but the color spectrum is just as good.  You might also want to test the Museo Silver Rag which has a slightly better black in my testing.

Alan
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robgo2

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2010, 03:53:42 pm »

Quote from: Alan Goldhammer
Glad to see that you solved the problem as well.  I suspect the problem may be with the 17x22 papers as I've never seen any scratching with 13x19 which is what I print with (though I can see the buckling as it comes through the printer).  It may be that the 3880 just cannot use the 17 inch alpha-cellulose papers and these really need a vacuum feed to keep them from scratching.

I tested a sample of the Canson Plantine paper it it looks quite good.  It doesn't give as deep a black as the Infinity Baryta but the color spectrum is just as good.  You might also want to test the Museo Silver Rag which has a slightly better black in my testing.

Alan

Yes, I have only had problems with 17x22 inch paper sheets.  13x19 inch and smaller seem to do alright.

Another helpful trick is to have the receiving tray of the printer in its "down" position, so as to allow the paper to bend downward as it emerges from the platen.  I think that this creates greater separation from the extrusions that produce scratches.  Also, as the paper begins to emerge, reach in with cotton gloved hands to press it downward lightly for the same reason.  Once the paper has come far enough out to fall of its own weight, you can release it.  All of this is a bit of a bother, but it seems to be the only way that I can get scratch-free prints from my 3880.

I have tried Silver Rag.  It is too warm for my taste, and its surface too textured.  The Canson Platine is really quite lovely with a moderate texture.  It produces very neutral ABW prints and has only a minor degree of gloss differential.  Of all the papers that I have tested, I think that it may produce the best B&W results. (Photo Rag Pearl is also very nice.)  Considering that it contains no OBAs, Platine appears to my eyeballs to have a very decent Dmax.  I have not yet tested it with color, but my expectations are high.

Rob
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 04:00:16 pm by robgo2 »
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David Good

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 09:09:02 am »

Interesting findings, appreciate the update. I have observed the buckling with Photo Rag Baryta, not so much with the Harman though (13x19 sheets). I have a box of 17x25 on order, but now wonder, since I prefer these papers, if I should have just gone with the 4880. I will look into the Canson if the scratches show up on the Harman.

Dave
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JohnBrew

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 08:03:27 pm »

I have been printing Photo Rag Baryta, size 17 x 36 with no problems.

Conner999

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 12:10:26 pm »

It really comes down to if the paper is prone to distorting under ink load. On my 3800, any delicate 'old school' style paper larger than letter size will see scratches - even after removing pizza wheels and EVERY possible solution to the issue.  Larger sheets of MK paper like say VFA (my normal fave), no issues at all. Next printer - vacuum hold down.
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Gemmtech

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 05:16:18 pm »

Quote from: Conner999
It really comes down to if the paper is prone to distorting under ink load. On my 3800, any delicate 'old school' style paper larger than letter size will see scratches - even after removing pizza wheels and EVERY possible solution to the issue.  Larger sheets of MK paper like say VFA (my normal fave), no issues at all. Next printer - vacuum hold down.

And it comes down to the printer; they don't all have scratching issues.  It reminds of the 1280 "Orange Shift", some people had the problem, but I never did and I still use a 1280 as one of my printers and I love it.
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Conner999

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 09:47:23 am »

Very true. Some copies of the 38.. Have no isssues, some just on certain papers, some nothing but issues. Manufacturing tolerances sometimes work in your favor, sometimes not so much.
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Randy Carone

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 12:26:23 pm »

This ongoing issue may not be a hardware issue but a driver issue. Epson does not have a Media Type for Exhibition Fiber (or any of the Baryta papers). The profile is made by Pixel Geniuses but the Media Type is Premium Luster, which is 260gsm, 10mil while Exhibition Fiber and most papers in this category are thicker with EEF at 325gsm, 13mil. The Media Type choice sets all the printer settings, including profile, if Printer Manage Color is chosen. The Media Type also dictates the ink limits for the chosen paper, so there may be a mis-match with ink limits, feed calibration and paper thickness when the Premium Luster settings are applied by the Epson driver. One possible workaround that I haven't seen mentioned in the various threads on this topic is to create a Special Paper Configuration from the 3800/3880 printer menu. The procedure is on page 45 of the 3800 User Manual and page 41 of the 3880 User Manual.

The best solution - and I believe it would alleviate the problem - would be for Epson to issue a driver update with the correct Media Type specifically configured for this important new paper category.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 12:29:47 pm by Randy Carone »
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Randy Carone

greyscale

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2010, 02:50:24 pm »

Quote from: Randy Carone
This ongoing issue may not be a hardware issue but a driver issue. Epson does not have a Media Type for Exhibition Fiber (or any of the Baryta papers). The profile is made by Pixel Geniuses but the Media Type is Premium Luster, which is 260gsm, 10mil while Exhibition Fiber and most papers in this category are thicker with EEF at 325gsm, 13mil. The Media Type choice sets all the printer settings, including profile, if Printer Manage Color is chosen. The Media Type also dictates the ink limits for the chosen paper, so there may be a mis-match with ink limits, feed calibration and paper thickness when the Premium Luster settings are applied by the Epson driver. One possible workaround that I haven't seen mentioned in the various threads on this topic is to create a Special Paper Configuration from the 3800/3880 printer menu. The procedure is on page 45 of the 3800 User Manual and page 41 of the 3880 User Manual.

The best solution - and I believe it would alleviate the problem - would be for Epson to issue a driver update with the correct Media Type specifically configured for this important new paper category.
Randy,
 I agree with your idea re: a paper setting. However, I have an Epson 3880 and according to Eric Chans webpage, the Epson 3800 platen gap settings are as follows.
 
Narrow  0.9mm
Standard 1.2mm
wide  1.5mm
wider  2.1mm
wider  3.5mm

The 3880 does not have the widest  3.5 setting, and I dont know If this setting is possible with the 3880. Perhaps, Epson does not manufacture a paper of this thickness, and is (only a guess on my part) attempting to prevent 3880 users from using some thicker 3rd party papers. The reason is also perhaps to protect themselves(Epson) from having to address warrenty issues that might arise from the use of the non Epson papers.
Another thought, perhaps the wider setting on the 3880, is actually 3.5mm??. Only Epson has this info, unless you as an Epson dealer have access to the gap specs on a 3880??

 
 Happy Fourth.
greyscale
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robgo2

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2010, 05:44:35 pm »

Quote from: greyscale
Randy,
 I agree with your idea re: a paper setting. However, I have an Epson 3880 and according to Eric Chans webpage, the Epson 3800 platen gap settings are as follows.
 
Narrow  0.9mm
Standard 1.2mm
wide  1.5mm
wider  2.1mm
wider  3.5mm

The 3880 does not have the widest  3.5 setting, and I dont know If this setting is possible with the 3880. Perhaps, Epson does not manufacture a paper of this thickness, and is (only a guess on my part) attempting to prevent 3880 users from using some thicker 3rd party papers. The reason is also perhaps to protect themselves(Epson) from having to address warrenty issues that might arise from the use of the non Epson papers.
Another thought, perhaps the wider setting on the 3880, is actually 3.5mm??. Only Epson has this info, unless you as an Epson dealer have access to the gap specs on a 3880??

 
 Happy Fourth.
greyscale

The 3880 has a "widest" setting, but it is only accessible via the printer's menu, not the printer's driver software, and it is not retained by the printer after it has been turned off.  This seems like a serious omission by Epson, because in order to set the platen gap to "widest," you have to remember to do it each time the printer is turned on.  There does not appear to be any way to set this as a default.  One would think that such a basic problem could be fixed with a firmware update.

Rob
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 05:45:28 pm by robgo2 »
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greyscale

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Epson 3880 paper scratching solved
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2010, 06:54:33 pm »

Quote from: robgo2
The 3880 has a "widest" setting, but it is only accessible via the printer's menu, not the printer's driver software, and it is not retained by the printer after it has been turned off.  This seems like a serious omission by Epson, because in order to set the platen gap to "widest," you have to remember to do it each time the printer is turned on.  There does not appear to be any way to set this as a default.  One would think that such a basic problem could be fixed with a firmware update.

Rob
.Rob,
 Thank you for that info re: widest setting. And yes Epson needs to update the 3880 driver.
greyscale
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