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Author Topic: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?  (Read 39218 times)

RMB

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Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« on: February 06, 2012, 10:06:44 am »

First off, I really wanted to say how much I have been enjoying this valuable resource!  Everyone seems very friendly and knowledgeable.  To that end, I wanted to ask opinions regarding the best (subjective, I know) wide format (44" or thereabouts) printer for me given that I intend to use it exclusively for canvas printing on a casual basis (maybe turn it on once a week).  As I understand, canvas can only resolve so much detail, so some of the higher-end 10+ ink channel printers might be overkill (or so I have read here).  Since I intend for my canvas prints to stand out as desirable saleable products (don't we all?), I am wondering what would be the ideal product for my needs.

I really hope for some opinions!

P.S.  I have done many searches (no one likes to answer questions that are asked over and over again) and was unable to find a current answer to my question.  With product turnover so high, I figured it okay to pose this question here.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 10:09:04 am by RMB »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 11:33:03 am »

I had this exact problem a year ago.  ;D  I bought a used Epson 9800 from a LuLa listee and I've never looked back.  Canvas printing is not without its issues, but BIG prints are really really fun.

I don't sell prints, I just do this for me.  Sounds like you're in the same boat?

Peter
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RMB

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 11:42:22 am »

Thanks, Peter!  I have been considering an Epson 9890, since the price is certainly right for a new unit (currently $3,500 plus tax in Canada).  However, reading about what people describe as ink wastage and clogged heads is what prompted me to post this question here.  I think the 9890 is ideal for canvas, but again, I'm worried about Epson in general.  Have you experienced any issues with what seems like high ink usage and/or clogged heads?

I am indeed in the same boat.  I would like to produce for myself, and also for friends and family who have requested my work.  I will then see where I can from there...  Seeing one's own work in such large scale is a somewhat indescribable feeling.  I can't see that it would ever lose its appeal.
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mstevensphoto

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 12:52:07 pm »

you may wish to talk to a sales rep about inactivity with the printer. if you're just printing for yourself you may wish to set up some cycle of use or figure out if you need it - the big beasts want to be used. I don't know what it is for Epson, but the Canon sales guy told me that I really needed to be printing every 10-14 days.
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mclemLJ06

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 02:12:57 pm »

Both printing technologies are fantastic, Canon/Epson.   If you are not a high volume (*running it monday through friday) then Consider Canon.  Either way they both have their pros and cons but you can't get a bad print from either printer right now.  I have both here at my company.  Have plenty of experience with both.  Canon doesn't clog hardly ever have any issues.  Have had to replace a head although expensive it was easy and i can do it myself.   $500 bucks to replace it after nearly 2 years on the same printhead.  There are 2 in the machine.
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chez

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 02:18:08 pm »

I have both a Z3100 24" and a Z3100 44" printers that I use for Canvas. I have zero complaints with these printers. Never have any nozzle clogs and use them very sparingly. I leave them on all the time and let them do their own nozzle maintenance.

I purchased them both 2nd hand, the 24" model for $1500 and the 44" model for $1000. Great deals on both.
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bill t.

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 03:44:18 pm »

If you're just testing the water, get an old 9800 or 9880.  I was just recently not even able to GIVE AWAY a working 9880 (I required local pickup) so you should be able to find one for pretty cheap.  I printed miles of canvas on that thing, no more problems than with any other media.

The cheapest new printer you can get is a Canon iPF8300 for around $2400 after rebate at Lexjet.  An overall excellent canvas cranker.  If mine were a woman I'd marry it.

Don't assume you can't get sharp looking prints on canvas, although canvases do vary a lot in that regard depending on the amount of surface texture.

And oh my!  Big prints are so cool and sofa-sized art is in good demand right now.
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Luca Ragogna

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 03:45:52 pm »

I have a 9890 and the printer often sits idle for a week or 2 at a time. I haven't had any issues in the past year. I haven't even done a power cleaning yet. (I'm furiously knocking on wood). Maybe I'm just lucky.  ;)
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Justan

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2012, 10:37:08 am »

You'll want to select a machine which can cut canvas....

Not all can.

RMB

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 10:50:33 am »

Thanks everyone for the great responses!  I'm still completely torn, however.  I really want to purchase the Canon iPF8300 but I won't qualify for any US rebates, unfortunately.  In Canada, there still seems to be a market for used Epsons, so I won't be able to get even a used 9800 for much less than $2,000.  Given that there is a local distributor selling new 9890 models for $3,500, it makes the most sense for me to buy new.  But again, all of these reports of clogging and ink wastage (and the droves of Epson-turned-Canon converts) has me turned off of Epson.

Having said all that, someone brought up an excellent point between Canon and Epson.  Yes, Canon doesn't seem to clog at all, but as I understand it, it is because of the design of the print heads (i.e. clogs do happen, but there is an intended compensation feature that allows these clogs to happen to a point when the head has to be replaced).  Given that, is the ink wastage required to keep Epson heads operational a more significant cost?  I don't know.  I guess one most monitor operational costs after a set period of time (with both printers producing identical output in that time period).

I should probably bite the bullet, realize I'm never going to get a decent deal on the Canon here in Canada, and try my luck with the Epson 9890...
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Darrel

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 11:21:00 am »


Have you researched buying it in the US and shipping to Canada?  That is what I did when they allowed it, but you may have to get it shipped to a US address or shipping warehouse.  I did not qualify for any rebates but the price was still dirt cheap.  See what options the big retailers will give you.
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RMB

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 11:25:44 am »

Hi Darrel,

Yep, the first avenue I explore is always US options.  I am waiting on a quote from Shades of Paper.  We'll see how it goes.  I have about $4,000 to work with.  If I can't bring in a Canon for that amount then I think I am forced to take the chance with the Epson 9890 here in Canada.
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mstevensphoto

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2012, 12:10:22 pm »

You'll want to select a machine which can cut canvas....

Not all can.

I'm told my ipf8300 can cut canvas but the folks at Breathing Color set the profile not to cut. (wears out the cutter wheel and seems like a good way to get lint in the printer) - I initially thought this would be annoying, but it is a total non-issue for me. you can print multiple images and cut them later or just feed the canvas out and cut it with sheers. it's not difficult or time consuming and now I don't even think twice about it. Of all the places I think my workflow could improve this one isn't even on the radar.

Mark
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bill t.

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 01:05:59 pm »

Old 9880 user here.  DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE TRY TO CUT CANVAS WITH THE BUILT IT CUTTER.  It's lint city, and things are tough enough already.  There is this wonderful, rounded edge on the outputs of the 98xx Epsons that is a perfect guide for a utility knife.  With the Canon I use a scissors.

And the 8300 definitely wastes a lot less ink than the 98xx.  What the 8300 does NOT waste is time and aggravation!  With the 9880 I was spending a very significant amount of time on clog issues and when it happened in time stress situations it sometimes made me slightly deranged.  I got many thousands of square feet through the 8300 before the first head change without ever having a wasted minute.  I felt like I had died and gone to Printing Heaven.  In the 9 printing intensive months before the first Canon head change I probably would have spent more than 60 hours on 9880 clog wars, which might be conservative.  And believe me, until you've had a good man-to-machine nozzle clog fight, you have not fully lived.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 01:23:29 pm by bill t. »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 01:46:24 pm »

Old 9880 user here.  DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE TRY TO CUT CANVAS WITH THE BUILT IT CUTTER.  It's lint city, and things are tough enough already.  There is this wonderful, rounded edge on the outputs of the 98xx Epsons that is a perfect guide for a utility knife.

Absolutely.  I cut my canvas there, too.  Dead easy.

Quote
.  And believe me, until you've had a good man-to-machine nozzle clog fight, you have not fully lived.

Absolutely, too.  : )   Although my 9800 is far better than my 4800 for clogging, it is still an emotional train wreck when it happens.  Pressurized carts in the 9800 are much better.

$1000 for a used 9800 is a darn good price.  You can buy a lot of ink for the difference.  That's about what I paid for mine, but I did have to transport it.  Any domestic van will move one of these beasts.  Two strong people can load and unload it.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 01:56:42 pm by Peter McLennan »
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Justan

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 12:12:33 pm »

If the illuminati suggests that a lack of suitable cutter is not an issue, then definitely add the hp Z3x00 series to the list of great candidates. They have a built in colorimeter so that you can always generate accurate ICC profiles. This guarantees accurate color reproduction as much as is possible. The HP Z3x00 series are as frugal on ink consumption as is available. They as close to self-maintaining as long as kept plugged in. They have great longevity (I've had one for about 4 years and never a clogged nozzle or any major problem, even though Iíve gone 3 months or so at a stretch without using the printer). Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

The major complaint about the HP series is that they use a belt that will start to disintegrate after about 4 years. This can be replaced by the operator if you want to spend part of a day on it and can follow a nicely detailed video, or you can get a HP extended warranty and someone will come out and do it for you, along with giving the printer a complete cleaning and anything else it may need.

But it is annoying to not have the printer able to cut canvas. It causes waste, and itís difficult enough to handle 6í long or > print without having to spool out another 6Ē or so of canvas, so that it can be manually cut, and then roll the canvas back.

I dunno what others are saying bout lint. I've found that lint is a non issue, with cotton rag, canvas, or anything. Perhaps low humidity plays a role in that? But even if lint is somehow an issue, an occasional spray with air in a can (a great idea anyway) will solve that.

In any event, patience and watching the adds are your best friends. All of these printers go on some pretty good sales from time to time.

RMB

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2012, 09:14:45 am »

Thanks again, everyone!  I had plenty of options to consider, but ultimately went with the Canon iPF8300.  I was able to purchase the printer and have it shipped to Canada for less than $3,000!  Unbelievable, given that it is $5,949 here (that's after $1,650 in savings)...

Now to figure out the best canvas and varnish for my needs.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 09:20:05 am by RMB »
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Don Libby

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2012, 10:12:28 am »

Now to figure out the best canvas and varnish for my needs.

For Varnish I highly recommend Breathing Color Glamour 2.  Glam 2 is super easy to use; equaly part of distilled water and Glam II then either roll or spray.  I believe BC has a lot more information on their website.  I've been using it for several years now an love it.

Choice of media is tricky.  What works (or worked best) for me might not for you. 

I used a 9800 for over 5-years printing canvas using Epson all the way.  No problems printing and no problems stretching.  Then they changed the canvas to a much thicker one and my problems began.  Still no problems with printing and stretching the smaller 24x30 up to 40x30 went okay.  The problems for me started at 50x30 and 60x30; just too thick and became a major fight to stretch so I switched canvas just about the same time I upgraded printers.

I'm currently printing on a 9900 and using Breathing Color Lyve and in come cases Chromata White both of which are excellent canvas and very easy to stretch the larger pieces (60" and larger). 

The one constant all the time is the use of Glamour II.

Good luck with you new printer.

Don

Justan

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2012, 11:06:59 am »

Thanks again, everyone!  I had plenty of options to consider, but ultimately went with the Canon iPF8300.  I was able to purchase the printer and have it shipped to Canada for less than $3,000!  Unbelievable, given that it is $5,949 here (that's after $1,650 in savings)...

Now to figure out the best canvas and varnish for my needs.

That is a good value. Glamour 2 is a great choice for varnish and Lexjet Sunset Select Matt canvas is a good and fairly inexpensive canvas.

Enjoy the printer!

Darrel

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Re: Best 44" printer for canvas printing (exclusively)?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 11:42:54 am »


While Glamour 2 is a great product, the company does not value Canadian business, since they expect you to buy from their Canadian distributors which in the end results in unreasonably high costs.  Lexjet does provide very low flat rate shipping charges to Canada and will quite possibly ship USPS as well (low brokerage fees).  Has anyone tried the Lexjet laminates?
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