I typically get asked what the correct settings are for Roland EcoSol printers. The simple asnwer is as much heat as possible, but this really needs more explaination:
Roland EcoSol printers need preheat to make sure the ink fully adheres to the media. Media that is too cold will cause the ink to pool up and orange peel on the media. When the media is too hot you will often experiences buckling which will give you head strikes.
The default media setting on Roland printers is usually set to 104 degrees for the print heat and 112 degrees for the dryer heat. This is the best place to start for a typical 3 mil calandered vinyl. Keep in mind that the platten is aluminum and is very suseptable to ambient tempratures. You might need to add a bit of heat if your room is colder than 70 degrees.
Often you will see buckling in the media causing head strikes or in really bad situations a head crash. You will want to avoid this as it will damage your head(s). One solution usually used for banner material is to lower the heat – often lowering the print heat to under 100 degrees. This happens with banner as it has no backing paper to support the vinyl.
Another solution is to “preheat the media.” In order to preheat the media send the job to the printer and wait for it to start printing and cancel the job. Then reset/reload the pinch rollers to flatten the media and resend the job. This can take a great deal of time from your workflow, but will save the heads on the machine. I have customers who set their heaters very hot and do this to accomedate the media without buckling.
Best practice is to print your jobs all at once. When the machine goes idle it sets the heat to 86 degrees. If you keep the media loaded when it goes cold – the media will shrink when cold – and then buckle when heatings for printing. This is even more compunded when the machine goes to sleep and turns the heaters off completely. I’d suggest preheating the media when the machine goes cold – either off or in standby. You may get away with it a few times, but eventually it will catch you.
- Wet Prints – Not drying enough before getting to the take-up reel. My suggestion is to set a [Scan Interval] in the [Menu-Sub Menu] to 0.7 seconds. This will stall the head over the capping station without changing the head speed – keeping your bi-directional settings intact. This is a good solution for glossy papers and super smooth banner materials. Make sure you are not using profiles that have inproper ink loads – Generic being the main culprit.
- Full Width Scan Issues – Many users try to acheive faster printing speeds by changing the [Full Width Scan] setting [Menu-Sub Menu]. Keep in mind that changing this setting to [Sheet] or [Off] will change the preheat on the media and alter color ever so slightly. This could be an issue for adhesion or if you are tiling prints from different width medias. If you use this to save time – remember you are altering the preheat and color.
- New Cast Media – In the last 5 years manufacturers have made great strides in adhesives that are repositionalble. While cast medias in the past were easy to print on die to 90 lb backing paper, the new adhesives barely hold the media. I have seen heads completely destroyed by the media rolling up and yanking the heads. Make sure you use the media clamps correctly on the edges of the media to avoid this unfortunate damage.
- Cheaper Media – The cheaper medias have lower percentages of plasticizers and are often less dimensionally statble. The “promo” medias will save you money per roll, but be aware you may need to more carefully dial them in and heat is where you need to concentrate your efforts. Thicker 6 mil medias also may require a bit more care as they tend to be more effected by heat.
Have fun printing!