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Issues with printing white


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I have an Epson P600 that I converted to DTF with supplies purchased from Andy. Things seemed to be working great, however I seem to be having issues printing white at this time. I am working through some troubleshooting steps and wondered if this is normal behavior. I felt like the level of white seemed to be thinner than normal so I turned of white underbase in EKPrint and noticed it is not printing ANY of the white in the image when I do this. When I turn on white underbase it prints white just fine but like I said it seems to be thinner than expected. The opacity when pressed on a shirt would be about 75% which is what my underbase is set to.

Does this sound like normal behavior or would this point to a potential issue? I remember seeing somewhere in the forum one of the most active users was having great white only prints and I am hoping I can get this sorted out and get to those level prints with white on a dark garment.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jgrove6 said:

I have an Epson P600 that I converted to DTF with supplies purchased from Andy. Things seemed to be working great, however I seem to be having issues printing white at this time. I am working through some troubleshooting steps and wondered if this is normal behavior. I felt like the level of white seemed to be thinner than normal so I turned of white underbase in EKPrint and noticed it is not printing ANY of the white in the image when I do this. When I turn on white underbase it prints white just fine but like I said it seems to be thinner than expected. The opacity when pressed on a shirt would be about 75% which is what my underbase is set to.

Does this sound like normal behavior or would this point to a potential issue? I remember seeing somewhere in the forum one of the most active users was having great white only prints and I am hoping I can get this sorted out and get to those level prints with white on a dark garment.

Sounds like you loaded the ink, and didn't use it for a few days and the ink settled. The white ink is made white with Ti02( Titanium dioxide), which is a heavy "pigment", so the ink must be shaken to maintain suspension over time. If not, the pigment settles to the bottom, leaving the carrier ( thin, watery) to pass through without the full amount of heavy pigment, making for a thin, watery print. This is also why you need to shake the white ink cartridges daily.

 

Problem is, if you do that often, enough of that settled "pigment' turns into a sludge and will clog the printhead/dampers etc. Using a P600, I recommend using it daily. A head clean doesn't do much in terms of moving the ink from the lines, since the ink lines hold quite a bit of ink. The best thing to do is just print several things a day. Either that, or use the P600 adjustment program and do an Ink charge before you print if it sits for a few days.

 

IF that isn't the case, I'm not sure, other than clogged nozzles, unless it never worked correctly then it could be your settings. Generally " thin" and " watery" means separated ink.  Anytime you have an issue, always do a nozzle check. running a head with clogged nozzles can damage the Piezo nozzle, since the ink cools it down as it passes through the nozzle, If it's clogged, it can overheat that nozzle and permanently damage that nozzle.

Edited by johnson4
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55 minutes ago, johnson4 said:

Sounds like you loaded the ink, and didn't use it for a few days and the ink settled. The white ink is made white with Ti02( Titanium dioxide), which is a heavy "pigment", so the ink must be shaken to maintain suspension over time. If not, the pigment settles to the bottom, leaving the carrier ( thin, watery) to pass through without the full amount of heavy pigment, making for a thin, watery print. This is also why you need to shake the white ink cartridges daily.

 

Problem is, if you do that often, enough of that settled "pigment' turns into a sludge and will clog the printhead/dampers etc. Using a P600, I recommend using it daily. A head clean doesn't do much in terms of moving the ink from the lines, since the ink lines hold quite a bit of ink. The best thing to do is just print several things a day. Either that, or use the P600 adjustment program and do an Ink charge before you print if it sits for a few days.

 

IF that isn't the case, I'm not sure, other than clogged nozzles, unless it never worked correctly then it could be your settings. Generally " thin" and " watery" means separated ink.  Anytime you have an issue, always do a nozzle check. running a head with clogged nozzles can damage the Piezo nozzle, since the ink cools it down as it passes through the nozzle, If it's clogged, it can overheat that nozzle and permanently damage that nozzle.

Thank you for the thorough response! You are a huge wealth of knowledge on this board and I greatly appreciate how willing you are to help! I am going to try cleaning the nozzles and see if that helps. I have yet to get a print charge to complete with the utility, every time I have ever tried it immediately errors out saying it has trouble reading certain cart chips.

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5 minutes ago, jgrove6 said:

Thank you for the thorough response! You are a huge wealth of knowledge on this board and I greatly appreciate how willing you are to help! I am going to try cleaning the nozzles and see if that helps. I have yet to get a print charge to complete with the utility, every time I have ever tried it immediately errors out saying it has trouble reading certain cart chips.

If your printer is chipless, Just power off the printer, power it on, open/close the ink bay ( or whatever you have set up for that). Once it " recognizes" the cartridges and goes back to the main screen, then load the program and do an ink charge. If it's not chipless, Its a Pain, because they don't reset until they read empty, and if they(even one) are low the printer won't do an ink charge. 

 

To me that is what it sounds like though, I hope it helps some. 

 

It's not a problem at all, If it helps then that's great, It will be one less pain to deal with during the process of learning. If not, I'm all ears too :)

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48 minutes ago, johnson4 said:

If your printer is chipless, Just power off the printer, power it on, open/close the ink bay ( or whatever you have set up for that). Once it " recognizes" the cartridges and goes back to the main screen, then load the program and do an ink charge. If it's not chipless, Its a Pain, because they don't reset until they read empty, and if they(even one) are low the printer won't do an ink charge. 

 

To me that is what it sounds like though, I hope it helps some. 

 

It's not a problem at all, If it helps then that's great, It will be one less pain to deal with during the process of learning. If not, I'm all ears too :)

That makes sense thank you.

 

While I have you here could you mind giving an example of what settings you would use in EK print to print all white lettering? I want to rule out I am doing anything silly there as well.

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14 minutes ago, jgrove6 said:

That makes sense thank you.

 

While I have you here could you mind giving an example of what settings you would use in EK print to print all white lettering? I want to rule out I am doing anything silly there as well.

I use the same settings as I do with CMYK only, just with white. I don't use the P600 so my settings wouldn't work for one unfortunately. 

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19 minutes ago, johnson4 said:

I use the same settings as I do with CMYK only, just with white. I don't use the P600 so my settings wouldn't work for one unfortunately. 

Thank you anyway. Also I will try to update tomorrow if cleaning the nozzles improves my situation.

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32 minutes ago, jgrove6 said:

Thank you anyway. Also I will try to update tomorrow if cleaning the nozzles improves my situation.

The main thing is going to be the ink charge that would help, from when you last used it ( or loaded the ink) how long has it sat when you tried to print and got watery prints?

If it was anything longer than 24-48 hours, then an ink charge is in order. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unless my XP-15000 is broken, it only prints white when white underbase is turned on.  If Inturn it off, not white prints at all.  It's been like that from day one.  I don't even see a setting for white ink, other than in the underlay menu.

For black shirts, my settings are 90% for white and 90% CMYK.  For white shirts I use 15% white and 90% CMYK.  I basically use 90% CMYK and adjust white according to the shirt color.

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1 hour ago, JTS said:

Unless my XP-15000 is broken, it only prints white when white underbase is turned on.  If Inturn it off, not white prints at all.  It's been like that from day one.  I don't even see a setting for white ink, other than in the underlay menu.

For black shirts, my settings are 90% for white and 90% CMYK.  For white shirts I use 15% white and 90% CMYK.  I basically use 90% CMYK and adjust white according to the shirt color.

There are different things like graphics, etc settings. White only is in there. If you don’t want a white underbase since your using a white shirt, uncheck it. 
 

The opacity under the white settings determines what gets what ink and how much. So say that is set to 0, then only white in the design is printed. The lower that number, down to 50, the more ink it puts down in those areas, also increasing the darker areas getting white ink. If you select 50, they all get white ink, like the transparency settings. 
 

if you are trying to print white ink, you need underbase on, or the white only settings. If you have white in the design and under base isn’t checked, it won’t print the white. It’s basically an on/off switch for white ink. 

Edited by johnson4
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On 6/12/2021 at 7:34 PM, johnson4 said:

The opacity under the white settings determines what gets what ink and how much. So say that is set to 0, then only white in the design is printed. The lower that number, down to 50, the more ink it puts down in those areas, also increasing the darker areas getting white ink. If you select 50, they all get white ink, like the transparency settings. 

This is the adjustable knob next to "Opacity contrast" when printing with Content Based or Mixed mode correct? When adjusting that in Transparency mode, it doesn't affect the white. I tried printing in Content Based or Mixed and did not get good results at all, but that's because I didn't realize the knob controls the white as you're describing here. I will have to play with it for sure.

As for the white only working with the "white underbase" checked, the problem with this is the choke settings can ruin white only areas of the print. For example, I have a design (it has white only areas and colored areas) that I need to put a choke of 5 or else the underbase pokes through the colored areas. However, the white only part of the design has thin lines. Adding the choke (which again I have no choice but to use) makes those thin lines VERY thin. I guess the best way to combat this is before printing, edit the image by adding a few pixels to the white areas (in illustrator, photoshop, etc) to compensate for the choke that EKPrint would use.

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