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Solid color and white with stripes - yet another topic


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Hello everyone,

I know this is something already asked and discussed, but I'm still trying to determine the root cause.
So, here's yet anoth topic on the matter!

This is the print:

image.thumb.png.582bb3365effd09b01d34955b41a58b2.png

As you can see (hopefully), colors are just fine: good and solid.

However, white and white only shows stripes.
For the sake of info, my printer has 2 white channels.
I know this normally means cleaning is needed, or problems with dampers/printhead, etc...

But in this case it's slightly different, I think. I have just replaced the white dampers with new ones, filled them from a new bottlw of white ink (produced on Spets 2022) and I've also performed a very deep head clening (to be more specific: the way it's described in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXNGJzjuUZk ).
While doing that I visually saw all the nozzles spraying the clening liquid properly, so no clogs of any kind should be in place.
And at the end of the process, after refilling whites, the printer went through at least 6 full head clens.

With such clean process, new dampers and brand new white I was expecting white to SHINE. But something went obviosly wrong, looking at the results.
That said, what do you think? I can only imagine 2 things, but both sounds unlikely

1) for whatever reason, doing the cleaning I managed to ruin the printhead for both the while inks chambers only
2) something mechanical of the printer (although I would not understand why colors are fine, in such case)

thoughts / suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

 

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10 hours ago, redna379 said:

Hello everyone,

I know this is something already asked and discussed, but I'm still trying to determine the root cause.
So, here's yet anoth topic on the matter!

This is the print:

image.thumb.png.582bb3365effd09b01d34955b41a58b2.png

As you can see (hopefully), colors are just fine: good and solid.

However, white and white only shows stripes.
For the sake of info, my printer has 2 white channels.
I know this normally means cleaning is needed, or problems with dampers/printhead, etc...

But in this case it's slightly different, I think. I have just replaced the white dampers with new ones, filled them from a new bottlw of white ink (produced on Spets 2022) and I've also performed a very deep head clening (to be more specific: the way it's described in here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXNGJzjuUZk ).
While doing that I visually saw all the nozzles spraying the clening liquid properly, so no clogs of any kind should be in place.
And at the end of the process, after refilling whites, the printer went through at least 6 full head clens.

With such clean process, new dampers and brand new white I was expecting white to SHINE. But something went obviosly wrong, looking at the results.
That said, what do you think? I can only imagine 2 things, but both sounds unlikely

1) for whatever reason, doing the cleaning I managed to ruin the printhead for both the while inks chambers only
2) something mechanical of the printer (although I would not understand why colors are fine, in such case)

thoughts / suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

 

I think the factor you are missing is jetability. I have had a ton of printers over the years wear out for various reasons. Ranging from head strikes, clogs that were later cleared, ALOT of use, or even just running thick ink through it. As well as poor maintenance, improperly handling and a bad environment can cause the same to occur.

 

Nevertheless, The printers would work fine with OEM inks, or cleaner. The moment I loaded DTF ink in there, Clogs. They didn't always show up in nozzle checks either. It was only noticed when the printhead was unable to make the suction needed to have the ink flow properly, meaning a large solid print would show the issue. 

 

What you should do is do a nozzle check with the white only. Make a solid white box, maybe 6" X 6" and print that. Do a nozzle check directly before and after. If it shows any missing nozzles, or if you see any banding, likely your head is bad. We of course would continue testing to verify before doing that.  If not, proceed to do the same but print 2-3 of the 6" X 6" white boxes in a row, followed by a nozzle check. 

 

This will show if the printer is capable of having a free flow of ink, while properly jetting. If the CMYK layer is fine then it is likely not the paper feed encoder ( if equipped). 

 

The overall reason for something like this literally boils down if the ink has a sealed and free flowing path going to the printhead, the ink is shaken and good( not expired or too thick), and if the printhead is capable of jetting it still. 

 

What printer are you using, why did you change the dampers, and what kind of cleaning fluid did you use? You can absolutely damage the head with cleaner. If it's too strong it will eat the non-stick surface away from the printhead causing ink to stick as it jets among other things. 

 

Have you also made sure there is nothing on the bottom of your printhead and you have your ink channels set up properly? Nozzle checks go a long way with finding issues. 

Edited by johnson4
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Check if your feed rollers clean, if envoder strip is clean, and if printhead carriage metal thing lubricated. So you could eliminate mechanical problems.

İf you are getting full bozzle be sure you have good circulated shaken ink and good pet film. 
 

If everything above is good then maybe you could look at replacing printhead etc.

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1st of all, thanks for the replies.

8 hours ago, anum11 said:

Check if your feed rollers clean, if envoder strip is clean, and if printhead carriage metal thing lubricated. So you could eliminate mechanical problems.

İf you are getting full bozzle be sure you have good circulated shaken ink and good pet film. 
 

If everything above is good then maybe you could look at replacing printhead etc.

Sadly this is ok. The main thing is the banding is happening only on whites, while if a machanical problem would exists also CMYK would had been affected. But they're perfectly ok.

8 hours ago, johnson4 said:

I think the factor you are missing is jetability. I have had a ton of printers over the years wear out for various reasons. Ranging from head strikes, clogs that were later cleared, ALOT of use, or even just running thick ink through it. As well as poor maintenance, improperly handling and a bad environment can cause the same to occur.

 

Nevertheless, The printers would work fine with OEM inks, or cleaner. The moment I loaded DTF ink in there, Clogs. They didn't always show up in nozzle checks either. It was only noticed when the printhead was unable to make the suction needed to have the ink flow properly, meaning a large solid print would show the issue. 

 

What you should do is do a nozzle check with the white only. Make a solid white box, maybe 6" X 6" and print that. Do a nozzle check directly before and after. If it shows any missing nozzles, or if you see any banding, likely your head is bad. We of course would continue testing to verify before doing that.  If not, proceed to do the same but print 2-3 of the 6" X 6" white boxes in a row, followed by a nozzle check. 

 

This will show if the printer is capable of having a free flow of ink, while properly jetting. If the CMYK layer is fine then it is likely not the paper feed encoder ( if equipped). 

 

The overall reason for something like this literally boils down if the ink has a sealed and free flowing path going to the printhead, the ink is shaken and good( not expired or too thick), and if the printhead is capable of jetting it still. 

 

What printer are you using, why did you change the dampers, and what kind of cleaning fluid did you use? You can absolutely damage the head with cleaner. If it's too strong it will eat the non-stick surface away from the printhead causing ink to stick as it jets among other things. 

 

Have you also made sure there is nothing on the bottom of your printhead and you have your ink channels set up properly? Nozzle checks go a long way with finding issues. 

I'm sorry in advance, this is going to be a long post... but I'd like to to give a full background about WHY I'm doing as I described. This can also work to present myself a little more in depth :)

I am a developer, it's about 20 years I work in creating online design tool for the printing industry. I am not a printer myself, however as automating processes is a big part of my tasks, knowing the technologies is something I just need to do. And I also find this extremely interesting!
So it happens that I purchased semi-professional machines just to test and learn: it happened ranging from sublimation to lenticular prints (which I did at home using a 3880).

About a year and a half ago, at the FESPA, I learned about DTF. What I noticed immediately was the potential, however I also noticed how immature the market still was.
There were no solid DTF brands, neither for prints nor for inks nor for films. It felt like a very promising technology starting to go from DIY to the pro market.
For that reason I decided to purchase something to test on, with the main idea of learning pros and cons and be able to properly talk about it to my actual userbase, which is the professional printing industry (mainly large format, but not only).

I saw that THE machine used by a vast majority of ppls was a converted L1800, and there I started.
I ended up purchasing a modified L1800 from a Chinese company named Procolored, and from them I also purchased their inks and pet film in rolls.

All this intro to really say one thing: I am NOT printing much, as I'm not a printer. However, learning how to deal with maintaining such machines when rarely used was pretty beneficial for my main goal, which is being able to promote DTF itself if I feel it has a potential for a customer of mine.

So: I purchased that printer past November, and it ran pretty good with the very 1st set of inks provided by Procolored.
Everything was pretty good, results met the expectations.
About 2 months ago, as expected, white started to be too watery. It literally needed full shaking and a full head cleaning every day before printing.
Even that was expected, I wanted to see how long such inks could actually last. Answer is in the range of 5-6 months max, with proper daily maintenance.
It was time to look for other inks, as by that time the one provided by Procolored was the only one I ever tried

At the FESPA of this year I saw DTF kinda exploded, but 90% of companies selling DTF equipments really had no idea of what they were selling. This ranged from poorly modified Epson printers to mysterious inks always claimed to be the only one working with their printer. But no details, very often.
When I say "they had no idea" I literally mean that: picture an international Tradeshow where they're almost all baking the powder without any suction system (thus releasing the exhalations in a closed space full of visitors), or they're hot peeling films meant to be cold peel, of having powder shakers with NO COVERING causing so the powder to literally flow as a cloud of dust (again, in a closed space full of visitors).

This happened because a lot of sellers wanted to follow the DTF hype somehow. My main concern there was that, if sellers have poor knoledge of the technology, eventual buyers not being able to reach the results they were hoping for would just blame the technology itself, rather than the poor knowledge of it their sellers actually had.

Still, several serious pals were there too. I was specifically looking to create a possible good bundle of manufacturers to propose a solid combination of printer/ink/film for different levels of printshops.
So, of course, I was looking for inks. I think I wrote about it in past in this forum. DTF inks are sort of misterious items when you ask around. I met several companies working to release their own, and very few actually giving details or willing to test in general.

This is when I had a proposal of testing a new white ink from a Corean company. As my machine is meant for testing, I agreed in taking the chance.
To do that I completely flushed my old white remains, did the deep head clean, replaced the dampers and tested the new ink.
It was fine for about 2 prints. Then it started by release VERY little white. It was bad, and in case you're curious, now I also learned why.

In short, they always tested their inks against the I3200 heads. Still Epson I thought, and also a more "pro" machine than the L1800. But I was wrong. There is a key diffrences I know learned.
L1800 has a minimum ink droplet volume of 1.5 pico litre.
I3200 has a minimum ink droplet volume of 3.5 pico litre.
And that was the thing: an ink created mainly for the I3200 was simply too "thick" for the L1800. Result for me was obviously a clogged printhead.

And so, finally, we're at today.

After the clog, I decided to purchase again a small bottle of white from Procolored. At least, it already proved to work properly with my printer.
Moreover, as I had to flush old inks a couple times for this testing, and also had a clogged printhead as a result, it was a possibly good test to see IF it was possible to deep clean properly enough to be able to return to the initial stage.

I changed my white dampers again, flushed a Corean ink out, cleared the tubes and deep cleaned the printhead again.
What I used is the 6022803 A29 Epson liquid, which is used to unclog the print heads, and although it is also used to clean dry ink, it is more suitable for purging the internal ducts of the print head. It also serves as a general cleaning liquid.
At the end of all of this, I reloaded the original white from Procolored. And I had the unexpected results I postead about.

Phew, it looks like I wrote much more than what I wanted to!

I will perform the other tests you suggested later today, I'll let you know.
Hope I have not bothered you too much with all of the above, but at least it should answer to your questions about what/why I did things.

Thanks!

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And now, here I am with tests.

I printed white-only solid boxes, the sheet is 11.8 in wide (30cm).
The first large box is 15x15cm (4,72in), while the smaller ones (3 in each row) are 8,5x8,5cm (3,34 in).
So, a total in height of about 14,74in of solid white.

This is how the full sheet looks (sorry for quality, taking pics of it was... hard!):

image.thumb.jpeg.a169a485cf086a2dd173d4f66c3e413a.jpeg

 

This is a closeup picture of the first bigger box:
image.thumb.jpeg.0f9f234573e1c76c4031b46e649c133f.jpeg


And this is a closeup pic of one of the smaller bosex in the very last row:
image.thumb.jpeg.24e00b37dcd31ec9c80971de6957580e.jpeg


As you can see, kinda sadly, results are pretty "consistent". The kind of banding seems to be the same in all of them, and this is right after a head clean.
For this, however the ink is flowing it seems to be it just flows the same way. Makes me think that some nozzles, for some reasons, are not spraying.

For sake of info, this print was done at 1440x720. This because I know in past I could obtain solid white even with this mode.
Obviously 1440x1440 is slightly better, and here it is (row and closeup):
1668073867186.thumb.jpg.3040384c31379684ca69da6b9fc39b5c.jpg1668073867174.thumb.jpg.859ab34efaacd46a0e16a10346f7ef03.jpg

Still, it's there. I could still run this machine doing 1440x1440 only, it's not optimal but doable. But whatever the issue is I'm afraid will just keep damaging things more over time

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3 hours ago, redna379 said:

And now, here I am with tests.

I printed white-only solid boxes, the sheet is 11.8 in wide (30cm).
The first large box is 15x15cm (4,72in), while the smaller ones (3 in each row) are 8,5x8,5cm (3,34 in).
So, a total in height of about 14,74in of solid white.

This is how the full sheet looks (sorry for quality, taking pics of it was... hard!):

image.thumb.jpeg.a169a485cf086a2dd173d4f66c3e413a.jpeg

 

This is a closeup picture of the first bigger box:
image.thumb.jpeg.0f9f234573e1c76c4031b46e649c133f.jpeg


And this is a closeup pic of one of the smaller bosex in the very last row:
image.thumb.jpeg.24e00b37dcd31ec9c80971de6957580e.jpeg


As you can see, kinda sadly, results are pretty "consistent". The kind of banding seems to be the same in all of them, and this is right after a head clean.
For this, however the ink is flowing it seems to be it just flows the same way. Makes me think that some nozzles, for some reasons, are not spraying.

For sake of info, this print was done at 1440x720. This because I know in past I could obtain solid white even with this mode.
Obviously 1440x1440 is slightly better, and here it is (row and closeup):
1668073867186.thumb.jpg.3040384c31379684ca69da6b9fc39b5c.jpg1668073867174.thumb.jpg.859ab34efaacd46a0e16a10346f7ef03.jpg

Still, it's there. I could still run this machine doing 1440x1440 only, it's not optimal but doable. But whatever the issue is I'm afraid will just keep damaging things more over time

That is true, something as simple as running a printer with clogged nozzles can permanently damage those nozzles. 
 

what’s your nozzle check look like? It’s a rather important part of the test. 

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8 hours ago, redna379 said:

1st of all, thanks for the replies.

Sadly this is ok. The main thing is the banding is happening only on whites, while if a machanical problem would exists also CMYK would had been affected. But they're perfectly ok.

I'm sorry in advance, this is going to be a long post... but I'd like to to give a full background about WHY I'm doing as I described. This can also work to present myself a little more in depth :)

I am a developer, it's about 20 years I work in creating online design tool for the printing industry. I am not a printer myself, however as automating processes is a big part of my tasks, knowing the technologies is something I just need to do. And I also find this extremely interesting!
So it happens that I purchased semi-professional machines just to test and learn: it happened ranging from sublimation to lenticular prints (which I did at home using a 3880).

About a year and a half ago, at the FESPA, I learned about DTF. What I noticed immediately was the potential, however I also noticed how immature the market still was.
There were no solid DTF brands, neither for prints nor for inks nor for films. It felt like a very promising technology starting to go from DIY to the pro market.
For that reason I decided to purchase something to test on, with the main idea of learning pros and cons and be able to properly talk about it to my actual userbase, which is the professional printing industry (mainly large format, but not only).

I saw that THE machine used by a vast majority of ppls was a converted L1800, and there I started.
I ended up purchasing a modified L1800 from a Chinese company named Procolored, and from them I also purchased their inks and pet film in rolls.

All this intro to really say one thing: I am NOT printing much, as I'm not a printer. However, learning how to deal with maintaining such machines when rarely used was pretty beneficial for my main goal, which is being able to promote DTF itself if I feel it has a potential for a customer of mine.

So: I purchased that printer past November, and it ran pretty good with the very 1st set of inks provided by Procolored.
Everything was pretty good, results met the expectations.
About 2 months ago, as expected, white started to be too watery. It literally needed full shaking and a full head cleaning every day before printing.
Even that was expected, I wanted to see how long such inks could actually last. Answer is in the range of 5-6 months max, with proper daily maintenance.
It was time to look for other inks, as by that time the one provided by Procolored was the only one I ever tried

At the FESPA of this year I saw DTF kinda exploded, but 90% of companies selling DTF equipments really had no idea of what they were selling. This ranged from poorly modified Epson printers to mysterious inks always claimed to be the only one working with their printer. But no details, very often.
When I say "they had no idea" I literally mean that: picture an international Tradeshow where they're almost all baking the powder without any suction system (thus releasing the exhalations in a closed space full of visitors), or they're hot peeling films meant to be cold peel, of having powder shakers with NO COVERING causing so the powder to literally flow as a cloud of dust (again, in a closed space full of visitors).

This happened because a lot of sellers wanted to follow the DTF hype somehow. My main concern there was that, if sellers have poor knoledge of the technology, eventual buyers not being able to reach the results they were hoping for would just blame the technology itself, rather than the poor knowledge of it their sellers actually had.

Still, several serious pals were there too. I was specifically looking to create a possible good bundle of manufacturers to propose a solid combination of printer/ink/film for different levels of printshops.
So, of course, I was looking for inks. I think I wrote about it in past in this forum. DTF inks are sort of misterious items when you ask around. I met several companies working to release their own, and very few actually giving details or willing to test in general.

This is when I had a proposal of testing a new white ink from a Corean company. As my machine is meant for testing, I agreed in taking the chance.
To do that I completely flushed my old white remains, did the deep head clean, replaced the dampers and tested the new ink.
It was fine for about 2 prints. Then it started by release VERY little white. It was bad, and in case you're curious, now I also learned why.

In short, they always tested their inks against the I3200 heads. Still Epson I thought, and also a more "pro" machine than the L1800. But I was wrong. There is a key diffrences I know learned.
L1800 has a minimum ink droplet volume of 1.5 pico litre.
I3200 has a minimum ink droplet volume of 3.5 pico litre.
And that was the thing: an ink created mainly for the I3200 was simply too "thick" for the L1800. Result for me was obviously a clogged printhead.

And so, finally, we're at today.

After the clog, I decided to purchase again a small bottle of white from Procolored. At least, it already proved to work properly with my printer.
Moreover, as I had to flush old inks a couple times for this testing, and also had a clogged printhead as a result, it was a possibly good test to see IF it was possible to deep clean properly enough to be able to return to the initial stage.

I changed my white dampers again, flushed a Corean ink out, cleared the tubes and deep cleaned the printhead again.
What I used is the 6022803 A29 Epson liquid, which is used to unclog the print heads, and although it is also used to clean dry ink, it is more suitable for purging the internal ducts of the print head. It also serves as a general cleaning liquid.
At the end of all of this, I reloaded the original white from Procolored. And I had the unexpected results I postead about.

Phew, it looks like I wrote much more than what I wanted to!

I will perform the other tests you suggested later today, I'll let you know.
Hope I have not bothered you too much with all of the above, but at least it should answer to your questions about what/why I did things.

Thanks!

Not at all, details help paint the big picture and puts me in your shoes in some way. 
 

From your description I would consider your printhead bad. 
 

All of us tested inks, because who knows what works and doesn’t compared to claims vs results. The importance of sharing data so we avoid and do not promote poor products. I as well have experienced similar issues, most of us have. 
 

In my honest opinion, your scenario sounds like the breeding ground for issues, or worst use scenario. 
 

given it’s a testing machine and an L1800, costs will be minimal to you. Procolored also has a bad reputation from what I have collected( not first hand). 
 

When it comes to this, you are not printing much. You must shake and mix your ink daily. Some inks hold it better than others but the heavy Tio2 pigment will fall out of suspension. If it’s severe enough and long enough, it will start to coagulate on an almost microscopic level. This causes bad clogging. The same for the pigment micron size, but I feel like today everyone should have it together and not be selling ink that won’t work with all printers, that’s just asking for trouble if your ink can’t jet from a 1.5pl machine but can from. 3pl machine. 
 

Anyway, ink mixing and cleaning the machine daily is an absolute requirement, ground zero. Beyond that, it sounds like you used poor quality ink. That and some inks just don’t mix well. 
 

once the head experiencing clogging, ( inside or out) and it isn’t broken down and remedied immediately it will permanently damage your printhead. I’m not familiar with that cleaner, but I know first hand Epson branded cleaner can and will destroy a printhead in less than 10 minutes. I’ve done it myself, it’s actually my example mentioned previously about it sticking to the printhead. 
 

in short- you need to print often, clean often, and use inks that are from a reputable company. Beyond that- if you can’t clear the clog with head cleans- it’s done. It’s a waste of time. 
 

replace your printhead and you’ll very likely be good, from your description, given proper maintenance is being done and the ink is of quality. 
 

fortunately for you, it’s maybe $200-$300 for that printhead.  When I was in this boat, my printhead was $1,100 to replace. 
 

it’s also why I only recommend DTF superstore inks. It just works. I’ve used hundreds of liters and haven’t seen this issue since- unrelated to mechanical issues not brought on due to the ink. I’ve tried other inks on tester machines and they were sub par and usually caused issues. 
 

finding someone who cares and will hold themselves accountable for the quality of the product they sell is very important here. We’ve all been there, and wasted money learning. 
 

If your dampers are of quality, seated correctly, and your ink is good, then your head needs replaced. Keep in mind the capping station is also a wear item, I replace mine anytime I replace a printhead.  it ensures proper sealing, suction, and prevents future printhead failure due to the capping station overall. Been there done that. 
 

 

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I thik we came to the same conclusion. Being a test machine, I think I'll just run it at 1440x1440 when needed until it'll die, and get a spare printhead ready to be replaced when it will happen.
The Epson liquid used for the deep clean sounded the possible best culprit to me too, although I used it to clean ALL channels and not white only. But at such microscale, who knows what can happen.

A couple extras from your replies.

I am actually living in Italy, and this makes my research harder. DTF superstore is not really an option for me becuase of that.
I know here I can find an original Epson one for about $360, cheaper versions are normally refurbished or non-original Epson ones.
But although I am from here, being my duties all internet-related I have a userbase spanning around the globe. Vast majority is in the US, actually.

Procolored: actually, the reason why I ended up with them was to spare some time and a couple interesting things.
At the end, it's still a converted L1800. What it has different is a heated plate right after the print area (very useful to evaporate excess liquid pefore powdering) and an easier way do access dampers and printhead. Only thing is they used a sliightly smaller dampers, so L1800 originals simply does not fit in there.
As also evaluating these companies is part of my tasks, I'd be curious to know which kind of issues you heard about, if it'something you can share.

And at the end, yeah: usign quality inks and films is surely the goal. Problem I'm solving is finding reliable manufacturers I can find both in EU and the US, if what I want is the ability to suggest a "bundle". DTF is a world in evolution, so I'm not doubting soon more and more quality companies will join it. Until that point, accepting to live in constant "testing phase" is just a requirement, from my perspective

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2 hours ago, johnson4 said:

once the head experiencing clogging, ( inside or out) and it isn’t broken down and remedied immediately it will permanently damage your printhead. I’m not familiar with that cleaner, but I know first hand Epson branded cleaner can and will destroy a printhead in less than 10 minutes. I’ve done it myself, it’s actually my example mentioned previously about it sticking to the printhead. 

Oh, one more. This sentence of yours made me curious.
If even an Epson cleaner is going to kill the printhead, is there ANY liquid you know about that can be properly used to perform such deep clean methods?
I see several peoples talks about "cleaning liquid", the "transparent one", the "cleaning solution".... but never, and I say never, I found someone suggesting something specific.
Like simply telling what those liquids actuall are, for instance! :)

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1 hour ago, redna379 said:

Oh, one more. This sentence of yours made me curious.
If even an Epson cleaner is going to kill the printhead, is there ANY liquid you know about that can be properly used to perform such deep clean methods?
I see several peoples talks about "cleaning liquid", the "transparent one", the "cleaning solution".... but never, and I say never, I found someone suggesting something specific.
Like simply telling what those liquids actuall are, for instance! :)

I make my own actually. I found most "purchased" cleaners were too weak to do the job and on the flipside some were too strong. I use 2 different cleaners. One for cleaning, for things like the bottom of the head, wiper, etc. and one for flushing. 

 

When it comes to flushing , Ultimately you can simply use water. Disconnect the dampers from the head, flush it all out with water until clean( everything but the printhead). Then you can run flushing solution through there if you want. Then reattach to the head and keep using the flushing solution. When done, replace with ink. Don't let it sit. 

Flushing solution works well also. After that, Cleaning solution is meant to be used to clean the ink, things like the ports, capping station and wiper, not actually to be flushed and sit in the printhead. 

 

Generally, these things don't work for clearing clogs if that is the goal. They are just meant to clean dried ink, capping stations, etc. If you are trying to flush a clog, you are generally wasting your time. Once something bad hits the head, it's done. Period. Some people say they save face, but in the end they always have issues and the printhead ultimately does not perform properly or last for any reasonable period of time. I know, I've tried on at least 25 printheads. I documented and followed logical procedure and cleaners and not just random things. While you can save them sometimes( very seldom) , IF standard head cleans don't work and there isn't anything else wrong, It's just time to replace the printhead. 

 

There are " clog busters" but those are just the same thing as Epson's stuff basically, which melts the ink. Any cleaner this strong will also damage the printhead. 

 

It's just one of those things people have to go through and waste time and money on to believe. You think you have results until you don't, and most people won't admit to it. If they do, It's likely something several head cleans and capping station soaks with fluid would have fixed. 

 

Live and learn, those are my experiences and not my uneducated opinions.  

Edited by johnson4
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11 hours ago, johnson4 said:

When it comes to flushing , Ultimately you can simply use water. Disconnect the dampers from the head, flush it all out with water until clean( everything but the printhead). Then you can run flushing solution through there if you want. Then reattach to the head and keep using the flushing solution. When done, replace with ink. Don't let it sit. 

"Don't let it sit". I guess that was my main mistake.
When I performed the deep clean, I waited to have something to print before replacing inks. Which means I literally left it in there, without any ink, for a good coule weeks :P
I still find curious that this affected only the white nozzles, though. But this is how you learn!

BTW, just for the sake of knowledge, I was looking at this interesting short video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-638bI-YHy8
Seeing how actually things are inside is always interesting. As my next step will probably be to purchase a new head, I might want to replicate that disassembly on my current one just to check if I can in any way SEE what I've done and where.

Finally, I'd like to thank you for your help. Not only to me, but in this forum in general.
I see how passionate you are, but also how much time you spend to write proper and exhaustive replies.
For peoples like me, who rather than a "plug and play" answer prefers a deeper discussion that leads to actual understanding, more "verbose" answers are just the best.
I value time a lot, and for this I want to thank you for yours!

 

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9 hours ago, redna379 said:

"Don't let it sit". I guess that was my main mistake.
When I performed the deep clean, I waited to have something to print before replacing inks. Which means I literally left it in there, without any ink, for a good coule weeks :P
I still find curious that this affected only the white nozzles, though. But this is how you learn!

BTW, just for the sake of knowledge, I was looking at this interesting short video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-638bI-YHy8
Seeing how actually things are inside is always interesting. As my next step will probably be to purchase a new head, I might want to replicate that disassembly on my current one just to check if I can in any way SEE what I've done and where.

Finally, I'd like to thank you for your help. Not only to me, but in this forum in general.
I see how passionate you are, but also how much time you spend to write proper and exhaustive replies.
For peoples like me, who rather than a "plug and play" answer prefers a deeper discussion that leads to actual understanding, more "verbose" answers are just the best.
I value time a lot, and for this I want to thank you for yours!

 

Yeah, it’s going to depend on the cleaner though, some might be fine but I’ve ran across this several times and it usually causes some issue especially if left sitting. 

my solution for me I mix distilled water and vegetable glycerin for “ storage solution”.  I used this because it’s lubricating and helps seal. It’s a humectant as well so it remains “wet”. I wanted the fluid to have an ink like consistency as well so this is what did that. I didn’t want leaking or “thin” fluid going places it shouldn’t.  It keeps from evaporating or freezing with this mix as well. It basically keeps it all from drying out and makes everything seal well. 
 

for my flushing solution I take the same and add 8 percent concentrated cleaner. This can also be left in, does no harm and helps break down stubborn clogs or “sludgy” ink lines. 6+ months going through a a freezing winter in a non climate controlled environment and it was 100% after loading ink. 
 

My cleaner that I use to quickly clean the capping station, printhead exterior, wiper etc is the same, except with 20 percent concentrated cleaner. 
 

for heavy issues, clogs, or stubborn cleaning I use a 50/50 mix and wet cap( no more than 5-10 minutes at a time, max 8-10 in the printheads lifetime). This will melt dried ink right off of anything except fabric. 
 

i tested this a lot and it’s been fanatic to have a tested cleaner for every situation. I no longer have issues like this. I also use the same quality ink and do proper daily maintenance. 
 

I think the main damaging aspect was the bad ink. After that letting the clogs sit instead of daily cleanings to let it slowly work out the clogs. 2-3 head cleans a day for several days. If it doesn’t help, it’s permanent. If you “manually” do anything pushing through the head you’ll have nothing but problems moving forward, from my experience. 
 

 But letting it sit and allowing the clogs to solidify more or running the printer with clogs causes overheating and permanent damage to the piezoelectric crystals and kind of makes it permanent, if there was a chance of flushing the clogs to begin with. 
 

 

usually the clogs are in the nozzle plate or the manifold if dried ink fell down in the ink lines somewhere. If you take it apart and rinse it off and hold it up to a light you’ll see the clogged nozzle holes. at this point reattaching the plate is nearly impossible, even with proper adhesive from what I’ve found and read. Even the people you see refurbish them as their job and do this it’s like a 60/40 success rate. 
 

no problem at all. I do love what I do. If it’s an experience I am happy to share it, if it’s something I’ve researched I’ll say and share that too. 
 

I personally think “ plug and play” answers actually hurt more than helping. It teaches people to blindly follow without question. It also allows people who want to pretend they know things or are still in the process and haven’t experienced it fully yet swear by their findings- and don’t follow up when they find out they are wrong or give any reason as to why or how they believe that. 
 

while everything you read is nothing more than an opinion, I feel like explaining why is more important so the person can form their own and spark curiosity. This gives tools and individual points to look for and verify, instead of blindly following. 
 

90 percent of the time( in my eyes) those straightforward answers in situations like this only lead to failures. If someone isn’t willing to invest the time needed to properly invest and learn something and just look for an answer, they ultimately never reach their end goal. 
 

now pointing them in the direction so they can fully find their own answer based on their own experiences- it’s a priceless knowledge- as long as while they are still in this process they don’t spread misinformed information because they are not finished learning about it yet themselves. 
 

 

 

I rarely give a short and sweet answer, I just wouldn’t answer. I personally feel like if we can’t invest the time into a conversation, into whatever we are doing, we shouldn’t answer or be doing it. The aforementioned, that actually was my version of short and sweet, haha. 
 

 

Anyway take what I say with a grain of salt and go out and find your own experiences and answers. If something I’ve said helps, that’s great and I’m glad to help, but they are just my experiences and I could also be wrong in some aspect, or it not apply to you  in your specific circumstances. 
 

 

In todays world, too many people pretend for whatever reason. It’s important to weed out the BS. 
 

good luck, follow ups are appreciated if and when you move forward. 
 

 

Edited by johnson4
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I'll surely let you all know.

In the meanwhile, I've ordered a new printhead. Just as planned I'll keep doing my tests with the current one until I'll fry.
Knowing however that my biggest problem in time will ALWAYS be I'm not printing much, I think I'll try a different approach for the daily maintenance thing.

Aside from shaking and syringing from dampers, printing something is needed to force some flow through the printhead. Having nothing special to print it means both wasting a little amounf of ink, but also PET film. I guess I'll exchange the daily printing with a daily head cleaning instead (still, after shaking and syringe). It will surely consume more ink, but I'll save 100% of film and in any case will be a marginal cost for me, as long as what I need to do is mostly testing.
I hink this might be my best bet, for my own current situation.

Shall I ever start to use that machine to print more seriously well, then it'll be a totally different approach.

News soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/9/2022 at 11:13 AM, johnson4 said:

I think the factor you are missing is jetability. I have had a ton of printers over the years wear out for various reasons. Ranging from head strikes, clogs that were later cleared, ALOT of use, or even just running thick ink through it. As well as poor maintenance, improperly handling and a bad environment can cause the same to occur.

 

Nevertheless, The printers would work fine with OEM inks, or cleaner. The moment I loaded DTF ink in there, Clogs. They didn't always show up in nozzle checks either. It was only noticed when the printhead was unable to make the suction needed to have the ink flow properly, meaning a large solid print would show the issue. 

 

What you should do is do a nozzle check with the white only. Make a solid white box, maybe 6" X 6" and print that. Do a nozzle check directly before and after. If it shows any missing nozzles, or if you see any banding, likely your head is bad. We of course would continue testing to verify before doing that.  If not, proceed to do the same but print 2-3 of the 6" X 6" white boxes in a row, followed by a nozzle check. 

 

This will show if the printer is capable of having a free flow of ink, while properly jetting. If the CMYK layer is fine then it is likely not the paper feed encoder ( if equipped). 

 

The overall reason for something like this literally boils down if the ink has a sealed and free flowing path going to the printhead, the ink is shaken and good( not expired or too thick), and if the printhead is capable of jetting it still. 

 

What printer are you using, why did you change the dampers, and what kind of cleaning fluid did you use? You can absolutely damage the head with cleaner. If it's too strong it will eat the non-stick surface away from the printhead causing ink to stick as it jets among other things. 

 

Have you also made sure there is nothing on the bottom of your printhead and you have your ink channels set up properly? Nozzle checks go a long way with finding issues. 

What “wet cap” and “concentrate” solution(s) are you using?

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Update:

At the end, I ordered a new printhead. Did a last test at 1440x1440 with old one, bands were visible and white was also very "washed".
New printhead, tested at 1440x720... perfect!

So, the good news is it actually was the printhead, and now I HOPEFULLY learned what not to do.
Considering at the end it costed me around $350, I'd say this wasn't a bad cost to learn a lesson :)

Now I have the old printhead, I'll probably make use of it to experiment cleaning methods. The hard part will really be how to check how it's doing, as the only way I can imagine is to re-install it in the printer. Would be nice to be able to refurbish it into a spare part.

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16 hours ago, redna379 said:

Update:

At the end, I ordered a new printhead. Did a last test at 1440x1440 with old one, bands were visible and white was also very "washed".
New printhead, tested at 1440x720... perfect!

So, the good news is it actually was the printhead, and now I HOPEFULLY learned what not to do.
Considering at the end it costed me around $350, I'd say this wasn't a bad cost to learn a lesson :)

Now I have the old printhead, I'll probably make use of it to experiment cleaning methods. The hard part will really be how to check how it's doing, as the only way I can imagine is to re-install it in the printer. Would be nice to be able to refurbish it into a spare part.

Thanks for the update.
 

Yeah it’s a good way to test it, but you also have to factor in the damaged nozzles that can’t be recovered even when cleared, then as well the specific situation of it being exposed/sitting compared to just typical clogging during normal use. 
 

Over the years I found testing best to be done in real world use before removing and tossing the printhead. 
 

for example when I started- long story short I went from one machine to 4 in about a year. Mostly for reliability because business relied on it and I had to “ learn” as time went on. 
 

even though it was bad timing and silly to diagnose and spend days or weeks testing during “ business” , I had to do it in the real world situation, any other time and I had botched results. 


during these times is when I was able to really debunk all the stuff people parrot on the internet and learn what did work and what did not, and when to not even waste time on it. 
 

people are mixing various methods of printing and cleaners. Alcohol or windex for example was widely used in OEM situations, the OEM ink is composed of different carriers and this would help. Some people parrot this and boom, everybody does it. 

 

Different inks will use different carriers, UV, DTG, DTF, Solvent- etc will all use a cleaner that is often similar to the carrier. 
 

the issue with water based inks is the BASE is water based and water soluble, while the non water based pigment is suspended in this water soluble base it in itself is not water soluble- even though it’s carrier is. 
 

so carrier A SUSPENDS pigment B so it can be diluted and washed down the drain.

Once carrier A has been removed via evaporation it leaves pigment B solidified and no longer water soluble. 
 

Since the water soluble portion has been removed it is no longer the same situation and no longer functions the same cleaner wise. 
 

many times the original carrier A can be reintroduced and work in breaking down pigment B. Cut to the alcohol and windex theory. 
 

Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily the case with water based inks.

 

It’s why when you paint your house or use acrylic paint you layer and blend while the paint is relatively fresh, but doing so years or months later it doesn’t work so well. Before fully cured, this new layer of ink can generally introduce the original carrier A and cause a blending effect. It’s why they suggest a 2nd coat within X time. 
 

with inks, it works the same way. Once the ink is fully dried, it will require something stronger or an undiluted solvent to break this stuff down. Like for house paint or acrylic, you can use paint remover and within minutes it just falls off, but is unrelated to the original carrier and breaks down the ink differently. Originally, it’s intention is to keep it intact, while the stronger is designed to keep the original substrate intact instead. 
 

so for our scenario, you are going to have a couple things to cause issues. Clogs from air drying the carrier in some form, or clogs from too large of a solid/pigment size, generally over 20 micron. Usually this is from poor ink quality, poorly maintained ink,  or debris in the ink system. 
 

not cleaning properly, things like the wiper, capping station, or printhead face can and does introduce dried ink to the printhead during use/cleaning cycles. It can also allow air into the system when not in use. I have to clean my wiper twice in an 8 hour period during use to prevent from reintroducing dried ink to the printhead. Not a big deal and takes 3 minutes. 
 

if you use low quality ink it can clog dampers or otherwise create ink flow issues. When this occurs it will try to “ suck” during cleaning cycles and this will inherently equalize with air going back into that channel, or ink/crud from the capping station.
Sometimes an early symptom is color mixing, or colors that show good nozzle checks but then later drop out. 

 

anyway, without going into every detail or scenario my point is there are a ton of variables. You can’t go “ gung ho” and go straight to the strongest cleaner. As mentioned before, the strongest cleaners will also quickly and almost inevitably destroy the printhead. It’s why “ big shops” just replace them as consumables, because it’s been proven long term to be a waste of time, money, resources. 

 

preventative care and properly cleaning the machine before an issue occurs is the best way to prevent issues long term. After that, there isn’t a magic solution other than “ baby” the printhead with a mild cleaner from the inside out and hope it works. 
 

the cleaners and various solutions I make for myself use similar base compounds, only slightly changed for its specific purpose. They range in strength leading up to “ clog buster” or “ last chance fluid” like many suppliers sell. 
 

they call it that because it very well will destroy the printhead, so you are using it as a “ well if it works…” with no expectation that it will. 
 

All in all, the printhead can’t handle the strength of cleaner required to immediately clear these clogs in our usage without damaging the head itself, that’s why if it doesn’t work or progress with mild cleaners over time or it isn’t clearly apparent it is helping, it’s usually a lost cause. 
 

I know looking for a magic solution is ideal and would save thousands, but other than a learning experience it’s already been done from well equipped facilities and the end result is mild cleaners or “ last resort” fluid( which again will vary on ink type). You just can’t deteriorate pigment B without also doing the same to the printhead. 
 

the real answer to the savings is proper care and maintenance. When you mess up, it’s usually a lost cause and a learning experience. 
 

 

remember, piezo crystals that control and actuate the ink flow rely on the ink flow to cool them. That’s why printing ( not cleaning) with clogged nozzles can and will damage them. It’s also why if you have a specific nozzle ( like one spot in a nozzle check) consistently giving you trouble, it’s because it’s weakened- which is unrecoverable long term and will keep coming back if everything else checks out. 
 

I wish you luck, I recommend testing in-use but learning/testing hands on  is always a positive. 
 

happy printing and I hope your original purpose of your program does well. 


 


 

 

Edited by johnson4
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Yet another update. I'm officially going mad :)

So, this is a closeup pic of a white only print, made at 1440x720:
image.thumb.jpeg.41aa3df6c34222116747cf59a61c1e81.jpeg

It kinda remembers the stripes seen in the previous 1440x1440 picture.
The "good news" is that's not preventing me from using it: although not solid, the stripes are close enough to still provide proper underbase.
Also, this pic is right after printing, you can see it's still wet. After giving time to evaporate a little, stripes are far less noticeable.
The issue would eventually be only in case of a white only print, which in this case I'd have to perform at full resolution.

And finally, it is still doing this on white only, colors are fine. So again, no issues about feeder or media, otherwhise that would just happen to everything

But you can see what's driving me crazy here: now there are new ink, new dampers and new printhead. If I try to think from a mechanical point of view, I really cannot imagine what else could be causing this. Really, could it be software?

The white has stripes, but is consistent. No fades. Which to me means there are no flow issues. Previously I could have imagined a clogged nozzle, or perhaps a clogged hole in the printhead's injector pin. But not now, being it completely new.
Same goes for dampers: in the event of flow problems, I would expect a consistent "fade out" of white, not a consistent pattern of lines.

It is like some nozzles (and always the same ones) are receiving the command to drop a little more (or less) white than others.
It might be pretty complicated to debug at this point. Could it REALLY be software related?

What I have here is a genuine copy of acrorip 10.1.
Honestly, I don't even know how much of the "print setup" is handled by the RIP and how much (if any) by the L1800 driver. I can just say I changed nothing in settings, AFAIK.
A way could be to test print with something else, but sadly in past I instealled cadlink to test and now, even by trying to remove and reinstall it, it says that my trial is expired. I'm surely not going to purchase it just for the sake of a whiteprint test.

Any idea about how I could perform it in any other way? I know it might sound strange, but considering all of the new components in place I can hardly imagine any other mechanical reason....

----------------------- ANOTHER UPDATE ------------------------

I leave all I wrote on top because it's still valid. But whilte thinking at other tests, I just thought at another one. Interesting results.
So, Acro allows also to select which white channels to use. Here's a shot:

image.thumb.png.e1d4edf28dfd3af29e34d11b815fe8eb.png

So, I tried to print a small white strip by using only one each time. Results:

image.thumb.png.ea9bf05820996d995d42cdd33016d685.png

W - O -A - H !!!!

IUn some way, this is interesting but also very very VERY fristrating.
On the left is channel 1 only. On the right, channel 2.
So, it looks like the real issue happens on channel 1. The reason why it is still good enough when fully printing is because channel 2 provides a better solid base.
So, channel 1 being the issue kinda causes the visible stripes because it "patterns" them first.

Still the question remains, and now is even more complicated: again with new ink, dampers and printhead, how on hell the same channel (at this point I'm assuming this is the same thing happening before) could do somehting similar?

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Addendum: as another quik test, I performed again the channel test by swapping the white dampers.
Again, stripes were on channel 1 only, channel 2 was fine. But as the dampers were inverted, this SHOULD mean dampers are ok.
Thinking at the printhead... possible, but strange. It's NEW! And even in case, how many chances of it shyowing the very same issue experienced with the previous one?

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Another addendum: although it's the 5th time in a week, I also performed another printhead cleaning. After that, both channels were back to normal.

So the revisited puzzling question is WHY it happens only on channel 1, and why so fast.

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Ink- Your ink system. 

 

Did you clean the ink tanks? The white ink settles and creates a sludge at the bottom of whatever it is in. I just went through this with both my my machines. 

 

It's enough to kill a brand new head, or at least make it do this. 

 

I had to flush my lines, and in your case you would need to clean your ink tanks, and then reload and do it again. I had to manually ( gently) clean the head because the white pigment sludge had filled up the damper and went into the head. 

 

Everything is peachy. 

 

Sounds like it is likely the ink tank/ink lines at this point. 

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In general I'd agree. But aside from new printhead, new dampers and new ink, when I loaded this all I ALSO did wash completely the ink tank.
I tried to take a picture of it: one from the side to show it rotated, an one from the top

1669650943335.thumb.jpg.daca172b2736088197ee9a4fd87913c3.jpg1669650943319.thumb.jpg.e24ed96a15136e0cfd752def69160d69.jpg

as you can see (kinda) there really is no bottom sludge. It was there before cleaning and flushing, obviously. But not now

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Also, both dampers takes the white from the same tank. Once more, the curious thing is still why it happens on one channel only. If debrees, I'd expect a little to happen on both, while today's test shows a huge difference between channel 1 and 2

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3 hours ago, redna379 said:

Also, both dampers takes the white from the same tank. Once more, the curious thing is still why it happens on one channel only. If debrees, I'd expect a little to happen on both, while today's test shows a huge difference between channel 1 and 2

Interesting. 
 

well that doesn’t leave much left to go from,  maybe an air leak for that channel. 

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I do want to point out, 5 head cleans in a week isn't that much. Generally I do about 3-4 a day. 2 to get going, and 1-2 throughout the day as needed.  When I change dampers, I usually do 5-8 strong cleanings depending on to remove the air from the system. whatever it takes to fully remove the air from the system. That is after I prime the dampers.

 

Your head cleans should be based from the nozzle checks you do, and printing with clogged/blocked nozzles can and does damage the head relatively quickly. Nozzle checks are the #1 way of determining the condition of the entire thing and helps break down where the problem is from one nozzle check to the next. I do not see any of that posted.

 

So for example, if you changed the dampers, did 1-2 head cleans and that was that- you very likely didn't pull all the air out of the system, allowed air to remain in there and could potentially damage the new printhead again. running the WIMS doesn't do that for you entirely. 

 

When you have a shared capping station, like this machine likely has, it will pull from the easiest flowing location first. Air can act like a " block" and then that channel doesn't actually get flushed/purged as you would think, leaving an issue like this as well. with individual tanks it makes it obvious, with a shared ink tank it isn't and easily not noticed- which can make or break the whole situation. 

 

So for example, On my machine it shares 2 channels per " capping pad". If one channel is clogged, and the other isn't, it's going to pull from the easy channel more, if not entirely. However, if there is an issue, it will suck the one channel with no/poor flow from the other,  when removed from vacuum it will suck air right back up into the head of the slower flowing/no flowing channel if the ink isn't flowing properly. If it sits at all, high potential for a damaged printhead. If any of air is getting in around the dampers, connections, or anywhere else at all, it will continue to do so without properly sucking the ink. Without a seal, there is not going to be a good flow of ink. I have on numerous occasions, especially with aftermarket dampers ran into this. 

 

Air is the enemy here and making sure it's entirely gone is the #1 thing to do all around to run and operate these machines effectively and efficiently. 

 

It's very likely something within the message, something that was looked over, because if it were all on point, it would work if the printhead is new and not a dud. 

 

on a side note, there is a white layer on the bottom of that ink tank, if it's there, it will also be in the ink lines. With a printer like this I had to physically shake the tank all the time or else this happened, and what you described. it can begin after one day. 

 

The #1 thing I have found to be the reason for someone having no issues, to a ton of issues that new parts don't fix is going to be the accumulation of the white ink because it's not properly taken care of. 

Edited by johnson4
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