Epson 3000 User Issues.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Epson 3000 is a very old model (over a decade) while Epson released a new printer in 2011 called the R3000 and more recently the T-3000. The R3000 and T-3000 is not an updated 3000. The drivers are completely different and the printer is different, as well. New AccuRIP purchasers will not have availability to the old model Epson 3000 as it has been discontinued. The R3000 is currently not supported, as well.
Old Model 3000 Users::
The key to success with the 3000 is in the "FILM". Using a better quality "waterproof film" and printing at 720x720 with a well maintained 3000 will grant proper results with minimum "dot gain".
Use a waterproof film. Non waterproof film will streak! If that is what you are seeing it's not the print head (if it's clear), it's the non waterproof film that so many used with other RIP programs. The reason it "looked like it was working" was because the printer and the RIP were pounding down huge amounts of ink filling in the "sins" and actually delivering less than great films.
Using AccuRIP and a proper film for that model printer will improve your films greatly. Better films make better prints.
It's amazing just how many screen printers still operate an Epson 3000, a printer that is "half" as old as the entire history of personal graphics computing. In such a fast-paced industry users struggle to hold onto this out of date printer and many for the "wrong reasons".
The Epson 3000 has a undeserved following based primarily on misinformation. Yes, it "was" a good printer in its day (1990's), but there are much better printers available and many at a very low cost. Yes, we love the fact that the cartridges do not have computer chips and that the printer is "dye" based ink system, all positives for sure, but it's slow, out of date with almost every modern OS, with no new drivers available, and out of date connections. Its time may have come for retirement. We don't sell hardware so this is not a sales pitch - just good advice.
However, those that love the printer are loyal to it so lets discuss what it is, what it can do, and what you should not expect.
In a day when the screen print industry was "grabbing" at any technology available coming from outside our industry, inkjets and RIP software alike were sold to end users under a myriad of disguises and reasons. As time marched on some users did not grow with technology and are still using this very outdated technology.
There were a lot of Epson 3000 and 1520 printers sold with RIP software that just did not deliver quality results, but with nothing to compare the results to they were accepted as "quality". That is where we begin.
The Epson 3000 for what it is:
The printer only supports a 64k buffer for accepting data which means if you run the printer at a resolution higher than 720x720 you enter into what Epson calls "Super Slow Mode". A single film 17"x15" can take well over 15 minutes to print. Ouch.
The Epson 3000 is a "high saturation dye printer" with a picoliter rating of 18. Compare that to a modern inkjet that has a picoliter rating as low as 3 (lower is higher quality) and we can see just how the 3000 stacks up.
As you raise the resolution of this printer, you further increase the distortion of the result. Films printed by a RIP that was designed to "pound down" ink on a printer that is already high saturation just results in films that "suffer" from massive DOT GAIN. "The cleaner your films the cleaner your prints" so you can now see that your "best results" are just "average at best".
Its not all bad:
AccuRIP is known to be the finest RIP available to screen printers and that is no accident. It earned that status by producing "superior" results with an easier and faster workflow. We at Freehand are not "afraid of our clients" and their request for assistance and knowledge.
AccuRIP makes the 3000 print the best it can and this is how:
- We only support the 3000 up to 720x720 dpi. This makes the printer fast and accurate. When the 3000 is in proper working shape with no clogs or dead nozzles, it prints excellent films, but ONLY at 720x720.
- Using an inferior film will cause "streaking". We get this call a lot with users switching from other RIP software that "cranked" up the ink lay down so much that it "filled in" the sins of the printer. This kept the user from calling for tech support, using way too much ink and distorted the end result.
In order to use AccuRIP and improve your films you must use a good quality "waterproof" film and you will immediately see all the benefits and abilities.
AccuRIP engineers can easily open up the higher resolution for the 3000 as others do, but we are dedicated to delivering only the finest results for our clients and that sometimes means taking a higher road. AccuRIP is designed to make your printer, your films, your prints and your business better by doing things right. We hope your business is as important to you as it is to us. Come join us and enjoy your business again.
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