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Metamark MD5 Adhesive Back Clear Vinyl 5yr 30" x 150'
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Tips & Tricks

Printer Set-up

  • Placement should be flat and level to prevent torsion (mechanical stress); this is more important when installing wider printers over 63 inches (1600 mm).
  • Stable environmental conditions: temperature and relative humidity (RH). Most importantly, no dust in the room and not in the same room with any tooling (dusting) machine. *see label for specific handling information.
  • Enough room all around the printer to allow comfortable space to place media rolls, store ink, remove printed jobs, and do daily maintenance.

Platen Temperature

  • We suggest using a temperature setting between 95°F (35°C) and 113°F (45°C) max.
  • Pre-heating setting should be higher than the platen setting (print heat).
  • The print heat should not be used to heat the media, because the media should already be warm.
  • When the ink is bleeding, adjust to a higher temperature in increments of 2°C at a time and make a test print again or lower your ink limiting.
  • Media must be dry to the touch when it reaches a distance of 12 inches (30 cm) from the print heads.
  • A temperature above 113°F (45°C) can cause the print heads to dry out, resulting in clogging.

Print Head Height

  • The distance between the print head and the media may affect print quality.
  • A smaller distance between the print head(s) and the media creates a higher print quality.
  • A greater distance between the print head(s) and the media creates a lower print quality.
  • Head strikes can occur when media has waves or wrinkles caused by uneven tension, heating, or even if the media is older.
  • Printing with wrinkled media will always cause issues, such as uneven or flat colors due to differences in head distance, blurred images, etc. Media flatness is the first necessary step to properly set up the head height. If you must print on wrinkled media, find a compromise between distance and media conditions.

Morning Start-ups

“A good start means a good job...”
When starting up the printer in the morning, you should go through a checklist that includes important verifications. If the printer was shut down and cleaned properly the day before, then start-up will only take minutes.

Check the cleanliness of all parts involved in the cleaning sub-system to be sure that they are running properly. Check the status of the ink and EasyFill PRO: check ink levels, room temperature and humidity. During winter time (colder than 68°F or 20°C), make sure to expose the printer to temperatures of 77°F (25°C) or higher for more than an hour before starting to print to allow the ink to adjust to proper running conditions.

Daily Maintenance

Good daily maintenance is the most important responsibility. A printer that is properly maintained will rarely have problems. Many environmental factors affect your printer, such as dust, air, room heating or air conditioning systems, etc. These factors will determine how often, and to what extent, you will need to perform maintenance.

Inspect and/or clean the following on a daily basis:

  • capping station
  • funnels
  • nozzle plate
  • wipers

Capping Station

Solvent inks are designed to be fast drying. During non-printing times the pigments can dry up around the edge of the capping station. This can cause the capping to close improperly on the print head during non-operational times such as stand-by, cleaning and when the printer is off.

The ink gets to the border via the head itself, by a misfired nozzle, etc.; and it begins to dry there. When the head comes back to the capping station for stand-by, for example, the cap is raised to close and seal the nozzle plate, to prevent ink from drying around the nozzles. When an improper sealing occurs due to pigment build-up, nozzles are likely to be clogged when restarting after the printer has been off. This is usually caused by air leaking into the capping system and drying the pigments. Pigment build-up also prevents effective printing. For example, when pumps are trying to suck ink from the head, if there is build-up, the pumps end up sucking air (totally or partially).

Nozzle Plate

  • From time to time users must check the status of their print head nozzle plates.
  • Most importantly, verify that no dried or gelled ink has built up around the plate edges, as this can cause the capping to work improperly (not seal).
  • When dirty nozzle plates are encountered, clean with swabs that have been plunged into flush.
  • Clean all the edges and the plate, rinsing several times and using as many swabs as needed to prevent dirty ones from spreading gelled or dried ink all around. If nozzle plates are really dirty, you can move the carriage all the way left and remove the printer cover to gently clean plates with Flush-soaked wipes. Be careful and change wipes often.


  • The wiper is an essential part of the cleaning process and its effectiveness. Before, during and after cleaning cycles, print heads are wiped off by a rubber blade. Wipers collect the excess ink from the nozzle plate.
  • Wipers must have a straight edge to work correctly, which requires cleaning three times a day (minimum).
  • End users must pay attention and keep the wiper and the housing clean and free of gelled ink or dried pigment build-up, dust and debris. Clean any gelled ink from the wiper housing.
  • We suggest changing the wiper often. (New wiper = ($3.20), New print head = $1000)
  • Using our special material blades, which are not affected by solvent inks, increases performance.

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