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Re: [BKARTS] Registration of Ink-jet back-up

Leonard wrote:

The feed mechanism on inkjets is jerky at best and makes registration in backing-up, wether printing a two sided form or backing-up on a second run, almost impossible.

I printed the Deluxe edition of American Decorated Publishers' Bindings 1872-1929 on an Epson R1800 ink jet printer, which does a gorgeous job with an UltraChrome ink set (very durable) CMYKRB,  matte and photo black and gloss optimizcer, 5760 x 1440 dpi.


The trick to proper backing up is not in the paper handling, which is excellent.  It's the paper that I found to be the issue.  I recut every sheet of 13x19 double-sided matte paper to uniform size and configured the output accordingly. Keep in mind that the printer specification is 12.99 inches. Here's one way to get it right: use a program like inDesign to create your page layouts.  THen use your imposition utility to set up your double sided printing. I had the best results by exporting the book as a PDF, then using PDF Snake to do the imposition, allowing for creep by trial and error. That gave me an imposed PDF for two-sided printing.  Make sure that you are set for how the page will turn for the second side.  I prefer to print landscape and flip head to tail on the printed page, so the same edge of the paper is always feeding in the printer, flipped horizontally.  That edge needs to be square, and the dimension needs to be constant.

I find that the pre-cut inkjet paper is not always square, and the dimension varies, perhaps from the top of a stack in the guillotine to the bottom, or maybe not always flush against the back fence, wherever they do the final cutting.  That's why I cut it one sheet at a time on the board shears.

You also need to adjust the side guide on the paper feed so the paper always registers against the fixed edge.  If there is play in the paper feeding it might not go in straight or in the right position.  Once you get all the adjustments down it should be stable and you can print however many you need.

The alternative is to go with digital offset, like a an HP Indigo 5000.  That also does a beautiful job, but again the paper has to be perfect.  For that machine you can't cut the paper afterwards, and they make paper specially for it.  The problem there is that paper dust from the cutting will mess up the internals of the machine.  That's the press I used for the Limited Edition of the same book, but not here in my studio--I sent it to Atlanta to be done--no problem because you can upload the file by Internet and they UPS the finished sheets the next day. It's gorgeous printing, but it's only 300 dpi--better than most offset printing (and perfect registration because all the colors are printed off one plate), but nowhere near the quality of the Epson.

If you're printing black and white photos the R1800 is not the best printer--it's really for color work. The K3 inkset produces better prints (using three blacks), on machines like the 2400 or one of the newer or larger ones.

Best regards,

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