Tips To Avoid Banding issue in large format printers

When extremely thin or thick media is used without informing, banding can occur in Epson Large Format Printers. Learn more About how to Avoid it.

Tips To Avoid Banding issue in large format printers
Tips To Avoid Banding issue in large format printers

In offset and large format printing, Banding can be a problem. It is most commonly encountered while printing the large format for custom banner stands or offset printing for full-color, professional brochures. When gradients are created in Illustrator for output to large format printers, the issue becomes more prevalent.

Additionally, certain color combinations, such as dark blue to light blue, may be more prone to Banding. If you're using Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign to create gradients, you will want to check for Banding before printing your artwork.

Therefore, as an offset and large format printer, we constantly monitor for banding issues before printing. The Banding is the most frequently reported fault by machine operators, but it is also the simplest to resolve.  If you face banding problems, the following tips may assist in reducing or eliminating the issue.

 

What Are Banding And What Are The Causes Of Banding?

Banding is an inkjet printing defect that manifests as horizontal or vertical lines, streaks, or bands in the printed output. Every inkjet printer user will eventually encounter some form of Banding. It is critical to quickly identify the type of Banding that is occurring to resolve the issue.

Causes Of Banding

Banding can be caused by several factors, which includes the following:

  1. Clogged Nozzles

Eliminate the most apparent cause of banding issues first. If you are missing nozzles, make it confirmed via a nozzle check or nozzle test from your printer panel). If your printheads are out of alignment, you will most likely see Banding. Having nozzles out will result in either a white line or an incorrect color line.

Nozzle tests should be performed daily or after an extended period of inactivity. Additionally, the head alignment needs to be checked regularly. Each printer includes test prints to ensure that the nozzle and head are appropriately aligned.

These prints are accessed directly from the control panel of the printer. Additional information about performing nozzle checks and head alignment are present in your printer's user manual or by contacting the printer manufacturer.

  1. Misaligned Print Heads

It is the most common cause of Banding and occurs when the printer's head is not aligned correctly or the printer is physically moved (in a vehicle) to a different location. Additionally, suppose you aligned the head using the software rather than the front of the printer.

In that case, you may still experience Banding, as the software alignment is not as comprehensive as the alignment from the printer itself. In most cases, Banding caused by misaligned heads appears as darker and off-color horizontal lines running through the print.

  1. Media Skewing

If a roll of media is not evenly loaded across its width, the media may skew. It is typically indicated by a hairline underlap on one side of the media and overlap on the other, indicating that the media is not progressing evenly and uniformly through the pinch rollers. It is frequently caused by incorrectly loading the media roll in Epson Large Format Printers.

One method for ensuring proper loading is to pull the media almost to the printer's floor and then backroll it back to its starting point before closing the pinch rollers. It enables the media to be properly seated on the printer.

Skewing can also occur as a result of curled media corners that are not flat. It can happen when media rolls are stored loosely or untaped or when the tape is removed before loading the media onto the printer spindle. The most important thing is that the media must advance evenly through the Epson Large format printers pinch rollers to avoid Banding.

  1. Incorrect Paper Thickness Configuration

When extremely thin or thick media is used without informing, banding can occur in Epson Large Format Printers. On the other hand, Banding from misaligned heads typically appears as darker and off-color horizontal lines running through the print.

  1. Dot gain Banding

Dot gain is a property of printed material that causes it to appear darker than intended. It occurs during the prepress and printing processes, as the diameter of halftone dots increases. This behavior is caused by the optical and physical properties of the media and machines used to prepare the job for printing and the printing process itself.

  1. Vertical Banding

When the heaters are set too high, vertical Banding can occur. This results in "rippling" of the media between the pinch rollers. It changes the distance traveled by the ink (shorter distance traveled by the ink to hit the media between the rollers), resulting in a change in ink density that results in vertical Banding. You can eliminate the ripple effect of vertical Banding by lowering the heater settings.

  1. Overextrusion

Banding is also a result of high printing temperatures, as the higher the temperature, the more liquid the material being extruded is.

  • Reduce the temperature of your Epson Large Format Printers
  • Ascertain that your nozzle is not worn out due to prolonged use or exposure to abrasive materials.
  • Examine your flow rate settings and, if necessary, decrease them.
  • Adjust the retractor's settings so that no additional filament oozes out.

Reducing the retraction distance option can assist in removing these horizontal lines or even missing lines from your prints.

  1. Media Adjustment

Media adjustment, alternatively referred to as media correction, correction factor, feed compensation, and others, refers to the software's and printer's ability to compensate for media advancement in a positive (forward) or negative (backward) direction.

Tiny, hairline white gaps indicate that the media is advancing or moving too far between passes. Small, hairline dark gaps that bleed into one another suggest that the media is not progressing or moving fast enough.

Numerous printers include a print test to determine whether the media is advancing too quickly or slowly enough.

 

Tips to avoid Banding

The following are the most valuable tips which can help you out in avoiding the banding:

  1. Utilize compatible inkjet media with your printer's model and ink type.
  2. Maintain the printheads according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Utilize the print settings and color profiles recommended by the media manufacturer.
  4. Maintain frequent use of your printer to prevent inks from drying out and clogging the nozzles.
  5. Adjust your design and proof the results using Photoshop's tools.
  6. Adjust your new model printer heaters according to the media being used; in most cases, 45° is ideal for drying printing and maintaining media quality.
  7. Attempt to re-calibrate the step size of the Y motor.
  8. Another option is to adjust the print head's voltage and calibration.
  9. Adjust the new model printer's middle heater to 45° and retry.
  10. Replace the ink with a higher-quality, more dependable ink.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to creating an attractive print, the last thing you want to see is banding anywhere in the mix!

Banding occurs in a direct to garment print when the nozzles in the print head do not function correctly during the printing process or when there is insufficient ink flow to the print head. When the printer prints and some nozzles do not fire, small lines appear where the ink should have been. It may not be easy to see in some cases, but it may be pretty visible in others.

Anyone who owns a direct-to-garment printer should know that performing a nozzle check before daily printing is critical. Any nozzles that are missing will be visible in the nozzle check pattern.

If you are cutting nozzles, you should first clean the head and then check the nozzles. Repeat this procedure or follow the tips mentioned above until your printer appears satisfactory and your prints are "Banding" free.