Maintaining your large format printer ensures that jobs are completed on-time and prints are of the highest quality.
Updated: 6/14/2018 – Your wide format printer will only work well if it is properly maintained. When you rely on your printer for your business, regular maintenance is vital. It is the kind of thing best done preventatively and regularly, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.
To keep your wide format printer functioning well for a long time to come, follow these tips for print head cleaning and more. You will also find a well-maintained printer makes better prints!
Supplies for Printer Maintenance
Have these supplies in stock for maintenance and repair. Each one plays an important role.
- Gloves: Wear latex or nitrile gloves when performing printer maintenance. It is important to avoid direct contact with chemicals such as ink and cleaning solvents.
- Eye Protection: Similarly, safety goggles protect your eyes. Just in case printer ink or other solvents splash, you will be glad you have the coverage!
- Shop Wipes / Industrial Wipes: Paper towels are a must-have for quick clean up of any spills or messes.
- Print Swabs: Print head swabs are one of the most important supplies to have on hand. These are used to clean the hard to reach areas of your wide format printer. When you use print swabs you can extend the life of your print heads and improve print quality.
- Print Head Wipes: Use a polyester, lint-free wipe, with attributes similar to those of cleanroom wipes. Use these to clean print heads and other sensitive materials and areas of the printer.
- Spray Bottle: Use this for careful, accurate spraying of your cleaning solvent. You should always refer to your specific printer manual for acceptable cleaning solvents.
Referring to Your Manual
The manual for your printer will give you specific instructions for maintenance. This includes how often you should clean and maintain your printer. It will also let you know which supplies and cleaners suit your specific machine. While some of these products are universal, like safety goggles and gloves, others will change with your printer make and model.
Other Maintenance Considerations
Factors like the environment in which your printer lives impact maintenance and cleaning. Think about the operating temperature and humidity — higher or lower levels can change your printer’s efficiency. The cleanliness of the area also matters.
Have questions regarding this topic? Leave a comment below to start the discussion.
Mactac has announced improvements to their line of PERMACOLOR ColorGard LUV overlaminates. Already considered to be some of the best laminating films on the market, the improvements elevates this product into an even highly level of performance. ColorGard LUV films offer protection from abrasion, moisture and other potentially damaging effects in both indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, as an added benefit these films enhance the vibrancy of the graphic.
Among the new improvements are:
- Increased outdoor durability up to 5 years
- Color shift resistance
- ColorGard LUV films now have unmatched superior adhesion and wet-out over challenging UV inkjet prints
- Photographic prints
- UV screen printed images
- Latex, Solvent, Eco-solvent and Water-based Inkjet AND especially UV inkjet prints
Why Use High-Performance Laminating Films?
Laminating are used to protect printed graphics from light, dirt and moisture both indoors and outdoors. It should also be known that not all laminating films are created equal. Low-grade laminating films can bubble, crack, warp, and cause graphics to fade. A high-performance overlaminate, such as PERMACOLOR ColorGard LUV by Mactac offers UV protection, superior flexibility/conformability, superior adhesion, long-term protection, and graphic enhancement.
Learn more about PERMACOLOR LUV Overlaminates
Pickup trucks are used across a wide variety of service and construction based businesses. Unfortunately, very few of these businesses utilize their pickup trucks as an effective advertising tool. Well-executed vinyl wraps grab the attention of viewers and provide continuous marketing your business, as long as the vehicle is visible to the public.
Here are several effective pickup truck wrap designs:
Reflective vinyl is an effective material for a variety of signage applications including street signs, vehicles, and windows. It’s available from a variety of manufacturers such as Mactac Graphic Products and 3M with each type offering a variety of unique reflective qualities. Here are several effective examples of reflective vinyl:
We gathered several creative examples of unique and unconventional wrap applications:
Graphics that give the illusion of anything more than 2D are becoming more common in the advertising industry. The reason behind this is simple – anything that causes a double take is effective marketing. 3D vehicle wraps are wraps that make the viewer believe there is something more going, either inside or out of the vehicle. We gathered some images of what we believe are the most effect 3D vehicle wrap designs.
1. Corrugated metal for an industrial look. Use as a full wrap pattern or for accent areas. Seamless continuous vector pattern. Image ID: ISS_0956_00060 via SignElements
2. Seamless wood pattern – Use as a full wrap pattern or for accent areas. Seamless continuous vector pattern. Image ID: ING_19051_00756 via SignElements
3. Space / Galaxy Wrap – Full wrap template. Image ID: f-wraps0012 via SignElements
4. Corroded Metal Industrial Wrap – Full wrap template. Image ID:f-wraps0019 via SignElements
5. Blue Lightning Bolts / Electrical Wrap – Full wrap template. Image ID:f-wraps0010 via SignElements
6. Seamless Black & White Floral Pattern – Seamless vector pattern can be used as a full wrap or as an element to a design. Image ID: 02B37591 via SignElements
Architectural wraps utilize space on walls, floors, and windows a create a dramatic visual experience. They can be an especially effective form of advertising and an attention-grabber for retail settings, trade shows, restaurants, museums, exhibits, and residential spaces. The following images provide examples of how architectural wrapped are being used to transform interior spaces.
Reflective vinyl comes in a variety of options and is used for a wide range of applications. It can be conformable for use on vehicles or permanent and durable, which is ideal for municipal/traffic signage. Regardless of the use, a sign maker should have a couple of options (for all applications) in stock when the need arises.
For those interested in a general purpose reflective vinyl, we recommend MACmark 5700. It’s a flexible reflective film that is easy to install and ideal for a multitude of applications. This engineering grade vinyl provides wide-angle reflectivity of incident light. MACmark 5700 series features an embedded layer of microscopic glass beads with high optical quality. A metallized back provides the mirror surface for reflection. This highly flexible film can be applied on flat, curved or corrugated surfaces and on rivets. MACmark 5700 can be screen printed or cut with a digital plotter.
School bus Graphics
Justin Pate of the Wrap Institute instructs how to wrap the side of a sedan with one horizontal panel, using hinges.