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Why is Print Quality so low?

Discussion in 'Roland' started by rexburgvinyl09, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. rexburgvinyl09

    rexburgvinyl09 New Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    I'm printing small, but very detailed prints, and I'm getting pretty frusterated. Are these dots supposed to be visible? It's printing at a 720 resolution, and from what I've heard, no dots should be visible at all.

    I'm using a 2006 Roland SP-300V. I've downloaded the correct printer profile for the vinyl I'm using too.

    Is there something wrong with the printer? Should the dots be this visible? Any suggestions?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2012
  2. toomeycustoms

    toomeycustoms Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    Nor Cal
    I run into the same problem on my SC-545ex. You can try to slow the head speed down, but it probably won't solve it. What vinyl are you using? I usually use Oracal 3164 for promo decals and have found that when I switch to 3165RA the graininess lessened, but was still noticeable to me at least.
  3. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

    May 1, 2012
    Miami, FL
    What dpi was your design when you sent it to rip?
  4. rexburgvinyl09

    rexburgvinyl09 New Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    The design was at 800 dpi. When I switch to 1440 resolution, it looks just like 720--no real difference. I just called Roland and they said it looks like my heat settings may be low.

    They were at 45. I'm going to work up to 50 and see if that makes a difference. Any other thoughts?
  5. mharfouch

    mharfouch New Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Looks like how I print. Except I print on paper, with water based inks, especially for sublimation purposes. My initial thoughts say this isn't a printer based issue, but a profile based issue in your RIP. Have you ever been able to print without those dots?
  6. john1

    john1 Guest

    I have this issue but not as bad as what your having.

    I have my printer heat on 112 and 106 dryer. I also made sure I did the bi directional calibration and I had to slow down the print speed in versa works to like 700 to get better results. There's always some grain or dots with this type of printing but it shouldn't be that bad.

    Matte vinyl prints smoother than gloss also.
  7. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    That output sucks. No wonder you're frusterated.

    Have you tried any other profiles?
  8. rexburgvinyl09

    rexburgvinyl09 New Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies. Yes, Roland suggested that I try their GCVP Glossy profile. He said to set it to uni-directional and up the heat. I upped the printer heat as much as I could, to 50.

    Honestly, I don't think changing the heat made any difference. But the uni-directional printing made a pretty good difference.

    Next things I'm considering are 1) try Roland vinyl with a Roland profile, and 2) lower my dry heat to see if the ink has better obsorption.
  9. kussione

    kussione Member

    Nov 1, 2012
    Hi, did you try to print with variable Dots?
    Which Rip do you use?
  10. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    Your nozzle check is OK? I get similar result if I run a week and get some lint on the heads, after a manual cleaning it resolves back to good quality. It also looks like that if I have wrong media profile or contaminated media, for example from hand/fingerprints, dust etc.
  11. Tizz

    Tizz Member

    Dec 10, 2011
    I had a similar experience until I experimented with different profiles and settings.

    I'd personally keep the heat settings to 42 (platen) & dryer (46). Try using the Avery mpi 1900 icc profile. Bi-directional printing, halftone fine dither and colour management (max impact). I use these settings and profile when printing onto white glossy vinyl. Both on avery, oracal and some unknown white gloss vinyl. The colours are brilliant and popping.
    Drying time I adjusted to 3 mins after printing before cutting.

    What media are you printing on?
  12. genericname

    genericname Active Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    "Adjust the heat" is such a cop-out answer for an issue like this. That grain is well defined, placed precisely, and doesn't create any banding. Unless your element is completely dead, it's not a heating issue.

    More than likely you haven't selected the nominal diffusion or dither pattern for your output. Looks like a Random Dot or KF Diffusion pattern. What RIP are you using, and what are your available options, as far as diffusion or dither pattern are concerned?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  13. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Could be as simple as the color you are printing. Certain greens and blues can be a PITA to "hit" with CMYK and they will never be perfect. We went through this to the extent I had our tech stop by to check the printer. He took one look at the green we were working on, and said that is as good as it will ever get.
  14. FrankW

    FrankW Very Active Member

    Oct 19, 2008

    As soon as you print a color which is not 100% of a Process color or a 100%-mixture of a process color, the printer needs to dither the color. And that will lead to a visible screening as shown in your sample.

    How fine the dithering is depends on how fine the printer can print, and how fine the RIP calculates the dithering. Some RIP's have different dithering modes, some of them target fast calculation and output, others fine detailing. VersaWorks is not really well known for its fine dithering, but if you have a newer version you can try "Error Diffusion".

    Of course there can be technical reasons for the dithering looks more bad than it should ... wrong calibration of the bidirectional printing or printheads, nozzle deflection, mechanical malfunction ... but if someone tells you that you do not see dots when the resolution is 720dpi than he is wrong.
  15. crystalcoastgraphics

    crystalcoastgraphics Member

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Carolina
    I am not real familiar with a sp-300v but I know when our 540 has produced images that were grainy like that we had accidentally left the print head hight up. Is that a possibility?
  16. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    If switching to uni makes a big difference it could be your bidirectional calibration. Try adjusting that.
  17. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    My SP-300V has never printed grainy such as the image you posted.
    I have always printed from Versaworks using the Roland profiles with Orajet Inkjet Media.
  18. splizaat

    splizaat Very Active Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Pac NW
    Does anyone actually run 120F on Oracal vinyls?? Anything over 104 curls the vinyl so bad it's all bubbled up between pinch rollers. No idea how you guys are doing it.
  19. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011
  20. john1

    john1 Guest

    Mine maxes out at 112, How are you getting 120? lol

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