Dotted lines running through digital negative 3880 printer



Hey Guys,
I am getting these fine dotted lines running vertically throughout my digital negative using a 3880 printer. Almost like banding, but the lines are actually dotted.
i am posting a pic. hopefully I can get some input. I adjusted the platen gap to narrow and it seemed to help, but the dotted lines are still there. I am tried changing dpi and both the 1440 and 2880 came out the same. The nozzle check is excellent, so no problems with that. Any thoughts from the forum peeps???


Looks like the infamous pizza wheel marks the 3880 is often noted for, i.e. the small metal gears of the paper transport. I don’t know if your setting the platen to narrow is the best way if that causes the wheels to press harder into the paper/film. Varies with paper surfaces too, and some think pigment ink is also prone to the marks against a dye ink. Maybe try setting the platen wider too?

There are some torsion lift springs in the roller holding those gears/wheels and I’ve often thought if I had a good spring gauge I could lessen the tension which might help with those marks. Probably a lot of trial and error to the point where the paper might not be transported if too weak. That spring tension seems to be the only variable as to why some get the marks and some don’t with same model and paper/ink setup.

I’m curious if the new Canon 17" desktop Pro printer will eliminate this artifact since it is claimed to use some vacuum in the paper transport. Don’t know if the new Epson P800 has alleviated it either.

Good luck.



Thanks Mack,
I tried a wide platen gap and it didn’t make any difference. Maybe a “wider” setting on the platen gap will help. I’m very disappointed, as I was getting venetian blinds on my 7800 using color inks/Burkholder system. i thought this 3880 and piezo inks would be a lot better, at least that’s what the big sell is. Bummed out. I’m not a mechanical gal, but will try adjusting tension I guess. Thanks for the info.


Laura, are you using Pictorico film? I was getting these marks on my negatives when using the wrong media with my R2880.


Hi Laura.

The way I got round the pizza wheel marks on digital negs. with both the 3000 and 3880 was to use the front loader and attach the film to a thin card (A3 card with A4 film, A2 card with 19 x 13 film). Just cut small slots in the card (like mounting snaps in an album) insert film corners and then front feed. You will, of course, need to set margins to get the neg. printed in the right place.