Marks on top of a print when using the Epson 2880



Hi Dana:

I have an intermittent problem that is vexing. On the top edge of an image printed on both 8 1/2 x 11 and 11 x 17 inch paper on the 2880 there is a short “track” that is about 1-2 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide…it is almost where the paper might be grabbed and fed into the machine or while the paper is on the platten. Sometimes the track appears only when using gloss optimizer, and sometimes the defect appears when printing the original image. At times no track appears. I use various papers including Platine, Barytas, and Rag Barytas from both Canson and Epson. The kind of paper does not seem to matter. I have run sheets of plain paper through the 2880 in order to “clean” the part that must be imparting the track, and occasionally will even sacrifice a blank piece of photo paper in an attempt to prevent the defect. Nevertheless, the track appears to occur randomly.

Is the next step to clean the Platen? Will the Epson Platen clean sheets help?




A friend of mine suggested that the marks are caused by the “paper grabber” ( sic)…also suggested was to try the rear sheet loader and/or if using the front sheet loader to press the paper button to load the paper before hitting the print button…I have tried the rear sheet loader previously and found such to be almost impossible to use in a reliable manner. Evidently the Platen is not the cause.


Hi Elliot~

From your explanation, I expect you’re dealing with marks made by the 1/2 circle paper feeder. If so, I believe this thread will give you some helpful information:

Please let me know if this helps, you have questions, or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


I’m having the same problem on my 3880. The difference is that I’m not even making to the GO print as this is happening during the initial print. I read the link and I don’t get it. What good will a leader piece do if the tracks are the entire length of the paper which, in my case, they are. I’m printing Selenium on Type 5 glossy. This was my first print. It was a test print on 13x19 fed from the rear manual station (totally different story as to why I’m using 13x19 for test prints). I put several small images on the sheet. Low and get hold, tracks almost the entire length. For what it’s worth, right before this I sent a piece of old 8.5x11 Epson premium luster through with the Sel Type 5 curve just to see what would happen and to check for residual color (don’t know how to print a test gradient). This piece was also loaded from the rear manual station. No tracks. Picture came out perfect actually except for it having weird contrast due the curve/paper combo. I’m at a loss. I don’t want to waste another sheet on this. Also, will I have to clean the ink off the rollers now? Thanks.


One more thing, not sure if it makes a difference, but the platen gap is set to standard. Thanks.



The leading sheet is not used when printing an ink image, but when printing the GO layer if you leave less than 2" paper margin on the lead edge of your print.
I have carefully inspected many Piezography prints made with our 3880, as well as many prints the customers have made with their 3800/3880 printers on several glossy papers, including JonCone Studio Type 5, and none show even slight traces of pizza wheel marks.

It would be very helpful if you could send me a printed example on Type 5 and Epson Luster paper, as well as an unprinted sheet of Type 5 from your box for me to evaluate. Please notate any information on the Type 5 box, such as batch#, etc… I have included my mailing address below, and will let you know as soon as I have received your samples.

Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

Attn: Dana/testing
17 Powder Spring Rd
Topsham VT 05076


Thanks for the reply. To be clear, I was getting the “tank” tracks and the “pizza wheel” tracks. I increased the width of the platen gap to wide and made sure the prints are coming out with “uni-directional” selected on print tool for both the ink pass and the GO pass. Originally, I had “bi-directional” selected. This seems to have fixed the problem – wider gap and slower print speed (more time for the ink to dry). This is on 13x19. Not sure how 17x22 will play out. I can still see the faintest pizza wheel marks sometimes. However, I have to look VERY close with the print at a very particular angle to the light in the room. I’m fairly confident an observer would not be able to see them. However, I haven’t tried a large print yet. Meaning, I’ve only been trying multiple small images on one sheet of paper. I assume a one large image on the sheet could lend itself to more warp due to more ink spray over a given area. Dana, for now, I’ll hold off on mailing you as I think I may have remedied the problem. Thanks!


Thanks for the update, I’m glad to hear raising the platen gap has resolved/reduced your problem.

Please keep me posted and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile: