Piezography K7/P2 Gloss Printing Tips

All Piezography ink tones are now compatible with a wide range of matte, rag, gloss and even specialty media. Carefully designed printing curves are programmed with specific ink limits and unique ink shade curves to perfect the output for a specific printer model/family, ink and paper combination. The best results are obtained using a curve that is specific to the printer model/family, Piezography ink, and paper you’re using, though sometimes a curve for a similar paper or ink will provide acceptable results. We provide several pre-made printing curves, as well as make high quality custom Piezography curves for anyone looking to print on different papers, or with a unique ink set, etc…

Over the years, we have fine-tuned Piezography gloss printing, and have a few helpful tips to share with the community.

Desktop printers: leading + ending edge micro-banding
Due to paper feed with desktop model printers (1400, 1430, R1800/800, R1900, R2000, R2400, and R2880), there MUST be 1" minimum margin on the beginning and ending edge of the paper, for smooth print quality. If the image area is within the beginning or end 1" of paper, micro-banding will be present in this area. This applies to both gloss and non-gloss printing with QuadTone RIP, and does not effect pro model printers.

Drying Piezography Gloss Prints:
When printing Piezography gloss, we often use a hair dryer on high, held about 8-12" from the paper, waving it back and forth over the whole printed surface several times to dry the ink.

Don’t hold the hair dryer too close to the print, or hold it over the same area for too long because the heat may effect the paper and/or print surface. Using a hair dryer is also handy because it “dusts” the fragile print surface without touching it, so if a piece of dust settles on the print (which you don’t want to become a permanent piece of the print, sealed under the GO coat- and don’t want to smudge the fragile ink surface with your finger) the hair dryer will help blow it off without possibly damaging the fragile uncoated print surface. Hold a print vertical against a wall to blow dry it (unless it’s too big to hold that way), to help any dust fall off.

Generally, with a letter size print, we will blow dry it as explained above both horizontal and vertical directions, for about 30 seconds. So, for a 11x17 or 13x19 size print, we will generally dry for about a minute, and longer for bigger size prints. The same drying procedure can be done after printing GO, before packing, framing or shipping a print.

If you don’t blow dry your glossy prints before GO coating, they can be air dried for several hours. If using this method, keep in mind that the uncoated glossy print surface is fragile and the print can be ruined if anything comes into contact with it, so nothing should be placed on the uncoated print, and care must be taken when handling, moving or laying prints out to dry. Dust can settle on prints while drying, so they should be “dusted” before printing the GO layer- either by vertically blow drying or holding the sheet by a corner and shaking it several times to remove dust.

How to print the Gloss Overprint layer:

  1. Print an image with the K7 or P2 glossy curve specific to the printer model and paper you’re using (even better results will be obtained using a curve specific to the ink you’re using as well). For the best print quality, select 2880dpi and uni-directional speed.
  2. Dry the print either for a few hours air-drying or a few minutes of blow drying as described above.
  3. Make a small (1x1” is fine for all paper sizes), pure white, 30ppi image in Photoshop and open in QuadTone RIP or the QTR Print Tool (as you normally print thru QuadTone RIP).
  4. Carefully feed the printed sheet back into the printer and print the white square thru QTR by selecting the GO curve at 1440dpi and bi-directional speed to print an even layer of GO over the entire sheet.

The printer will print an even layer of GO over the maximum printable area of the paper size you select (as per the printer manuals, generally a .13" top/side, and .58" bottom margins apply). If you need the entire sheet to be evenly GO coated wihout an unprinted margin, print on a bigger sheet and cut it down. The Gloss Overprint layer gives the entire print a beautiful and protective glossy finish, as well as eliminates any bronzing and gloss differential.

Our generic GO curve was designed after testing a range of different GO amounts on several glossy papers. This generic GO curve works very well on a wide range of glossy and semi-gloss papers, but some can benefit from a slightly lower or higher amount of GO. Some papers also work better with the standard GO curve, but printed at 2880dpi instead of the standard 1440dpi. The GO curve can be edited to change the amount of GO printing, by following the curve editing procedure on page 20 of the new Piezography manual: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?130-The-NEW-Piezography-Manual

Leading edge for glossy printing:
If a printer detects printed area, it will give a paper feed error (we don’t understand why it won’t let you print over a print if you wanted to). Using a leading sheet can also be helpful if the image margins are small, to avoid the printer’s paper feed roller from rubbing on the fragile print surface.

There are two ways to get around this: you can either leave about 2-3 inches at the top margin, or what we usually do is attach a 2" strip of paper (a scrap of the same paper so it’s the same width and thickness) to the leading edge of the sheet (using painter’s masking tape attached on the back so it sticks, but doesn’t tear the paper when removed), then make a custom page size when printing to include the extra length. This is also a helpful way to avoid unprinted top and bottom GO margins on the paper.

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Although the publication date says May 2013, I have a hunch that these have recently been rewritten, in line with a general updating of the documentation on this site.

This is all good advice. Can I add a few things from my experience?

. You can avoid the micro-banding in the first and last inch when printing the image by using the same sort of lead sheet that you use for GO. The odd thing about this is that I tell QTR in the custom page size that there’s also a trailing sheet, but I don’t use one, because they become detached too easily. And despite it’s absence, I don’t get any micro-banding or any other paper-feed related issues in the last inch. Strange, but very convenient.

. If you’re feeding a print for GO via the standard sheet feeder then you definitely need a lead sheet to avoid the paper feed roller marking the print. I don’t think that 2" is enough - I’ve had problems further out than this. I’d use a 4" lead sheet.

. However, if your manual feed slot (front or rear) will accept the printed image for GO and print without complaints, then you can dispense with the lead sheet entirely for the GO coat. But these manual feed slots can be fussy. And as this help page observes, some printers will want a nice wide white margin at the beginning of the page. In which case I’d use the sheet feeder and lead sheet, as a detached lead sheet is harder to get out from the manual feed path (a good reason to use a longer rather than shorter one).

. Not only do you need to use a good quality painter’s masking tape to attach a lead-sheet, but I’d also recommend that you use a low-tack version. On gloss this comes off more easily and it’s essential on matte if you take the advice in my first dot point and use a lead sheet to avoid micro-banding in the printed image.

. If you take this advice and use a lead sheet for printing both the image and GO, then do not use a hair-dryer to dry the print while the lead sheet is still taped on. Either air-dry only, or remove the tape and lead sheet for drying and then reattach. You can guess why.