…Just a quick update to my earlier Epson Pro 3880 “pizza wheel” replacement dilemma posting. I think I have a reasonable (at least for me) work-around that won’t require removing the “pizza wheels”.
When using the Front Manual Feed Slot on the Pro 3880, the “pizza wheels” that cause the scratching are moved up and away from the paper… they are not used. I trimmed about ½” off the width of the Jon Cone Studio Type 5 (17”x22”) rendering it 16.5”, the same width as A2 sized paper, which is the maximum size the Pro 3880 can use in the Front Manual Feed Slot. With the “pizza wheels” completely out of the way when using the Front Manual Feed Slot, the Type 5 paper now prints great without any “pizza wheel” scratches or gouges.
With the row “pizza wheels” retracted on the post-ink side of the “print zone” (where the ink is applied, where they were scratching the paper right after the ink was applied), there is now just one row of wheels holding the paper as it enters the “print zone”. The rear rollers support the paper as it goes into the “print zone” but there are no “pizza wheels” on the opposite side to keep the paper perfectly flat as ink is applied in the “print zone”. This appears to result in occasional head strikes on the paper while printing. Measuring the thickness of the paper, the “wide” platen gap setting should be sufficient to prevent head strikes.
Keeping the paper supported in a relatively flat position off the back of the printer during Front Manual Feed Slot use appears to prevent head contact using the “wide” platen setting with JCS Type 5 paper. It appears that a small amount of bend (or bend memory) in the paper is enough to cause it to occasionally come in contact with the print head while printing without the second row of “pizza wheels”.
So… bottom line, using the Pro 3880 Front Manual Feed Slot with 16.5” wide paper eliminates the “pizza wheel scratches” on JCS Type 5 paper (and other glossy papers), and supporting the paper off the back of the printer helps prevent the print head from coming in contact with the paper while using an optimal platen gap.
Hope this helps someone else with the Pro 3880 “pizza wheel” blues.