Thanks for your input Harry and Neil. Let me clarify the flushing questions you brought up.
As per the Piezography ink installation information we have available in many refillable cartridge instructions and other Piezography support pages, flushing color inks with PiezoFlush before installing Piezography inks isn’t absolutely necessary- but highly recommended. Pro model printers with internal ink lines and dampers can often have color ink particle build up in the dampers, which leaches out slowly as ink passes thru. The amount of particle build up depends on the age and use history of the printer- lack of shaking cartridges and not using the printer on a regular basis can actually speed up particle build up, and it’s less of an issue with a brand new printer that has only been used with color inks for a short time.
Even if the printer is new and there’s not much particle build up in the dampers, you will still need to do an Initial Fill or 3-4 Power Clean Cycles (depending on the printer model and available cleaning cycles) to purge color ink and get Piezography ink from carts to the print head, then you still may have some slight color staining (yellow is always the worst for some reason- which will show up in the highlights), and have to print some purge pages or do a few more cleaning cycles to get rid of the color staining. If there is a lot of color pigment build up in the dampers, it can slowly leach out- so after doing cleaning cycles, it may look good one day, then more color leaches out while the printer sits unused, and the next print session shows color staining again, resulting in wasted prints/ink/paper, and having to do more cleaning cycles, with the uncertainty of when the color tint will be gone for good.
To help avoid color staining and wasting valuable ink/paper/prints/time, we recommend using a second set of carts filled with PiezoFlush solution to flush color ink from the internal ink system. PiezoFlush is specially formulated to be strong at breaking up particle build up and clogs, but is gentle enough to use as long term storage fluid for when the printer won’t be used for a period of time, to prevent settling pigment and drying ink which can cause clogging.
PiezoFlush is stronger/quicker and less expensive to use for flushing color ink from your Pro model printer than Piezography ink, and as Neil pointed out- the flush carts are helpful to use again in the future if you need to go away or will not use the printer for a while. PiezoFlush is the best solution to safely store your printer, and allows you to quickly reinstall inks and resume printing when you’re ready (without dealing with frustrating and often expensive issues related to settled pigment and drying ink in the pint head- such as incorrect output density, particle build up in the lines and dampers, and clogged print head channels). Considering the cost of the equipment and materials (and how valuable your time is), we think it’s best to keep printers in top working condition and advise people to follow our recommended workflows to produce optimal and consistent print quality, as well as get the longest life and best results from their printer.
My understanding is that it is best to do an Initial Fill and suck inks thru the head/dampers/lines than print large volumes of ink from each channel to flush/charge ink, because printing uses the Piezo crystals to push, which have a limited life of the number of ink droplets printed, and cleaning/initial fill cycles suck ink thru using the pump. Saying that, I have used the printing method in the past to change 1-2 individual ink channels in our 7880/9880s’ to avoid wasting ink in the other lines, and had no problems at all (though don’t know the long term effects yet), but whenever changing an entire set of carts, flushing a printer or changing the Piezography ink tone in any of our pro model printers, I always do an initial fill cycle (which can conveniently be done right from the printer’s control panel with our 7880/9880s’).
Another way to avoid color staining and flushing between color/Piezography inks would be to install the Piezography inks and do an initial fill cycle, then install fresh dampers to remove the color particle build up, and a few more regular cleaning cycles should be printing pure Piezography ink.
Neil- Wells told me that our European dealer will likely not have Piezography inks available until the beginning of 2014, so if you want to get fresh inks before then, you will want to order directly from us.
As soon as I hear back from Roy regarding workflows for printing thru Calibration Mode with QTR Print Tool and various Mac OSs’, I will update the instructions on our site. As I haven’t yet used 10.8, I’m not positive- but expect you’d open the inkseparation or a QTR flush image with either Adobe RGB or Untagged RGB embedded profile and NO color management thru the Print Tool, then select Calibration mode as normal in the QuadTone RIP window.
I am interested to hear more about your experience with Boot Camp, as I haven’t yet tried it out.
Please share your experiences, let me know if you have questions, or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana