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 Post subject: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:09 pm 
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My husband and I recently discovered paper modeling and saw it as a less expensive way of building our models for our trains or just for fun. We at first thought of just having a commercial print shop print out the patterns because we were worried about the models fading over time or moisture getting on them, etc. In doing some research to find out what printer other modlers use, we were still in a quandry. Besides the obvious problems with water soluble ink, there also seems to be problems with the ink coming off the paper as you work on your model and numerous suggestions on how to remedy this. Somewhere along the line Don read about a person that was using and Epson ink jet with pigment ink (not dye ink) and he was really impressed with what the person said. Evidently it does not fade, is oil based so is waterproof, and baiscally the models printed with this type of ink can last up to about 25 years.

We immediately started checking out Epson printers and found that all their printers use this type of ink but were only able to find one model that would print on card stock - the model Workforce 7410. Having had experience with Epson in the past, I knew it was a very good printer, but with one flaw - to keep the printhead from getting plugged you have to use them really frequently. I also knew that their ink is really expensive so cleaning the printhead via the normal cleaning cycle really eats into the ink. I then decided to call Epson to find out if the problem was still there with the newer models and the gal did not say it was, but she also did not deny it being a problem. Next question was could a person clean the print head manually with alchohol and was told that was not recommended. I said that I knew it was not recommended but was it easy or difficult to manually get to the printhead on the newer models and she said it was difficult.

That kinda discouraged me cause I know we will not be printing all the time as we have another printer that is more economical to use as far as ink. I then had the idea to google +printers +"pigment ink" and found out that there are other brands that use this type of ink. Both of our other printers are HP and they were listed on Google so I called them and much to my delight found that both our printers will print on cardstock and also that all HP ink, now days, is pigment! Hooray! :lol: We don't need to buy another printer! But just to be sure I wanted to post here and run it by you guys.

What are your recommendations? Which printers do you use ? What type of ink? Are my experiences or what I have been told valid? Would love to hear from you guys that are much more experienced than us on what you think about printers, ink, and also weights & types of paper that is best to use with this wonderful hobby. :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:06 am 
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This is an age old question of paper models. Many have a favorite. A lot of folks, myself included, would say go for an Epson Workforce 1100. It prints wide format and over 110# stock easily. Unfortunately, it's not a model that is made anymore. I was going to purchase one, but I missed the mark by about a week. I instead got an Epson workforce 545 all-in-one. The downside is that the paper path is U-shaped. But, I've run 110# through with no problems what so ever. It prints in insanely high dpi, and the inks dry in less than 10 seconds (on regular card stock/printer paper). It also has wifi networking and the copy/scan/fax bit. I picked it up for $130, and there are extra high capacity inks cartridges in individual colors as well. I put them in last June, and they're still going strong.

This printer has a programed function that can clean the printer heads itself. The owners manual also says how to do it manually, but I have not had to do this. I found that if you print regularly enough, you don't really need to clean the heads very often.

I hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:05 pm 
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willygoat wrote:
This is an age old question of paper models. Many have a favorite. A lot of folks, myself included, would say go for an Epson Workforce 1100. It prints wide format and over 110# stock easily. Unfortunately, it's not a model that is made anymore. I was going to purchase one, but I missed the mark by about a week. I instead got an Epson workforce 545 all-in-one. The downside is that the paper path is U-shaped. But, I've run 110# through with no problems what so ever. It prints in insanely high dpi, and the inks dry in less than 10 seconds (on regular card stock/printer paper). It also has wifi networking and the copy/scan/fax bit. I picked it up for $130, and there are extra high capacity inks cartridges in individual colors as well. I put them in last June, and they're still going strong.


That is great to know!! Is the 545 a wide format? Do you suppose all the Workfoce printers are made to handle card stock? I know after talking to several people at Epson, none of them even seem to know anything about paper weights and I cannot figure out anyway to find out which of their models do. Tried to talk to tech help, but since I do not own an Epson they will not talk to me.:cry: Anyway, I was thinking that it would be very useful to know that.

We have 3 HPs and all will handle card stocj so was really happy when we were told yesterday that HP now uses piment ink but found out today that is not true exactly. Their Vivera ink is a dye based pigment, which will fade!! So back to having to buy another printer and really hoping to find one that is not an all in one, but if not possible we now know thanks to your post that this model will work and it is certainly inexpensive. **EDITT** Oops, I mispoke, what the HP Tech Rep told my husband was that the black ink was pigment, but that the color was dye based. Also, it is possible that this may vary from model to model. He was referring to a DesignJet 111, we also have an Office Jet 7500W (wide format), but did not ask specifically about that one. The manual for the 111 was what gave him the clue that the 111 used dye based inks and he confirmed it after tech help had told us they were all pigment and my husband came back and told him what the manual said and then he admitted that only the black was pigment. Gees if you can't even get the truth from these companies how does a person ever know what to buy??? He is pretty upset at HP! Now has doubts as to the claim that all Epson ink is pigment.............................................

willygoat wrote:
This printer has a programed function that can clean the printer heads itself. The owners manual also says how to do it manually, but I have not had to do this. I found that if you print regularly enough, you don't really need to clean the heads very often. I hope this helps.


How hard is it to access the printhead to clean it manually? We have mostly used HP's thru the years because they do not have trouble with clogged printheads and if they do all that is needed is a cotton swab and alcohol to solve the problem. :) As long as I can clean the Epson manually it will be fine cause we would only use for models so it would be used sporadically.. Thanks so very much for the infomation you shared! :D

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Cheers! Karen


Last edited by dreamcatcher on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:37 pm 
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The 545 is not a wide format printer. That's the only real downside for me, but since we needed a new all in one, and I can wirelessly print a model (or actual work) from anywhere in the house, it was a no brainer.

The workforce line of printers was designed for home/small businesses to use. They are pretty tough machines. A General rule for paper weights is that if the printer can handle photo paper, it should be able to handle card stock. 65# at least.

In regards to cleaning the print heads, as far as I can tell, you just open the main cover and move the print heads to the middle to clean. I'll have to dig out the manual to get the details. Like I said, the auto clean function works well, so I haven't had to do the full clean.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:34 am 
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This is all very good information. Thanks for posting. I have one little thing to add. One salesman told me that you can increase the longevity of your ink by printing your models all in one batch, as opposed to printing them all separately. He said this is because it uses a lot of ink to clean the heads and it will go through the cleaning cycle each time you use it.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Ooo. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks Scott!


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:23 pm 
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That is great info, I did not realize it went thru the cleaning cycle with each use. I just knew that if it was not used frequently, you had to go thru the cleaning cycle and it does use a bunch of ink, especially if you have to run more than once which is normally the case if it has set a few weeks between uses. To me it would be simpler to clean the heads manually after you use, if you are not going to use again for a while.

I managed to talk to a tech person today at Epson and found out that the only printers they claim can handle more than 67# are the Stylus Pro Wide Format so we have decided to go with the R2880 if they get them back in stock and hopefully they will still have the $100 rebate. :)

After the conversation am unsure as to whether all of their printers use 100% pigment ink or whether some use a dye based with pigment. I do know they have several types of ink and I think that the only models now with the 100% pigment are the "Photo" lines, but not positive, will try to check further on this.

I also found out from him that all the Workforce printers will handle 65#-67#, and I told him I knew of people that had other models that were not wide format and they were handling card stock - he seemed very surprised and I doubt if he believed me. :? I would've chosen to go with one of the models you guys use, but just don't have room for another all in one, since I have the other HP's.

Incidently, if you are checking on any of the Epson models we found that if you download the manual for that model it will usually mention the max paper thickness or at least give you a better clue as to whether it will handle the paper you want to use.

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Live each day like it's your last . . . one day, you'll get it right

Cheers! Karen


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:27 am 
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Location: Central, Alaska
New information on Epson's pigment ink! In the process of checking all this out, I had contacted a professional greeting card company that uses Epson printers, told them what I was looking for and asked if they could give me advice on which printers used 100% pigment ink and would print on 110# card stock. They wrote back and recommended the R2000 and they also told me that only the Epson high-end photo printers (R2000, R2880, R3000, etc.) used 100% pigment ink. They said all the rest of the Epson ink-jets used dye inks! Since they are in the printing business, I am sure they have checked this out thoroughly to know how long lasting their product is going to be.

Again, a contradiction to what the company says to sell printers. I really have come to believe that these sales people probably do not know one ink from another and just give you the sales pitch they are trained to do. I think Epson, like HP, if you can get a tech, you can "pry" the actual type of ink out of him that the model you are interested in actually uses (like that tech telling my husband our model used pigment until Don quoted from the manual for that model then the tech said: Oh, the black is pigment, but the color is dye) I sure don't understand this, but tend to believe the folks at the card company as they have nothing to gain by not telling me the truth.

Also a note of interest, they have a contact that Epson that gave them this information and also he said that of the high end photo printers can all handle card stock, but only the R2000 has a special paper mechanism that is engineered to last longer when using card stock - it is evidently designed to use primarily card stock while the others have a paper mechanism that is designed chiefly for use with photo paper. I thought this was interesting.

Downside is they are pretty spendy, about $500-$600. The folks at the card company suggested we might want to consider a refurbished model if we are not going to be using it in a business situation where we are producing a product day in day out. So that is a possibilty, depending on cost. Have any of you had any experience with refurbished printers??

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Cheers! Karen


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Not refurbished printers, but plenty of other things. I haven't ever really had any problems with refurbished equipment. If it's done by the company, they use the same parts as new ones and generally inspect it to make sure it meets their quality standards. If you can find one for a decent price, I'd say try it.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:52 pm 
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FG 26# stock
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Location: Central, Alaska
willygoat wrote:
Not refurbished printers, but plenty of other things. I haven't ever really had any problems with refurbished equipment. If it's done by the company, they use the same parts as new ones and generally inspect it to make sure it meets their quality standards. If you can find one for a decent price, I'd say try it.


It sure seems like a good deal, even covered by warranty and $349 vs $600 sure doesn't hurt our feelings! :D Now just have to see if they get anymore in. Thanks for the opinion!

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Live each day like it's your last . . . one day, you'll get it right

Cheers! Karen


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Something still confuses me after all we have been told about ink and paper weights. If what the people say about only certain models using pigment ink, then most people are printing these models with dye ink and not having any problems, so why pay the extra to try to get the 100% pigment ink???

Also same is true in regard to paper #, if only certain models will handle card stock, then how are all you guys printing on models that supposedly won't handle card stock??? Guess my conclusion is that maybe the best way is to just try whatever printer a person has and see how the models turn out and if they fade or flake off when working with them. If there is a problem, then look for something different, if not then just stick with what you have. :?

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Live each day like it's your last . . . one day, you'll get it right

Cheers! Karen


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:13 pm 
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One way folks can make dye inks colorfast (at least from glue) is by spraying the pages with a sealant before building. Many use Krylon or similar acrylic sprays. Matte for a flat finish, and the various glosses for shinier models.

The spray seals the ink in, and prevents running from glue, and usually makes over gluing messes easier to clean up.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Printer????
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:06 pm 
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FG 26# stock
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:20 pm
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Location: Central, Alaska
willygoat wrote:
One way folks can make dye inks colorfast (at least from glue) is by spraying the pages with a sealant before building. Many use Krylon or similar acrylic sprays. Matte for a flat finish, and the various glosses for shinier models.

The spray seals the ink in, and prevents running from glue, and usually makes over gluing messes easier to clean up.


Well, that is a good idea! I knew you could probably spray after it was done, but had not thought of spraying before! Thanks!

BTW, I did some more research and came up with the following links, most are regarding ink. If interested they make for informative reading:

Traditional And Digital Print Stability
https://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/webfm_send/313

Inkjet Print Longevity
http://www.timhunkin.com/a115_inkjet%20print%20longevity%20tests.htm

Difference in paper with other links
http://www.clickinks.com/how-to-make-your-inkjet-prints-last.html

Debunking the Myths of Digital Inks
http://www.marrutt.com/support/debunking-the-myths-of-digital-inks.html

Fade Resistance
http://www.marrutt.com/support/fade-resistance.html

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Live each day like it's your last . . . one day, you'll get it right

Cheers! Karen


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