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I have heard of this issue with 1900 based printers - it is a feature of the Epson 1900 to prevent the head from overheating. The issue does not usually arise until heavy usage, however. Four to five shirts is not what I would consider heavy usage. The instances I have heard of have been after a few hours of printing and the cure is to turn the machine off for 20 minutes or so and you can then print for a couple more hours before it comes up again. If it is happening after only 4-5 shirts it could be a malfunctioning thermistor on the print head - how old is the print head? Have you tired replacing it?
This seems like a reasonable explanation. Is it possible to replace the termistor, or is the head replacement the only way?

The printhead is less than a year old and it printed around 1500 shirts.
 

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@DAGuide - the HM1-C is the hybrid machine you mention - and I have never seen this issue with an HM1-C - so I will deduce from this that it is not head related (the K3 is pure 1900)

@skule - I've never found a source for Epson print head "parts" - and I honestly don't even know where it is located on the head :) - I just know it is there and what it does. The number of prints you have on the head is not excessive, but the head could still likely be the culprit.
 

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@skule - I've never found a source for Epson print head "parts" - and I honestly don't even know where it is located on the head :) - I just know it is there and what it does. The number of prints you have on the head is not excessive, but the head could still likely be the culprit.
I have a new printhead and will try it, I also have a printhead that had a bad nozzle when I tried it on my printer so I guess the thermistor is OK. I was hoping you would give me a very simple explanation on how to replace one! :)
I have no choice but to replace it really. I even tried replacing the CR motor, but it was the same. Unfortunately I don't have CR encoder on me to try it, but I will post my further experiences in solving this problem here.
 

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Virtually every case of slow printing I have ever seen is related to data flow or something over heating (printhead or CR motor). Those would be the areas I would concentrate on - and it seems to me that you have eliminated data flow & the CR motor overheating.
Is there a way to prevent this from happening, do we solve it by leaving the printer to rest every time we notice it slowing down. It would be a cheaper way as the printhead costs me 380 euro. :)
 

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we dont own a k3 but several t-jet 2 etc.

we experienced the same problem that after excessive use of the printer the head seems to be overheating indeed. we too, did a lot of troubleshooting but in the end nothing really helped to clear the problem (it worked for a day or even a week, but then slow down came back). so my advise: change your head and you will be good.

with those printers we have to replace the heads every 6-8 months anyway....
 

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Its quite obvious to me, so all of you experiencing these problems probably tried that, but...
Install drivers and software on different computer, as "empty" as possible, only with basic software, no other printers' drivers, virus software, internet connection etc.
That will tell you if the problem is on printer's side or computer's side, then you can start to dig, at least youll know where to.
 

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This definitely sounds like print head overheat. One thing I am surprised no one has mentioned yet is if the viscosity of your ink is wrong it will cause the head to overheat, I don't think you will have the kit to check it but it could be your problem.

If it is a new head will cure it for a while but the problem will be back, one thing to try. Print some shirts just using cmyk as it's a pretty sure thing it will be the White causing this if it is viscosity.
 

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Few people gave us some very useful advises and now I have a conclusion. I can sum these things to something that Inkster UK told us in his last post, and here is how things went.
I had a 100 black and 100 white t-shirts ordered, and the problem started while I was printing black t-shirts. We tried resting the printer even for an hour between prints, but it would print 1-2 t-shirts at normal speed and slow down again. At one point we finished the agony of printing black ones because it was taking 15-20 minutes to print a 20x30cm picture. When we finished we let the printer rest for 20 minutes and decided to print few white ones until it slows down and go to sleep. It went on printing completely normal for the next 3 hours even at the end of a busy day. When it started to slow down we let it rest for 2 hours and it printer for about 4 hours perfectly white t-shirts. We printed 70 30x40cm full color full coverage pictures on white t-shirts without resting the printer.

In the end I figured the problem with my printer is that probably printing white ink overheats the printhead, but it makes very little sense replacing the printhead every time if the new one can start doing the same. I hope that someone will come up with a way around this problem soon, because we need to be able to do both white and dark t-shirts without limitations.
 

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Interesting. Where are you buying your ink from? It does not sound like the Dupont white ink is causing the same thing in the U.S. market. Might want to talk to your distributor.

The other thing is making sure that who you buy the white ink from is properly maintaining it and you don't use expired ink. In both of those cases, the ink will separate and change in viscosity.

Best wishes,

Mark
 

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It is not the viscosity of the ink that would be causing the problem - more likely it is the fact that you print much more ink when printing white than when printing colors - thus causing the head to work more. I would suggest changing the head.
Sorry Don but you are wrong, if the visc is wrong the head will overheat quicker than when the visc is correct. Yes more white is used but it is designed to run at the correct temperature.

We have tested it here, above and below are as bad as each other, when its correct the head will run fine without overheating. Or the thermister is shot and its a red herring.
 

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ok, again this is not a head problem.. Its the CR motor overheating. Clean the CR drive bar. Clean with lightweight oil. Clean it good. If the damage has already been done to motor then you will need a new motor. Also sometimes the main board start overheating if the motor poops out. If the head overheats on a k3 it stops printing.
 

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ok, again this is not a head problem.. Its the CR motor overheating. Clean the CR drive bar. Clean with lightweight oil. Clean it good. If the damage has already been done to motor then you will need a new motor. Also sometimes the main board start overheating if the motor poops out. If the head overheats on a k3 it stops printing.
I tried cleaning the CR drive bar and replaced the motor. It didn't help so that is not the solution. I didn't replace the mainboard because I didn't have one but will try next time. What part of the maniboard do you think is overheating?
Also you should be aware that the printer started printing normally when I switched to printing white t-shirts, and it started slowing down again after few hours.
 

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The point is, it might be correct at manufacture but could have changed during storage/transport causing the problem. This does happen with all brands of waterbased ink.

I have actually witnessed this "not my ink :)" so it is a valid point.

No attack intended.
He is right here, we had a problem with Dupont ink probably being old or not stored at proper conditions. It wasn't the white it was magenta, and it clogged a completely new printhead! We flushed it and replaced the ink with new one and it works fine. We still use Dupont ink and have no problems with it!
 

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I do not see how the motherboard could cause a heat slow down problem. I would say the either one of the motors or the print head is causing the heating problem. The reason being that the printer works fine for a period of time, this lead to a heat (current) draw changing as either the pizzos are firring and not being cooled by the liquid passing over them or a motor heating up changing the resistance of its winding.
 

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FYI, The issue of slowing down the firing rate when the head overheats I think is only going to occur on a 48XX machine and above, the smaller format machines which do not have built in Mircoweaving do not have this feature.
At least that is my understanding, while its the same head its the controller board that actually changes the firing rate.
So I dont think its the head.

On the viscosity of the ink causing more overheating, possibly different inks could make this worse or better, but I dont think so.
I actually reported this issue to Epson (took me 9 months to get a reply) and when I did I had the problem with Epson own ink (printing film separations), its due to the fact that we are overdriving the heads (its why Epson do not use these resolutions in there own driver) and soems some heads are more susepctable to this than others, just depends where it comes off the manufacturing line.

I have seen the issue on the 1800 and 1900 and its always been something else.

Best regards

-David
 
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