T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my attempt to explain how and why print heads fail for the Epson 2200 type machines.


The Basics:
When you do a “Nozzle Check”, the machine fires each print nozzle. In the photo “Print Head Nozzles” the arrow indicates a row of nozzles. What appears to be lines on the face of the print head are actually rows of microscopic pin holes (nozzles). Each row makes up the channel for each color of ink.


The face of the print head is a mere thin sheet of metal. This can be seen in the picture “Print Head Film”. This thin film of metal is “laminated” or adhered to the body of the print head, and held / protected by the shiny metal bezel over the bottom of the assembly.
Under the metal film (face of the print head) are small chambers (reservoirs) for each color of ink. Picture “Print Head Chambers” Arrow 2 shows these reservoirs. Arrow 1 shows the delivery holes (2 very tiny holes) that supply that channel of ink to the chamber. It important to note here that the chambers are back to back (arrow 1) and also the actual nozzle holes in the film do not connect to the chamber. Instead, they align to the indiviual ejectors that fire the ink from the print head.
On the back side of the metal film (picture “Print Head Delaminate”) you can see where everything fits together. Arrow 1 indicates the chamber reservoirs and Arrow 2 indicates the Nozzle / Ejector alignment.


Arrow 3 is where it gets interesting! In the region where the chambers are back to back, there is also the supply to the chamber. This makes the laminated seal in this spot VERY SMALL! This is the only thing that keep the two ink colors separate! This area is thinner than the thickness of a credit card!


This Print Head Failed due to a massive delamination. It is visible by noticing the darker area on the print head film between arrows 1 & 3. While the area to the right of arrow 3 is bright.


I KILLED this print head while trying to clear blocked nozzles on a white channel. I was using a syringe to force water into the nipples and through the print head for each channel. I was putting a lot of pressure on the syringe, and all of a sudden it let go!


I have also had another print head open up where Arrow three is pointing. This periodically let magenta ink into the adjacent white channel. Periodically my white ink layer would start out PINK and fade back to white.



Findings:
  1. The supply system within the print head has many small passages!
  • Be very careful when flushing and maintaining your system. It is easy to contaminate a syringe! Even a very tiny, unseen, chunk of debris can accidentally be injected into the print head if you are careless.
  • Always use DISTILLED WATER, tap water may have debris and kill a print head!
  1. The adhesion of the print head film is delicate!
  • Use very little pressure if trying to manually flush and revive a print head.
  • I have not found a way to re-laminate the film...
  • I suspect that non-genuine Epson parts are weaker in this aspect...
  • Harsh Detergents can increase the possibility of delamination.
  1. Microscopic Nozzles and Thick White Ink make poor companions!
  • This is the main reason for all the clogs, plugs, hair pulling and required vigilance on system management.
I hope the explanations and pictures help you understand what is going on inside the print head, and help you know why some procedures are so important.


Have A Shirty Day!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
Thanks Todd....

The "Weak Link" of every DTG printer is the print head! While I've never had to resort to shoving fluid through with a syringe (not yet!) I find that periodic flushing of the print head with cleaning solution in the cleaning cartridges has so far solved/kept us from clogging, I know it's just a matter of time before more drastic action is required.

Thanks again for the insight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That was the first print head that came on the machine. I purchased the machine used, and it arrived with plugged dampers and print head. Yesterday I had the 3rd failure, with the magenta color... and am waiting for a new print head. This failure happened from one evening to the nest morning! That is why I had the time to "investigate"...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Very informative post!

That “Print Head Film” can also be called the Nozzle Plate, and will become delaminated if you apply too much pressure while doing a manual flushing using a syringe. We recommend using as much pressure as you would need to flick a lighter. Any more and you can cause internal damage to that sensitive adhesive that keeps the Nozzle Plate attached to the rest of the Printhead, and keeps the channels separated.

Also, while doing this procedure, you can let the flushing fluid set in the reservoirs for a while, then push and pull back on the plunger to release any ink that may be a little more stubborn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,654 Posts
Another reason not to use tap water is that it often contains salts and they react with the inks (especially white ink) and cause it to crash. The main ingredient in the white ink pre-treatment (other than water) is a salt. If you use tap water you will most likley crahs the inks in the lines, dampers and print head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
interesting thread.

The delamination effect on the nozzle plate also occurs due to the abrasive nature of white ink.

Regards
Jerry
DTG Digital
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I honestly feel that the last two print heads that I purchased were of a non-epson mfgr. and were overly weak in that regard. The first head that I replaced did not ever get a good nozzle check (which later was determined to be a plugged damper on that channel). Thinking that I had missed something, and being paranoid about having a plugged print head, I manually flushed it and it delaminated with almost no pressure whatsoever. There went $250.00...

After sorting out the root of the problem, the second print head had lasted several months, but seeped black ink out the edge...

The head I just purchased is from a Guarenteed Genuine Epson Distributor... we will see if it looks any different...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
Thanks Todd, Very informative post!
I always thought there was a little motor and gears in there.
Just kidding, good job. John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Todd,

to the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as an aftermarket non genuine Epson head

I have never come across one or heard of one.

Regards
Jerry
DTG Digital
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,719 Posts
Todd,

to the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as an aftermarket non genuine Epson head

I have never come across one or heard of one.

Regards
Jerry
DTG Digital


Totally agree with Jerry on this. The print heads are fairly complex and intricate items to produce. To my knowledge any Epson print head that you get is only manufactured by Epson itself.

Harry
Equipment Zone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Totally agree with Jerry on this. The print heads are fairly complex and intricate items to produce. To my knowledge any Epson print head that you get is only manufactured by Epson itself.

Harry
Equipment Zone
Thank You ALL for your feedback.

I wonder why it appears there is such a difference in percieved quality, from one to another...
Why would printheads have such a difference in the ease of de-laminating?
And also, the uniformity of the discharge from the nozzle check... Some lines are not uniformly spaced within the pattern.

It must be nice to manufacture a component that you do not have to guarantee...

Kinda like the weatherman, who can be wrong 90% of the time and still get paid!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,275 Posts
It must be nice to manufacture a component that you do not have to guarantee...

Its not that Epson doesn't guarantee their product because they do.. If you were using an Epson 2200 ink jet printer and your print head failed they would replace it at any Epson dealer bring in the receipt they won't swap them out because Epson 2200 print head are not a stock item because they have a shelf life.

Now are using the Epson printer for what its intended for?? No !! so hence there is no guarantee.


Trust me I tried replacing my Epson print head that failed after a week.. No Dice!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
there could well be inconsistencies in quality of print heads due to production problems.

Unfortunatelly none of us have any control over this.

If your nozzle check is not printing even and it appears that some of the nozzle prints are angled then you have a partially blocked nozzle, this is called nozzle deflection, often this is the cause of banding within your prints. A quick head clean should get rid of this, if not you need to clean the capping station and wiper blade.

FatKats is right, as soon as you use an Epson printer and run a non Epson ink through it the warranty is void.

I understand why Epson does this, their margin on the printer is very small, for them it is all about ink sales which they miss out in the DTG market.

We however do everything under license with Epson and this does get us a lot more support

Regards
Jerry
DTG Digital
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi Erich.... Are you meaning that you have applied for licence to run a different Ink on your Epson Printers and this is supported by the Epson Tech.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
Hey guys look at my post ,"colour channel missing" no one seems to know about this it is an interesting find and will explain the first point at where the head blocks ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
After a lot of investigation I have the definitive answer to why this happens,we all think that the head is to blame somehow missing nozzles and dropping of colour channels something to do with the tiny holes in the metal plate?,well sometimes it is but the main reason this happens is to do with the injector nipples which are part of the plastic manifold attached to the actual head ,as can be seen from the attached pic there is a very fine metal filter just below the nipple this is what gets blocked first and causes all the starvation ,missing nozzles and droplets of stray ink ,the magenta and yellow seem to be the first to block up due to their chemical makeup being different to the black and cyan ,the white is another story (literally like pumping glue through as once it sets it's amost impossible to free) the colour channels can be cleaned with head unblockers eventually however the white is a head killer...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
I use the pull thru method . i fill a small container with windex and bring the plate up to the head so its barely in the windex and i gently pull ink and fluid out of head . this works great .
i had a head that i was 90 % sure it was done but for 500.00 bucks i gave this a shot and it worked great .
took my time , about three hours but head flushed out well and i am printing like mad right now.
i also clean my printer completely at start up and shutdown
same head for almost a year.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top