By Steve Conde
If you don’t have a copy of Harvey Head Cleaner loaded on your sublimation computer, you should. Here’s the scoop: The number one problem people encounter with sublimation printers is clogging and clogging is most often caused by inactivity. Leaving your printer idle for a week at a time, even several days used to be an absolute “no-no”. With the advent of Ricoh printers, this problem has been greatly reduced to the point many of us are becoming careless and complacent about using our printers. That kind of attitude will, sooner or later, come back to bite us.
We need to be vigilant about using our sublimation printers every day or two, even if it is nothing more than running a nozzle check. The problem is, time gets away from us. We are busy doing other things and before we know it, a week has gone by with so sublimation activity – then two and then three.
That’s what Harvey Head Cleaner does for us – it runs a single nozzle check automatically. I set mine up to run in the middle of the night so when I come in, there is a printout waiting for me. A quick glance and I know my printer is ready to go. If there is a problem with one of the heads, I can deal with it long before it becomes serious. I will admit that since I have moved to the Ricoh GX7000, I don’t think I have ever run a nozzle check that wasn’t perfect – if I have, it has been very few – nothing like the days when I was running Epson printers!
So here are my recommendations: One, no matter what printer you have, order a copy of Harvey Head Cleaner from Condé and install it on your sublimation computer. You can set it up to run automatically as often as you want or need it (I suggest daily but at least every other day). To save money on paper, I always try to unload the sublimation paper from my printer and store it properly and put regular copy paper in its place. You can even reuse the printouts by turning them over if you want to.
Each nozzle check will use a tiny bit of ink – nothing to be concerned about but it does use ink. This leads us to the question of, “What if I know I won’t be using my printer for two or more weeks at a time?” Doesn’t that ink count up? And the answer is, “yes”. If you are running a Ricoh printer and you don’t expect to use it for more than say 10 days, turn it off. If you are running an Epson printer, I would suggest you never turn it off and you run those nozzle checks every single day without fail.
Is it apparent that I really like the Ricoh printers? Well, I do. Like you, I got very tired of always fighting those Epson printers. If you have not made the change over to one of the Ricoh printers yet, let me encourage you to do so just as fast as you can. If you are a heavy user, the GX7000 is the only one for you. You might even consider the adapter that allows you to print up to 19” wide and an extra drawer for paper. If you are a small user, the GX e3300N is performing very well and the price tag is under $500 with ink! These printers are fast, dependable and a joy to work with. The ICC profiles from Condé give outstanding color and are easy to load and use (ok, commercial over but I would be amiss if I didn’t tell you how great these printers are).