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Why Should I do a Nozzle Check

October 4th, 2011

If you haven’t asked the question then I am certain it has entered your mind. Condé Support Technicians will ask you, “perform a nozzle check” usually right after the callers ask, “Why is my color off?” A good nozzle check is vital to the color in your images. It is the balance of color and when it is bad it is not possible for print outs to be at its’ peek output capability.

What are the signs that my nozzle check is bad?

Typically, the first signs indicating the nozzle check could be bad are when you have encountered a color shift or you are experiencing some banding in the output/printed images. When this happens it is time to verify that all print heads are firing. How to do this ins in the instructions “How to do a Nozzle check” or our video on “How to do a Nozzle Check” from “CondeTV”.

How do I know if my Nozzle Check is bad?

Know what to look for in the nozzle check. Depending on how many colors/cartridges the printer has should reflect in the nozzle check pattern. An 8 color printer should have 8 blocks of color; a 6 color printer will have 6; a 4 having 4; and so on…

Check for breaks in the pattern and missing color. See example: The image on the top identifies a good pattern of color; the image on the bottom displays gaps in the pattern, which is a problem.

Example

What can I do to correct a bad Nozzle check?

Usually, performing a head cleaning will minimize or correct the breaks or missing blocks which will improve the color and quality of the print outs. If there is no improvements after two or three cleaning there is likely severe clogging or something other than clogging is going on. Get in touch with support for further help and advice for these types of issues.

In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Condé Systems Inc.

Senior Technical Consultant

Vicky Waldrop


Batter Up! Making Sponsor Shirts for Charity

September 13th, 2011

Condé is one of the sponsors for my softball team. “The Hungry Owl” is the other. I have created jerseys using the sublimation process and I wanted to share the project details with those who have an interest in making a professional looking uniform for any type of league. I consider this one of my favorite projects. The reason is that there are so many fun avenues and lots of purpose in brainstorming how to get names and support for “a cause” out to the public eye. I consider it “a win-win” for the sponsors, the cause and the team. I will explain how…

Getting a team sponsor:

I recommend targeting a company that is looking to get their name out there. This is usually a business that has just branched out or has recently opened a business and is looking to find ways to advertise. You CAN have more than one sponsor.   In comparison to the cost of commercials, billboards or ads, sponsoring a league is much cheaper in cost and sports WILL bring people together. We all know “Word of Mouth” goes a long way.

Logo

Conde

Supporting a Cause:

What do I mean by this? I will give an example: Our team has a very dear friend who is fighting Leukemia. So “our cause” is to support the continuous fight for Leukemia, while supporting her cure. Thus, letting people know our passion for life and that there are ones we love that need our help. Whatever we can do to bring awareness at any means possible will provide hope and help with treatment.

A World of Hope

A World of Hope

Brainstorming:

This is the fun part! Jerseys are fun because you can do most anything you want with respect to the businesses that sponsor your team. You will need to use the logo in which they choose to advertise without making any alterations to it. I used a “varsity” font and choose the sleeves for our cause and the “Condé” logo. You can do anything you want in this phase. Keep it simple or go all out. Just be sure the shirt has the meaning that you are wanting to state.

Creating a final project:

Now that you have created the designs, create a template for entering the jersey numbers and printing out for sublimating or transferring. Remain organized and consistent in the placement of the transfer. Be certain to keep the shirts uniform.

The Hungry Owl and Leukemia Logo for Lynn

The rewards:

Game time!!! You have created a sport shirt that is professional and fun. You now have accomplished a walking advertisement that delivers several messages to your audience. Wear it proudly and with pride!!! Your team will too.

Waldrop's Uniform Shirt

Hoorah for The Hungry Owl's

In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, the Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Condé Systems, Inc.

Senior Technical Consultant,

Vicky Waldrop


Wall of Shame TIP #2

February 23rd, 2011

Don’t allow these things to happen to you…

Upside Down Image:

The irritating “costly mistake” of sublimating a plaque upside down. We have all done it or at least I have. Getting in a hurry or neglecting to inspect product for “key clues”  prior to placing the image on it can be a “stomach clutching” experience.  upside downUpsideDown

Don’t Forget to Reverse Your Image:

This is probably the most common error in both sublimation and Heat Transfer. Products that transfer / sublimate to the front side of will require flipping the image every time. Cutting boards and most glass will not reqReversing Imageuire this process and to can cause you much grief if you are not “on guard”. Don’t get Distracted from minor details!

Alignment and Centering Image:

Image placement can be a challenge with most product that we press with the substrate facing down and the transfer face up. The image looks perfect but in the final stages of completion to raise the press; turn the image over and find it has slid, moved or misplaced onto the substrate. Reminding ourselves “attention to detail” is a constant practice. Allow yourself the additional time to verify you do not create scrap and waste product.

AlignmentCentering

There are a “few” Benefits of Scrap Product:

If you have it why not use it? There are some scraped products that you could use for the benefit of testing images and color. For example: We, in support are always testing images when troubleshooting color. This can eliminate other variables and possible causes, for instance, product, image, etc…  I recommend getting a ben for throwing reusable scrap product into. Hopefully you will never need to troubleshoot but I can assume that the time will come when you will want something to sublimate on without wasting good product. If nothing else our support staff will often ask you to sublimate a color pallet or a nozzle check to send to use during color management issues.

TIP #2 Wall of Shame

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


George Knight Mug Presses vs. some other mug presses…

February 17th, 2011

The DK3 commercial press has been around for over a decade. The DK3 is fully adjustable, accommodating all mugs available on the market. This includes 11 oz, 15 oz, 16 oz mugs & steins. The ability of the press to open extra wide allows for easy and fast loading and unloading of mugs from the press. The clamp assembly can be adjusted for very heavy pressure, allowing for full bleed transfers on even the most demanding mugs. Finally – a mug press that compensates for less than perfectly straight mugs!

George Knight has the winning edge on the heat process because of the engineering specs on their element design.

Rolling on the floor laughing The cylinder is longer and covers up to 5” in height.

Be right back The heating elements will heat faster across the surface of the pressDk3

Smile The padding is easier to replace during preventive maintenance procedures.

The settings a also easy and extremely user friendly. We have videos to follow for setup.  For those folks that just want to set a time, temperature and press this is the press for you!

These are just some of the products that offer for pressing with the DK3. There are additional items that our clients will use with this press. Some of the products require additional padding (heat conductive pad). Those products include some water bottles that have a smaller outside diameter (OD). The additional padding will help make good contact around the surface of the product.

mugs01STEIN

Some other mug presses made in China can be very unreliable and troublesome. The vertical designs place limitations on mug sizes and image placement. The heating elements not as constant and predictable for high quality results as with the George Knight Heat presses.

Manual-Digital-Mug-Press-Machine-Vertical-Mug-Press-Machine-MP4105-Mug-Press-Machine-Iii

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Getting Started with Sublimation

December 28th, 2010

If you are just affiliating with Condé System’s, Inc., you might be wondering “where do I begin?”  There are some things we have put into place to help get you started on the right path to dye sublimation. If you are a beginner; just setting up your Condé DyeSub system; or just wanting to be sure you are adequately informed, then I believe this literature can be a beginners check sheet.

First, PartnerNet (PN) registration is a requirement to begin the steps below. If you have not been enlightened about PartnerNet, contact you account manager immediately so the below recommendations/tools are obtainable to you and/or your company.

Preparing your Condé DyeSub System for a setup

Now that I have all my files, what do I do with them?

Because everyone is different, we have provided optional ways to receive instructions for configuring the dye sublimation systems for use with Condé ICC Profiles, to include; SubliJet Inks; ArTainium Inks; or, Chromablast Inks.

What will I need to know/have after I get setup?

Using Condé Web Page

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Sublimation Tip: Program Print Record for PC’s

December 22nd, 2010

Combined with today’s technology and pressures from a society that wants “instant gratification”, we at Condé Systems are inventing short cuts and giving you back some of your valuable time wherever possible, because time is money.  We can reduce the time it takes to find previous print jobs and eliminate spool time so you can get to sublimating quicker. Here is why…

Purpose:

Remembering print jobs

Large jobs can be printed in segments (ex: 100 pcs. at 10 pages at a time)

Save our print jobs so we can reprint the jobs over and over again.

It remembers all specs of the job, like paper size and settings so you don’t have too.

This is how…

How to keep print jobs for reprinting:

Get to the Printer folder…

Start;

Control panel;

Printer faxes or devices and printers;

Properties for Vista and XP; or… Windows 7 folks “printer properties

Advanced and “Keep Printed Documents

Keep Printed Documents

Now that the documents are being saved we can come to our print queue and revisit our printed documents. By selecting a document from the print queue; right click on the desired document and left click on restart. This will cause that job to reprint again as if the repeat was selected in your iTunes or any other recording device.

Selecting a saved or recorded print job

When you are done with a job/s, or it is certain the job  will not be  reprinted for some time, right click on the job; left click on delete to get rid of it from within the print queue. Or… From windows 7; right click on the print job in the queue and press delete on the keyboard to remove it.

What you get…

Benefits Include:

This would be a great feature for save time and effort when you have complex print jobs

When many copies are needed and it would be better to space them out rather than bulk printing.

Saving time is money and we want to keep our client on the successful path to sublimation triumph and attainment.

PC Print Record Video…by David Gross

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Using Condé Photoshop Templates

December 16th, 2010

1. Files types:

software for extracting files.

Click here to go to Winzip Official Site

To download templates go to www.conde.com/support/templates. The download will include formats for CorelDraw, Illustrator and Photoshop. Once the Conde template is saved to the desktop or in your desired location, it will need to be extracted (Extraction software is required (ex; Winrar (www.rarlabs.com), Winzip; Zipeg, ect..)).

When using Photoshop the formats will be one of the following extensions:  .eps; .psd; .pdf.

.PSD

2. Preparing image first:

Keyhole

The printable area.

Put thought into the image and image placement first. Size the image so that it will fill the template area. The templates are a “keyhole” that shows how the image will appear on the sublimatable area. It will not reform, re-size or reshape the image in any way. However, you will be able to re-size and reposition it. More on that in step 6.

3. Open the template in Photoshop:

a. Right click on the .psd, .eps or .pdf; left click on “Open With”.  Select Photoshop. The template will open in the application; Orb. From Photoshop; left click on “file”; left click on “open”; then from the browser, find and select the image you’ve prepared.

4. Select the background Layer to Place the image:

Selecting the Layer

Selecting the Layer

Choose the background layer under the layers to the right of the page. It should say “Click here to place image or graphic”. It is important to choose this layer for placing the image behind the template layer.


5. Place the image on the background layer:

Click on "File"; "Place"

Click on "File"; "Place"

Click “file”; “place” for the image to go to the selected layer. When placed inside the template it will have an X across the image and a bounding box around it. This is the editing box that enables you to resize it by …

6. Click and drag the editing box:

click and drag to fit

Left click and drag the corner of the editing box to do any final resizing of the selected image. Also, the image can be repositioned by placing the courser over the image and hold the left button down while dragging. Then left click on the green check mark to complete the placement of the image onto the background layer. Or, left click the red “banned” circle to delete or undo the placement of the image.

In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Conde Systems Inc.
www.conde.com

Senior Support Technician,
1-800-826-6332
Vicky Waldrop


Conde Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts for better printing

December 5th, 2010

Like a GPS, wouldn’t it be nice to map the shortest route to avoid or quickly resolve an issue on your Ricoh Sublimation System/s? Or, just know ways to fine tune your sublimation system for maximum quality and performance? Well, Condé has found ways to eliminate errors, fine tune and perfect settings and keep your printer updated with the latest firmware for your Conde sublimation printer driver. We believe you will find these tips beneficial.

Sheet-Dry Print Delay

Increasing the delay time would help prevent sublimation paper from coming out of the printer before the ink is dry enough to prevent smearing or ink build up on you rollers.

To make an adjustment go to:

  1. Control Panel
  2. Printers and faxes or Devices
  3. Right click; then left click on Printing Preferences
  4. Printer Configuration

    Reconnecting the Ricoh using the port settings

    Changing Printer Port Setting form Properties

    Changing Printer Port Setting form Properties

    If you have received a replacement printer and want to install the driver with the previous driver configurations you used with the replaced printer go to the port settings and select that port from properties in the printer folder.

    USB connections to the back of the towers

    By connecting USB cable directly to the back of the PC rather than the front ports or hub you will reduce possible data issues and maximize print quality.

    Improve output by changing a couple of settings:

    1. Spool Format and RAW setting
    2. Print As Bitmap

    Upgrade firmware from the Conde Wab Page:

    Checking printer firmware on you Condé Dye-Sublimation System:

    Or…

    Go to “System” from the printer display:

    1. Hold the up and down arrows for 10 seconds then press enter.
    2. Arrow down until you see “System” and press enter.
    3. Arrow down until you see “System Version”, press enter.

    NOTE: If bi- directional is turned off you can not check system firmware from the Printer

    Go to the www.conde.com, click on the support, then login to PartnerNet to get the latest firmware for your sublimation printer.

    In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

    Thanks,
    Conde Systems Inc.
    www.conde.com

    Senior Support Technician,
    1-800-826-6332
    Vicky Waldrop


    Preventative Maintenance

    November 9th, 2010

    Printing a nozzle check before you start printing for the day will allow you to see if your printer needs any maintenance. If your nozzle check does not print normally, then your prints will not either. Also, printing a nozzle check once a day will help prevent clogs from forming in your print heads. This can be done manually or with the help of a program such as Harvey Head Cleaner.

    Another thing that will help keep your Epson printer clear from clogs is to clean the capping station about once a month. Different models have different procedures for this, however, you should be able to find documentation or videos on how this is done for your printer. Just follow the procedures and allow the printer to sit overnight while soaking.

    Moisture in your paper can also cause problems with your printer and your prints. If you store your sublimation paper opened and on a shelf where it is susceptible to the elements, moisture can soak into your paper and that can cause paper jams or print quality issues. It is best to store your paper in an airtight container such as a ziplock bag or storage box.

    In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

    Thanks,
    Condé Systems Inc.
    www.conde.com

    Support Technician,
    1-800-826-6332
    Andy Taylor


    Porcelain Ornaments

    November 8th, 2010

    Christmas is around the corner. It’s time to break out the old Christmas tree and decorate for the season. Condé offers a variety of items people will be looking for to decorate for the holidays.

    When decorating the tree people like to find new ornaments for many different reasons. Some people like to have a keepsake from each year and others just want to replace. Condé has a complete line of porcelain ornaments for sublimation. These ornaments are a great addition to any tree and with sublimation they can be personalized making them priceless to your customer.

    Be sure to follow our sublimation instructions for the best results when making these ornaments. When pressed properly you will get a great looking ornament that will glisten from the lights on the tree.

    In addition, you will find informative videos for configuring color management by the support team at Condé by visiting Condé TV, Condé Facebook Page and Condé Twitter. Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Condé DyeSub System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

    Thanks,
    Condé Systems Inc.
    www.Condé.com

    Support Technician,
    1-800-826-6332
    Andy Taylor