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Epson P400 Direct To Film (DTF) Conversion Update- Roll printing

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So back in the beginning of the year, I had two P400's I used. One On a mini shaker Cart (DIY Mini Shaker/curing oven) and one with an actual Mini shaker. I used My build and the one P400 for the majority. I used EKprint to Roll Print with this printer, Since it was easier. I printed OVER 5,000 12x12 Transfers on this machine, in 6 months. Since we all have " busy" seasons, I will admit that the majority of those prints were made in 1-2 months, over half. 


Well, We went on a short (3 day) vacation. I had cleaned it and set it aside. A week or so later, I tried to use it again and it didn't work. Bummer. First, It had good nozzle checks, but bad prints directly after. I checked the Ink, FIltered it, checked it again. I switched inks, Carts, Capping station, and PRINTHEAD. Nothing fixed my issue. So, being forced to do so, I set it aside. that was 3-4 months ago- maybe longer. It has sat here, uncapped, with cleaning carts sitting in it ( I couldn't even do a head clean to flush out the old inks). I spent Almost a week trying with this printer, until Moving on to the P800's I had in storage. 

I used this P400 Mainly for roll printing, ( well, only for roll printing). I ran in NONSTOP for over 12 hours routinely. I DID have to add a cooling fan to the Motherboard Heatsink, or after a few hours it would act weird and reset itself. Fan fixed the issue entirely. SECOND issue, USE USB for this printer if you are going to print with it ALOT consistently. Again, The built in WIFI model got hot to the touch after several hours of printing. 

After installing a USB 5V fan, and using a high quality USB cable instead of WIfi, This thing printed for me without any other issues until the above. Gross, ( not profit, The Page counter doesn't work when You roll print with EKprint, So Just to give you an idea) I printed $55,000 worth of transfers from this one $489 printer, with 15 minutes of modifications. Yes I needed to add $40 for chipless, and $15 for each set of cartridges, But I call those supplies. I also 3D printed a roll holder for the machine. Total cost on that was about $10, including the expensive 8MM metal rod I purchased specifically for this purpose. 


So, Being in my way, I decided to give it one more go before throwing it in the trash bin. I immediately found the issues. the CSIC board had lifted out of place about 1/4 an inch or so. This is the part that holds the cartridges down and locked into place. This allowed a poor seal, giving me good nozzle checks, but poor printing ( printing creates a larger suction, so it makes since that air was going into the head to cause the issues). Some glue later, Fixed. 


The 2nd issue, For some reason now it kept erroring out with error 73H, or 00X73 For the P400. " Printer Mechanism Failure". I have no idea what that means. So, I move on to the most logical thing. Over time, The Borderless Printing Pad had accumulated white ink on it. I mean, After 5,000 Plus prints, I did goof sometimes and print over the edge of the film, or it misloaded and printed without any film in there. BUT, It worked this way for months. 


So, To test my Theory, I removed The foam pad, and exposed was a light colored metal. Same error. Picked up some Matte Black Spray paint, and painted this surface Black. Problem solved!


So after sitting UNCAPPED for several months, AND all the issues it had before I set it over there( Remember, I couldn't even clean out the old ink with cleaner), I DID NOT expect what is about to be said next. 


Threw back in the cleaning carts, and half a set later, perfect nozzle check. No way! Loaded OEM ink carts, Perfect after 1-2 head cleans ( with the exception of the GO, In the nozzle check below you'll see it still has some cleaner in the head, I don't have MUCH OEM ink, so I'm not wasting it since I am flushing it back out as we speak). I am baffled, That this printer has survived these issues, even with OEM inks, I would have been 99% sure it was a goner, at least the ORIGINAL printhead. 


Long Story short- Sometimes you need to walk away and clear your head. Enjoy some time doing something else you like. Come back with a fresh set of eyes and attitude, I did, And I fixed this printer in 15 minutes, when before, I spent well over 40 hours trying to fix it and replacing parts and all I did was fail. I am not not to EVER give up something, Even if it's only for the challenge of it, Or just KNOWING what happened. I love learning, I couldn't care less about communicating with people, followers, likes, etc. I just LOVE learning HOW and WHY not just the answer. The only time I EVER give up on something, Is when It's broken into pieces and in the trash from failed attempts, because I cannot afford to keep going. 


So for people starting out, Just hang in there, The most important thing is LEARNING what your printer needs, and the attention to DETAIL is KEY. Sometimes, Walk away and come back with a fresh view. 

Without Persistence, Guts, Motivation, Confidence, and Ingenuity You won't make it in any field, other than a typical job. DTF is no different. Being your OWN boss, means you are all on your own with  infinite possibilities and decisions. To me, That is EXCITING and scary. While being afraid to reach your goals is normal, you only lose when you quit. Some of us never quit, Even if to a FAULT. You are responsible for YOU, Don't follow someone else's mistakes or decisions, MAKE YOUR Decisions and learn your own way. That is what this industry needs. 


I wish you the best of luck out there and Happy Printing!

Edited by johnson4
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This is what this P400 looks like now, it looks used and abused because it was. My point is, who cares, it works, and after over 5,000 transfers this $500 investment just keeps going- for now. It’s time to put it back where it belongs, on my DIY curing/shaking cart. 


Edited by johnson4
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