Adjustable platen gap ?

Started Aug 13, 2018 | Questions thread
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 7,597
Re: Adjustable platen gap ?

I used to print on tissue paper with an Epson 3800 and was quite satisfied with the result. I taped the four corner of the tissue paper onto a harder paper and adjusted the platen gap to « widest » so the print head wouldn’t scrape the tissue paper while doing its job. I was also printing in draft mode so the tissue paper would not get soaked with ink. Since I no longer have access to the Epson 3800, I am looking to buy a printer to continue my project. As I print in draft mode, I do not need a professional quality machine. That said, I have been told that only professional printers offer the option to adjust the platen gap.

I have been looking at models like the Canon Pixma Pro-10 and 100 or the Epson XP-15000. From what I understand, the Epson XP-15000 can print on thick paper (by ajusting the printing preferences) but doesn't have the option to adjust the platen gap to "wide" or "widest". So here’s my questions:

- Is it true that only professional printers have an adjustable platen gap?

- Do you think the Epson XP-15000 would be a good purchase for my project, if I print on tissue paper while the printer is set for « thick paper » ?

- What about the Canon Pixma Pro-10 or 100? Any thoughts about a relatively cheap printer which I could use?

Since you don't seem to be getting a more expert response, I'll wade in with a partial answer in the form of another question: have you investigated specifically what the options that these printers have actually do?

* The Canon Pro-100 has a "Prevent paper abrasion" check box, in the driver, in Custom Settings in the Maintenance tab. The online manual says this "will widen the clearance between the print head and the loaded paper," which sounds like what you want, but is not a model of clarify / specificity. For what it's worth, the on-screen manual specifies that the printer's rear tray can work with papers from 4 to 23.6 mil (0.1 to 0.6mm) and up to 93 lb / 350 gsm. I have gotten good results with Red River Polar Matte Magna, which is specified as a 88 lb paper, and Red River Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag, which is specified as a 16.5 mil thick paper.

* I assume / it seems very logical to assume that the Pro-10, which is in many ways a very close relative of the Pro-100, also has a "Prevent paper abrasion" setting that functions in the same way. But you know what they say about assuming ...

* My little Epson R280's driver has a checkbox (buried at the bottom of the Maintenance tab) for "Thick paper and envelopes". What exactly does this do? I tend to assume the same or similar, but I don't really know that.

So that's a partial / somewhat vague answer to your question. My guess is that most and maybe all of these printers have some ability to accommodate thicker papers, but only certain Epsons really accommodate the straight-feed mode for really thick / stiff materials.

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