Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?

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PatMann
PatMann Senior Member • Posts: 1,804
Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?

Is this just wishful thinking? Pretty much everything I read on this forum says the best printers are not designed to sit idle.

We travel 6 months a year or more, and I would like to be able to print enough prints from a specific photo project near the maximum 2:3 size of these printers that it would be less expensive (and more rewarding) to print my own rather than use a service in the other 6 months. Is there a printer that tolerates sitting unused for this long a period, or would I have to buy a printer a year to do this? Assuming that the Epson P900 or Canon Pro-1000 would meet my "fine art" standard for color spectrum and accurate color life under glass with OEM inks and appropriate papers. (Larger printer would be both to make some larger prints and to make more economical use of ink with larger cartridges. 24 x 36 is pushing the maximum size for my intent to have print detail hold up on close inspection)

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Pat

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Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,459
Re: Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?
2

Can you arrange for an occasional visit to your place while you are away? Or leave the printer with a trusted person? If yes, you can make it really simple for someone to run a nozzle check on plain bond paper from time to time. Although that is not guaranteed to keep the printer going, the odds are good if done every couple of weeks.

Jk1002 Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?
2

I have a similar situation, maybe not 6 month but longer periods.

I am leaning towards the Canon Pro 300. With its smaller ink tanks its made for occasional printing. It has a way of diverting printing from a clogged nozzle to others . I am thinking also if I leave it plugged in it will  clean itself automatically every now and then. Lastly the head is user replaceable.

I believe the Dye based Pro 200 might be a better choice but I think I want pigment for my prints just based on look.

I always treated printing as an afterthought but now with lockdowns and time on my hand J am thinking to learn and explore that might get me through Winter

Cheers

JK

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mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,938
Re: Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?
1

The two ways I've heard of doing this safely are:

1. Qimage can be set up to automatically print something at user defined intervals (this assumes you leave your electricity on while you're gone)

2. replace your ink with a cleaning solution

Also, if you buy a 24" Canon printer just expect to replace the heads when you come back (or maybe the latest ones can be set up to do periodic nozzle cleanings).

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sirkhann Regular Member • Posts: 330
Re: Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?
1

I had positive experience with Dye-based Canon printer in similar scenario, but in the long term, I'm hesitant whether this comes with no negative effects. My MP970 started showing some banding/streaks (it's probably about 10 years old), but printing in low volume and leaving it just sitting there prevents me to track back when the issue appeared, and was it there at the very beginning.

I have also spoken with a person from Canon locally, discussing about the same thing as I'm an amateur/enthusiast photographer, and having too much work for long periods of time sometimes prevents me from having any time to spend in side activities, including photography. This is what have been keeping me from getting a pigment-based printer on the first place. The rep told me he has a Pro-1000 printer in his office, that sometimes sits for months with no ill effects developed to date. I would take this statement with a grain of salt, anyway.

Assuming that the printer will go wild self-cleaning after such long pause, wouldn't it be more feasible for you to outsource the task to an external print studio?

Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 2,481
Re: Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?
1

I think 6 months is a long time to leave the printer , I would suggest , as said by Mike earlier, to speak to Canon about a cleaning solution.

A few years back a special type of printing process required that you swapped inks for different processes... what the ink suppliers did, was offer a cleaning solution to put into the cartridge places, and pump through the printer to clear the lines and head of the " old" ink.   ONLY if Canon were to suggest it might be OK would I consider this. Who knows maybe they could see this as an extended benefit for their machines to offer cleaning cartridges....  However bear in mind that the refilling of the internal reservoirs and head would require about 2/3 of a set of inks, which over here at £40 a cart , would set you back £480 each time.

There is yet another alternative, buy and sell each year.  If you become known to local enthusiasts groups, there could be a line of buyers of a lightly used , well looked after printer.   This would steer me away from the Canon though as it has issues with being moved at anything but the horizontal.

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palombian Regular Member • Posts: 238
Re: Fine art printer 17 or 24 inch to sit idle 6 months a year?
1

It's a luxury problem ...

As said cleaning solution is only economically viable on a printer with small carts (on the printhead) as the PRO-10, PRO-300. You could rinse empty cartridges and fill them with a cleaning solution but this will take you a lot of time (plus resetting the chips or disabling ink monitoring).

But since the printhead is easily removable, maybe the best is to remove the carts and replace the orange clips so they do not dry out.

Afterwards remove the printhead, bath/rinse it first in demineralised water (no tap water) until no color comes out (submerge the head not deeper than the ink inlets).

Bath the printhead afterwards in a solution of 50% isopropanol, let it drip out and stock in a zipper bag or a jar with sealed cover (remaining alcohol will preserve it from fungus etc).

When you come back replace printhead and carts just as you install a new printer.

The printhead is emptied of ink so it cannot dry and clog inside. I always had a spare printer (bought second hand) laid up this way and never had problems reinstalling.

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PatMann
OP PatMann Senior Member • Posts: 1,804
Thanks! Lots of good suggestions to consider

Thanks for the thought given by the respondents to this question. These are great suggestions for me to investigate further.

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Pat

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