After talking to many customers, ours and our competitors, regarding printer performance with edible inks and edible print media, we realise that there are some issues that need addressing in order to get a better and more reliable performance and service life from a printer used in this application. From blocked heads, poor media feeding and printer breakdowns, edible printing is driving people nuts! and as with all printers, they always play up when you have an urgent need, which only increases the being driven nuts factor. Agh!
There is a separate article on the issues that we have identified and the causes on another post, link here.
This article is about new printer trials that we are conducting using the a Ricoh printer model as a workhorse edible printer and selecting an Epson model as a home multi-function and multi-use printer. We have asked a couple of our business customers to participate in the trials and to that end we are loaning/giving them the printer to try out but they are paying for the inks, cartridges and media. Printers returned or purchased after the trial.
The reason for not giving the printers away for free is in order not to create a favourable bias. Of course we will discount the printers to say thank you.
We were going to run the Epson trial first and try and get on the Christmas bandwagon, however after a couple of customer requests came up, the workhorse printer was needed to be looked into first. Accordingly, the Epson trial has slowed to a trickle until after Christmas and we have kicked off the Ricoh trials. 12/11/2016. As all printer users know, when a printer is needed most it screws up and guess what, we put the first printer out to Cup Cakes 2 Love on Friday and a technical network board issue developed and the printer was replaced on the 16/11/2016. So off to a great start!
In fairness Ricoh are very reliable printers and this is a one off. They are replacing the printer with a new printer this week.
The scope of the trial is to check performance of the print heads, media feeding mechanism, print quality and printer reliability in application. The trial will run with daily reporting for a month, reporting every 2/3 days for a further month and reporting as and when for the third month. All participants will have a blog space on printingbuddy.uk website under articles/Ricoh edible print trials/company name. Home Media will not vet any comments but will moderate or comment on issues reported.
The purpose in conducting this trial is to find out if the Ricoh SG2100 is the printer that we think it is and will it stand up to the edible printing test so that users to have a reliable and fit for purpose printer in application. For Home Media, it is to unlock the commercial benefits available for the right edible printer package. In order to assist users on this trial in getting up and running with great results quickly, we have outlined printer settings to use as, “quality priority” and paper settings either “Plain Inkjet Paper” or “Glossy” or “Envelope” (The Envelope setting allows for thicker media).
All these settings have been arrived at using our suppliers of ink and media, edible ink, icing sheets and gloss or satin photo papers. We are asking all users on the trial to print photographs of the cake content or general photographs onto standard photo papers. Photographs printed onto resin coated photo papers will produce stunning images and are fade resistant, so why not! (A message that we are trying to get out there)
And we are off!
A final point to make on the Epson printer that we want to use for a trial is that we are looking to create a printer that can be used as a multi use printer for home use. The model concerned is multi function (Print, Scan & Copy) we are trying to change peoples view of using edible inks as standard inks in order to create a printer that can be used for every day printing, photo printing, CD & DVD printing (XP-630) and edible cake printing and general craft printing. More on that when we kick off the actual XP530/XP630 trials. Its a perception thing and by addressing the perception users can get a greater applications usage from a printer.