In order to add balance and a running reference point for the ongoing Richo Aficio SG2100N Edible trials, we had decided to run a printer in the office and print our daily workload out and print some photographs on icing sheets and Gloss and Satin photo papers on a regular basis. We plugged in the Ricoh Aficio SG2100 last Monday and thought we would test it out firstly on a number of Icing sheets and then on Gloss and Satin photo papers.
First print: Windows set up print on plain paper Speed setting – Print good and clear first time print after set up.
Second Print: Gloss Photo Paper on quality priority, Glossy Paper and – Wow exceptional print but colours were too dark and not correct.
Third print : Re-print of second with exactly the same result but print still very sharp and clear but colours clearly were not correct.
Fourth print: Icing sheet on quality priority and glossy paper settings – Very sharp and very bright prints excellent printing, colours on the dark side.
Carried on a few more prints on the Quality Priority and glossy paper setting and the results were consistently good however, the colours were over dark in my opinion and needed lightening and correcting in order to get some of the dark blues to grey as per the screen. These points for most part would not would not be an issue on a cake to be printed, the novelty factor would over-ride the accuracy factor, but it would most certainly be an issue with a photograph. On a professional cake where the colours of company logo’s could be important, this could also be an issue.
I decided to create a colour profile for the photo papers and what a difference. The colours printed on the papers were the same as the computer screen. Also printed using the created colour profile on the icing sheets and the results achieved were the same, lighter and more accurate colours. Now we have something, a colour corrected print on an icing sheet!
This was done on the first set-up day and from this confidence in the printer had increased. We have carried on doing many sheets and many photos, along with printing invoices, labels and letters and the machine is working very well. Based on these results I thought I would try some Crafters 300 gsm card and yes it printed well.
Summary to date would be that the printer feeds the card, icing sheet and photo paper media well, no issues at all. The print quality is very good and no sign of a nozzle blockage. The refillable cartridges hold 70ml of ink minimum (no constant re-filling) and showed no appreciable signs of ink usage. So Far, So Good!
Colour profiling is the process of correcting the colours created using the inks and printable media back to the intended manufacturers RGB colours when using their inks and media. Any good printer, ink or media supplier should have equipment in-house to offer this service. All inks and paper supplied by different suppliers differ from the manufacturers and will need correcting where accuracy is required.
We have been printing at 1200dpi resolution which to the naked eye is ok. Some of the resolutions that printers are supposedly capable of are not noticeable to the human eye. For cake printing and good solid photograph printing, the 1200 dpi is fine. It is said that the human eye can not detect to far above 600 dpi, working on the double for safety principle, 1200dpi should be fine.
Cartridge sizes can play a part in inefficiencies in that constant re-filling runs the risk of air ingress when filling and replacing cartridges. We have found that a printer left for 30 mins after filling will more often than not perform much better than straight after re-filling. We think that this is due to air ingress and that if the printer is left standing, the air percolates through the print-head.