Laser Jet Printing Woes

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by dakwinner, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. dakwinner

    dakwinner New Member

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    Help. I recently started Digital Navy's Takao. I printed the kit using a HP Color LaserJet 4550 using PCL drivers. It seems to print the PDF files smaller than necessary. I found this out after trying to complete the hull plating; everything was 3 - 5mm short.

    After e-mailing Roman at DN he suggested some changes to my printer settings, however those changes didn't work.

    It seems that the only thing that did work was to specify a 102% enlargement when printing.

    Now keep in mind that the structural pieces seemed to print at the correct size (if there was a consistent shrinkage throughout, I never would have been aware of the problem as everything would have been proportionately reduced).

    I have been told to avoid using a laser printer due to issues with color adhesion. However, this new problem took me by surprise.

    Has anyone else had similar scaling problems when using a laser printer? Any help or comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Dave
  2. barry

    barry Active Member

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    Dave

    The hull sides and a couple of other sheets cover an area about 5mm extra to the other sheets so have you got enough memory and can you reduce the top and bottom margins. My printer and computer almost ran out of steam in the bottom right hand corner (HP 870cxi) and only printed some of the colour layers if you look on my build of Takao you will see a patch of light grey on the hull lateral joint.

    barry
  3. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    I'm not sure if this pertains to your printer, but I hit one recently with mine in which the printer was not only scaling the file down a bit, but the percentage of scaling was different in the horizontal axis than it was in the vertical axis. The eggcrate was going together just great until I hid a keep piece I had oriented horizonally on the parts page rather then vertically, and the build absolutely blew up.
  4. j77ason

    j77ason New Member

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    Hi,
    Take your coloured printout to a colour photocopier and photocopy enlarge or reduce all sheets to a predetermined scale. Since the coloured photocopy will be from a laser printer, you won't have a water based ink copy for later on.
    If you work out the scale of a particular sheet and then do each of the rest and then use an electronic calculator to work out the enlargement or reduction to a specific sheet size, you can then put this info into the photocopier, before doing your printout.
    If you don't know how - ask at your local photocopier shop or leave a question here which I will try to reply to
    J77ason.
  5. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

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    I have had similar problems prinitng out the models form Jan Rukr's site.....after some fiddling around I founde that if I rotated the image 180 degrees that the entire model fit on the pages......I tried about a bazillion different settings prior to that and went through at least 20 sheets of card stock before I realized what to do...the perils of being a newbie to card modelling...someone should write a book! lol
  6. Bernhard

    Bernhard Member

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    I encountered a problem which may be similar to Dave's original problem.

    I am using a HP Laserjet 1300 at work to print out graphs (- sorry, not for card models). I noticed, these graphs vary in length by up to 2 mm out of 228mm (or ~ 1%). In the past, when I used an Epson inkjet they were exactly the same length each and every time. Thus, the variation is not caused by the graphing software. There are two possible explanations for the inaccuracy of the laser printer:

    (1) The printer driver for the HP laserjet may take some liberties at putting the graph onto the paper. If this explanation is true it would be HP's fault. Using a different laser printer with a better driver ought to result in reproducible, true to scale printouts.

    (2) But maybe the driver is fine and the inaccuracy of the printout is a generic problem with all laser printers. Laser printers use heat to bake the toner onto the paper. This may drive moisture out of the paper and shrink it a little bit. The degree of shrinking may be different depending on whether you measure along or across the orientation of the paper fibers respectively. Which means, not only does the laser process change the absolute dimensions slightly but worse it distorts the aspect ratio too. If this were the true explanation we'd better use inkjets for printing models.

    Does anyone have a comment; Similar or contradictory observations?

    Bernhard
  7. jleslie48

    jleslie48 Member

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    I'm using that exact same laser color laser printer, I've been using it for 4 years now without a lick of trouble. Sizes perfectly, and I started with acrobat reader 4.0, then 5.0, 6.0 and now 7.0. And never a problem with the color sticking. I use regular cheapie 20lb paper, 24lb premium, 32lb premium and most of my models are on 67lb coverstock. I'veleft a model on the dashboard of my car for 2 years now and not a spot of fading.

    The only issue I know of with the size is that acrobat reader typically has a "reduce to fit paper" option that will print the model at 94-96% and not tell you. you must make sure that is not turned on.

    The only other problem I have with the 4550 is that tray 1 can't handle more than 8 sheets of coverstock at a time without causing a fake "paper jam" error. and it's a 2 minute recycle time.
  8. jleslie48

    jleslie48 Member

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    I'm using that exact same laser color laser printer, I've been using it for 4 years now without a lick of trouble. Sizes perfectly, and I started with acrobat reader 4.0, then 5.0, 6.0 and now 7.0. And never a problem with the color sticking. I use regular cheapie 20lb paper, 24lb premium, 32lb premium and most of my models are on 67lb coverstock. I'veleft a model on the dashboard of my car for 2 years now and not a spot of fading.

    The only issue I know of with the size is that acrobat reader typically has a "reduce to fit paper" option that will print the model at 94-96% and not tell you. you must make sure that is not turned on.

    The only other problem I have with the 4550 is that tray 1 can't handle more than 8 sheets of coverstock at a time without causing a fake "paper jam" error. and it's a 2 minute recycle time.