Why Test Draw

by: Stephen Crichton on

You know the function is there, and your supplier has probably told you to do it regularly.
But why?

So often I receive calls from clients telling me that they are seeing banding in their print. 
The first question I ask them is "what does your test draw look like"

I still find it surprising that operators don't perform a test draw before they start printing for the day. 
It's almost like not checking your fuel gauge before going on a long drive.

So what is it and why is it important?
The test draw is a pattern that is made up small lines printed from each nozzle in your print head. You will be able to clearly see if all nozzles are firing or not.

Notice the missing nozzles in the black.

Often if the printer has sat idle for a length of time some nozzles may become blocked or partially blocked resulting in missing lines or miss-directed lines in your print.

What should you do to get the best out of your printer?
Do a test draw at the begin of the days printing. You shouldn't need to perform a test draw before ever print, but keep an eye on what you are printing and if you start to see 'banding', do a test draw and see if you have missing nozzles.

If you do have missing and/or deflected nozzles, execute the cleaning function. 
The cleaning function on most printers will usually shoot ink out of the nozzles a few times to try to 'blow-out' the blockage in the nozzle and then will follow-up with a wipe to remove any lingering ink.

If this hasn't fixed the issue, soaking the heat in cleaning solution can also assist in loosening any dried ink in the nozzle. Then follow this up with a head clean.

Ideally you what the test draw to look like the one below

Happy printing!