Screen Print & Inkjet BLAZER-EXPRESS TJBEX-1620 User`s manual

User’s Manual
Fast T-Jet ® Blazer Express
TJBEX-1620
A Product of
January 2008 Version 1.4
Tempe, Arizona USA
Copyright Notices
©2004-2007 U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology,
Tempe, Arizona. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced mechanically or electronically or in any
form without the prior written permission of U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology (U.S.
Screen). The information in this Manual is for informational use only, is subject to change
without notice and should not be construed as a commitment by U.S. Screen.
U.S. Screen assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that
may appear in this document. T-Jet®, T-Jet® Blazer Express, Fast T-Jet® Blazer Express,
FastINK™, FastRIP™, FastARTIST™, FastBRIGHT™ and FastFILMS™ are trademarks, trade
names or registered trademarks of U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology, Tempe, Arizona.
All trademarks, trade names and copyrights are acknowledged for software and sample
shirt images. PostScript®, Adobe® Photoshop® and Adobe® Illustrator® are registered
trademarks of Adobe Inc. Apple and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple Corp.
CorelDRAW® is a registered trademark of the Corel Corporation. Epson™ is a trademark
of Epson Corporation. Windows®, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 2000 are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Federal copyright laws permit you to make a backup of any Software included with
your Fast T-Jet Blazer Pro for archival purposes only. Any other duplication of this
Software, including copies offered through sale, loan, rental or gift is a violation of law
and subject to both criminal and civil penalties.
We strive to continuously make improvements to our Inkjet-to-Garment printing system
and we reserve the right to make product changes and improvements. This manual
contains the latest and most accurate information as of its publication date. Some
product photos or descriptions within this Manual may vary slightly from the currently
shipping machine.
U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology
Home of the U.S. Screen Printing Institute
a division of U. S. Graphic Arts, Inc.
1901 E. 5th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281 USA
Printed in the U.S.A.
Table of Contents
A Letter from the Developer
i
Basic Safety Instructions
iii
Chapter 1- Introduction
1
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Important Points
The Basics
Maintenance
Poor Artwork
Important Support Information
Support Hours
About the Garment Decorating Business
The Book
Computer Graphics DVDs
Business and Marketing DVD’s
Internet
Trade Shows and Trade Magazines
Our Advice
Chapter 2- Unpacking and Setup
Save the Crate and All Packing Materials
Unpacking your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
Placement of Your Printer
Overview of Printer Connections
Environmental Controls and Humidity
Final Unpacking Instructions
Plug the Unit into AC Power
Powering Your Printer ON and OFF
Connecting Your Printer to a Computer
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Getting Ready to Print
Filling the Bulk Ink Cartridges
Resetting the Bulk Ink Cartridges
Placement of Shirtboards
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Chapter 3- Interacting with Your Printer
17
The LCD Display Buttons
The LCD Display Icons
The User Interface (also referred to as the HMI)
The Mode Select Screen
The Manual Mechanism Movement Utility (MMMU) Screen
Platen to Head Clearance Height Adjustment
System Printer Control Utility (SPCU) Screen
The Alarm Select Screen
Epson Driver Installation
Chapter 4- Initialization Utilities
Head Cleanings
Power Cleaning
Setting the Platen Height
Chapter 5- Software Overview
Graphics and RIP Software
FastARTIST and FastRIP
FastRIP
Using Computer Graphics Software
Image Types
Vector
Pixel Based Bitmap
Summary
Editing Bitmap Artwork in FastARTIST/Photoshop
A Quick Note about Photoshop
Check File Mode
Check File Size and Resolution
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Table of Contents
Check File Saturation
Sharpening Images
Using the Tone Curve
Bitmap Editing in FastARTIST
Selecting Areas
Channels and Layers
Setting Transparent Images in FastARTIST
Removing Backgrounds with Photoshop
Making Your Selection a New Layer
Fixing Bad Line-Art in Photoshop and FastARTIST
Artwork for Light and Dark Garments
Chapter 6- Printing with the Blazer Express
Basic Steps for Printing on a White Shirt
Shirtboards
Here are the steps for printing:
A Word about Resolutions, Speed and Quality
Print Modes and FastRIP
CMYK Cartoon and Photo Print Modes
Eight Color Print Modes
Underbase Print Modes
When a Printing Job Is Finished
Curing Your Garments
Preventative Maintenance
Canceling a Print Job
Emergency Off Switch
Height Sensor
A Warning About Page Sizes
Production Rates and Ink Costs
Chapter 7- An Overview of Printing with White Ink
Warnings and Cautions
Pretreatment Basics
Applying Pretreatment
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Types of Pretreatment
Proper Pretreatment Application is Critical
Printing White Ink
Washing Directions
White Ink Troubleshooting
Chapter 8- Printing Other Items
Location and Placement
Adjusting the Platen Height
Non-Textile Printing
Required Items and Overview
Getting Started
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Primer
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Pretreatment
Setting up an Image for Print
Golf Ball Holder Placement
Finish with Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment
Chapter 9- Utilities to Improve Print Quality
Regular Head Cleaning
Auto Head Cleaning (Optional from FastRIP)
Waste Tank Maintenance
Print Head Replacement
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Chapter 10- Preventative Maintenance
85
Keep Your Encoder Strip Clean
85
Clean the Encoder Strip DAILY
86
Turning Off Your Printer
Do Not Overfill the Bulk Ink Bottles
Check Spit Tray/Capping Station/Print Head
Humidity and Environmental Control
Print With the Lid Closed
Preparing the Blazer Express for Downtime
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Other Hints and Tips
Eliminating Ink Drops on Shirts
Clean Bulk System Computer Chips
RAM and Your Computer
When in Doubt – Unplug Everything
Clean the Print Carriage Drive Belt Gear
Shake Shirts or Preheat to Minimize Lint
No Windex
Five Minute Daily Maintenance
Do Not Lubricate the Drive Screw
Daily and Weekly Maintenance Schedule
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Chapter 11- Troubleshooting
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Chapter 12- Product Support
109
Support Policy
Support Hours
Phone Support
24 Hour Support
Webcam Video Support
Free Personalized Internet Web Support
Epson Support
Third Party Software Support
Show off Your Work
Transporting Your Printer
Appendix A- Operational Guide
Notice
Standards Compliance
Radio Frequency Emissions Compliance
Federal, State and Local Laws- Regulations and Standards
Summary of Customer Responsibilities
Room Preparation
Environment
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Exhaust Ventilation Requirements
Room Conditions
Electrical Requirements
Main Operator
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Printer Specifications
Miscellaneous Information
Receiving Inspection
Shipment Movement
Staging Area
Uncrating
Appendix B- Requirements and Notices
Windows OS Requirements for Blazer Express Operation
Declaration of Conformity
European Union Declaration of Conformity - CE
Limited Warranty
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A Letter from the Developer
Dear Valued Customer,
I want to personally thank you for purchasing our new
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Inkjet-to-Garment printer. We
have made a major investment in hardware and ink
development to make inkjet printing directly onto a
shirt a reality.
With the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express, FastINK and readily
available software technology, you will be able to
print high quality, vibrant images on T-Shirts and other
garments in a matter of minutes. Fast T-Jet printers
are ushering in a new level of sophistication for the
garment decorating industry.
I appreciate any comments or feedback you have on our machine and hope
you enjoy using it as much as I have enjoyed developing it!
Best Regards,
Scott Fresener
CEO
i
ii
Basic Safety Instructions
Please read this entire Manual before attempting to Print.
• Follow all warnings on and about the printer.
• Use the proper power source type indicated on the printer’s label and in this
manual.
• Connect all equipment to grounded outlets. Do not use the same outlet for
any other system, such as a copy machine, an air conditioning unit or a Heat
Press that may cycle ON and OFF.
• Place the printer where the power outlet is easily seen.
• Do not allow the power cord to be damaged.
• If you are using an extension cord, ensure the extension cord’s power
ampere rate does not exceed that of the printer’s cord.
• Keep electromagnetic devices and other potential sources of magnetic
fields away from your printer.
• Do not use the printer in locations that have high humidity, shocks,
vibrations, debris or dust.
• Leave enough space around the printer for proper ventilation.
• Do not leave the printer near heat sources such as radiators or heat vents.
• Do not leave the printer in direct sunlight.
• Place the printer on a stable surface that extends beyond the length
and width of the printer supports. The printer will not work properly if it is tilted or leaning.
• When packing and moving the printer, do not set the printer on its side or
upside down. This may cause the ink to spill.
• Turn the printer OFF before cleaning. Clean with a damp cloth and avoid
spilling any liquid on the printer.
Caution:
• Do not unplug the printer to turn it OFF. Use the power button instead.
• Do not unplug the printer until the Main Power Switch has been turned OFF.
• Do not block any of the printer’s vents or insert foreign object into its
slots.
• Do not attempt to service the printer yourself beyond the troubleshooting
techniques covered in this Manual.
• Keep the machine on a level surface.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Safety Instructions for Ink Cartridges:
• Always keep ink cartridges out of the reach of children.
• While handling ink, be careful not to spill it on your skin. If ink does get on
your skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water. If ink gets in your eyes, flush them immediately with water.
• Do not put your hand in the printer or touch the ink cartridges while the
printer is in operation.
• Do not move the Print Head by hand- doing so may damage the
printer.
• If you remove the ink cartridges, make sure to place them in individual
bags and keep them away from dust, dirt and debris.
• Store unused ink cartridges in a cool dark place.
• Allow ink cartridges to warm to room temperature before using them after
storage.
• Do not dismantle the ink cartridge.
• Do not touch the IC chip on the ink cartridges. This will adversely effect normal printing operations.
Legend of Symbols
Throughout this Manual you will see three symbols used to notify you of
important facts or procedures.
This icon is used to denote important points that may affect the
proper operation of your machine or the viability of its output. Think
of this as more than just a helpful hint.
This icon indicates recommendations from U.S. Screen based on
research and development or years of experience within the
Garment Decorating business. Following these helpful Hints, Tips or
Reminders will make printing with your Fast T-Jet more enjoyable.
Where you see this icon, you should take note of the warnings.
Failure to follow any of the listed procedures could result in severe
damage to your machine, large amounts of downtime and/or
costly repairs, or the possibility of severe bodily injury or death.
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User’s Manual
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
An Overview
This manual contains the latest and most accurate information at the time of printing.
We reserve the right to make product changes and improvements at any time. Some product
photos in this Manual may vary slightly from the currently shipping machine.
Chapter 1
Introduction
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is an inkjet printer that has been modified to print
on almost any type of fabric material as well as non-textiles, such as golf balls,
keyboards, tennis balls, etc. (The ink will not work on waterproof nylon and most
synthetic materials.) In the past, this type of printing was difficult, if not impossible
to do because there were no inks available that would work on both 100%
cotton or 50/50 cotton/polyester blends AND withstand the rigors of washing.
That all changed with the introduction of FastINK Textile Ink. Designed specifically
for these materials, FastINK requires only a post-treatment of heat to cure when
printed on lighter shirts. It’s even possible to print with White ink on dark shirts with
the application of a Pretreatment. This ink is so versatile it can even be used for
printing on non-textiles by applying Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Pretreatment to the
item before printing and Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment to the item after
printing.
The Blazer Express is based on standard inkjet technology, with the Epson
4880 being the heart of the system. This means you can expect your printer
to be reliable AND versatile. The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is also fast, printing a
standard, T-Shirt sized image in under two minutes. Whether it’s a shirt, a towel,
mouse pads, tote bags, bibs or baseball caps, the possibilities are endless.
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Important Points
Please read this entire Manual FIRST before attempting to Print on
any garment.
The Basics
You probably can’t wait to get started and we share your enthusiasm for the
garment decoration process. However, before you print that first shirt, there are
a few basics that need to be covered.
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express prints best on 100% cotton. Printing on dark colored
50% cotton/50% polyester blends with White ink is NOT recommended because
you will notice a discoloration of your image. Red garments will turn your Whites
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Pink and even Yellow shirts will tint your image. Print only on pastels or White
garments when using White ink and blended fabrics. Images without White will
not be affected. In addition, when printing on 100% polyester or other synthetic
materials, you may not achieve the same print brightness.
Your printer is ONLY compatible with Windows XP, 2000 or Vista Operating
Systems and the latest versions of both FastARTIST and FastRIP are included as
part of your kit. FastARTIST is a Windows based graphics application that will
make preparing an image for print as simple as a click of the mouse. With a oneclick Underbase Wizard and simple clipping features, FastARTIST can help ease
the transition into graphics design if you are not familiar with other applications.
For avid users of Photoshop, CorelDRAW, Illustrator etc., you may choose to work
within the application of choice and still set up the image properly for printing.
However, the final design MUST be Imported into FastARTIST for output if you will
be printing with White ink. Only upon Importing an image into FastARTIST, will
you be able to utilize the one-click Underbase Wizard. Even if you are utilizing an
eight color system with NO White, we recommend you Import your image in to
FastARTIST for printing to ensure optimal results.
Macintosh Users can still create an image in their favorite graphics application;
they will just have to transfer it to a PC for printing.
Every image MUST print to FastRIP for final output. FastRIP works as the Queue
and Print Manager, allowing you to not only select different Print Modes and
other attributes, but also archive print jobs for future reprints.
Maintenance
Although the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is “simply” an inkjet printer, the number
one technical issue is a lack of maintenance of the machine. There are three
main areas of concern:
• Printing on T-shirts is not the same as printing on paper- a shirt gives off much
more lint and this lint must be cleaned up regularly.
• The amount of ink deposited on fabrics is far greater than on paper. This
means all ink supply lines must be feeding properly as well as all excess ink
must be cleaned up daily to prevent build-up.
• When printing on dark shirts, you must apply a Pretreatment. This aerosol
solution can settle inside the printer and cause numerous problems, therefore
we recommend you pretreat shirts as far away as possible (i.e. in another
room).
If you adhere to the required maintenance schedule, printing with the Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express will be a joy.
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Chapter 1- Introduction
Poor Artwork
With so many graphics programs readily available, everyone is an artist. Poor
quality artwork will be one of your biggest concerns because there is no magic
to transform a low resolution, low quality piece of artwork into a great looking
print. Therefore, it is important you spend some time learning as much as you
can about graphic art programs and some of the simple methods that can be
used to improve the quality of customer supplied artwork.
Important Support Information
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is sold through a world wide dealer network and, in
some cases, direct from U.S. Screen. Support for your printer is provided free of
charge.
However, if you purchased your printer from an international dealer outside of
the US, you should contact your factory trained and certified dealer FIRST. If the
dealer is unable to find a solution to your problem, please feel free to contact
U.S. Screen Technical Support for assistance
If you purchased your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express from one of our authorized US
dealers, you may want to call your dealer for initial support, but DO NOT feel you
have to go to the dealer first. Our dealers are trained and certified, but for the
most up-to-date support contact U.S. Screen Print and Inkjet Technology.
Support Hours
Toll Free Technical Support Corp. Office Fax E-mail: Internet: +1 888-MYTJETS (698-5387)
+1 480-929-2937
+1 480-929-0640
+1 480-929-0766
support@usscreen.com
www.screenprinters.net. Click on the Support tab.
Support hours: 7:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Friday
9:00am to 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday
24hr Emergency Support is available
All times are Mountain Standard Time USA
Please Note: Arizona does not observe “Daylight Savings Time.”
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
About the Garment Decorating Business and
Where to Learn More
You are entering a fantastic business, one where you can make a lot of money
in a short period of time. But, like any business, there will be ups and downs. You
will need to learn about the industry such as trade standards, copyright and
trademark laws, how to price your work, how to deal with customers and much
more. Learning the business and marketing side is often harder than the actual
printing of shirts.
There are many valuable resources which can help you, including websites,
trade magazines, books, videos and trade shows. Please visit
www.screenprinters.net for the latest “How To” training materials.
The Book
One of the most valuable books on the industry is How To Print
T-Shirts for Fun and Profit. Written by Scott and Pat Fresener, it
is the “Bible” of the industry. Even though this book is geared
toward learning the screen printing process, it also contains
excellent sections on the business aspects of garment
decoration, including marketing and selling your creations,
the law, creating graphics, and best of all, a comprehensive
Suppliers Directory.
Computer Graphics DVDs
One of the hardest things to learn
for the computer novice is computer
graphics. There are a number of
excellent DVDs explaining computer
graphics and how to use Adobe
Photoshop , CorelDRAW or Adobe
Illustrator. These DVDs focus mainly on
the Screen Printing process, however
they also feature excellent sections on
how to create designs, how to deal
with poor quality artwork and more.
Business and Marketing DVD’s
Since the business and marketing side is often complex and sometimes
frustrating, there is an excellent DVD called Business and Marketing that covers
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Chapter 1- Introduction
all aspects of running a successful garment
decorating enterprise. There is also a good set
of DVDs on marketing and selling, called the
Marketing Toolbox.
Internet
The number one website for the industry is www.screenprinters.net. There you will
find a wealth of articles, industry links, a Buyer’s Guide and open Forums.
Trade Shows and Trade Magazines
There are a number of good trade magazines and dozens of trade shows
around the world for garment decorating. Two of the more popular resources
for the “When’s” and “Where’s” are the website www.screenprinters.net and the
book How To Print T-Shirts for Fun and Profit. Both contain numerous trade show
listings.
Our Advice
When starting a business, it is often easy to think nothing will go wrong. You need
to be positive about your venture, but in the beginning, expect the worse. If you
take orders for printed shirts before you have even received your machine, you
might find that deadlines are hard to meet because of the learning curve and
unexpected problems.
The garment business is one of deadlines- such as event shirts, shirts for special
occasions and shirts with “dates” on them. You must always give yourself room
for error. Shirt suppliers might not ship on time. You might not have checked your
ink inventory and end up running out of a color. And, yes, you will ruin a few
shirts! Accept this as a fact of life in the garment decorating industry. To have
the most success, allow extra time to fill orders and don’t make commitments
that might be hard to keep.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone wearing one of your
creations, but nothing more disturbing than working all night to meet a deadline.
Anyone who has been in this industry has experienced the joy and sorrow of
both. Plan ahead and always have a cushion to make sure you meet deadlines.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
6
Chapter 2
Unpacking and Setup
Save the Crate and All Packing Materials
Failure to follow this step will VOID YOUR WARRANTY.
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is a very large piece of equipment and it is shipped
in a sturdy crate with bracing to hold delicate components in place. Unpack
your printer with care and please retain all shipping materials, bags, boxes and
directions received with the printer. These items will be needed in the event the
machine must be returned for repair or transported to another location. If you
return or ship a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express without using the original shipping carton
you may void the warranty. The crate may be disassembled for storage.
Unpacking your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is shipped fully assembled in one large crate. You
should have received and signed a Pre-Installation Checklist prior to the arrival
of your printer. This Checklist outlined the importance of room conditions and
other details necessary for your machine to maintain optimal performance
levels.
You MUST be very careful transporting your T-Jet Blazer Express. It is very heavy
and a delicate piece of equipment. DO NOT uncrate your printer until it has
reached its final destination. The exterior crate dimensions are 55” x 42” x 33”.
This means the unit will need to be tipped 90o and placed on a dolly or rolling
cart in order to pass through standard 36” doorways. As shipped, the packing
material will allow for this and prevent damage to your printer as long as the
crate is not dropped.
Important Note:
The printer and shipping crate combined weigh close to 300
pounds. Because of the bulk of the machine, this is a MINIMUM
TWO PERSON lift. In addition, DO NOT attempt to lift the machine
from the crate with less than two people. Position one person at
each end of the Printer Assembly and ensure any lifting is done
using the four handles.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
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Chapter 2- Unpacking and Setup
Placement of Your Printer
When determining where to set up your printer, keep in mind the Fast T-Jet Blazer
Express requires an area of at least 10 ft x 10 ft (3.6 m x 3.6 m) for the printer
and workspace around it. Additional space is required for drying, pretreating
garments, garment staging, etc.
The Blazer Express’ final destination MUST BE A STURDY TABLE OR OTHER
PLATFORM. For operator comfort, we recommend the height of the platform be
at least 30”. This table must be able to support the full weight of your printer
(200 lb. / 91 kg) as well as all accessories, such as a Shirtboard, Inks and
garments. The table MUST also be able to incorporate the entire “footprint” of
the machine across its surface. NO PART of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express should
overhang an edge.
The table or platform must also provide a stable base which will not transmit
vibrations from surrounding equipment and which will not be subject to
vibrations from movement of the printer during image output. Failure to minimize
these vibrations will seriously affect final print quality.
An simple and effective solution would be to use the crate in which the Blazer
Express was shipped to you. Perhaps even drape a table cloth or other material
over it to help catch spills. If you don’t wish to use the shipping crate, McMasterCarr Inc. specializes in heavy-duty stands. Their website is www.mcmaster.com.
Overview of Printer Connections
Power Switch
AC Power Cord Plug-In
USB Connection
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Environmental Controls and Humidity
The Blazer Express should not be exposed to direct sunlight, direct airflow, dusty
areas, strong magnetic forces or excessively high humidity. The machine does
not like to be too dry or too moist with a level of 40% to 80% relative humidity
being ideal. Since you will be handling wet ink to refill the Bulk System ink bottles,
you should also protect any carpet or floor covering with mats.
Like any Hi-Tech electronic device, your inkjet printer does NOT like being in
a hot or cold shop or a garage without proper air-conditioning controls. If
left unattended for days or weeks in a hot dry environment, the Print Head
WILL clog. Consult Chapter 10 for instructions on installing refillable cleaning
cartridges if you anticipate not using your machine for an extended period.
For convenience and efficiency, place your printer close to the Heat Press or
Dryer you will be using to cure the ink. If you have two or three printers set up as
a production work station, arrange them around or near the heat source.
At night, and when the printer is not in use, cover the machine to protect it from
airborne dust and debris.
Important Point
When using White ink, you must apply a Pretreatment
to the shirts before printing. DO NOT spray this
Pretreatment near your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.
Pretreat shirts in a different room, if possible but at
a minimum, make a cardboard enclosure for use
during applications. The Pretreatment is sticky and
can ruin the Print Head as well as damage the
Encoder Strip. The Encoder Strip is a thin piece of
clear plastic with data that is read by the Print Head
as the unit operates. The Encoder Strip tells the Print
Head exactly where to print an image. If the Encoder
Strip becomes dirty or damaged, the printer will get
confused, resulting in the printing of multiple images,
strips of solid ink and other irregular printing patterns.
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Chapter 2- Unpacking and Setup
Final Unpacking Instructions
Remove the packing tape that was used to secure the low profile access lid
and raise the cover.
DO NOT try to move the Print Carriage off of the Capping Station. The Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express locks the Print Carriage onto the Capping Station- forcing the Print
Carriage to move will damage your printer.
Note: You may find a small amount of ink on the
Waste Pad and/or Capping Station during setup. This
is normal and there is no need to be alarmed. Each
printer is run through a series of test print cycles before
shipping to ensure it is operating properly.
Release the Green shipping tab lock located at the base of the Print Carriage.
Plug the Unit into AC Power
Plug the printer into its own power source. The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express has a dual
voltage power converter built in, allowing it to work with 50 or 60 cycle current
ranging from 110 volts to 220 volt.
DO NOT TURN THE PRINTER ON YET! YOU MUST FIRST INSTALL THE BULK INK SYSTEM.
Insert the AC cord into the unit and plug the opposite end into a power strip with
surge protection. Avoid plugging multiple items into the same power strip.
For more reliable results, plug the unit into a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
to help prevent ruined shirts during power fluctuations. DO NOT plug other high
power use items, such as a Heat Press, into the same circuit.
Powering Your Printer ON and OFF
When turning ON your Fast T-Jet Blazer
Express, you must first turn on the Main
Power Switch (located adjacent the AC
cord). Wait until the virtual LED labeled
“Automatic Mode” becomes Red and
then press the Power On (Orange) button.
This takes approximately 5 seconds.
The virtual LED turns Red after 5 seconds
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
When turning OFF your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express, you
must press the Power Off button (Red) on the UI before
turning OFF the Main Power Switch (located adjacent
the AC cord). When powering OFF, your printer goes
through a shut down cycle that seats the head onto
the Capping Station to help prevent Print Head clogs.
DO NOT turn off the unit at the power strip. It WILL NOT go
through a normal shut down.
Main Power Switch
Connecting Your Printer to a Computer
You may only connect the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
to a computer with a USB 2.0 cable. For best results,
you should use the special gold tipped USB cable
supplied with the machine. Avoid using a cable
that is over 6ft in length and do not use a switch
box or USB Hub. failure to follow thee guidelines can
cause communication problems between the printer and your PC.
Including your printer, mouse and Dongle, you will need 3 free USB ports.
Your computer must use a Windows Operating System, such as Windows XP or
Vista (Windows ME is not supported). For best results you should use a computer
with at least 1GB of RAM (2 GB if using Vista). RAM is inexpensive and if you can
put more in your computer, it will prevent problems when printing large files.
The Universal Serial Bus – USB – method of communication
is standard on all newer computers, but a little known
fact is that there only a certain amount of power is
supplied to the entire “bus.” If you have several items
(other than a mouse and the FastARTIST Dongle) plugged
into different USB ports on your computer, this may cause
communication issues with the printer.
We recommend using a dedicated computer to control your Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express. Avoid using extra USB ports for items (such as a
webcam, joystick, additional printer etc.) when printing with your
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.
Failure to follow the recommended environmental, power,
maintenance and operating conditions can void your warranty.
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express does NOT like to be in a hot, dry shop
with excess dust, as well as being plugged into outlets with several
other items. Please read and understand the operating conditions
and maintenance requirements for your investment.
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Chapter 2- Unpacking and Setup
Getting Ready to Print
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express uses a
specially designed Bulk Ink System
with cartridges that hold about 200
ml of ink per color (x8) and allow for
easy re-filling as needed. In order to
prevent damage and ink leakage,
your printer was not shipped with
the Bulk System installed. To prevent
components from drying out, it is
shipped with cleaning cartridges. You
will need to remove these prior to use
because these cartridges do NOT
contain textile ink.
The Bulk System that shipped with your Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express may or may not look
exactly like the one shown here.
To remove the cleaning cartridges, locate the blue levers to the right side
of each bank of four. Moving these levers to the UP position will release the
cartridges. With the lever in the DOWN position, cartridges will be locked in
place.
Move both levers to the UP position and remove the cleaning cartridges. Store
them in a cool, dark environment for future use.
Filling the Bulk Ink Cartridges
Your printer comes with 8 oz. (250 ml) bottles
of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black FastINK3,
along with 1 liter of FastINK Bright White. You will
also find 8 continuous flow ink cartridges and 8
funnels. 1 cartridge will be used for each of the
4 colors and 4 cartridges will be dedicated for
White.
During initial setup, and whenever ink cartridges
run low, you must fill them manually. Choose an
area where spills will not do much damage and
protect the area with newspaper, paper towels
or a drop cloth. It is recommended you also wear
disposable gloves.
To fill a cartridge, refer to the color coding on the
cartridge for the correct ink to add, then remove
the cap and place the funnel into the top
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
opening. When pouring the ink, lift the funnel out of the hole slightly, to allow air
to escape and facilitate a smooth flow.
DO NOT overfill the cartridge. There are hash marks on the front of each
cartridge denoting increments of 50 ml, with the top mark referencing 200 ml.
DO NOT add ink beyond this mark.
Reseat the cap in the opening of the newly filled cartridge and repeat the
procedure for each color until all eight Bulk Ink Cartridges have been filled.
The cartridges are numbered from 1-8. Using these numbers as a guide, place
the Bulk Ink cartridges into your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express and lower both blue
levers to secure them in place. The colors CMYK will be placed in slots 1-4, with
White FastINK placed in slots 5-8.
Changing Ink Brands
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express shipped with FastINK Textile Ink. With a normal inkjet
printer, it is a very common practice to change from the manufacturer’s brand
of ink to third party inks. However, this can result in serious issues when using
specially formulated textile inks. All textile inks are NOT created equal and they
must not be mixed. Should you decide to try another brand of textile ink in your
printer, before doing so you MUST flush out the entire Bulk Ink System using a
special flushing solution available from U.S. Screen.
Failure to perform this process can result in a mixture of the two brands, creating
a chunky mess that might be called severe “cholesterol” in the ink tubes. In fact,
this mixture will permanently clog the Print Head. U.S. Screen is not responsible
for any damage to your printer or replacement of the Print Head should you
use another manufacturer’s ink. If you do experience problems with another
manufacturer’s ink you must contact THAT manufacturer for any available
remedies.
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Chapter 2- Unpacking and Setup
Resetting the Bulk Ink Cartridges
Your Bulk Ink System Cartridges have smart chips built-in that are designed to
count the number of ink drops dispensed. After a certain amount of ink has
been used, a typical inkjet cartridge chip tells the printer it is out of ink. However,
the system is inefficient when used for a continuous-flow Bulk Ink System.
We have equipped each cartridge with a new smart chip, but if you print
continuously for an long period of time, the chip may still believe the cartridge is
low on ink when in reality it is not. If this does occur, remove the cartridge that is
indicating Low Ink and use the Reset Module to change its status. The module’s
Red light will blink while it resets the chip. The Red light will transition to a SOLID
Green when the reset is complete.
The process of resetting the smart chip is demonstrated in the following three
Images.
Placement of the Shirtboard
The Blazer Express standard Shirtboard should be placed
in the Landscape orientation. The oversized Shirtboard is
to be mounted in the Portrait orientation. Both Shirtboards
have Yellow and Black “This Side Out” stickers to assist
you with placement. Before operating the printer, ensure
these labels can be viewed from the Load position.
Oversize
Shirtboard Label
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Standard Size
Shirtboard Labels
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
16
Chapter 3
Interacting with Your Printer
Whether it’s Head Cleanings, a Nozzle Check, a Head Alignment or other
maintenance, all Utilities can be accessed through the LCD Control Panel,
located above the White ink cartridges.
Summary of LCD Display Buttons and Important Icons
Many of the different Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Printer Modes (not to be confused
with Print Modes which are applicable only to image output) are commonly
referred to by the Icons and Phrases that appear in the LCD Display. Because
of the complex nature of the Epson 4880, there are many different Modes and
Functions available, therefore the following list is not all-inclusive. However, it
does detail the major items you may encounter in daily operation and those
which are applicable to Inkjet-to-Garment printing. (For a comprehensive list of
all Epson 4880 Functions and Modes, consult the Epson User’s Manual that has
been included as part of your printer kit.)
The LCD Display Buttons
The LCD Display Icons
The Sheet icon is referred to as Sheet Mode preceded by any
phrase above it such as “Ready (Sheet)” mode or “Paper Out
(Sheet)” mode.
The Roll icon is referred to as Roll Mode preceded by any phrase above it such as “Ready (Roll)” mode or “Paper Out (Roll)” mode.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
The Roll & Scissors icon is referred to as Roll Cut Mode preceded
by any phrase above it such as “Ready (Roll Cut)” mode or
“Paper Out (Roll Cut)” mode.
DO NOT press or attempt to use any button on the Epson LCD
Display not covered in this Manual. Failure to follow this guideline
can result in extended downtime, ruined output and/or damage
to your printer that is not covered by warranty. If you note erratic
machine behavior when attempting to print, immediately shut
down the printer and contact Technical Support.
The User Interface (also referred to as the HMI)
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express features a User Interface (UI) to add convenience
and function. The UI (or HMI) allows you to perform several operations from
its screens rather than using the LCD Display. Each screen is touch sensitive,
allowing you to navigate between screens or change screen settings with a
touch of a finger. There are currently 4 UI screens.
The Mode Select Screen
The Mode Select Screen allows the selection
of two modes- Manual (used when running
any Maintenance Utilities) and Auto
(used when choosing the number of Print
Passes and sending a Print command from
FastARTIST for image output.)
To change from Manual mode to Auto
mode or vice versa, touch the virtual dial
once.
You MUST be in Manual mode to utilize any functions on the UI or
perform any Maintenance Utilities such as Head Cleanings, Head
Alignments, etc. To Print, you MUST be in Auto mode.
The Manual Mechanism Movement Utility (MMMU) Screen
The MMMU Screen controls the movement of the Printer Assembly prior to and
after completion of a printing job. The Assembly has three preset positions and
these are listed under the heading “Position”: Home, Nest and Index.
Pressing and holding the Home button for 2 seconds will eject the Print Bed and
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Chapter 3- Interacting with Your Printer
from this the position you may load or remove garments.
Pressing and holding the Index button for 2
seconds will move the Print Bed to the rear
of the printer. When in this position, you may
perform various the maintenance functions such
as Nozzle Checks, Head Alignments, etc.
Pressing and holding the Nest button for 2
seconds will move the Printer Assembly forward
or backward and align it with the front sensor.
No printing or maintenance functions should
be performed from this position. This is ONLY to
check the functionality of the sensor.
By using the “Jog” options, you can control small movements of the Print Bed.
• Pressing the FOR button, moves the Bed incrementally toward the front of
the printer.
• Pressing the REV button, moves the Bed incrementally toward the back of
the printer.
Platen to Head Clearance Height Adjustment
Platen height on the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
is manually adjusted, using the control knob
located on the Print Bed. (The Platen to Head
Clearance Adjustment screen may appear, but
its functions have been disabled.)
• Rotating the knob clockwise raises the Platen.
• Rotating the knob counter-clockwise lowers
the Platen.
Platen Height
Adjustment Control
System Printer Control Utility (SPCU)
Screen
The SPCU screen can be utilized instead of the menu on the printer’s LCD control
panel in specific instances.
Pressing the Reset button will clear the printer’s memory. You would use this
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
function if a job was aborted or cancelled.
Pressing the Pause button pauses a print
job in progress.
The Reload button is to be used ONLY
under direction from the Support
Department.
If you press this button, you will receive
a “Remove Paper” message on the LCD
control panel. The only way to clear this
message and resume normal functions is to
turn the printer OFF and then back ON.
The Alarm Select Screen
The Alarm Select Screen allows you to
control the audible warning siren. To turn
OFF all alarms, ensure the virtual dial of the
Mode Select Screen is pointing to Manual.
Return to the Alarm Select Screen and
touch both Audible and Visual switches to
place them in the OFF position.
If you wish to turn the alarm back ON, it
would be Mode Select Screen > Manual
mode > Alarm Select Screen > Audible and
Visual Alarms ON.
Anytime you choose the Manual mode from the Mode Select
Screen, you must remember to return to that screen and switch the
virtual dial to Auto to enable printing.
Epson Driver Installation
A Printer Driver is software needed to make any printer function. For your Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express to operate properly, you will need to download the most
current version for the Epson Stylus Pro 4880 available at www.epson.com.
Follow the links under the Drivers & Support section and you will be able to select
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Chapter 3- Interacting with Your Printer
a driver compatible with your Operating System.
Windows Vista Users must have Administrator authority to download
and install any drivers. Additionally, you MUST download the
applicable 32 bit OR 64 bit driver based on your Operating System,
NOT your processor. These drivers are NOT interchangeable.
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is a highly modified version of the Epson 4880 with
hundreds of additional parts not provided by Epson. As a result, the Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express and any driver software is NOT supported by Epson. All support for
the Epson driver and internal Epson components will come from U.S. Screen.
If you have any concerns installing the driver, contact our Support Department
and they will gladly walk you through the process.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
22
Chapter 4
Initialization Utilities
U.S. Screen is not liable for any damage caused by ink to property
such as carpets, flooring or furniture . Please read and understand
all operating and maintenance procedures before using the Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express.
You have the Bulk Ink System in place and the Printer Driver installed, but there
is one more step to take before you can start printing; you must perform an
initialization process that will get the ink flowing, set the Platen to the correct
height for printing and ensure the Print Head Nozzles are in proper alignment to
output the best possible images.
To begin the initialization, turn the printer ON by setting the breaker switch to
the UP position. Wait five seconds for the Red indicator light and then press the
Orange Power button on the UI.
Head Cleanings
There are two types of Head Cleanings available for use on the Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express- a regular cleaning and a Power Cleaning. Both unclog the
Nozzles so they can deliver ink properly. However, depending upon the severity
of your problem, your only option may be the Power Cleaning. Be advised, a
Power Cleaning will consume a lot of ink.
To prevent having to do Power Cleanings, we recommend initiating at least
one regular head cleaning cycle each day. A Regular Head Cleaning cycle
will also use a fair amount of ink, but not nearly as much as a Power Cleaning.
Power Cleaning
You must perform a Power Cleaning during setup to ensure ink is proper flowing
through the ink lines. You will need to execute approximately three Power
Cleanings to initialize your printer.
Power Cleanings are executed from the LCD Control Panel with the virtual dial
set to Manual on the Mode Select Screen of the UI:
1. Place the printer in Print status. This is accomplished by using the LCD Control
Panel located above the White ink cartridges. Press the LEFT ARROW twice
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
until the LCD Display reads “Ready.”
Press the LEFT ARROW once more
and the LCD Display will read
“Paper Out” and display a “roll of
paper with scissors” icon.
The printer is now in Print status.
LCD Display in Print status aka “Paper Out
(Roll Cut)”
Whenever you need to get to Print status, this is the sequence
you will use. The only difference would be if you were preparing
to output an image onto a garment, the virtual dial of the Mode
Select Screen would be set to Auto.
• Return the printer to “Ready” status by pressing the LEFT ARROW button
once.
• With the printer in Ready status, press the RIGHT ARROW once.
• Press the UP ARROW and scroll through the menu items until you come to “Maintenance.” Press the RIGHT ARROW once.
• Press the DOWN ARROW to scroll the menu items until you come to
“Power Clean.” To execute a Power Cleaning, press the RIGHT ARROW
once.
• The LCD display will inform you of the Power Cleaning’s status in
percentages. At the 10% mark, the display will prompt you to move both
blue levers adjacent the ink cartridges into the UP position.
• At the 20% mark, you will be prompted to move both blue levers into the DOWN position. You will again be prompted to move both levers at the
30%, 40% and 50% marks. At the 50% point, both levers will be in the DOWN
position and you will not have to adjust them again during the power
cleaning cycle.
Once the Power Cleaning is complete, the LCD Display will read “Ready.”
Perform two more Power Cleanings.
Setting the Platen Height
It is necessary during setup to adjust the Print Bed (or Platen) to the proper
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Chapter 4- Initialization Utilities
height for output. In addition, should you need to raise or lower the Platen to
accommodate different garments or other items, the following procedure
would be used:
1. At the UI, turn the printer OFF using the Emergency button.
2. Turn the printer ON and allow it to go through a start-up cycle.
3. On the UI, press the “RIGHT hand” button until the Mode Select screen
appears. (Refer to page 45 for details on UI screens)
4. In the upper left hand corner is a virtual dial pointing to “Auto.” Press the dial once and it will rotate to “Manual.”
5. Using the “hand” buttons, scroll through the UI screens until you reach the MMMU screen.
6. Press the Jog button until the printer is over the Shirtboard.
Carriage
Release Button
7. Lift the printer cover if it is not already. Locate the Carriage Release button, press and manually move the Print Carriage until its sits near the center of
Shirtboard.
8. Use the Platen Height Adjustment knob to set a Print Head clearance of
approximately 3 mm.
9. Slide the Print Carriage back to the capping station
10.Return to the UI and the MMMU screen. Under the Position heading, press
Home.
You will hear an audible tone and the Printer Assembly will begin to move. When
it stops, it will be in the Home position
Perform a Nozzle Check
You must print a Nozzle Check to ensure the Print Head is performing properly.
You may use either paper or film for this test, but we recommend film such as
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
FastPOSITIVE, available from U.S. Screen. Otherwise it’s
difficult to see White ink on White paper. To initiate a
Nozzle Check:
1. Take the printer from Print to “Ready (Sheet)”
status by pressing the LEFT ARROW button twice.
The LCD display will read “Ready” and you will
see a “sheet of paper” icon. Only when in “Ready
(Sheet)” status can the Printer Assembly be
moved.
2. Using the “RIGHT hand” button, shuffle through the UI screens until you get to the Mode Select screen. Ensure the virtual dial is set to Manual.
3. Press the “RIGHT hand” button on the UI again until you reach the Manual Mechanism Movement Utility (MMMU) screen.
4. Place your sheet of film or paper on the Shirtboard, taking care to align the
film or paper with the Shirtboard’s lower right hand corner (as you face the
front of the printer.)
5. Under the heading Position, press the Index button. This will move the Print
Bed to the proper position for printing.
6. You must now change the printer mode to “Ready (Roll).” Press the LEFT
ARROW button on the LCD Control Panel twice. The display will read “Ready” with a “roll of paper” icon.
7. On Control Panel, press the RIGHT ARROW once and the display will read
“Printer Setup.” Press the DOWN ARROW once to see “Test Print.”
8. Press the RIGHT ARROW button once to see “Nozzle Check.” Press the RIGHT
ARROW again and “Print” will appear in the display.
9. To execute the Nozzle Check, press the RIGHT ARROW button once.
• If the Nozzle Check does not print correctly, perform a regular Head
Cleaning. This is done by holding down the RIGHT ARROW button for 3
seconds. After the Head Cleaning has been completed, execute another
Nozzle Check.
If, AT ANY TIME, you have performed three Nozzle Checks without
rebooting your printer, you must power OFF your printer before
executing another one.
Once you have obtained a satisfactory Nozzle Check press the Power OFF
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Chapter 4- Initialization Utilities
button on the UI. After the printer has completed its shutdown process, Power
ON at the UI and perform a Print Head Alignment.
Print Head Alignment
In addition to the initial setup requirements, it may be necessary to perform a
Print Head Alignment on other occasions such as:
• If the Print Head makes contact with any object- whether it’s a garment or a
Shirtboard
• If your prints contain vertical lines or misaligned parts of an image
• If you see banding of any kind
Please be aware, should the Print Head make contact with ANY solid surface, it
may be permanently damaged and require replacement.
Whether you are completing the Initial Setup, or correcting minor printing
concerns, you must contact Technical Support for instructions on performing a
Print Head Alignment for your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.
Performing a Head Alignment on a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express will
require approximately 1-2 hours. Before beginning this procedure
ensure you are familiar with all the required steps, as well as having
the necessary time to complete the process. Once you have
begun a Head Alignment you CANNOT exit the function without
shutting down the machine. In addition, early exit may result in
severe misalignment of the Print Head or other operational
concerns. Initial setup may require 2-3 alignment procedures to be
completed.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
The following pages are intentionally left blank and reserved for future
information.
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Chapter 4- Initialization Utilities
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
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Chapter 4- Initialization Utilities
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
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Chapter 4- Initialization Utilities
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
34
Chapter 5
Software Overview
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is a high performance inkjet printer. Graphic files
can be large and the data sent from FastRIP to the printer is sent at a very
high speed (high data rate). In order to get the fastest speed and have fewer
communication problems with the printer, you need a fast computer. You can
use a standard desktop computer or even a laptop your printer, but for the best
performance, the computer should have at least 1MB of RAM (2 GB is better).
If you want to continue working and creating artwork while the printer is printing,
having a higher amount of RAM on board your computer is essential. Ideally you
should have a dedicated computer for use with this printer.
While sending data to the printer using a USB cable, do not plug in any other
USB devices other than a mouse. USB busses do not have a lot of power and
the more devices plugged in, the more power drain that will occur. In order to
run FastARTIST, you MUST use a Windows based Operating System such as XP,
2000 or Vista (Windows ME is not supported). MAC users can create their artwork
in their favorite program and simply network or copy the files over to the PC
“workstation.”
Graphics and RIP Software
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express includes the latest
versions of both FastARTIST and FastRIP. FastARTIST
is a graphics application that will make preparing
an image for print as easy as a click or two of the
mouse. With “one-click wonder” Underbasing and
simple clipping features, FastARTIST can help ease
the transition if you are not familiar with graphic
applications.
For avid users of Photoshop, CorelDRAW, Illustrator,
etc., you may choose to work within your graphics
application of choice and still set up the image
properly for printing. However, all images MUST be
Imported into FastARTIST from another graphics
application if you will be printing with White ink.
Once a graphic file is ready to print, it needs to be sent to special software
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
called a RIP (Raster Image Processor.) This software tells the machine what
image resolution to use, how many passes of each color to make, when and
how to print the Underbase and Highlight and how much ink to lay down. To
do all of this for you, we have included with your printer package our own very
special RIP program called FastRIP.
For best results, turn OFF all Screen Savers when printing.
Note: For information about installing and using FastARTIST and FastRIP, consult
the FastARTIST User’s Manual.
FastARTIST and FastRIP
What makes the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
so unique is not only the printer and ink,
but also the software that drives it. As
mentioned earlier, your printer comes with
two very powerful programs – FastARTIST
and FastRIP. FastARTIST is a complete
graphics program much like CorelDRAW
and Adobe Photoshop. You can use it
for all of your graphic image creation or
you can create images in CorelDRAW
or Adobe Photoshop and import them
into FastARTIST to take advantage of the
one-click Underbase Wizard or simple clipping options.
FastRIP
FastRIP is a driver specifically designed
for Inkjet-to-Garment printers like your
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express. A RIP converts
the data from a graphics program
to computer code called Postscript.
This powerful language allows much
more control over a printer, making the
following possible:
• Previewing printable images
• Control over the amount of ink used
• Faster print speeds compared to a
standard printer driver
FastRIP is extremely easy to use and is almost transparent when working with the
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Chapter 5- Software Overview
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.
Note: It is important to have a basic knowledge of both
FastARTIST and FastRIP. Although the manuals may seem
very large, don’t be concerned by the size. You do not
need to know everything to get started.
Using Computer Graphics Software
In order to print a good looking image on a shirt, you need a good piece of
artwork. The customer typically has no idea about the type or quality of artwork
needed so you are often stuck with inferior designs. If you don’t have computer
graphics experience, you might print this bad artwork and then blame your Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express for the poor quality image.
We often hear from first time users that they did not think they would need to
know about graphics software. However, getting a great image on a garment
is not the same as taking your digital camera’s memory card to the drug store
and getting pictures made. Yes, it would seem that simple and it CAN be, but in
the world of T-Shirt printing there are many variables.
Image Types
Vector
Currently there are two types of graphics
programs – Vector and Bitmap. FastARTIST,
CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia
Freehand are called vector programs. Vector
programs create images based on shapes
somewhat like a coloring book. They typically
have hundreds or even thousands of typefaces
and many have extensive “coloring book” type
stock clip art that you can use to create artwork.
Vector programs are generally used for images with a hard edge like race
designs, school mascots, corporate logos, etc.
Pixel Based Bitmap
Programs like FastARTIST and Adobe Photoshop are called pixel, or raster
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
based programs, and work great for
photographic images. Bitmap applications
can lighten, darken, sharpen and even
create images. Photoshop is a common
graphics program used by many for
manipulating images, but FastARTIST also
contains similar editing tools. Images with
lots of gradations or that are photorealistic
are generally created and manipulated in
programs such as FastARTIST and Photoshop.
Note: FastARTIST is both a bitmap and vector graphic program!
Summary
If you intend to create your own artwork, then you will need both a vector and
bitmap program. The vector program will be used for working with shapes, text
and edges, while the bitmap program will be used for any photographic or
detailed images. If you don’t have two applications, or don’t wish to spend the
money to purchase one of both needed programs, FastARTIST is the perfect
solution because it will work with both types of images.
FastARTIST can be used to create the entire image if needed. With similar tools to
CorelDRAW and Photoshop, those already familiar with other graphics programs
can quickly master FastARTIST.
Editing Bitmap Artwork in FastARTIST/Photoshop
The following sections gives Tips and suggestions for creating artwork suitable for
printing on your Blazer Express. Remember, if you are proficient in a
graphics program other than the new FastARTIST- create the images where you
are most comfortable. For advanced users of programs such as Photoshop and
CorelDRAW, the entire image can be set up to print and then Imported into
FastARTIST for printing a White Underbase or Highlight White.
The Underbase and Highlight White options are not available when
printing from a graphics application other than FastARTIST.
Besides the ability to work with vector based images such as hard edge
graphics, clipart and font manipulation, FastARTIST will do a lot of basic pixel
editing functions necessary when the customer gives you a pixel/bitmap file
such as: JPEG, GIF, TIFF or PSD.
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Chapter 5- Software Overview
Generally, a short run of photorealistic images is not profitable when Screen
Printing. However, should a customer want a picture of the entire team on a
shirt - no problem! One of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express’s major strengths is the
ability to print short runs of photorealistic images.
A common problem in the T-Shirt business is that customers need high resolution
images, yet often all they have is artwork that is small and low resolution. It is
MANDATORY that you learn how to make ANY artwork the correct size and
resolution, besides knowing how to make the image brighter (most images are
dull) with good color saturation. In reality, this may be the ONLY time you utilize
the FastARTIST or Photoshop image editing tools.
A Quick Note about Photoshop
As you begin to work with different kinds of images in different formats and
resolutions, it is very important to have the proper tools necessary to clean up
and make images “print ready.” Even though FastARTIST is a very powerful
graphics program, there may be times when a program such as Photoshop is
required for specific editing functions. Don’t worry, Photoshop works hand-inhand with FastARTIST, making it a very complimentary program to have when
working with bitmap images.
The goal here is to cover the basics of image editing, so that you can print the
best looking images possible. When first learning graphics programs, the process
may seem a bit overwhelming, but don’t get frustrated. Just keep in mind the
80/30 rule: You use 30% of the program 80% of the time. But, in this case, it’s
actually more like a 90/10 rule.
So, you might be asking why you need Photoshop at all if you have FastARTIST?
In a nutshell, you can do almost everything you need with FastARTIST, but
Photoshop is much more powerful when creating an image with lots of
photographic components. Plus, Photoshop is much more powerful when fixing
and cleaning up poor quality artwork.
Where to Get Photoshop
Photoshop is the flagship product of Adobe Systems at www.adobe.com.
The program retails for around $650 and, as of this writing, version 9.0 CS3 is the
most current version. It is always nice to have the latest and greatest version,
but frankly, you can do everything mentioned here with version 5.5 or higher.
If you are a student, teacher or work for a school, you may be eligible for an
“Educator Version” from places like www.academicsuperstore.com.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Check File Mode
This is step that most new users will over look when opening a file. It is very
important to note the file attributes when first opening a file as well as
determining the file mode. Note whether it is CMYK or RGB and make changes
if necessary. Files must be in RGB because the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express does not
print spot color.
If the file is CMYK from another application, FastARTIST will Open/Import it as
RGB. However, FastARTIST will open the file at a larger resolution than normal,
drastically increasing the file size. For best results, convert the file to RGB (if you
can) before importing it into FastARTIST.
Yes, Photoshop will do process color separations called CMYK, but for file
manipulation and adjustment you should work in RGB mode. To check the
Mode of the file in Photoshop, go to Image > Mode. If CMYK is checked, click on
RGB.
Check File Size and Resolution
FastARTIST and Photoshop will let you “Open” a wide variety of files including,
TIFF, JPEG, GIF, EPS, PSD, AI and others. If you open a file that is vector based,
such as one from Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop will convert the file from
mathematical vectors to small pixels. This is called Rasterizing a file.
The important point here is to keep the file resolution high enough for the image
to remain sharp. It is generally accepted that a file needs to be at 300 DPI at the
final size in order for it to remain crisp.
In T-Shirt printing, you can get away with file resolutions of 150 to 300 DPI at the
final size.
You MUST know the actual resolution and size of
the image, otherwise you could be working on
a very small file and not know it. In FastARTIST,
Import a photorealistic file and click on Bitmap >
Image Size. This will display the actual size of the
image in terms of total X and Y pixels and Pixels
per Inch which is the equivalent of DPI. If the
resolution is not sufficient, enter any changes and
click on Apply. Remember that an appropriate
image size should be 150 to 300 DPI.
If the images physical size is too small, resize the image before changing
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the resolution. After the image size is adjusted, click on Bitmap > Image Size.
Change the resolution and select Bicubic. Click Apply.
In Photoshop, go to Image > Image Size. If it
says pixels per CM, change this to inches and
then enter the image’s intended final print size.
Re-adjust the resolution and make sure that
Bicubic is selected. The physical size should be
the final print size.
If you have an image that is very low resolution,
your only real choice is to change the image
size and resolution. This is often referred to
as “Upsampling.” Photoshop upsamples
the image, but in doing so, it must make
calculations where to place the extra pixels and what color to make the pixels.
Images may have softer edges when upsampled, but they will also be less
pixilated! If you can get a higher resolution file from the client, do so.
CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator have similar Image Size functions.
Important Point
If the original file is low resolution and not
the final size, you need to upsample the
file to the final print size and 150 to 300 DPI
(150 is OK for photos and images without
hard edges. 300 to 350 is better where
there is lettering or sharp edges). Now, you
can work on the file and add type or other
elements. It is important to upsample the
image first so any additional elements you
add will be at the higher resolution. If you
aren’t sure if the image is sharp enough,
simply zoom in on the file. It might look
great zoomed out but very soft or jagged
when you zoom in. It will print the way you see it when zoomed in.
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Check File Saturation
Quite often customers’ images will be flat and in need of a color boost. Always
check the file to see if it needs a saturation boost by going to Bitmap > CMYK
Color Adjustments > Hue Saturation (FastARTIST) or Image > Adjustments > Hue
Saturation (Photoshop).
Sharpening Images
Typically, an image can be made sharper. Even if the file came from an agency
or large licensed job, don’t assume that their artist knew your needs. Images
that are printed not only get darker, but also get softer. You must make them as
sharp as possible.
Go to Bitmap > Filters > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask (FastARTIST) or Filter > Sharpen
> Unsharp Masking (Photoshop). Don’t let the term “Unsharp” fool you. This term
comes from the process camera days and means it only sharpens areas of high
contrast. The reality is, it sharpens the image but keeps it less apparent that you
have sharpened the image.
Move the Amount slider to 150%. Set the Pixel Radius to 1 and the Threshold to
8. How does the image look? To compare the original to the sharpened version,
uncheck the Preview check box (Photoshop). Click it on and off and compare
the results. If you can’t see much difference, move the Amount slider higher. Go
all the way to 500% if you need to but don’t make the image too grainy.
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Using the Tone Curve
Whether you are Screen Printing, heat
transfer printing or Inkjet-to-Garment printing,
a common dilemma is that images tend to
get a little “muddy.” If you have a file with
lots of detail in the shadow areas, this will
probably be lost when printed so you need
to adjust the “density levels” of the image. In
FastARTIST, go to the Bitmap dropdown menu,
and then select CMYK Color Adjustments >
Curves. In Photoshop, go to Image > Adjustments > Curves.
The Tone Curve is a very powerful tool that allows
you to adjust specific tonal areas from the lightest
“Highlights” to the darkest “Shadows.” By placing
your cursor in the middle of the “Midtones” curve and
dragging the mouse up or down, you can
lighten/darken the medium, or Midtones, in an image.
By clicking on the very top corner and dragging
the mouse in, you can make the highlights lighter
(Photoshop). Play around with the Tone Curve and
see what happens. A good curve for flat images is a slight “S”, where you lighten
the highlight area (35%) and darken the shadow area (75%).
In later versions of Photoshop (CS through CS3), similar adjustments can be
made using the Shadow/Highlight dialogue under Image > Adjustments. Make
sure you click the “Show More Options” check box for additional settings.
Bitmap Editing in FastARTIST
Photoshop is always in bitmap mode
because it is a pixel-based editing program.
FastARTIST (along with CorelDRAW and Adobe
Illustrator) defaults to vector mode when you
launch the program, so you will need to find
the bitmap editing tools in these programs. In
FastARTIST, double-click on the image. That
changes the top Toolbar icons to standard
bitmap editing mode (very similar icons to
Photoshop).
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Selecting Areas
In FastARTIST, if you want to apply a Tone Curve
adjustment or Unsharp Masking to specific
areas, you must double-click on the object to
make the bitmap tools available. You then click
on the Lasso tool (Hint: It looks like a lasso) and
hold down the mouse button while drawing
around the area you wish to modify. When you
release the mouse, you will have a yellow outline
identifying the selected area. Now, anything you
do ONLY happens to this area.
In Photoshop, you can choose an area with one of the Selection Tools on the
Toolbar. Click on the tool that looks like a Lasso and draw around the object
while holding down the left mouse button. When the mouse button is released
the selected area will be identified by what is called “Marching Ants” – small
moving lines around the selected area. While the area is selected, any changes
made will only apply to this area. To remove the marching ants, go to the Select
> De-Select (You can also use the keyboard shortcut of [Ctrl] + D). If you want
to select square or round areas, use the Marquee Tool (top left tool) and use this
the same way you would use the Lasso tool.
Channels and Layers
What really separates Photoshop from FastARTIST
and CorelDRAW is the ability to work in Layers to
build images. Therefore, whenever you are using
Photoshop, you should have both the Channels
Palette and Layers Palette open.
People often get these confused so here are
the rules: The Channels Palette is used to create
output- Channels print. The Layers Palette is used
to create or build the image. You use the Layers
Palette to put various components together
including adding Type to an image- Layers don’t
print.
You will also notice that your Channels Palette shows four channels: RGB,
Red, Green and Blue. Your test file probably only shows one Layer, called
Background.
For more details on using the Layers Palette in Photoshop, consult the Adobe
User’s Manual or In-Program Help sections.
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Setting Transparent Images in FastARTIST
To set transparent backgrounds in FastARTIST,
double-click on the image to enter the
bitmap edit state.
Using the Eyedropper tool, click on the Red
background and then click on the Add Color
button in the Color Selection dialog box. This
will make the selected Red the current color.
The background color can be
any solid color, not just red. For
example it can be White, Black,
Yellow, Green, etc. However, it
is important to note FastARTIST
will only remove ONE color. If
your image has a multi-color or
gradient background, it will be
necessary to use Photoshop to
make the image print ready.
To make the Red transparent, click on the
Eye icon next to the selected color. This acts
like a toggle switch, so selecting it again will
deactive any transparent color.
Removing Backgrounds with Photoshop
In order to make removing backgrounds as easy as possible, try to maintain a
consistent/neutral background if possible. For example, if photographing the
motorcycle shown below, park in front of a wall or a background that contains
a much lighter color than the bike. This will help Photoshop determine the
difference between the selected background and the object (such as the
motorcycle) you intend to keep.
Using the Magic Wand – Click and Delete
With the Magic Wand you, click on the unwanted areas around the image and
then delete them. It’s a pretty simple process IF the background color is different
(contrasting) from any of the edges of your image.
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Click an area in the background and the
Magic Wand will make a selection around
the image. If the “marching ants” selection
goes into the main design, change the
Tolerance on the Property Bar. The default is
32.
Depending upon the variations and
gradients in the background, it may
require some trial and error with Tolerance
settings and several selections before the
background is completely removed.
If the first click of the Magic Wand does not get all the unwanted
areas, you can add to the selection by holding down the [Shift]
key and clicking another area. You can subtract from the selection
by holding down the [Alt] key and clicking on a area.
Photoshop and FastARTIST both have Magic Wand tools (it looks
like a wand with a sparkler on the end.)
Using the Extract Filter
Photoshop also has a Filter called
Extract. This will allow you to draw
around an image and fill the center with
color. Photoshop then removes all the
areas around the image, leaving you
with a transparent background. Extract
does a decent job, but the Magic Wand
is the preferred method.
Keep in mind, the Magic Wand and Extract filters perform best
when the background is a solid color and not a gradient.
Making Your Selection a New Layer
The goal behind all this is to get your main image on a layer with a transparent
background. (This will show as gray and white checks all around the image).
With a transparent background, you can add additional elements to the image
including text, drop shadows, glows and more.
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Fixing Bad Line-Art in Photoshop and FastARTIST
You may also use a bitmap editing program
to improve the quality of line-art. Earlier we
covered file resolution, noting how a low
resolution file will have very jagged edges.
By simply upsampling a file to a much higher
resolution you will have less of a jagged
effect, but a softer edge. For Black and
White images, you will want to upsample
and then apply a Tone Curve to make
edges Black and White without any “gray”
areas. This process is available in FastARTIST,
Photoshop, CorelDRAW and Adobe
Illustrator.
Important Point
You must take ownership of fixing bad artwork. If the file is provided in a pixel
based format like TIFF, PSD, JPEG, GIF, etc., you can’t assume it is bright, sharp,
of high resolution and ready to print. You must check the resolution and
upsample the file if necessary. Make adjustments if it needs sharpness or boost
color saturation if the file is dull. Lighten the file if it seems too dark because the
image may print even darker!
Artwork for Light and Dark Garments
To set up artwork properly, it is imperative to know first onto what color garment
the image is to be printed. This will then determine if the image background
needs to be transparent, White, Black, or in some cases both Black and White.
For Light colored garments, the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express will print the image
just as it appears, but it does not print the White. Printing in color without an
Underbase is the easiest form of garment printing.
If you require White in the image, it will be necessary to Underbase the image.
Therefore, Dark colored garments will always require an Underbase that allows
the colors to “stand off” the garment.
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Refer to the FastARTIST User’s Manual
Please keep in mind, this section is intended only as a brief Overview and
Introduction into the world of software graphics applications. Chapters 6, 8
and 9 of your FastARTIST User’s Manual covers the file setup process in-depth,
including how to prepare files for printing onto both Light and Dark shirts. For
step-by-step instructions and additional Hints and Tips, please refer to the
FastARTIST User’s Manual.
For information about the Photoshop, CorelDRAW or Illustrator processes
addressed in this Chapter, please refer to that application’s User’s Manual or
In-program Help section.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
Operation and Maintenance
Chapter 6
Printing with the
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is very easy to use.
Just create an image, load a shirt, choose the
appropriate Print Modes, select the number of
passes and press the Print button.
Voila! Instant shirt!
Basic Steps for Printing on a White Shirt
OK, the time has come. You have installed the bulk system you have created
a simple image in your favorite graphics program and now you are ready to
ruin a few shirts. Be warned, there is a slight learning curve to printing a shirt and
you must get over the fact some will get ruined. Remember, it is ONLY a shirt.
Even when you’ve become a seasoned pro, it’s a fact of life in the garment
decorating industry.
In the beginning you will have to worry about the print placement and getting
the image in the graphics program coordinated to the correct location on the
shirt. Your printer will also need to be “broken in” a little. When you first install the
bulk system, there is a chance not all the inks are flowing yet. You won’t really
know this until you have done a print or two, or a nozzle check. Therefore, you
should start off by using clean rag shirts, or just accept the fact that you will ruin
a few new shirts and buy some extras. Your first print may NOT be a winner, but
after you have printed a few shirts you will feel like an old pro.
Shirtboards
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express ships with one Standard Adult and one Large (oversized) Shirtboard, however, you can purchase additional ones, if needed. Each
Shirtboard is held in the proper position by metal pins screwed into the Platen
that align with holes in the garment holder base. If you have a Screen Printing
background, you may wonder what holds the garment in place. On the Blazer
Express, a shirt just lays on the Shirtboard and friction takes care of the rest.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Pictured below are the various sizes of the Shirtboard available to meet your
printing needs:
Youth
Sleeve
Standard
Over-Sized
All Shirtboards are comprised of a foam rubber pad atop a steel
base. Although the base is nearly indestructible, the rest of your
printer is not. DO NOT set anything atop the Print Bed. IT IS NOT A
STORAGE SHELF and it WILL WARP.
DO NOT apply any cleaner or glues to the foam rubber pads, they
will crumble and disintegrate, leaving a mess on your shirts. The
storage cabinets beneath your printer are provided for your
convenience to help you store shirts, inks, etc.
Here are the steps for printing:
1. Flip the Power Switch to ON and allow the machine to go through its different
motions and clicks to get the Print Head positioned and ink flowing. When
completed, ensure the Express in Print Status (The LCD Display MUST read
Paper Out/Roll Cut- refer to page 23 for more details.)
2. Load your shirt(s).
• Shirts can be full of lint and some
have more than others. Lint is NOT
your friend. It can settle on key
components inside the Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express, affecting print quality
and printer operation. For better
results, grab a shirt by the shoulder
seams and snap it like you would a
small dusty rug before you place it
on the Shirtboard. This will actually
help pull out wrinkles as well. For the best results, use a Heat Press to heat and
flatten the garment and garment fibers before loading.
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• Lay the garment on the Shirtboard, stuffing any excess into the space
between the top and base.
• DO NOT leave a collar or seams exposed on top of the Shirtboard
because the Print Head may strike this when printing. Load the collar over
the so its out of the way. It is also critical that the shirt lay flat and that you
always maintain a 3mm clearance between your garment and the Print
Head. Any fluctuations in the printing surface could cause the print to be
soft or out of register and/or result in a damaging Print Head strike
3. Choose the artwork you wish to print.
You can print directly to FastRIP from your
favorite graphics application (if you are not
outputting an Underbase or Highlight White), or
you can print from within FastARTIST.
Ensure the image is the correct size and that
you have placed it in on a “Page” that is the
same size as the printable area.
The easiest way to get the correct print
placement is create a template for the size
and placement of the Shirtboard or use
FastARTIST and load a pre-made Template.
(Remember, you MUST use FastARTIST if you will
be printing with White ink. Refer to Chapter 7 of
this Manual and Chapter 9 of your FastARTIST Manual for more details.)
The Blazer Express will support a total printable area of 16” x 20” (41 cm x 51
cm).
Important Point
FastARTIST refers to its page dimensions in terms of width and “height.” For
purposes of printing a two-dimensional image on a garment or non-textile item,
be aware of the fact that “height” means the same thing as “length.”
FastARTIST Page Size – Go to Layout > Page Size
FastRIP Setup – Within FastARTIST go to File > FastRIP Setup
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You may Open a template and then Import your
graphic into the correct print location using grid
lines that represent an outline of the Shirtboard.
The template will open with either a Yellow or Pink
placeholder representing the size of the graphic.
(Click on a block of color to delete it.)
FastARTIST has a pre-loaded template of 17” x 31”
that keeps the Print Head and Print Bed aligned. If
you are creating images in Photoshop or another
graphics application, make sure you create a
Page Size that reflects these dimensions. Keep in
mind the printable area is limited to 16” x 20”.
When you open the Template, keep in mind printing speed when
importing graphics. You may also place graphics sideways in a
template and load the shirt sideways.
4. Select the appropriate Print Mode. There are a wide variety of Print Modes
available within FastRIP because they give you the flexibility to print high
resolution photo quality images at a slower speed or lower resolution Spot
Color images at faster speeds.
All designs are different and each has different needs. A brief overview of
Print Modes follows. For a detailed listing of available Print Modes and their
recommended usage, please refer to Chapter 7 of your FastARTIST User’s
Manual.
5. On the UI, use the “hand” arrows to scroll through the screens until you reach
the Mode Select interface. Select the number of passes you wish to make by
pressing the appropriate virtual button.
6. Send the Print command from your graphics application or FastARTIST.
7. The Green button on the bottom of the UI will now be blinking. Press both
simultaneously to begin printing your image.
DO NOT press the Green button on the UI prior to sending a job to
Print from your graphics application or FastARTIST. This will result in
serious printer errors and ruined garments.
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How Print Mode selection will look if you print
directly from Adobe Photoshop. (You MAY NOT
have the same Print Modes available with your
version of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.)
How Print Mode selection will look if you print
using FastARTIST. (You MAY NOT have the same
Print Modes available with your version of the
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.)
We recommend you do ALL of your printing through FastRIP and
FastARTIST, even if you are NOT using White ink. After completing
your design in another graphics application, Import that design
into FastARTIST and use the provided template for optimal printer
performance.
A Word about Resolutions, Speed and Quality
The resolution you choose will not only determine print quality, but print speed as
well. If you use a lower resolution Print Mode, you will achieve a much faster print
speed, but may not get the quality needed for photo images. Lower resolutions
apply fewer ink dots per inch (DPI), which allows the Print Head to move much
faster.
If you use higher resolution Print Modes, you will notice a decrease in print speed
but an improvement in image quality. A higher DPI increases print quality by
increasing the density of the dots per inch. Therefore, we recommend a lower
resolution for cartoon images, but a higher resolution for photo type images.
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Print Modes and FastRIP
When first starting out, the most versatile Print Mode combination
for BOTH photos and cartoons is 720 DPI for CMYK and 1440 DPI
for the Underbase. For images on light garments in which no
Underbase is used, a 2 Pass Print Mode will result in better color
saturation.
CMYK Cartoon and Photo Print Modes
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express has three basic modes for printing – Cartoon, Photo,
and Underbase. The Cartoon and Photo Print Modes will print the image in color
when printing from FastARTIST or any other graphics program. These two modes
were created to adjust print characteristics based on the image to be printed. If
you are printing vector graphics with Spot Colors, use the Cartoon Print Modes. If
you are printing photo-type bitmap images, use the Photo Print Modes.
Cartoon Print Modes are designed to:
• Lay down more ink with good color saturation
• be used for non-critical images
• allow a lower DPI to be selected
Photo Print Modes are designed to:
• Lay down less ink with highly accurate colors
• reproduce an extremely detailed image
• utilize a higher DPI to ensure good print quality
Eight Color Print Modes
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express also supports Eight Color Print Modes that utilize the
additional colors of Red, Green, Blue and Orange in place of the four White
cartridges. This configuration of inks cannot be used to print on dark garments,
however when printed on light garments, the additional colors create vibrant
hues that add an exciting dimensionality to your final output.
The Eight Color Bulk Ink System is an optional configuration. If your
printer is not equipped with the necessary inks and cartridges, you
may purchase the additional accessories from U.S. Screen Print
& Inkjet Technology. Refer to Chapter 7 of your FastARTIST User’s
Manual for details on ink cartridge placement.
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Underbase Print Modes
These Underbase Print Modes may only be selected from within FastARTIST. With
Cartoon and Photo Print Modes available in three different resolutions, you have
the ability to select the proper mode to match your graphic image. For dark
shirts try using the 1440 DPI Print Mode to achieve a stronger, more consistent
Underbase. This is due to the fact that the higher resolution will dispense more ink
at a slower speed, creating an extremely even coverage. If you are printing on
lighter colored shirts, it may not be necessary to print such a strong Underbase720 DPI may work better.
For a complete list of the various CMYK, Eight Color and Underbase Print Modes
available, please refer to Chapter 7 of your FastARTIST User’s Manual.
When a Printing Job Is Finished
After your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express finishes printing, the Printer Assembly will return
to the Home position and the green button on the UI will start to flash.
At this time it is safe to:
• Remove your garment and cure.
• Load your next garment and resume
printing.
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Curing Your Garments
Finished prints must be heat cured to fully set the ink. For best results pre-press the
garment for a few seconds prior to printing. This dries the garment and flattens
the fibers. If using a Heat Press for curing, use light pressure and either a Teflon
cover sheet or silicone treated baking pan liner to prevent ink from getting on
the element. If using a conveyor textile dryer, you MUST achieve these times
and temperatures. A typical short tunnel textile dryer does not have sufficient
tunnel dwell time and shirts may have to go through two or three times.
Light Garments
(With FastBRIGHT)
Cure Time: Approximately 120-180 seconds
(With FastCOLOR)
Cure Time: Approximately 35-60 seconds
Cure Temp: 330°F (166°C)
Dark Garments
(Using FastINK Pretreatment solution)
Cure Time: Approximately 180-240 seconds
Cure Temp: 330°F (166°C)
If you have any washability issues increase the time. If you experience scorching
on certain shirt brands, reduce the temperature and cure longer.
For areas of greater humidity or where shirts are very damp after printing, try
increasing the curing temperature to 350°F and add approximately 30 seconds
to curing times listed above.
Important Point
All curing times and temperatures ARE RECOMMENDED STARTING POINTS. It is
your responsibility to find the cure time that works best for your location and Print
Mode preferences.
Variables such as climate and the amount of ink used can extend cure times.
Certain garment fabrics may also require more time. Even seasonal changes
may effect already established times and temperatures.
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Before doing a major production run, always do wash tests and verify your
dryer temperature. For Heat Presses, the most accurate method of checking
the temperature is with Paper Thermometer heat tapes available from all
screen print supply companies. Infrared ray guns do NOT always give accurate
readings on heat presses. For conveyor dryers, use Paper Thermometers or
temperature “donut” probes available from screen print supply companies.
Poor washability ON LIGHT SHIRTS can also be caused by insufficient ink deposit. For best results, print at a minimum of 720 DPI and do two print passes (light shirts
only). You can greatly improve the washability of the final print on light shirts
that do not have white ink in the image by using FastCOLOR pretreatment. Poor
washability on dark shirts may be caused by too much pretreatment or from
drying the pretreatment with a slick Teflon sheet or silicone treated baking pan
liner. The slick surface may not allow the ink to adhere properly.
Some shirts might show a slight discoloration if you use a Heat Press to cure
the print. (This is most often seen in Red and medium to dark colors other than
Black.) This discoloration will usually go away when the shirt cools or when the
shirt is washed.
Preventative Maintenance
You must perform a Head Cleaning if
you experience one of the following
conditions: If streaks appear in the
print, small drops of ink get on the
garment during a printing cycle, if
the unit has been setting for a few
days or if the Print Head strikes a
An example of Banding
garment. Press the RIGHT arrow
button for three seconds to have the
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express initiate a Head Cleaning cycle. You may do this in the
middle of a print job if necessary.
The best way to check print quality is to do a Nozzle
Check.
If you have been printing a lot of shirts or if some
of these shirts have come in contact with the Print
Head, you may have to manually wipe the bottom
of the Head to remove cotton lint. Also recheck the
Platen height settings to avoid a reoccurrence of this
problem.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Often it is hard to see the White ink when doing a
standard nozzle check on a light shirt or piece of
paper. Conversely, it is hard to see colors on a
dark background. Use a piece of clear overhead
transparency film or our FastPOSITIVE Waterproof
inkjet film (used to make screens in the Screen
Printing industry) to do Nozzle Checks.
Spots or ink stains must be removed BEFORE the
print is cured, using a standard Spot Removal gun.
Once the ink is cured, it is almost impossible to
remove spots or smudges. Take care NOT to spray the wet print!
Prints can be laundered as normal. If possible, give the customer washing
instructions of: Turn print inside out before washing or drying. Cold Water Only.
Medium Dryer Temperature.
You can expect a little fading with the first washing. This is normal and very
similar to what you would get from a screen printed shirt. If you experience a
lot of fading, make sure to check your dryer temperature. If the shirts are damp
from excess humidity, you should put them under the Heat Press for a few
seconds to dry out before printing.
Canceling a Print Job
Occasionally a print job will just not print. This could be caused by a problem
with the file, the printer not being in the Load position when the print command
is sent, a chip indicating a color is out of ink or other issues. If you have ever
owned an inkjet printer, you know that it is sometimes hard to “kill” a print job.
When you send a Print command from your graphics application or FastARTIST,
the FastRIP does its calculations and then sends the job to the Windows Print
Manager. It is almost impossible to stop a print job within the RIP if the job is still in
the Print Manager.
To open Print Manager, double-click on the small printer icon on the lower right
bottom of your computer screen (This section is called the Task Bar). When the
Print Manager opens, it shows the status of the print job. However, a job that is
NOT printing might still show as printing. To cancel a print job, click on the actual
job file, go to the File menu and select Cancel All Documents.
If there are printing problems when using FastRIP that require you to cancel a
Print command, right-click on the file and Abort the Print command. If you get
a partial image on a shirt from the previous job, you probably have not fully
canceled the Print command in FastRIP.
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Chapter 6- Printing with the
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
If you must cancel a job while still printing, we recommend you power OFF both
your computer and the printer. This will clear the memory, cache and buffers in
which the image may still reside.
Emergency Off Switch
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is equipped with
an Emergency Kill Switch that will cut OFF
all power to the printer. After pressing this
button, you must shutdown the machine
completely, including the Power Switch in
the rear of the housing. All jobs within FastRIP
must be cancelled and deleted. Perform
a complete start-up and initialization to
resume operations.
Any file that was printing or spooled at the time of the emergency
shutdown will be lost. An unfinished image cannot be restarted and
all jobs must be re-spooled.
Height Sensor
Your printer is equipped with a built-in Height Sensor that will help prevent Print
Head/Garment collisions. A thin laser beam extends across the Shirtboard when
it’s in the Index (printing) position. Should anything break this beam, all machine
functions will immediately pause, the LCD Display will read “Top Cover Open”
and a small LED located on the top of the printer will flash Red.
Immediately check your garment for folds or wrinkles that may affect Print
Head clearance, smoothing out any variations as needed. In addition, adjust
the Platen to Head Clearance using the adjustment knob on the front of the
Print Bed, if necessary. Once the obstruction is cleared, printing will resume from
where it left off, without the need to re-send or re-spool the output.
The Height Sensor is a “Last Line of Defense” against Print Head
strikes that could severely damage your printer. Do not rely solely
on the sensor to warn you of potential collisions. Print Heads are
not covered by your warranty and we strongly encourage you to
monitor and maintain the recommended 3mm clearance required
between the Print Head and any garment or other printable item.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
A Warning About Page Sizes
When printing with a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express, you MUST ensure the correct Page
Size is used. The Maximum Printable Area is limited to 16” x 20” (41 x 51 cm) within
a Page Size of 17” x 31” (43 x 79 cm) . FastARTIST comes with a template that
matches these dimensions and we STRONGLY recommend you use this when
printing. If you are printing from a graphics application other than FastARTIST,
you MUST ensure you have configured your Custom Page Size correctly within
that program.
Failure to follow these guidelines could result in a blown fuse on the Main Board
of your printer, rendering it unable to print. Should this occur, you must contact
Technical Support for further instructions
Production Rates and Ink Costs
A Production and Cost matrix is available at www.screenprinters.net > Support >
Blazer Express > Downloads.
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Chapter 7
An Overview of Printing
with White Ink
The process of printing White ink onto a
Dark garment was not an easy one to
develop. Because the openings in Print
Heads are so small, one can’t use thick ink
like standard Screen Print Plastisol. Printing
White ink on a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express was
made possible by a combination of:
• Very special ink that took over a year to
develop
• A software print driver called FastRIP that allows the printer to dispense more
ink than originally designed
• A software package called FastARTIST that creates special Underbase and
highlight White files
• A revolutionary Pretreatment that allows the ink to set on top of the garment
and remain White.
Warnings and Cautions
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is shipped with the latest innovation in textile inkFastINK Bright White. This ink is the best in the industry at producing bright Whites
and brilliant Highlights.
We recommend that as part of your daily routine
you remove each of the White Ink Bulk Cartridges
and gently agitate it. Place your index finger over
the cartridge breather hole and rotate your wrist at
least 90○ two to three times before re-inserting into
the printer. Do this to all four cartridges regularly
and you should have no settling concerns.
Do not shake the ink, this can cause the formation of small air bubbles that will
severely impair printing or create a vapor lock within the Ink Lines.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Pretreatment Basics
The Pretreatment solution is a milky colored, odorless and non­toxic liquid. A
chemical reaction between the Pretreatment and the White ink causes the
ink’s pigments to stay on top of the garment and not be absorbed by the
textile fibers. Because of these reactive chemicals, it is CRITICAL the Print Head
does not touch a pretreated garment - even one that has been dried! You
should also have good ventilation in the area where you are applying the
Pretreatment. If possible, pretreat garments in another room entirely.
You MUST NOT spray Pretreatment near the printer. In fact, you
should pretreat shirts in a separate room entirely to prevent any
overspray from getting inside the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express . If using
another room is not possible, a large cardboard box enclosure is a
good substitute for applying Pretreatment.
Important Point
Like the CMYK cartridges, each White ink cartridge has “smart” chip that counts
the number of drops of ink dispensed in order to warn you when the cartridge is
empty. When printing with White ink, it does not take much ink usage before the
chip tells the printer it is “out.” If this happens DURING a printing pass, the printer
may stop printing and the Ink Level Indicator on the LCD Display for one or more
of the White ink cartridges will start flashing. If you turn the printer off during this
process, you will lose the job and ruin a shirt. Instead, remove the cartridge(s)
that is indicated as low or out of ink and reset the chip(s). If the ink level has
fallen below the Low Ink Mark on the cartridge, refill the cartridge with ink before
reinserting it into your printer. Refer to page 15 of this manual for more details.
Applying Pretreatment
It is essential the Pretreatment solution be applied evenly to ensure a great
looking print (free from light and dark spots) on a Black garment. You can use
manual spray pumps, weed sprayers or any other method you feel comfortable
with to apply a uniform coating of FastINK Pretreatment. However, we strongly
suggest the use of a Control Spray Gun (commonly used to paint a porch deck
or furniture et al). Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express kit includes a Wagner Control
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Chapter 7- An Overview of Printing
with White Ink
Spray Gun. (If you purchased your printer outside of
the USA, your machine may NOT include the control
sprayer. These guns are fairly inexpensive ($70 USD at
home improvement stores.) However, these are not
designed for high volume work, therefore you should
keep an extra gun handy as backup.
Cleaning the gun is simple and should be done on a
regular basis to extend the life of your sprayer. Just fill up the storage bottle with
water and run it through the gun as you would normally dispense any other
solution.
Types of Pretreatment
Currently we offer three types of Pretreatment-FastINK Textile Pretreatment,
FastBRIGHT Textile Pretreatment and FastCOLOR Textile Pretreatment:
• FastINK Pretreatment is specifically designed for use on Dark
colored garments, allowing for extremely bright Whites and vibrant
colors. FastINK Pretreatment should only be used with medium to
dark colored garments due to possible discoloration of light shirts
when exposed to direct sunlight.
• FastBRIGHT Pretreatment works extremely well with light colored
garments and images that have an Underbase. Using FastBRIGHT
creates vibrant images with rich, deep Blacks and Reds that will
not discolor when exposed to direct sunlight.
• FastCOLOR reduces cure times while GREATLY
increasing the color brilliance and washability of your
print. This pretreatment is designed for use with images
on light colored shirts and containing NO White ink.
DO NOT mix any of the Pretreatments together or the result will be
ruined shirts.
Proper Pretreatment Application is Critical
All of our Pretreatments are specially formulated liquids
that prevent ink pigments from being absorbed by the
fabric of a garment. When applying a Pretreatment
solution, do not saturate the garment! You don’t want the
shirt to be soaking wet.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Move the spray gun from side to side in even strokes.
Light shirts only require a misting back and forth,
but Black and other dark colors will need a slightly
heavier application. Don’t worry, the proper amount
of Pretreatment needed is something that you will get
the hang of with repetition. Please note, if you miss a
spot or apply the Pretreatment in an uneven spray, it
will be noticeable in the final print.
Dry the Pretreatment using a hair dryer, Heat Press
or conveyor dryer. When using a Heat Press, use a
non-silicone Pretreatment paper (available from U.S.
Screen) to protect the garment. If you use a silicone
based paper, it will seal the Pretreatment on the shirt
surface and the White ink may not stick well enough.
You may use a Quillon treated baking pan liner to dry the Pretreatment.
However, if the paper sticks to the Pretreatment after you are done pretreating
the shirt, you may have applied too much Pretreatment or the heat press is
set for too much pressure! Standard “butcher paper” or “brown Kraft paper”
can also be used as a heat press protector when drying the Pretreatment.
Clamp the press down with medium pressure for 8 to 10 seconds when drying
Pretreatment at 330°F.
Some users have reported slightly better wash durability if you spray the shirt with
water BEFORE spraying it with Pretreatment.
Too much Pretreatment may cause poor wash durability.
When printing, ink will tend to cling to any loose fibers sticking up
from the shirt. When using a White Underbase, it is possible for these
fibers to become saturated and show through any color that has
been applied. This is why we recommend the use of a Heat Press
with light pressure before the print to flatten to fibers properly. A
conveyor dryer or similar method of drying the Pretreatment will
not flatten the fibers and may result in a lower quality print.
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Chapter 7- An Overview of Printing
with White Ink
Printing White Ink
Top off ALL of your White Ink cartridges to the 150ml mark at the
beginning of each day and DO NOT allow the ink levels to drop
below the 100ml mark or you risk ink starvation issues. If the printer
has been unused for a few days, perform two or three regular
Head Cleaning cycles to get the White ink flowing properly.
1. When printing with White ink, it is very important you set up the file correctly in
FastARTIST. When Underbasing solid, Spot Color images, generally you’ll print
solid White ink and then follow that pass with CMYK. When using FastARTIST,
and the image has White as part of the design, a second pass of White can
be made at the same time as the other colors. This second pass of White is
called a Highlight and it boosts the brightness of the White.
2. When printing photorealistic images, you will need to run a special routine
called the Underbase Wizard. This feature of FastARTIST will create a separate
piece of artwork that FastRIP will use to print an Underbase of White ink. When
printing a photorealistic image, the Underbase is NOT solid White but instead
it is Grayscale. Grayscale consists of light and dark areas that give the image
dimensionality. This is the art to printing bright and soft prints on Dark garment.
3. You must tell FastRIP what Print Modes to use for both the White ink and Top
Colors. Once you have made these selections, they can be used again for
other jobs. For Dark shirts you can get very good “Screen Print” quality White
if you select a 1440 DPI Print Mode for the Underbase. For the top colors of
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and the highlight White, choose a 720 DPI Print
Mode.
4. For medium colored shirts, use a 720 DPI Print Mode (faster than 1440 DPI)
for the White ink Underbase. In some cases, very light colored shirts may not
even need a White Underbase. These images can print using just CMYK and
highlight White to save printing time.
We recommend you DO NOT mix Print Modes. You will notice that
certain Print Modes contain a ‘HS” or “HS (Bi-Directional)” while the
standard Print Modes contain neither. DO NOT use standard Print
Modes in conjunction with HS Print Modes. The result may lead to
registration issues and ruined prints. Please note that this warning is
not referring to print resolution, i.e. 720 or 1440 DPI. Print resolutions
can be mixed and matched as needed. If you are not sure how
different Print Modes work together, do a test print before doing
a production run. For more information on Print Modes, refer to
Chapter 6 of this Manual
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
5. Cure the print. Carefully remove the shirt from the Shirtboard and cure the
print. Keep in mind, White ink will need to be cured longer than standard
colors. Cure in a conveyor dryer or Heat Press. (See page 59- Curing Your
Garments for specific details)
If using a Heat Press, place a silicone treated piece of parchment paper (a common baking pan liner) over the print and close the
press. When you open the press, peel the
paper immediately. The paper can be used a
number of times before it becomes too
wrinkled to use.
• You will only use the silicone treated paper
for curing after the entire print has been completed. You risk ruining a shirt
if you use silicone paper in the Pretreatment phase.
• If you want a glossy print, use a standard Teflon pad rather than silicone treated parchment when curing the print in a Heat Press. Teflon pads are
available from most Heat Press manufacturers.
Important Point
When printing gradient images with White ink, you should have two versions of
the artwork. One version will have a White background and the other will have
a Black background. These two files can be created in Photoshop, Adobe
Illustrator, CorelDRAW or even in FastARTIST. If you use another program, simply
save or export the files as a JPEG file at 250 DPI resolution for the final print size
and Import these files into FastARTIST.
There is an excellent video tutorial on “Underbasing with Two Versions of
Artwork” on the T-Jet Support page.
This Chapter of the Manual is designed to provide a brief Overview of the
process for printing White ink onto a T-Shirt or other garment. Please consult your
FastARTIST User’s Manual for more detailed instructions and specific Hints and
Tips.
Please DO NOT attempt to print ANY image until you have read and familiarized
yourself with FastARTIST and FastRIP, including their uses and capabilities.
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Chapter 7- An Overview of Printing
with White Ink
Washing Directions
For the longest lasting print, the shirt should be turned inside out, washed in
COLD water and dried on delicate. If possible, include washing directions with
the finished print.
When you apply the Pretreatment correctly and choose the proper Print Modes,
you should get very detailed bright prints like these!
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
White Ink Troubleshooting
Concern: White prints seem dull
Solution 1:
You may not be applying enough Pretreatment or not using a 1440 DPI print
mode.
Solution 2:
The Print Head may be clogged. If you had bright White prints before and they
now seem dull, you probably have clogged nozzles. Due to the nature of the
White pigment, you may experience more head clogs than normal. These can
easily be cleared by doing two or three Head Cleanings.
Solution 3:
The Highlight White settings in FastARTIST may be wrong. You may actually be
printing White ink ON TOP of the CMYK colors. Reload the image into FastARTIST
and rerun the Underbase/Highlight Wizard. Try not applying a Highlight or toning
down the Highlight.
Solution 4:
Dry ink may be causing the Print Head to not seal properly. Due to the nature of
the White ink pigment, it will build up faster on the capping station and on the
wiper blade. Dry White ink around the rim of the Capping Station will interfere
with the printer pulling ink out of the cartridge during a Head Cleaning cycle.
Use a sponge foam tipped swab and cleaning fluid or water to clean the
areas noted below.
Spit Tray//Flushing Box
Print Head
Capping Station
You should perform DAILY cleaning of these items.
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Chapter 8
Printing Other Items
The Fast T-Jet Blazer
Express can print on almost
any fabric or material and
usually you don’t need a
clamping device. FastINK
for your Blazer Express is
a water-based textile ink
designed to work not only
on natural fabric materials,
but also on non-textile
items such as unfinished
wood, mouse pads, golf balls, keyboards, light switch covers and much more.
With the help of Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Series Pre/Post Treatment, FastINK will
adhere to almost any type of surface.
Location and Placement
The hardest part of printing on odd size items is determining their print location.
Remember, if you are facing your machine, the outer right edge is “zero” in your
graphics program. You can simply make a template or custom page size to
match the size of your Shirtboard.
FastARTIST allows you to adjust the Page Size to match your items in the Page
Setup window. You must also set the correct Page Size in FastRIP Setup.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
FastARTIST refers to its page dimensions in terms of width and
“height.” For purposes of printing a two-dimensional image on a
garment or non-textile item, it is important to be aware of the fact
that “height” means the same thing as “length.”
FastARTIST Page Size – Go to Layout > Page Size
FastRIP Setup – Go to File > FastRIP Setup
For more information about printing on caps or Non-Textile, such as golf balls,
there is a downloadable PDF available at www.screenprinters.net.
Adjusting the Platen Height
For the best prints, the printable surface should set to 1/8inch (3mm) below the
Print Head. If the item has a seam or excess fabric, these areas should be lower
than the main printing surface.
Ensure the garment or non-textile item does not sit closer to the
print head than the preferred of 1/8inch (3mm).
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Chapter 8- Printing Other Items
Non-Textile Printing
Required Items and Overview
You must have the following to successfully print on Non-Textile items:
1. Non-Textile Pretreatment
2. Non-Textile Post-Treatment
3. (2) Fine Bristle Brushes
Optional materials may be required:
1. Non-Textile Primer
2. A Holder for object(s) (i.e. Golf Ball Holder)
3. Non-Textile Print Modes and Templates (You can utilize the latest Non-Textile
Print Modes by downloading the most recent Printer Package from
www.screenprinters.net)
CAUTION: WEAR GLOVES WHEN APPLYING AND USE WITH
ADEQUATE VENTILATION. HANDLE WITH CARE AND PROTECT
EYES WITH SAFETY GLASSES WHEN APPLYING AS A SPRAY. BEFORE
USE, CONSULT THE MATERIAL DATA SAFETY SHEET (MSDS) THAT IS
INCLUDED WITH THESE PRODUCTS
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
Getting Started
It is necessary to determine if the surface intended for printing will allow the
Pretreatment to stick. Certain surfaces will accept the direct application of
the Non-Textile Pretreatment, while others will require first require a coat of
Non-Textile Primer. Generally, smooth surfaces such as light switches, keyboards,
lighters and gloss tiles will require an application of Non-Textile Primer before the
Non-Textile Pretreatment.
To Test: Apply a very small thin amount of Non-Textile Pretreatment to the
intended printing surface. If the Pretreatment runs off, it will be necessary to use
the Non-Textile Primer.
If this is your first time using a Non-Textile Pretreatment, it is
recommended you pretreat small quantities at first to familiarize
yourself with the process.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Primer
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Primer is designed to be used on high gloss,
non-porous surfaces as a primer coat prior to the application of our
standard Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Pretreatment.
DO NOT print directly onto this product.
Protect your work surfaces with newspaper.
DIRECTIONS:
•
Dip a fine bristle brush into the Primer, wiping off any
excess on the side of the bottle. Gently brush Primer over the surface of the non-textile item, making sure there are no uneven areas.
• The Primer must be applied in a thin even layer to ensure optimal print quality.
• After the application is complete, clean the brush thoroughly with hot water to remove all Primer residue.
This product can be sprayed on, but the application may not be as
smooth as necessary for good print reproduction. If applying with
an airbrush, spray bottle or paint sprayer, you may need to dilute
the solution with water. If you dilute the Primer, two coats may be
necessary.
• Clean up spills and brushes with soap and water immediately after use.
•
Allow the Primer to dry thoroughly before applying the Non-Textile
Pretreatment. Dry time will vary but can take up to one hour or more. To speed up the drying process, you may use a hair dryer, heat lamp or a heat gun set on a low temperature setting.
• A Heat Press may also be used by setting the non-textile item under the heating element. However, DO NOT allow the heating element to touch the non-textile item.
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Chapter 8- Printing Other Items
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Pretreatment
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Pretreatment is designed for use as an inkjet
ink receptive base coat when printing directly onto non-textile
materials such as plastic, metal and wood. For increased durability
of the final print use our Fast T-Jet Post-Treatment on top of the final
print. When using a Fast T-Jet Inkjet-to-Garment Printer and FastINK
Textile ink, you WILL NOT need to change inks when using this
product.
DIRECTIONS:
•
Dip a fine bristle brush in the Pretreatment, wiping off any excess on the side of the bottle. Gently brush Pretreatment over the surface of the non-textile item, making sure there are no uneven areas. If Primer was applied, then the entire Primer treated surface must be covered with Pretreatment.
• The Pretreatment must be applied in a thin even layer to ensure optimal print quality.
Use a second brush to apply Pretreatment. After the application is
complete, clean the brush thoroughly with hot water to remove all
residual Pretreatment.
This product may be sprayed on, but the application may not be
as smooth as necessary for good print reproduction. If applying
with an airbrush, spray bottle or paint sprayer, you may need to
dilute the solution with water. If you dilute the Pretreatment, two
coats may be necessary.
• Clean up spills and brushes with soap and water immediately after use.
•
Allow the Pretreatment to dry thoroughly before applying the Non-Textile
Pretreatment. Dry time will vary but can take up to one hour or more. To speed up the drying process, you may use a hair dryer, heat lamp or a heat gun set on a low temperature setting.
• A Heat Press may also be used by setting the non-textile item under the heating element. However, DO NOT allow the heating element to touch the non-textile item.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Since the pretreatment process can take some time to dry, we
recommend you pretreat as much of the production run as
possible to avoid delays due to drying time (Do this only after
becoming proficient with the Non-Textile Primer/Pretreatment).
Setting up an Image for Print
To setup an image for print you may use an application such as Photoshop,
Illustrator or CorelDRAW, however we recommend using FastARTIST. If you will be
printing White ink, you MUST use FastARTIST. For the purposes of this Manual, we
demonstrate will setting up the image using FastARTIST. The steps required for
printing with other graphic applications will be very similar- please consult your
application’s Owner’s Manual if needed.
1. Setup the printing area in which you will be printing on. To do this you will
need a measuring tape and will need to measure the width and height of
the Non-Textile item. From within FastARTIST select File > FastRIP Setup.
2. From the Setup window, select Page Setup. In
the Page Setup window, select Custom under
the Page option. Enter the Height and Width of
the Non-textile item you have measured. After
entering the values, click OK to return to the
workspace.
3. Select Layout > Page Size. For the Page Size,
enter the Height and Width of the Non-textile
item you have measured. After entering the
values, click OK to return to the workspace.
The non-textile item dimensions will now be
represented by a black box located within the
workspace. If this is not displayed, click View >
Show Page Size to view the black box.
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Chapter 8- Printing Other Items
Printing on Golf Balls
For printing golf balls you will need to use the optional Golf Ball Holder, Fast T-Jet
Non-Textile Pretreatment, and Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment. Fast T-Jet
Non-Textile Primer is not necessary.
1. Load the Golf Balls into the Holder and place the Overspray Shield on top of
the balls. The Shield will protect areas not intended to be printed upon from
Pretreatment and overspray.
2. Dip a fine bristle brush in the Pretreatment, wiping
off any excess on the side of the bottle. Gently
apply the Pretreatment to the exposed golf ball
surface, making sure there are no uneven areas.
3. Allow the Pretreatment to dry thoroughly before printing. Dry time will vary,
but it may take up to one hour or more. To speed up the drying process use a
hair dryer, heat lamp or heat gun set on a low temperature setting.
Golf Ball Holder Placement
Align the four holes in the base of the Golf Ball
Holder with the four pins on the Platen designed for
the FIRST Shirtboard. Place several golf balls within
the Holder and use the Height Adjustment Knob
on the Print Bed to ensure the proper Print Head
clearance is maintained when loaded.
If you are using multiple Golf Ball
Holders, you must check the Print
Head clearance of each one.
Loading Golf Ball Template (FastARTIST Only)
1. Go to File > Open and double-click on the Golf Ball Holder Template to open.
2. Import the images or text you wish to print and place them inside of the grid
lines.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
3. Choose a Print Mode. (For a list and description of the available Print Modes,
please refer to your FastARTIST User’s Manual.)
4. Print to FastRIP.
Finish with Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment is a protective coating used for prints on
non-textile surfaces. This post treatment will prevent fading of ink colors, extend
the life of the image as well as waterproofing and acting as a UV protectant.
DIRECTIONS:
Shake the can before each use and apply to non-textile, printed
surfaces only after all ink has dried thoroughly. Apply a thin coat,
holding the can 4 to 8 inches from surface and using a swift motion
to prevent overspray and unwanted build-up. If build-up does
occur, use a lacquer thinner to remove. A second coat may be
applied after approximately two minutes of drying time. Allow
treated surfaces to dry for 30 minutes to one hour in a clean, dust
free area before handling. Allow 24 hours cure time prior to placing
coated articles into service.
Clean the valve after use by turning the can upside down and spraying a
short burst until cleared. If the nozzle is clogged or sprays irregularly, check for
clogging within the opening. Scrape off excess coating with a soft object and
twist the valve one half turn to close.
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Chapter 8- Printing Other Items
Warnings and Safety Information
Use Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment only in a well ventilated area.
Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment VAPOR is HARMFUL and MAY AFFECT THE
BRAIN OR central NERVOUS SYSTEM, CAUSING DIZZINESS, HEADACHE OR NAUSEA.
It may CAUSE NOSE, THROAT IRRITATION and LUNG IRRITATION. OVEREXPOSURE
MAY CAUSE LIVER, KIDNEY OR BLOOD DAMAGE. It may CAUSE EYE or SKIN
IRRITATION. Fast T-Jet Non-Textile Post-Treatment is HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED.
Reports have associated repeated and prolonged occupational exposure to
solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse
by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents may be harmful or
fatal.
CAUTION: Do not puncture or incinerate (burn) container. Exposure to heat or
prolonged exposure to sun may cause bursting. Do not expose to heat or store
at temperatures above 120°F. Vapors may ignite explosively. Keep away from
heat, sparks and flame.
VAPORS MAY CAUSE FLASH FIRE. Do not smoke while using this product.
Extinguish all flames and pilot lights and turn off stoves, heaters, electric
motors and other sources of ignition during use and until all vapors are gone.
Prevent buildup of vapors by opening all windows and doors to achieve cross
ventilation. Use only with adequate ventilation. Do not breathe dust, vapors or
spray mist. Ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience
eye watering, headache or dizziness or if air monitoring demonstrates that
vapor/mist levels are above applicable limits, wear an appropriate, properly
filled respirator (NIOSH/MSHA approved) during and after application. Follow
respirator manufacturer’s directions for respirator use. Avoid contact with eyes,
skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling.
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
First Aid: in case of contact, immediately flush eyes or skin with plenty of water
for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes. Get medical
attention. Wash clothing before reuse. If swallowed, get medical attention
immediately. If you experience difficulty in breathing, leave the area to
obtain fresh air. If continued difficulty is experienced, get medical assistance
immediately. If spilled, contain spilled material and remove with inert absorbent.
Dispose of contaminated absorbent, container and unused contents in
accordance with local, state and federal regulations.
The Manufacturer shall not be liable for loss or damages whether direct, indirect,
incidental or consequential, regardless of the legal theory asserted, including
negligence and strict liability. Read Material Safety Data Sheet before use.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Non-Textile Printing Tips
o When brushing on any of the treatments, make sure they are applied in
smooth, even and thin layers.
o Having two brushes can make the pretreatment and priming processes
easier. Use one for the Non-Textile Primer and one for the Non-Textile
Pretreatment.
o Cleaning the brushes when done with hot water and letting dry will prevent
them from drying out and ruining the brushes.
o When printing on Non-Textile items, use a piece of film that covers the whole
item and print a test print on the film to see if it is in alignment with the desired
printing area.
o The maximum printable area of a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is 17” x 47”. To
maximize production, you can line up multiple items to print more then one
item at a time.
o If you have a Heat Press, you may dry items faster by placing them under
the element, but you MUST avoid contact between the item and the heated
surface.
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Chapter 9
Additional Utilities
to Improve Print Quality
A typical print problem that can occur is when lines are missing in the final
image. This is called banding and it can happen for a variety of reasons. The
most common reasons for banding are a dirty or clogged Print Head, or one
that is misaligned.
If your prints are unexpectedly light, or dots or lines are missing, you may need to
clean the Print Head. If you allow one of the ink bottles on the bulk ink system to
run dry or if your printer has been sitting for a few days without use, you will need
to clean the Print Head.
In addition to the Utilities mentioned in this Chapter, refer to
Chapter 4 for instructions on performing Power Cleanings, Nozzle
Checks, Platen Height Adjustments and Head Alignments.
Regular Head Cleaning
You can execute a regular head cleaning by simply holding down the RIGHT
ARROW button on the LCD Control Panel for 3 seconds. In addition, you should
always turn your printer OFF when not in use to allow it to go through a regular
head cleaning cycle on start-up.
Auto Head Cleaning (Optional from FastRIP)
A new feature of FastRIP 9.0 is the ability to schedule an Auto Head Cleaning
session. One of the most common problems with printing white ink is the ink’s
tendency to clog the Print Heads. The ink must also be agitated on a regular
basis to keep its pigments from settling within the bottle. The Auto Head Cleaning
function tells the printer to perform a Head Cleaning during the night, helping
to prevent ink settling and head clogging- leaving your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
ready to print first thing in the morning.
To utilize the Auto Head Cleaning function, you must set it up within the FastRIP
interface on your computer. For the scheduled session to take place, DO NOT
turn OFF your printer when you have completed your day.
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Waste Tank Maintenance
When the Waste Tank is full, the LCD control
panel display will read “Waste Tank Full” and
you will be unable to start any more print runs. (It
will finish any images in progress.) Because the
LCD display is located under the printer cover,
you will need to manually monitor Waste Tank
Waste Tank
levels throughout the work day. If the Tank is full,
Level Indicator
it will be necessary to remove the Tank from the
machine and change the pad. You must then
use the Chip Reset Module to reset the Waste Tank chip. Detailed instructions
for performing these procedures are provided on a separate information sheet
included with the bulk ink system.
DO NOT get into the routine of just resetting the Waste Tank chip.
It is extremely important you visually check the state the Waste
Tank collection pads. If they look like they need replacing, replace
them. Failure to change the Waste Tank pads when necessary WILL
cause ink to overflow from the Tank and onto critical components
of your printer. In addition to having a large mess to clean up,
you may short the motherboard. This will be very costly in terms of
downtime and repair expense. Damage from this type of incident is
NOT covered by your warranty.
The Waste Tank is located below the bank of white ink cartridges and behind
a metal face plate. To remove the enclosure, you will need to remove the two
screws holding it in place.
After removing the screws, gently slide the metal cowling free and the Waste
Tank will be easily accessible. To remove the Waste Tank, slide if from its bin. To
replace the Waste Tank after maintenance, slide it back into place and
reattach the metal enclosure.
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Chapter 9- Additional Utilities to Improve Print Quality
U.S. Screen is not liable for any damage caused by ink to property
such as carpets, flooring or furniture . Please read and understand
all operating and maintenance procedures before using the Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express.
Print Head Replacement
In the event that the Print Head strikes a garment, Shirtboard or other object, the
Print Head will probably need to be replaced. If you leave the printer
unattended for long periods of time, a serious clog may result and the Print
Head will probably need to be replaced.
Replacing the Print Head takes less than 30 minutes and there is an instructional
video available online at www.screenprinters.net. You can also download an
Installation Guide in PDF format for reference. Replacement Print Heads are
available from U.S. Screen Print and Inkjet Technology or possibly your dealer.
If you are dependent upon your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express and cannot afford to
be down for a few days, we recommend keeping a replacement Print Head in
stock.
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Chapter 10
Preventative Maintenance
and Problem Solving
Your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express should work trouble free IF you take the time to
understand and perform the necessary maintenance. 95% of our Technical
Support calls come from people who have not maintained their machines
properly. While it may appear to be “just” an inkjet printer, it is a VERY SPECIAL
inkjet printer. When printing on garments, it must print A LOT more ink than when
printing on paper. This can, and will, cause excess ink to coat internal parts if the
machine is not maintained on a regular basis.
When printing onto Dark shirts with White ink, the use of a Pretreatment is
necessary. This Pretreatment is sticky and, if it’s sprayed near a machine, it can
coat the internal components of the printer. In addition, inkjet printers in general
do not like hot, dry room conditions or a dusty, dirty shop.
Be aware of the climate and conditions in which you use and store your
machine. You have made a substantial investment in your business when you
purchased your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express. In order to get the most out of it, please
take the time to learn the simple steps that will keep your printer happy and
making you money.
Keep Your Encoder Strip Clean
A main concern of many who call our Support Department
is when the printer gets “confused” while printing an
image. The way an inkjet printer tells the Print Head what
and where to print is by using a thin piece of film called an
Encoder Strip. A dirty Encoder Strip can cause everything
from images printing in the wrong location and large blocks
of ink spraying on the shirt to double-images, dark bands
across the print, thin horizontal lines and much more.
While in motion, the Print Head continually
receives data through this strip. Should the strip
become coated with lint from shirts or ink from
Overspray, it can confuse the printer.
Even very small amounts of dirt can interfere with the exchange of data
between the Print Head and the Encoder Strip. To avoid this situation, perform
daily and weekly maintenance on the unit as suggested in this section.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Clean the Encoder Strip DAILY
Press the Carriage Release Button (page 25)
to free the Print Carriage from the Capping
Station. Manually move the carriage to the
center of the Assembly. This will allow you to
clean the capping station side of the Encoder
Strip.
You can use foam-tipped swabs, water, glass
cleaner or cleaning fluid, but for best results
use Isopropyl Alcohol pads. Do NOT use
Rubbing Alcohol pads. Wrap the alcohol pad around both sides of the Encoder
strip and gently move the pad in both directions. If the pad becomes black,
use a new pad and clean the Encoder Strip again. Manually return the Print
Carriage back to the Capping Station to clean the rest of the Encoder Strip.
Allow the Encoder Strip AIR DRY.
The Encoder Strip is actually translucent with small marks on it. Be
careful to NOT scratch it or the Print Head sensor will not read it
correctly. Only use FOAM TIP cleaning swabs or Isopropyl Alcohol
Pads when doing any maintenance or cleaning inside your Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express.
Turning Off Your Printer
Turn OFF the machine at night using the
Circuit Breaker Switch. Wait for the printer to
completely power down (the Print Carriage will
dock onto the capping station), then turn off
the main Power Switch located next to the AC
cord. DO NOT turn off your printer at the power
strip.
Do Not Overfill the Bulk Ink Bottles
When refilling the bulk ink bottles, STOP at the 200ml
line marked on the front of the bottle. This will prevent
excess pressure from building up within the cartridge,
which can cause ink to drip from the Print Head.
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Check Spit Tray Regularly/
Clean Capping Station and Print Head Daily
The Spit Tray/Flushing Box assembly collects ink very quickly. Check it regularly
and clean it throughout the day as necessary to prevent ink spills on printer
components and random ink drops on garments.
The Capping Station is the rectangular piece onto which the Print Head seats.
Ensure the outer rubber seal is free from dried ink and garment fibers. Ink residue
around the edge of the Capping Station may keep the Print Head from sealing
properly. This will cause Print Head clogs. Be aware that White ink will build up
faster and thicker than regular colors. Use a foam swab, water, glass cleaner,
cleaning fluid or Isopropyl Alcohol to keep this clean.
When cleaning the Capping Station, be careful NOT to move it
out of position or the Print Head will not seat properly. If you push
down on it too hard, it WILL move off of its mount. When cleaning
the Print Head, only clean the around the sides, DO NOT touch the
Nozzles.
Humidity and Environmental Control
Controlling the environment in which your Blazer Express “lives” is a must!
During the cold winter months, dry heat is often pumped into a room- This is not
a good thing for inkjet printers! They prefer humidity levels of 40% to 80%.
If your room is dry, place a humidifier in the room and buy an
inexpensive hygrometer from Radio Shack, Target, Wal Mart
etc. to measure the humidity level. In the summer months,
if the humidity is too high, use a dehumidifier. Try very hard
NOT to place this machine in a dusty, dirty or non-climate
controlled environment (like a Screen Printing shop or a
garage). For best results, place the printer in a dust free room
with air-conditioning.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
In addition, DO NOT not allow fans to blow air across the Print Head. This will dry
the ink and cause a clog, seriously effecting your printer’s performance.
Print With the Lid Closed
Due to the airborne nature of the White ink Pretreatment, you should try to
pretreat shirts in a different room or far away from the machine. If pretreating
in a different room is not an option, then make sure the lid on the printer is
kept closed at all times, especially during the print process. Pretreatment will
immediately clog the Print Head if it comes in contact with any ink. We strongly
suggest creating a separate enclosed area, such as a large cardboard box as
an absolute minimum. This will help keep overspray away from Print Head and
the Encoder Strip as well.
Preparing the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express for Downtime
We recommend you schedule Automatic Head Cleanings every
6 to 8 hours using FastRIP. This will help prevent Print Head and
Capping Station issues caused by dried ink. This is especially
important if the printer will be idle longer than ONE day (24 hrs).
Refer to Chapter 7 of your FastARTIST User’s Manual for details on
configuring this feature.
In the event your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is going to sit more than 30 days
without use, you MUST:
1. Remove all of the bulk ink cartridges and replace them with cleaning solution
cartridges.
Perform a minimum of 2-3 Power Cleanings to flush ink from the Ink Lines.
Perform as many Power Cleanings as needed until all of the Ink Lines are
Clear. Then execute one more Power Cleaning to thoroughly flush the
system. (Refer to Chapter 2 for instructions on executing Power Cleanings.)
2. Ensure the Print Head docks securely on the Capping Station with no visible
gaps.
3. Power OFF the printer from the UI, flip the Breaker Switch to the OFF position
and unplug the printer from its AC source.
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Chapter 10- Preventative Maintenance
and Problem Solving
Other Hints and Tips
Eliminating Ink Drops on Shirts
When you perform a Head Cleaning, ink is forced through
the Nozzles and the Print Head is cleaned and wiped by
the printer. On occasion, this may not clean away small
pieces of shirt lint that collect around the base. This excess
lint can create ink build up, causing ink to drip onto a
garment. Using a foam tip swab, water, glass cleaner, or
cleaning fluid, clean any lint and ink residue off the edges.
BE CAREFUL not to rub the bottom of the Print Head. This is where the actual
Nozzles are located and they can be easily damaged.
Clean Bulk System Computer Chips
The small computer chips on the back of the ink cartridge can get dirty and not
make good contact. If you get sporadic error messages on certain colors, clean
the chips with a foam-tipped swab and Isopropyl Alcohol. A pencil eraser also
works well for this task.
RAM and Your Computer
RAM is the temporary memory that your computer uses when processing
complex data. RAM is NOT expensive and most computers ship with only 512mb
of RAM, which is not enough, especially when using FastARTIST and FastRIP. Your
computer should have 1 to 2 GB of RAM.
If using or upgrading to Windows Vista, you will need at least 2GB of RAM for
proper operation of your printer and software.
When in Doubt – Unplug Everything
Sometimes inkjet printers just get “confused,” especially if you stop them in the
middle of a run. If the printer is suddenly acting abnormally, turn everything OFF
and unplug the power cord. Make sure to disconnect the USB cable between
your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express and the computer to end data transmission that
still may be occurring. Leave everything unplugged for a few minutes and then
plug it all back in and start over.
You MUST cancel all print jobs for this to be effective or they may resume printing
when you again turn ON the computer and printer.
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Clean the Print Carriage Drive Belt Gear
During normal operating
conditions, lint that is coated with
Pretreatment can get caught in
the Print Carriage Drive Belt Gear,
located in the right rear of the
housing. This lint will start to clog
the gear and the belt will slip,
causing the Print Carriage to jerk
and/or not complete print jobs.
Print Carriage Drive Belt Roller and Gear
Periodically check this gear and if
necessary, clean it with a brush or
computer vacuum. At the opposite end of the Printer Assembly is a Drive Belt
Roller. Occasionally this component will require cleaning as well.
While performing maintenance on any internal printer part, make sure to avoid
ANY contact with the Encoder Strip. It is fragile and can be easily damaged!
Shake Shirts or Preheat to Minimize Lint
T-Shirts generate a lot of lint and it is important to minimize the amount of lint
inside your machine. Get in the habit of shaking a shirt before loading it. If you
feel shirts you are using generate excess lint, use a Pet Hair Pickup Roller on the
shirt after it is placed on the Shirtboard. You may also preheat them in a Heat
Press for just a few seconds to flatten the fibers.
No Windex
The Clear Plexiglas window on the top of your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express does not
like Windex. Using this as a cleaning solution will cause the window to crack and
possibly break over time. Use only a mild soap and water solution to clean this
part of your printer. You may use Windex on the metallic sides and Platen, but
take care not to allow ANY Overspray land on the window area.
Five Minute Daily Maintenance
Daily maintenance is a very critical part of keeping your printer performing at its
best. By not following the required daily maintenance described below you will
void your warranty as well as damage the machine.
Many of these items have been covered earlier in this Manual, but the
following list will help you prioritize what maintenance items should be done on
a regular basis.
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Chapter 10- Preventative Maintenance
and Problem Solving
¾¾
Turn the Machine OFF at Night (if not using the Auto Head Cleaning function)
¾¾
Perform a Head Cleaning(s) Every Morning and End of Shift
¾¾
Clean the Capping Station
¾¾
Clean the Spit Tray/Flushing Box Assembly Regularly
¾¾
Clean the Print Head
¾¾
Clean the Encoder Strip
¾¾
Check your ink levels
Turning the machine OFF at night ensures the Print Head is capped properly on the Capping Station.
After turning ON the machine at the start of the day, perform 3 to 4 Head
Cleanings. Press and hold the Ink button for three seconds to initiate this
process. Perform Head Cleanings at the end of a large shirt run and
definitely at the end of each day.
The capping station is the rectangular piece into which the Print Head
seats. Make sure that the outer rubber seal is free from dried ink and
garment fibers. Use a foam swab and distilled water, cleaning fluid or
Isopropyl Alcohol to keep this clean.
The Spit Tray/Flushing Box assembly collects ink very quickly. Check it
regularly and clean it throughout the day as necessary to prevent ink spills on printer components and random ink drops on garments.
Clean any accumulated ink or garment fibers from around the sides and
on the bottom of the Print Head with a foam tip swab, water, glass
cleaner, or cleaning fluid. Clean only the sides of the Print Head, DO NOT touch the nozzles.
During printing and Head Cleanings, the clear plastic Encoder Strip through which the head receives printing data can get dirty. The Encoder Strip is essentially the “brains” of the printer and if the Print Head can’t
properly receive the data through the strip, it will get “confused” and print in the wrong location, laying ink where you don’t want any. Clean the
Encoder Strip with a swab and glass cleaner or Isopropyl Alcohol pad.
Visually check the ink levels of the bulk ink bottles for the following
conditions:
•
Ink levels that are past the Full Line - ink might start to drip from the Print Head
•
Ink levels are too low - the ink tubes will run dry.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
¾¾
Monitor Waste Tank Levels
When the Waste Tank is full, the LCD control panel display will read “Waste Tank Full.” Because the LCD display is located under the printer cover, you
will need to manually monitor Waste Tank levels throughout work day. If the Tank is full, it will be necessary to remove the Tank from the machine
and change the pad(s). You must then use the Chip Reset Module to
reset the Waste Tank chip. DO NOT reset the chip without checking the pad(s)! Failure to change the pad(s) when needed could result in severe
ink spills and extensive damage to your printer!
Weekly Maintenance
(depending on amount of production)
¾¾
Clean the Print Carriage Drive Belt Gear
Clean it with a brush or computer vacuum. Make sure to avoid any
contact with the encoder strip. It is fragile and can be easily damaged!
Monthly Maintenance
¾¾
Lube the Rail Guides and Rails
You will need to lubricate the Rails and Rail Guides on a Monthly basis to
facilitate the Print Assembly moving smoothly during image output. This procedure will help prevent banding as well as several other image quality concerns.
1. Use a Grease Gun to inject a Lithium-based soap grease (White Grease) through the four Zerk fittings, but DO NOT over-lube- only one
“squirt” per Guide is necessary.
A Grease Gun and
Lithium-based grease can
be purchased from most
major Auto Parts stores.
Connect the Grease Gun
to the Zerk fitting pictured
here to lube the Rail Guides.
There are 2 Rail Guides per
side, 4 total.
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Chapter 10- Preventative Maintenance
and Problem Solving
Lubricating the two Main Rails will prevent oxidation (rust) and debris
build-up, allowing the Printer Assembly to travel freely. This will help
prevent registration issues that can occur in multiple pass prints.
Main Rail- One per side
Two in Total
2. To correctly lubricate the Main Rails, apply a very THIN coat of the
same Lithium-based grease used for the Rail Guides. Spread the White
Grease along the ENTIRE length of both Rails using a clean, lint-free
cloth. DO NOT use any other lubricate, such as WD-40 or Machine Oil,
or you risk contamination of the Rail Guides.
Do Not Lubricate the Drive Screw
The Drive Screw MUST NEVER be lubricated or wiped
off with a chemical solvent. This is due to a special
coating that has already been placed on the Drive
Screw to prevent dust buildup that could potentially
hinder the fluid movement of the Printer Assembly.
Treating the Drive Screw will allow dust buildup,
contaminating the drive mechanism.
Drive Screw
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
! PLEASE USE THIS AS A MASTER COPY TO MAKE COPIES FROM!
Daily and Weekly Maintenance
Schedule Checklist
NAME:
COMPANY:
ADDRESS:
This Checklist should be used asPHONE:
a guide to ensure critical
maintenance is
EMAIL:
performed on a regular basis. The
Checklist may also be downloaded from
SERIAL NUMBER:
www.screenprinters.net.
Maintenance Tracking Schedule
Daily Tasks Performed
Check Ink Levels
Clean Encoder Strip
Clean Print Head
* Perform a nozzle check before printing.
Clean Capping Station and Wiper
Head Cleanings (beginning & after shift)
Power Off at End of Day
Daily Tasks Performed
Check Ink Levels
Clean Encoder Strip
Clean Print Head
* Perform a nozzle check before printing.
Clean Capping Station and Wiper
Head Cleanings (beginning & after shift)
Power Off at End of Day
Daily Tasks Performed
Check Ink Levels
Clean Encoder Strip
Clean Print Head
* Perform a nozzle check before printing.
Clean Capping Station and Wiper
Head Cleanings (beginning & after shift)
Power Off at End of Day
Daily Tasks Performed
Check Ink Levels
Clean Encoder Strip
Clean Print Head
* Perform a nozzle check before printing.
Clean Capping Station and Wiper
Head Cleanings (beginning & after shift)
Power Off at End of Day
Daily Tasks Performed
Check Ink Levels
Clean Encoder Strip
Clean Print Head
* Perform a nozzle check before printing.
Clean Capping Station and Wiper
Head Cleanings (beginning & after shift)
Power Off at End of Day
Weekly Tasks Performed
Check and Clean Cap Assembly
Check Waste Ink Pad
Clean Drive Belt
/
/
Initials:
Date:
/
/
Initials:
/
Initials:
/
Initials:
/
Initials:
/
Initials:
/
Initials:
Comments / Notes
Date:
/
Comments / Notes
Date:
/
Comments / Notes
Date:
/
Comments / Notes
Date:
Monthly Tasks Performed
/
Comments / Notes
Date:
/
Comments / Notes
Lube Rail Guides
Lube Rails
U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet
MAIN: 480-929-0640
Date:
Comments / Notes
TECHNOLOGY
SUPPORT: 480-929-2937
94
FAX: 480-929-0766
EMAIL: support@usscreen.com
Chapter 11
Troubleshooting
Problem:
After printing an image, the color looks great, but after curing, the print looks
dull.
Causes:
• The temperature is set too high on the Heat Press
Test the temperature using a “touch-less” infrared thermometer or heat
testing strips. If the temperature is too hot, it could scorch the shirts and ink.
• There is too much pressure being applied to the shirt during curing
When curing your shirts, make sure you do not apply too much
pressure. You should apply a medium to heavy amount of pressure.
• The wrong type of paper was used
Make sure the paper that is used for curing is either a Teflon pad or silicone
treated paper.
Prevention:
Get to know your Heat Press or dryer- every make and model has its own
“personality.” Frequently test the output temperature to ensure it actually
matches your desired settings. (Refer to Chapter 6 for curing times and details.)
Problem:
The first printed image is great, but the Underbase and Top Color registration is
off for subsequent images.
Causes:
• You are using a Page Size greater than the maximum printable area.
Make sure you are using the pre-made templates within FastARTIST.
• You have pressed the Green buttons on the UI prior to sending a Print
command in FastARTIST or another graphics application.
You must click on Print in BEFORE pressing the Green print buttons on the UI.
Solution:
You must do a complete shutdown and reboot of your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express
2X to clear the error. Turn OFF your printer completely. Reboot and allow it to
perform and complete a Start-up Cycle. Completely shut down the printer a
second time. After it has completed another Start-up Cycle, the error will be
cleared.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
Problem: The Print Head is leaking, dripping ink on garments.
Causes:
• The Print Head may have been damaged by a collision
Order a replacement Print Head.
• The Print Head is saturated with ink
Thoroughly clean the Capping Station. The Capping Station can
become dirty with garment lint or fibers as well as dried ink. This will
prevent it from adequately cleaning the Print Head.
• Debris or shirt fibers have collected on the Print Head as well as the Print Head
Carriage
Gently clean the bottom of the Print Head to remove any debris, dried ink
and fibers. Also check the Capping Station to ensure it is clean and free of
debris and lint.
• Too much ink is coming through the Print Head
If you filled the Bulk Ink Cartridges past the Full Line there could be too much
pressure in the bulk system ink lines, forcing ink out of the Print Head.
• Altitude can have an effect
The bulk ink system requires the proper vacuum pressure to siphon the ink into
the Print Head. If you are having an unusual amount of problems and are at
a higher altitude, don’t fill the ink bottles as full.
• Faulty bulk system
Call Technical Support.
Prevention:
• Always check the Platen to Print Head Clearance prior to printing.
• Clean the Capping Station on a regular basis.
• Clean debris from the Print Head daily.
• Do not overfill the Bulk Ink Cartridges.
Problem: The printed image is wiping off, washing out, fading badly or bleeding.
Causes:
• The garment was improperly cured
Garment ink requires a temperature of 330 degrees F. to cure properly. Apply
this heat for at least 60-90 seconds for Light garments and for at least 180-240
seconds for Dark garments
• Too much or too little pressure was applied when Heat Pressing
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Chapter 11- Troubleshooting
•
•
•
•
•
When pressing the garment, the Heat Press should rest on the silicone or
Teflon paper with medium to heavy pressure. This allows the moisture within
the inks to escape and properly cure without scorching the shirt.
The temperature of Heat Press was not correct
Make sure the Heat Press is heating up evenly and reaching the
correct temperature of 330 degrees F. You can test this with a
touch-less infrared thermometer or heat testing strips.
Too much Pretreatment was applied
Avoid soaking the garment with Pretreatment. Do not print on shirts where
the Pretreatment may still be wet. You can use a Heat Press to dry the
Pretreatment prior to printing.
An insufficient amount of Pretreatment may have been applied
Apply more Pretreatment on successive shirts and cure again.
An incorrect type of fabric was used for printing
For best results print onto 100% cotton. On 100% cotton, colors will look their
best. For 50/50 blends of cotton and polyester, the ink needs to be cured
quickly to reduce possible bleeding. FastINK will NOT work on most synthetic
materials such as waterproof Nylon.
The garment was washed improperly
Wash in cold water and dry on a delicate dryer setting.
Prevention:
• Make sure your Heat Press is heating up evenly and reaching the
correct temperature.
• Pretreat evenly and away from printer.
• Cure Pretreat properly.
(Refer to Chapter 6 for curing times and details.)
Problem: Printed colors appear different from what you see on the computer monitor prior
to printing.
Causes:
• Your nozzles could be clogged.
o Run a Nozzle Check on a piece of clear film
o Clean the Capping Station
o Run a Head Cleaning and a Nozzle Check in succession
o Use the refillable cleaning cartridges and run several Head Cleanings
consecutively to see improvement. DO NOT perform a Nozzle Check with
cleaning cartridges.
• The image has an attached ICC Profile.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
FastARTIST uses its own ICC Profile- make sure you do not apply one from your
preferred graphics program. Refer to your graphics
application’s User’s Manual on ICC profiles.
• You have an ICC profile checked in CorelDRAW.
Go to File > Print and select the Misc. Tab. Uncheck Apply ICC Profile.
• The Capping Station is not working properly.
Clean the Capping Station.
Prevention:
Usually when a color prints with an incorrect hue, it is because a Nozzle is
clogged. If you are trying to print an Orange image but it appears more Yellow,
that means the Magenta is clogged and the pigments can’t mix to produce
Orange.
The most important part of your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is the Capping Station.
Make sure this ALWAYS stays clean. The Print Head “docks” here when not in use
to
ensure it does not dry out. The Capping Station is also used during Head
Cleanings. If the Capping Station is dirty, the printer can’t do a proper Head
Cleaning and fix a clogged nozzle.
Note: When building any image inside any software program, make sure you
always use RGB color mode because this is how your monitor displays colors.
Never apply an ICC profile.
Problem: Prints are out of alignment or there are large gaps in the print.
Causes:
• Different Print Modes are being used
Double-check settings in the FastRIP Setup screen and make sure all Print
Modes are of the same type. If using an HS Print Mode for the
color then the same Mode must be used for the Underbase (i.e. Photo 720
Standard HS Print Mode and 1440 DPI Image Normal Underbase HS).
• Encoder strip is dirty and needs to be cleaned
Clean the Encoder Strip.
• If using an Underbase and/or Underbase wizard, the Black and White versions
of images may be different sizes.
Double check the images’ Heights and Widths to make sure they are
identical.
• Print Carriage is jumping around and causing a misread of the Encoder Strip.
Clean the Drive Belt Gear.
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Chapter 11- Troubleshooting
• There is a communication error between your printer and your
computer.
Make sure you don’t have any jobs in the FastRIP Queue or Windows Print
Manager. If you do, delete them. Power down your printer, unplug the power
cord and leave it unplugged for about 30 seconds. Power back ON and try
again.
Make sure you are using the correct port. Open FastRIP and select Printers/
Manage Printers. Make sure the Epson Stylus port Control Panel box has a
check mark in it.
You may also be using insufficient or incorrect cables. We highly recommend
using a USB cable for the best connection. DO NOT use a long cable, switch
boxes, hubs or even wireless USB connections.
Prevention:
• Always double check settings in FastRIP prior to sending a Print command
• Clean the Encoder Strip weekly
• Always make sure images are the same size when using the Underbase
Wizard in FastARTIST.
• Test the communication between the computer and printer.
Problem: Fonts are not printing correctly on the garment.
Causes:
Sometimes fonts, especially script fonts, may not print correctly or print at all.
This tends to happen when using Vector Programs. The printer driver may not
download or recognize the font. To fix this, change the font to a graphic image.
Depending on the graphics program, it may be called Convert to Curves or
Create Outlines. You may also need to do this if you are printing vector fonts
along with a bitmap image.
Try importing or printing a different file to see if the problem remains.
Problem: The printer stops in the middle of a print routine and stops communicating with
the computer.
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Causes:
• Print drivers may need to be re-installed
Print drivers are prone to occasionally stop communicating with the Windows
XP operating system. The only solution is to re-install the driver.
• Too many items may be connected to your USB port
If you have any additional items connected to your USB ports, unplug
everything but the mouse and the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express. The USB bus on
your computer only has only a limited amount of power.
• The image file may be corrupt
The file being printed may be corrupt. Try another file.
• USB cable may be too long
Your USB cable should not be MORE than six feet in length.
Prevention:
• Keep it simple. Do not overload the printer port.
• When in doubt first try turning everything off and unplugging things such as
the USB cable from the computer to the printer.
Problem: When printing White ink, no ink prints or there are no Underbase settings
available.
Causes and Solutions:
You do not have the correct printer selected in FastRIP.
Open FastRIP and navigate to Printers/Manage Printers and make sure your
printer is setup as a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express. If it is NOT setup as a Blazer Express,
FastRIP doesn’t know that it needs to use the White ink.
Problem:
When you send a print job to the printer nothing happens.
Cause:
• The computer is not communicating with the printer.
Check the port settings in FastRIP. In the FastRIP window go to Printers/
Manage Printers. The port should be set to Epson stylus pro 4800_usb00*.
Check the Control Panel box on the right. Make sure there are no other jobs
already in the print queue.
• The printer is not ready to print the job.
o Check to see if any of the ink cartridges are showing empty.
o The Waste Tank may be full. Check the LCD Display.
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Chapter 11- Troubleshooting
o
You many not be in Print status (Refer to Chapter 4)
Problem:
The color of the shirt is showing through the Underbase.
Causes:
• There was not enough Pretreatment applied to the shirt.
o Use a good spray gun such as the Wagner Control Sprayer to lay down an
even coat of Pretreatment.
o Press the shirt in a Heat Press prior to pretreating. This will flatten the
garment fibers, allowing the Pretreatment to stick to the shirt better.
o Be sure to cover the entire printable area.
o Use 100% Pretreatment. Try not diluting it with water to see if prints
improve.
• The White Nozzles are clogged.
o Run a Nozzle Check on a piece of clear film to see how the
Nozzles are performing.
o Clean the Capping Station.
o Run a Head Cleaning and a Nozzle Check in succession.
o Use the refillable cleaning cartridges to run consecutive Head Cleanings.
• The Underbase settings in FastARTIST are not strong enough or not set up
correctly.
Check your Underbase settings and compare them to the default settings
listed in Chapter 9 of the FastARTIST Manual. (Keep in mind, every image will
vary- this is just a starting point).
Prevention:
• Practice is the only way to master the art of pretreating a shirt.
Eventually you will develop your own style for to applying Pretreatment.
• Try pressing your shirts before applying Pretreatment. This will flatten loose
fibers, allowing the Pretreatment stick to the shirt and not the fibers.
• Perform regular machine maintenance. Keeping your machine clean is the
key to having great prints on a Dark garment. Frequently run Head Cleanings
and Nozzle Checks to keep your nozzles flowing properly. Take the time to
get to know your machine and your software. Make sure you start off using
the default Underbase settings provided in Chapter 9 of the FastARTIST
Manual.
Problem: There is horizontal banding across print (in one or all colors).
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Causes:
• Ink in the Nozzle has dried out
o Do Head Cleanings and Nozzle Checks until the problem is resolved.
o Use a cleaning cartridge and run Head Cleanings until the problem is
resolved.
o A serious or permanent clog may require replacing the Print Head.
• The Capping Station is not cleaning the Print Head
If the Capping Station is dirty, it will just add more debris to the Print Head,
causing it to become clogged. Thoroughly clean the Capping Station. It can
be cleaned with swabs included in the maintenance kit and a glass cleaner
like Windex. Be sure to clean the rubber seal around the Capping Station as
well as the rubber wiper blade.
• Air bubbles in bulk system tubing are causing small amounts of ink to dry
inside Print Head/Nozzles.
Run Head Cleanings and print Nozzle Checks until a satisfactory test print is
achieved.
• You are using a High Speed (HS) Print Mode.
Use a Standard or 2 Pass Print Mode. HS Print Modes are the fastest, but they
require the Nozzles to be in perfect alignment. Additionally, when using this
setting, head clogs tend to appear as banding.
Prevention:
• Clean Capping Station daily.
• Run Head Cleanings before printing in the morning as well as printing a
Nozzle Check to gauge the status of the Print Head prior to printing onto
garments.
• Make sure the bulk ink system tubes don’t have any air in them prior to
printing.
Problem:
Files take a long time to print.
Causes and Solutions:
• Printing from CorelDRAW is causing large spool files.
Printing from any version of CorelDRAW can create extremely large spool files.
This happens when one or more copies of a file are sent to the printer while
you are trying to print a number of images that require a second pass. It can
also happen if bitmap images are placed in the document. If the spool files
are larger than your physical memory, the file may not print or may take a
long time processing. Ways to reduce this include exporting the file in a JPEG
format, then bringing the file back into CorelDRAW using the Import function.
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If the bitmap was created with a high resolution, try lowering the resolution to
around 200 DPI. Save this file and Import it back into CorelDRAW. Try to print
from a different program like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. These
graphic programs do not create such large spool files.
• File resolution is too high.
A resolution of 150 to 300 DPI (at the final print size) is all that is
necessary for direct printing to garments. If you receive larger file
resolutions, resample them to a lower resolution to speed up ripping and
printing times.
Prevention:
Keep file sizes small, if possible, and don’t send a lot of print commands at the
same time.
Problem: The printer is printing large bands of color, vertical colored lines or printing partial
images.
Causes:
• You have a dirty Encoder Strip or Encoder Sensor
The Encoder Strip is the heart of the machine and behind the Print Head
lies an Encoder Strip Sensor. The Encoder Strip has information on it that the
Encoder Strip Sensor reads as the Print Head moves back and forth. If there
is ANY contamination, Pretreatment, dirt, ink or debris on the Encoder Strip
or on the Encoder Strip Sensor, the printer will be VERY CONFUSED. This is the
#1 cause of abnormal printing problems. Clean the Encoder Strip with Glass
Cleaner.
• The Gear for the Print Carriage Drive Belt may be filled with lint and slipping.
Clean the Gear and Roller.
Prevention:
• Keep the printing area clean, the machine lid closed and pretreat shirts
away from the printer.
• Shake shirts before you print onto them to remove excess lint that may get on
the Encoder Strip.
• When printing a large volume run, clean the Encoder Strip often to prevent
communication errors from ruining shirts during a printing cycle.
Problem:
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When you print a White Underbase you get a
White box over the entire image.
Causes:
Check your Underbase setup within
FastARTIST.
Within FastARTIST go to File > FastRIP Setup >
Underbase Setup tab.
Make sure the top checkbox that says
Underbase All Items with this Underbase
Color is checked. Make sure the bottom
check box that says Highlight All Objects with
This Color is NOT checked.
Make sure to view the image in FastRIP’s
View Raw Data window to see if it looks
correct BEFORE
printing.
Please note: If you choose a 1440 DPI White Print Mode you will not have the
View Raw Data option.
Problem: The quality of the printed output is unacceptable when printing bitmap images.
The images seem soft and are not clean and sharp.
The resolution at final size is 72 DPI.
Causes:
The resolution of the image is too low.
Resolution at 72 DPI is for viewing the image on a computer monitor only.
Images intended for printing need to be between 150 and 225 DPI to maintain
a clean and sharp image. You can try upsampling the image to a larger
resolution, but the image still will be “soft” when printed.
Problem: When sending a print command to the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express, the Print Head
moves like it is printing but no ink is dispensed.
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Causes:
• Ink is not flowing from the Bulk System.
Ensure the breather hole in the cap of each ink cartridge has not
become clogged or closed. The cartridges need to breathe as ink flows
through the lines.
• Ribbon cable to the Print Head is damaged.
If you accidentally splash/drip ink or cleaning fluid on the gray ribbon cable
that connects to the Print Head, it can short out. Check for burn marks on
the ribbon cable connectors. Check to make sure it hasn’t been crimped or
pinched.
• Motherboard is bad.
There is a chance the motherboard is bad. The board could have a defect
or some fluid may have been spilled on it. If ink or cleaning fluid runs down
the ribbon cable and drips into the bed it can short out the motherboard.
• Capping Station Clogged.
The Capping Station may need cleaning. If the Print Head did not seat
properly, ALL of the nozzles could be clogged.
Problem: The image is printing outside of the shirtboard or in the wrong location.
Causes:
You have a mismatch in the software settings.
Make sure your working Page Size matches the final print page size. A common
error is working on one Page Size in a graphics program but printing to a
different Page Size in FastRIP.
Problem: Modifying Factory Default printer settings.
Causes:
The printer’s default settings have been configured by U.S. Screen prior to
shipping, however, here is a list of the Printer Setup Menu Modes. DO NOT
deviate from these settings.
If you find an incorrect setting, you MUST contact Customer Support BEFORE
making any changes.
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Cut Adj-
EXEC
Platen Gap-
STD
Code Page-
PC437
Time Out-
OFF
INIT Settings-
EXEC
INTERFACE-
Auto
PAPER ALGN-
OFF
Auto Cleaning-
OFF
Page Line-
OFF
PPR Margin-
Default
Auto NZL CK-
OFF
Refresh MRGN-
OFF
Sheet Size CK-
OFF
Problem: I only use my printer on weekends and many times when I go to use it, the heads
are clogged.
Causes:
Ink is drying within the Print Head due to lack of use.
If you are NOT using your printer on a regular basis, the ink may partially dry
within the Print Head, causing a clog.
We have found the best solution to this issue is to turn your printer ON everyday,
even if you don’t intend to print anything. When the printer is turned ON, it
primes the Print Head during startup. This process is
sufficient to prevent head clogs if done regularly. You DO NOT have to do a
Head Cleaning unless you want to.
After your printer has gone through its startup procedures, turn it OFF to ensure
the Print Head seats within the Capping Station.
NOTE: Always make sure you observe the proper procedures for powering ON
and OFF your printer to avoid damaging the Print Head.
Problem: When printing vector graphics, the printed colors do not match the previews in
my graphics application.
Causes:
FastRIP is a bitmap based image processor.
When rasterizing a vector image, FastRIPTM must convert a vector graphic into
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Chapter 11- Troubleshooting
a bitmapped graphic. Sometimes the translation of color profiles is not exact,
resulting in a difference in output.
For consistent color reproduction, save your image as a high quality JPEG and
send this image to the RIP for printing.
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108
Chapter 12
Product Support
Support Policy
Support for Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is free. Since the machine is designed to
be intuitive and very easy to use, most support questions have to do with using
FastARTIST, FastRIP or printing from specific graphics applications.
For the quickest support, Email your question to support@usscreen.com. Be very
specific and include your serial number.
If you purchased the printer from a dealer in the USA, you DO NOT
have to go back to the dealer for support. Simply call or E-mail our
support center. If you purchased the printer from a dealer outside
the USA, you will need to contact your dealer for support.
Support Hours
Toll Free Technical Support Corporate Office
Fax E-mail: Internet: Support hours: +1 888-MYTJETS (698-5387)
+1 480-929-2937
+1 480-929-0640
+1 480-929-0766
support@usscreen.com
www.screenprinters.net. Click on the Support tab.
7:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Friday
9:00am to 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday
(Mountain Standard Time) USA
24 hr. Emergency Support is available
Note: Arizona does not observe “Daylight Savings Time.”
In the summer months, Arizona is on the same time as California.
Phone Support
We have an excellent staff of Support Specialists who will gladly walk you
through many of the procedures. When calling for support, please have your
serial number handy and be prepared to give a detailed explanation of the
problem. If you have received an error message, please include the error
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number. It is often easier if you fax or E-mail a support question before calling for
help. Calls to our Support Center are toll free from within the US. Calls from
outside the US are NOT toll free.
24 Hour Support
Email support is available at support@usscreen.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week. In addition, 24 hour Emergency Support is available by calling toll free
1-888-MYTJETS. A technician will be paged and he will return your call as soon as
possible.
Whether corresponding via E-mail or leaving a message for the Emergency
Support Technician, please include your full company name, contact name,
phone number, address, serial number and a detailed description of the
problem.
Webcam Video Support
You can purchase an inexpensive web cam for your
computer and talk LIVE to one of our support technicians.
More information about how to use this amazing support
technology is on the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Support page at
www.screenprinters.net.
Free Personalized Internet Web Support
Our Technical Support site is a secure and
personalized area where Fast T-Jet User’s can
download the latest software updates, view
technical articles and much more. In order
to protect your privacy and customize our
support for your needs, your will be required
to create a unique Log-in with a User Name
and Password.
After receiving your printer and/or any
additional products, please locate their serial
numbers and have them handy when you first need support. A simple
interface will record and verify your product information and immediately
provide access to any updates and documents pertaining to your purchase.
Visit our support site by going to www.screenprinters.net and clicking on the
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Chapter 12- Product Support
Support link located on our Home Page.
Epson Support
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express is a highly modified version of an Epson 4880
with hundreds of additional parts not provided by Epson. As a result, the Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express is NOT supported by Epson. Additionally, we provide the
Epson 4880 Printer Driver and LFP Remote Panel (for Utilities) as a convenience,
however Epson will not support these applications. All support for Epson drivers,
applications and internal Epson components will come from U.S. Screen.
Third Party Software Support
We will make every attempt to help with printing from
programs like CorelDRAW, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., but
we do not offer free support or training on these programs.
Show off Your Work
If you want to brag about the things
you’ve printed on your Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express, or are looking for
some
inspiration, we have a Gallery where
you can view or upload pictures of
jobs completed with this remarkable
printer. Check it out at
www.screenprinters.net.
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Transporting Your Printer
You MUST be very careful moving and transporting your T-Jet Blazer Express. It is
very heavy and a delicate piece of equipment. If you move it to a different
location in your shop, keep in mind the dimensions of the printer. With two
people carrying the printer, it will not easily fit through a standard doorway.
Remove the Bulk Ink Cartridges, the Shirtboard and the Waste
Tank BEFORE moving your machine. Ink from the cartridges and
Waste tank can easily spill and damage internal components. A
Shirtboard is heavy and only held in place by its weight. Should it
fall from the Print Bed, seriously bodily injury could result.
Before shipping it back for repair, you MUST call Technical Support for specific
instructions.
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Appendix A
Operational Guide
Notice
The material in this Manual is believed to be accurate and complete with
respect to the normal and intended operation of the Fast T-Jet Blazer
Express Inkjet-to-Garment printer. U.S. Screen makes no warranties or other
representations, express or implied, with respect to the material in this Manual.
Neither U.S. Screen nor any other party involved in the design, manufacture
or distribution of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Inkjet-to-Garment printer, or any
portion thereof, shall be liable for any loss relating to errors or omissions in this
Manual or the accuracy of the information contained therein.
U.S. Screen has attempted to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, that the
company’s products are designed and constructed to be safe when properly
used and when the safety precautions contained in this document and the
other documents supplied with the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express printer are fully
observed.
U.S. Screen reserves the right to make changes to the information contained in
this Manual without prior notice. The User of this Manual should consult with a
U.S. Screen representative to determine if any such changes have been made.
Standards Compliance
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express printer has been tested and verified to conform to
the appropriate European Directives and, as such, bears the CE marking.
Radio Frequency Emissions Compliance
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express printer has been tested and found to comply with
the limits for a Class A digital device pursuant to Part 15 of FCC rules. These limits
are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference
when operated in a commercial environment. Operation of this equipment in a
residential area is likely to cause harmful interference, in which case the User will
be required to correct the interference at their expense.
Federal, State and Local Laws- Regulations and Standards
It is the User’s responsibility to research and ensure they are in compliance with
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Federal, State and local laws, regulations and standards regarding the setup
and operation of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Inkjet-to-Garment printer. U.S.
Screen makes no representation to have researched, or to have knowledge of,
individual Federal, State or local regulations or standards and, as such, cannot
accept any liability for lack of compliance with such Federal, State and local
laws, regulations and standards on the part of a Customer.
It is the Customer’s responsibility to ensure that the room and equipment
exhaust, makeup air supply, flooring, air, water, waste and electrical services
meet all applicable codes and ordinances. The User should not assume that
all necessary procedures, warnings and precautionary measures are discussed
or that additional measures may not be required or desirable because of the
particular or exceptional conditions or circumstances present in the User’s work
area or because of the requirements of applicable Federal, State and local
laws, regulations and standards.
Any questions regarding these instructions should be brought to the attention of
a U.S. Screen Representative.
Summary of Customer Responsibilities
The Customer must:
Provide an area that meets the requirements described in this Manual. The
Blazer Express inkjet printer requires a minimum area of 12 ft x 10 ft (3.6 m x 3.6 m)
for the printer and surrounding work space. Additional areas/rooms are required
for drying, pretreating garments, garment staging and garment storage.
Employ qualified, skilled trades persons (i.e., electricians, carpenters, riggers) for
any site modifications or new construction and installation of all utilities.
Provide any additional equipment that may not be supplied by U.S. Screen,
but will be essential to the use of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express and the printing
process.
Examples of this equipment are:
• A Windows compatible PC computer with at least 1MB of RAM, a
Pentium 4- 1.8 GHz processor and USB2 connectivity
• A Pretreatment application area that is not near the printer
• A Heat Press or conveyor dryer for shirt Pretreatment and curing. A Heat Press
is preferable for Pretreatment application and drying when printing on Dark
shirts with White ink.
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Appendix A- Operational Guide
Receive the equipment properly. Use appropriate personnel and equipment
to off-load and move the shipping containers to a storage area or directly to
a staging area. The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express ships in a single crate that is large
and must be handled with the use of a forklift, lift gate or pallet jack. The crated
printer and components weigh over 300 pounds (227 kg).
Before moving shipping containers from the receiving area, check corridors and
doorways for clearance and remove any obstacles. The printer must have a
doorway clearance of a minimum of 36 inches (92 cm).
Make sure the preparations for the system set up are complete. It is essential to
have all utilities (HVAC and electrical) available at the time of installation. Use
trained personnel to assist with the installation in each of these areas. The Fast
T-Jet Blazer Express printer must be on a dedicated power line that has at least
15 amps. It can be hooked up to 110v or 240v service. It is dual voltage.
Agree to perform simple Daily and Weekly Maintenance procedures outlined
in the User’s Manual, including keeping the Print Head and Capping Station
cleaned.
Room Preparation
The first step in preparing the workspace is to plan the location of each system
component. Make a complete list of all equipment and supplies to be
accommodated in your garment printing area and define the workflow
between this equipment. Identify efficient operational techniques.
Environment
The printer will operate best in a clean, dust-free room at a steady temperature
between 68° F and 85° F (20° C and 29° C) with a relative humidity between 40%
and 80% (non­-condensing).
Operation of the printer at a relative humidity below 40% or above or below the
recommended temperature range will result in poor nozzle print performance
and poor print image quality. This may result in the User voiding the warranty.
The workspace floor should be easily cleaned and should not generate dust or
static electricity. It should be noted that decorating the room in neutral gray
colors and using pure white (“daylight”) lights would aid operators and clients in
judging color accuracy.
Ideally, the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express printer should not be installed in the same
room as other equipment that can potentially cause an ink mist or excessive
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dust. This includes, but is not limited to, the Pretreatment used when printing with
White ink. If this is unavoidable, the printer should be isolated, either by efficient
extraction of mist and fumes or by partitioning. Heavy dust and ink mist can
cause reliability problems with the printer.
It MUST not be placed in an open warehouse that is hot, dry, dusty or has
excessive floor vibration. If you must place it in an open room that is not
environmentally controlled, you can build a temporary enclosure out of plastic
and building materials. This enclosure must comply with local building codes.
Exceeding the environmental specifications can cause the printing of
substandard images due to misfiring of Print Nozzles and ink prematurely drying
on the surface of the Print Head. This misuse may void the warranty.
Exhaust Ventilation Requirements
Exhaust ventilation and air-conditioning of the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express printer is
REQUIRED for proper machine function. This machine does not produce odors
and the ink is non-toxic, however adequate ventilation is required for the use of
Pretreatment. When curing shirts, chemicals released from the shirt are non-toxic
but may be eye irritants.
Room Conditions
Temperature-
Relative Humidity-
Platform-
Ambient light level- Type-
Room-
Heat Load-
Air Quality- Room Access-
68 to 85°F (20 to 29°C)
40% to 80% (non-condensing)
Strong enough to support equipment weighing up
200 lbs. Flat and level (allowable variation: 1/8” in. 40-in. run (3 mm in 1000 mm run). Minimize vibration from
surrounding equipment
General office environment (700–1000 lux)
White, indirect fluorescent light
At least 5 air changes per hour with a minimum of 20% fresh air coming in through air return is recommended. This is more for operator comfort.
4000 watts
Clean and dust free with no heavy air-flow blowing across the machine.
36 inch (92 cm) minimum doorway
Electrical Requirements
A dedicated circuit for your printer and PC computer is strongly recommended.
This circuit should be 110V minimum to 240V maximum, 50/60 Hz, 15A load, single
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Appendix A- Operational Guide
phase and ground with a 6.6KW GFCI Circuit Breaker.
A separate dedicated circuit should be used for the heat curing machine, such
as a heat transfer press or small conveyor dryer. Consult the manufacturer of the
equipment for circuit specifications.
The AC power must be supplied with an independent GFCI circuit breaker with
the circuit ground isolated from other equipment. It is recommended the circuit
include a breaker that can be “locked out” for maintenance purposes. The
ground circuit must be a computer grade isolated ground. The power should be
constant and not susceptible to voltage fluctuations. Fluctuations in line voltage
will adversely affect the unit performance.
Supplying a voltage to the printer that is outside of this range will likely result in
intermittent data and print corruption. If line voltages are outside this range, U.S.
Screen recommends the use of a buck/boost transformer to bring the printer
supply voltage within this range. No warranty, express or implied, will be honored
for equipment operated on voltages beyond the stated range.
For convenience during setup and normal maintenance, have electrical outlets
at local voltage located near the intended area of operation.
Main Operator
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express printer requires one main operator who will be
responsible for the operation and routine maintenance of the printer. In order to
fulfill this job, the candidate chosen will need certain skills. The main operator will
be
crucial to the performance of the printer and should be selected accordingly.
All operators of a Fast T-Jet Blazer Express must be 18 years of age or older.
The following skills are recommended for the main operator:
• Windows PC experience. This includes a basic understanding of computer
graphics programs like CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop
• Technical background involving electronics and mechanics
• Color aptitude
The following are desirable, but not essential:
• Printing experience
• Color theory experience
• Formal electronics education
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express Printer Specifications
Method of Printing:
Inkjet-to-Garment
Size: 34”W x 20”H x 56”L (87 x 51 x 142 cm)
Length includes an additional 6” clearance requirement for Print Bed at Index position
Weight: 200 pounds (91 kg)
Inkjet Engine: 8 color (4-CMYK 4-White) 180 nozzles per color
Box dimension: 42”W x 33”H x 55”L (107 x 84 x 140 cm)
Printer ships on a skid and will not ship via UPS or FedEx
It must be shipped via common carrier or truck.
Electrical: 110 - 240v AC 60/cycle 4 amps.
Computer
Connection:
USB 2.0
Additional
Machinery:
Heat press/dryer, powerful PC computer for FastARTIST
and FastRIP
Print Resolutions: Max. Printable
Surface: 2880 X 1440dpi
1440 X 720dpi
720 X 720dpi
360 X 360dpi
Room Conditions : The printer requires a clean, dust-free room at constant
temperature between 68° F and 85° F (20°C and 29°C), with a relative humidity between 40% to 80%
(non-condensing). Operation of the printer at humidity below 40% or at above or below the recommended
temperature range will result in poor Print Nozzle
performance and poor image quality.
16” x 20” (41 x 51cm)
NOTE: Additional cartons may be included with the shipment for accessories,
inks and software.
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Appendix A- Operational Guide
Miscellaneous Information
Noise level of the equipment: Average 72 dBA; peak 78 dBA.
Equipment transportation
and storage range: 40° F to 120° F (5° C to 55° C).
Unit is mounted on lockable, leveling casters to facilitate location placement.
Shipping and Receiving
U.S. Screen will ship the machines and components via a common ground
carrier of their choice unless otherwise specified by the Customer. Shipment will
be FOB Tempe, Arizona. This means the Customer will pay for all freight charges,
insurance, special delivery needs (home delivery) and the unloading of the
machine upon delivery.
Receiving Inspection
Inspect the crates and cartons for any damage. If possible, do this with the
delivery carrier’s agent present. Photograph any damage and immediately file
a claim with the carrier. Carriers cannot be held legally responsible for shipping
damage unless they are notified within 15 days of delivery.
Shipment Movement
Use appropriate personnel and equipment to move the equipment from the
transportation truck to the receiving area to the staging area. The Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express cannot pass unobstructed through doorways or passages of less
then 60”(153 cm). Movement through narrower portals will require tilting or reorientation of the printer. Ensure all loose product, materials and accessories are
securely packed or transported separately. Verify that elevators or other lifting
devices will hold the weight of the equipment (300 lb./ 136 kg crated).
Common carriers are NOT required to unload shipments over 100 lb. (45 kg).
You must be prepared to remove your printer from the truck with a forklift. If
possible, request a truck with a lift gate so you can use a pallet jack to move the
equipment securely.
Staging Area
Provide a sheltered area for receipt of the shipment. This area should be close to
the intended area of operation to facilitate unpacking and preparation of the
equipment for set up.
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Uncrating
The printer weighs over 200 pounds (91 kg) and requires two people remove
the unit from the crate. Four lift points with handles are provided for transport.
DO NOT lift from any other points on the machine or operation may be severely
impaired. You may also use an alternate lifting system with an overhead crane.
Retain ALL packaging material, crates, cartons, straps, etc., for use should you
ever need to transport or re-ship the machine.
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Appendix B
Requirements and Notices
Windows OS System Requirements for Blazer Express Operation
Minimum System Requirements:
• PC with a Pentium 4 - 1.8 GHz and Windows XP, 2000 or Vista Operating
System (Windows ME is not supported)
• A minimum of 1GB of RAM. If using Windows Vista OS 2GB is recommended
• A minimum of 10 GB of free disk space on your hard disk. You will also need
at least an additional 50 GB for saved files.
• A display monitor with high resolution. (1280 x 1024)
• CD-ROM or DVD drives for installing the software.
• A dedicated USB port (2.0)
• The connection of a mouse and Dongle will require additional free USB ports
Recommended System Requirements:
• PC with a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or AMD Athlon X2 and Windows XP,
2000 or Vista Operating System (Windows ME is not supported)
• 3 GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card with 512 MB of onboard
memory
• A minimum of 10 GB of free disk space on your hard disk for program
installation and 100 GB for saved files
• A display monitor with high resolution (1280 x 1024)
• CD R/W or DVD R/W drive(s) for installing software and burning back-up
copies
• A dedicated USB port (2.0)
• The connection of a mouse and Dongle will require additional free USB ports
FCC Compliance
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B
digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation.
This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy, and if not
installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference
to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not
occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to
radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off
and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the
following measures:
• Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
• Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
• Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the
receiver is connected.
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
WARNING: The connection of a non-shielded equipment interface cable to this
equipment will invalidate the FCC Certification of this device and may cause
interference levels, which exceed the limits established by the FCC for this equipment.
It is the responsibility of the user to obtain and use a shielded equipment interface
cable with this device. If this equipment has more than one interface connector, do not
leave cables connected to unused interfaces. Changes or modifications not expressly
approved by the manufacturer could void the authority to operate the equipment.
For Canadian Users
This Class B digital apparatus complies with Canadian ICES-003.
Declaration of Conformity
According to 47CFR, Part 15 for Class B Personal Computers and Peripherals; and or
CPU Boards and Power Supplies used with Class B Personal Computers:
We: U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology a division of U.S. Graphic Arts, Inc.
Located at: 1901 East 5th Street Tempe, AZ 85043 Telephone: (480) 929-2937
Declare under sole responsibility that the product identified herein, complies with 47CFR
Part 2 and 15 of the FCC rules as a Class B digital device. Each product marketed
is identical to the representative Unit tested and found to be compliant with the
standards. Records maintained continue to reflect the equipment being produced
can be expected to be within the variation accepted, due to quantity production
and testing on a statistical basis as required by 47CFR 2.909. Operation is subject to the
following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2)
this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may
cause undesired operation.
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Appendix B- Requirements and Notices
Trade Name:
U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology Home of the U.S. Screen Printing Institute
Type of Product:
Inkjet Printer
Model:
Fast T-Jet Blazer Express TJB-1650
European Union Declaration of Conformity - CE
A sample of this equipment has been tested against the Essential Health and Safety
Requirements of the Machinery Directive. Based on conformity with the Machinery
Directive, the Equipment Under Test - Fast T-Jet Blazer Express from U.S. Graphic Arts,
Inc., dba U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology in Tempe, Arizona USA is deemed in
compliance with the Machinery Directive (98/37/EC) and the Council Directives
amending the Machinery Directive (91/368/EEC) and 93/44/EEC). In addition, the
Equipment Under Test complies with the requirements of the Low Voltage Directive
(73/23/EEC) and the EMC Directive (89/336/EEC).
Limited Warranty
U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology (“U.S. Screen”) warrants the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express (“Unit”)
direct-to-garment inkjet printer to be free from defects in workmanship and materials (warranty
does not include printing head) for a period of one year from date of purchase for parts
and labor provided that the Unit is properly maintained and operated under normal use. This
warranty does not authorize any On-site repair and is considered to be a “depot”
warranty which requires that the Unit or defective part be returned freight prepaid to U.S. Screen
in Tempe, Arizona USA or to an authorized service center for repair. This limited warranty does not
include the print head. Replacement print heads are available from U.S. Screen. All prices and
design specifications subject to change.
The Fast T-Jet Blazer Express must be shipped by a freight company. You MUST insure returned
printer for the full retail value. If you need assistance with finding a freight company, contact
U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology. We can assist with pickup and delivery of the Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express by a freight company to U.S. Screen for diagnosis and/or repair. If the Fast T-Jet
Blazer Express is shipped by a non-freight company or is not on a pallet, U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet
Technology reserves the right to refuse the Fast T-Jet Blazer Express shipment. Examples of nonfreight companies are Federal Express, UPS, US Postal Service and Airborne Express. These steps
eliminate potential for damage in shipping.
Although every effort has been made to provide accurate specifications, U.S. Screen does not
assume any liability for damages, whether consequential or incidental, that may result from the
use or misuse of this product or from damage caused by Unit modifications made by the user.
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Fast T-Jet Blazer Express User’s Manual
U.S. Screen reserves the right to alter specifications in the manufacture of its products.
It is understood and agreed that U.S. Screen’s liability in contract, in tort, under any warranty,
in negligence, in strict liability or otherwise shall not exceed the return of the amount of
the purchased price paid by Buyer. Not withstanding the foregoing provision, under no
circumstances shall U.S. Screen be liable for special, indirect or consequential damages
(including loss of profit). The price stated for the equipment is a consideration in limiting
U.S. Screen’s liability. No action regardless of form, arising out of the transactions under this
Agreement may be brought by Buyer more than one (1) year after the cause of action has
occurred. Our warranty, as specified, is exclusive and no other warranty, whether written
or oral, is expressed or implied. U.S. Screen specifically disclaims the implied warranties of
merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. This warranty initiates from date of shipment
to original customer. It is transferable but will only be honored if proof of purchase is provided
and a valid serial number is attached to the machine.
This warranty does not extend to the Print Head or expendable parts such as fuses. This warranty
does not cover a Unit that has been subject to misuse, neglect, negligence, accident, or Unit
that has been operated in any way contrary to the operating procedures specified in this
manual. This warranty does not apply to damage resulting from improper maintenance, lack of
proof of maintenance as outlines in the Owner’s Manual, improper shipping, damage caused
by disasters such as fire, flood, and lightning, improper electrical current, software problems,
interaction with non- U.S. Screen products, or service other than by a U.S. Screen Authorized
Services.
Written authorization must be obtained from U.S. Screen before any Unit or part will be
accepted. Replacement parts are sent out freight collect. Parts sent out prior to receiving
defective part will be sent C.O.D., cost plus freight. Upon return of defective part, if it is deemed
that the part was not damaged by customer but failed, the cost of the replacement part will be
refunded.
THE GUARANTEE AND REMEDY PROVIDED ABOVE ARE EXCLUSIVE AND IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. SOME LAWS DO
NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES. IF THESE LAWS APPLY, THEN ALL EXPRESS
AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARE LIMITED TO THE WARRANTY PERIOD IDENTIFIED ABOVE. UNLESS
STATED HEREIN, ANY STATEMENT OR REPRESENTATIONS MADE BY ANY OTHER PERSON OR FIRM ARE
VOID. IN THE EVENT THE REMEDIES ABOVE FAIL, U.S. SCREEN’S ENTIRE LIABILITY SHALL BE LIMITED TO
A REFUND OF THE PRICE PAID FOR THE PRODUCT COVERED BY THIS LIMITED WARRANTY. EXCEPT
AS PROVIDED IN THIS WRITTEN WARRANTY, NEITHER U.S. SCREEN NOR ITS AGENTS SHALL BE LIABLE
FOR ANY LOSS, INCONVENIENCE, OR DAMAGE, INCLUDING DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR
CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, RESULTING FROM THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THIS PRODUCT,
WHETHER RESULTING FROM BREACH OF WARRANTY OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY.
In Canada, warranties include both warranties and conditions.
Some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, and some
jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so
the above limitations and exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal
rights and you may have other rights which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
For this Limited Warranty to take effect you must return the completed Limited
Warranty Registration Card and mail or fax it to U.S. Screen within 10 days of
receipt of your Fast T-Jet Blazer Express.
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