April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 73 ENCODERS There are many types of encoders, but with D2 systems, there are usually two op- tical encoders used. An optical encoder is either a strip or a disc that appears gray in color. The coloration actually comes from printing extremely thin black lines in a row, usually beginning at 1,000 or more across a span of 1". The first is typically called an encoder strip, encoder scale, or linear encoder. This is the strip that is be- hind the print head carriage and runs left to right. There is an encoder sensor behind the carriage that reads these lines so that it knows the position of the head at all times and when to fire a nozzle. A dirty or scratched linear encoder will cause printing problems. These problems could include unwanted lines being print- ed, misregistered prints, the print head carriage traveling further than its allowed distance, and other strange issues. In these cases, the system is not able to understand where the positioning of the head is and where the nozzles need to fire due to a miscount of these lines. Cleaning this strip off throughout normal maintenance pro- cedures will prevent many of these types of issues from occurring. On some machines, the second optical encoder may require attention, while oth- ers are inaccessible or even absent. The second optical encoder, which is almost always a disc, is most often hidden and not exposed, so cleaning is not necessary. If it can be seen, then cleaning is necessary. The linear encoder effects prints from left to right, whereas the rotary encoder effects prints from top to bottom. If there is an in- With the Mimaki TX300P-1800 direct-to-textile printer, you can see your designs and custom prints rapidly come to life on a variety of textiles including woven patterns. Instant style Mimaki_TX300P_H_PW0916.indd 1 8/22/16 5:15 PM

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