[argyllcms] Re: Creating ICC Profiles for Solvent and UV Inkjet Presses

  • From: Klaus Karcher <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: argyllcms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 13:29:06 +0200

Hi Charles,

sorry for the late reply.

you wrote:
I am looking for any help and or insight on the best methods to produce high quality ICC profiles (with ArgyllCMS of course) on the following types of inkjets...

 - Vutek 3360 & 5360 (Solvent)
 - Vutek QS3200 (UV)
 - HP/Scitex TJ8300 (Solvent)
 - HP/Scitex XL1500 (Solvent)
 - HP/Scitex FB6700 (Water-based Pigment)

I am specifically looking for background on ink limiting techniques, differences in color gamut between solvent and UV and anything else relevant to the process. I have experience profiling normal HP and Epson inkjets...this is a little different.

Calibrating and profiling solvent inkjets is definitely different an can be a demanding task. Though I am unfamiliar with the printers you mentioned, I had to gain experience with three different Océ solvent printers. I can confirm that finding the right ink limits and profiling parameters can give one a rough time :-(

From my experience there are two principal differences:

1.) at least with the printer we currently use, the black ink is anything but neutral.

Example: when I print a gray ramp with pure black on a vinyl substrate with a moderate FWA amount, the Lab-b value varies from -4 at 0% K to +6 at 80% K and back to +2 at 100%K (see attachment)

2.) the interaction between solvent ink and substrate can cause strange effects and render conventional (Neugebauer based) ink mixing models more ore less inoperative.

Example: when I print a ramp with equal amounts of C, M and Y from 0 to 300% on a roll-up banner substrate, everything above 260% (i.e 65/65/65/0) is unusable as the ink drips off the substrate, but when I add some black to the mix, CMYK values like 100/100/100/5 or even 100/100/100/40 work like a charm! By all means it's no good idea to restrict the TIL to 260% out of hand as one cuts back the usable gamut. On the other hand it's dangerous to loosen the ink restrictions too much as one gets gamut regions where the ink drips off or bleeds.

I don't know the reason for this strange behavior -- maybe the black ink has a higher solvent content and therefore better combines with the substrate or the small amount of black ink is able to solubilize and prepare the substrate within the few milliseconds before the other inks get applied.

In my experience, it's often hard to get a good profile for a solvent printer on several substrates an the usable gamut is sometimes disappointing, but Argyll does an excellent job with these touchy printers. I have made several cross-validations between ProfileMaker and Argyll. I used the same printer calibrations and measurements for both applications. While ProfileMaker failed to produce usable results with /any/ separation parameters, Argyll often created good profiles at first go and permitted further improvements with adjusted separation parameters and/or preconditioned targets.

For a short time I cut my teeth on an UV printer. There is not much to report as yet, but my first impression is that this system is much less touchy. The usable gamut is much bigger and largely independent of the substrate (as long as it is more or less white and opaque). The ink mixing behavior seems to be much more predictable and "well-behaved".

Klaus

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