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Black printing as Green from Illustrator to Rasterlink

New Here ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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I currently use Illustrator 2022 v 26.3.1 and print on a Mimaki JV150-160. The printer and Illustrator have always communicated well and my prints and color matches have always been really good. Currently I am working with a file that is all values of black. I have printed this file in the past (about 2 months ago) with no issues, until now. It is now coming out with a green tone. I have contacted my printer manufacturer, and they told me to contact my dealer. My dealer has trouble shot and is thinking it is something within Illustrator. 

 

My question is, has anyone encountered anything like this recently? Or does anyone have a solution. We have been trouble shooting for a couple of days and aren't anywhere near a solution. 

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Import and export , Print and publish

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Community Expert ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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Have you changed anything at all with your set up or updated AI in that time?

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New Here ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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Nothing has changed in that time. I do not have auto updates turned on for Illustrator. And nothing in the printer has changed either. 

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Advocate ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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It's possible the color profile in the customer provided artwork is conflicting with your copy of Illustrator and/or RasterLink Pro. Also, when you mentioned "all values of black" do you mean the artwork is grayscale? Or did the user make a rich black by ramping all the CMYK values to their 100% max? I've seen that goof in client artwork before.

Some printers can be prone to output grayscale tones with a slightly green or brown or even red tint. We had all sorts of frustration with an old Roland inkjet printer that did that. Sometimes the tint shifts would vary from one end of the print to another. I wondered if weather and relative humidity could be a culprit. Our latex-based printers can print grays in a far more even manner. We have a Mimaki flatbed printer (with RasterLink Pro as its RIP) and haven't encountered any grays or blacks printing with a green shift. 

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New Here ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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Thank you for the reply. I created the file. The file is a CMYK file, but the color values within the gradient are all shades of only black. Meaning, the gradient ranges from 80% black to 20% black. I printed a similar file two weeks ago and it printed just fine as well. And then at the beginning of this week I went to print the file for installation and it printed green. Its frustrating because nothing has changed and it's a drastic shift.

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Advocate ,
Oct 21, 2022 Oct 21, 2022

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That is really strange. Do you know if any updates were applied to RasterLink Pro? I'm wondering if anything was changed in the RIP's print media profiles. On the hardware side I'd make sure your printer's print heads are clean and in good shape.

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Hi Bobby - 

 

Thank you for responding. It's so strange. No updates were applied to RasterLink before the problem started. it doesn't auto update. We did do an update on Friday while troubleshooting. The head appears to be fine. The test print prints perfectly. 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 21, 2022 Oct 21, 2022

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Was very useful you mentioned this same file was printing good before. Would further help to establish which of the 2 stations below you are in:

 

Do all your files print bad

  •  print test pattern  to check all your ink nozzles are working to not low on ink, especially M & K
  • did anything change on your OS or Illustrator settings in regards to color management
  • has a setting on Mimaki gotten flipped

 

Does this file alone print bad

  • File >> Document Color Mode >> CMYK
  • Edit >> assign profile is the working the same as on your other files?
  • Rich black settings

 

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Hi Mike - 

  • No, all files do not print bad.
  • We printed some test files from Mimaki that printed beautifully. 
  • Test Pattern prints perfectly.
  • No colors are low on ink.
  • Nothing changed in Illustrator to my knowledge. I was even avoiding updating it because I also use Mimaki fine cut, and they do not have a version compatible with Illustrator 2023 yet. All firmware on the printer has been updated, as well the Rasterlink software has been updated though. But we did not do that until after the problem occured.
  • To my knowledge no setting in Mimaki got flipped. I change as few as possible settings per print to avoid too many variables. 

 

  • It's not just this file. I have created upwards of 20 different test files trying to figure the issue out. I did figure out on Friday that even if I am creating the file with certain CMYK values, when brought in to RasterLink the values are not the same.
  • All documents are created in CMYK mode (that's all I work in since I print in CMYK).
  • I can honestly say I do not know a lot of how the color profiles work in Illustrator. I have never had to change them. But a document that has printed properly before shows the color profile as "Working CMYK: U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. 

Thank you so much for responding!

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Engaged ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Do you print directly from illustrator to the printer?

or do you save as PDF and then RIP that file?

 

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Advocate ,
Oct 27, 2022 Oct 27, 2022

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The RIP application (RasterLink Pro in this case) controls the large format printer. Compatible art files, such as PDFs, are brought into the RIP application where print jobs are prepared.

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Engaged ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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Do you happen to have an "old" pdf of a file that has worked in the past?

Have you tried printing that file? -- if an old file prints differently, it is most likely the RIP that is printing differently.

Be sure all of your RIPs settings are the same as they were in the past.  Make sure the RIP is using the correct profile for the media being printed.

there might also be a log in your printers RIP, if you can find the log of the last "good" print, you might be able to see the settings that were used to print that file.

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Hi Chris. Thank you for the reply. I have tried printing the old file that printed just fine a few weeks ago with the same results. None of the settings have changed. Honestly, I try and change a little as possible within Rasterlink. My prints have always printed beautifully honestly, so this shift is a so odd. Thank you for the advise though! 

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Engaged ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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What I am understanding, is that you are opening the old file in the RIP and it is printing different than in the past. 

To me, this would indicate that there is something happening with the printer/RIP. I think this, because the old file has not changed, so the difference in colour would have nothing to do with Illustrator version or settings.

Is there any chance your RIP holds on to previously printed files?  If so, can you go back to a file from before the colour issue started.  If you can reprint a file that is still in the RIP, and it prints properly, this would rule out an issue with the printer itself. But it may indicate an issue with how files are being handled by the RIP.

 

Another thought I have is:

Have you tried printing on different media? maybe there is something wrong with that batch of media.

 

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