Ever sent a job to print, only to have to rush to cancel it because of lines going across the print, ruining the image?
These lines, which are typically left in the direction of printhead travel, are referred to as horizontal banding.
It’s a fairly common problem, and one that many people don’t immediately have a solution to. We thought it time to write a quick post to assist in solving that dilemma.
What Does Banding Look Like?
The novice printmaker may not have a specific name for the issue. I’ve heard: bands, banding, horizontal banding, weird white lines in my print, and many more.
They might look like pinstripes on a shirt, or the flickering of an old CRT monitor. Whatever name you give them, these lines are not welcome on your print!
Check these out. Don’t be frightened, they’re only examples. Your printer is OK.
How to Fix Horizontal Banding
Here is a personal checklist that I run through if I start to see banding on my own prints (god forbid!) or if I’m lending a hand to someone else in need.
1) Run a nozzle check – Nozzle checks can really tell a story! Look at it closely.
2) If you see line breaks in the nozzle check, run a head cleaning cycle.
3) If all lines are solid, determine how long it’s been since a printhead alignment has been performed. Depending on printer usage, I typically run a printhead alignment every 6-12 months. If you’re outside this window, I suggest that be your next step.
4) Do a small test print to determine if the horizontal banding is still present.
In your print settings, be sure you are: using the correct ICC profile and proper media type setting. Other than a clogged printhead nozzle or misaligned printhead, an incorrect media type setting is commonly the next item in the list of causes for banding.
What We Learned
While banding can be caused by a whole host of various things – software and hardware related alike – this problem can often be solved using the above checklist.
Hey, I have read your article and I’m still stuck!
Drop a photo of the problem in the comments below and we’ll help you out with getting to the bottom of it!
If you liked this post, you’ll love these related ones: