Solid ink printers are known for the impeccable color quality they can create on regular paper and their environmental benefits. Ink sticks do not require cartridges, eliminating the use of plastic and oil, and use less packaging, reducing the overall waste created. The technology is innovative and the perks are undeniable, but they sometimes require special care. In fact, something as simple as moving a solid ink printer before it has cooled down could damage it beyond repair.
There are a few drawbacks of solid ink printers, but the primary focus of this article is the potential danger of moving these devices when hot. You see, the way this technology works is that solid ink sticks are installed into the printer, and when a task is sent to be printed, the machine heats up and melts the stick into a liquid ink. The liquid ink is distributed through nozzles, much like inkjet technology, and the ink immediately hardens on the paper.
The problem is, the machine has to reach a high temperature to melt the ink, nearly to the boiling point of water, and thus requires time to cool down. If you print something with your Xerox solid ink printer and right after the picture is finished printing you attempt to move the machine to the back of the desk, the ink is still liquid and could spill. The printhead can be damaged by ink spilling between color reservoirs, or other internal components (rollers, belts, boards, motors) can be damaged if the ink spills on them.
The printer’s menu, which can be accessed on the control panel, should have a 30-minute cool down cycle that you can run. If you cannot locate this cycle, refer to your manual. Though it is recommended to let the machine cool for at least 30 minutes, some modern sold ink printers have a special fan that is used to solidify the ink in around 10 minutes. The control panel will alert you when the machine has properly cooled down.
Maintaining a solid ink printer is actually rather simple and it should last for many years if you take care of it. Just be sure not move your solid ink printer while it is hot, as you may find yourself shelling out big bucks for repair or for a new machine. Be patient and wait until the unit has completely cooled before moving it.