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Canon PRO-2000, 4000 printer setup and installation

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Canon PRO-2000, 4000 printer setup

Initial setup for the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 series large format printers


The Canon PRO-2000 is a 24″ width large format printer which we’ve had here for testing and producing a detailed review. This article covers initial setup and installation of a PRO-2000 printer – for the full review see:

Using the PRO-2000 – review

The PRO-4000 is a 44″ width version of the printer that is virtually identical, but longer.

The printer may be delivered partly set-up like the photo to the right or may just be dropped off on a pallet.

Update Feb 2017:  I’ve written up notes about preparing the PRO-2000 for shipping, and potential ink use for the process if the printer needs tipping.

Canon pro-2000

Buying your PRO-2000 at: B&H | Amazon.com | Adorama helps support this site and its free content.

The Canon PRO-2000

As you can see, the printer really does need at least two people to unload and move it.

For the larger PRO-4000 or the 60″ width PRO-6000, you should look at having at least four people around.

If you’re used to desktop printers, even heavy ones like the 17″ PRO-1000, then large format printing means large…

To get the printer into my house, it needed detaching from the stand. Fortunately the rain had stopped.

pro-2000 in the street

The printer was being delivered by Velmex, the main UK distributor for Canon printers – it had been assembled, but no inks or the print head installed.

lifting printer from stand

This is important, since an earlier attempt at delivery had failed when it was realised that the printer needed tipping up to get it round a corner into the back of the house. You can’t tip big Canon printers much at all, once they have ink in them.

tipping printer on end to get round corner

I’d just note that you can see my older iPF8300 at the top of the stairs – that didn’t need to go round any corners.

The printer won’t go through a standard (UK) width door (below)

Note that this doorframe has a 29″ opening if the door is fully open (or removed) so technically, with a width of just under 29″ the printer should go through. The house management authority (and chief decorator) takes a dim view of dents in door frames and paintwork…

printer and doorway

Tipping it on its side helps – but be careful to use some tape to keep the various doors/flaps/covers shut.

carrying printer through doorway

If you just get it dropped off on a pallet, this is what you’ll need to unpack.

parts list for PRO-2000 printer

The assembly instructions (a sheet of paper about the size of a small tablecloth) are very clear, and will guide you in putting the stand together

The space required for the PRO-2000 gives a good idea of what you’ll need to plan for.

space required for PRO-2000 printer

Some assembly required

The stand just bolts together.

right side of stans

Note the protruding locating pins that line the printer up with the stand.

left side of stand

Having a third person to guide the printer on to the stand speeds things up.

liftin printer on to stand

Do not forget the securing bolts – it would be a shame if your nice new printer fell off the stand…

attaching printer to stand

It’s now worth looking at all the parts you have left over.

inks and printhead

If you’ve just opened up a pallet and assembled everything, then there is a load of orange tape and locking clamps inside the print areas to be removed. Basically – any orange plastic you see is probably something to be removed…

The maintenance cart (for waste ink) sits on the lower right and was already in the printer

maintenance cart location for pro-2000

The cart just slots in. It should last for quite a bit of printing until it needs replacing.

maintenance cart for pro-2000

The black data cable is for the optional 2nd roll holder/take-up unit.

cable for second roll unit

This is an option with the PRO-2000 but standard for the PRO-4000 and PRO-6000

second roll and take-up unit

It slots on to the stand a lot more easily than I thought it would.

Note the locating pins.

attchment points for 2nd roll unit

These fit into slots to the right

roll unit slot - right

…and to the left.

You can also see where each plate takes a bolt to hold things firm.

roll unit attached at left

The bolts have a locking compound on them, so won’t come adrift over time.

roll unit attached at right

The data cable is fitted behind the unit, connecting it to the printer (the one cable handles data and power).

Roll Holders

This printer has two roll holders and a front loading slot for sheet paper

The paper comes through the thin rollers at the centre of this picture.

printing area with rollers

A detail shows the drain holes for overspray when printing borderless.

The orange line is for aligning sheets of paper, whilst the marks along the bottom are for aligning the edge of roll paper.

drain holes and vacuum plate

This is also where the paper vacuum system holds paper flat during printing (very effectively too).

Roll holder one is under the output panel.

access panel for roll paper roll 1

The roll holder takes 2″ paper roll cores

roll spindle for 2 inch paper core

However I’d never pick paper on 2″ cores by choice, since it often exhibits a lot of curl towards the end of the roll.

The blue adapter fit in place for 3″ rolls.

roll spindle for 3 inch paper core

The roll holders just drop into place.

spindle in place for roll holder 1

The print basket assembly

You’ll notice the print catching cloth under the printer. This was already assembled with this printer.

I’ve not got detailed shots of this in action, since the printer here is actually a pre-production model. One aspect that is slightly different in the shipping printers is that the catcher is more robustly built.

I’m using it in the basic mode where prints will just slide down the cloth after being cut.

default print basket setup

For single sheet prints, you need to release the grey lever to remove the print, so it’s up to you to put it somewhere safe.

print release lever

The back of the cloth can be detached and fitted at the front of the printer in these slots.

print catcher attachment point right

print catcher attachment point left

There are clear instructions in the on-line manual.

moving print basket.clips for print basket

By adjusting the cloth, several different modes of use are available

arrangement 2 for basketarrangement 3 for basketarrangement 4 for basket

Paper take-up

Roll holder two can be used for spooling prints or as a paper source. I’ll look at this in the review, but here are the controls on the feed unit.

The blue lock lever just secures the spindle.

controls for roll holder 2

You can see the A and B positions for controlling take-up – this just reverses the direction of spindle rotation for take-up.

There is also a manual switch that needs changing for feed or take-up (either direction).

roll holder two function switch

This moves some of the paper support rollers as can be seen in the pictures below.

First, take-up.

roll holder 2 take-up mode

Secondly, paper feeding.

roll holder 2 - paper feed mode

Note the lead under the printer. You need to get down on the floor to connect this up.

roll unit setup

The printer will detect its presence and change the display to show its status along with roll 1 and the manual feed.

Here’s the printer (later) with two rolls of paper loaded.

two rolls of paper loaded

Here’s where I’ve set the second roll for take-up – it’s spooling a seven metre long print.

take-up unit used for long print

Here’s the print.

seven metre print from PRO-2000

Inks and power-up

The printer can be set up without any network connection. You need to set aside well over an hour for the setup process, which starts with loading the ink carts, then the print head assembly.

The printer then makes a lot of whirring and gurgling sounds as ink is drawn from the 12 160ml ‘starter’ cartridges, into the buffer sub-tanks (~25ml per colour) and on down the tubes into the print head.

There are clear instructions for all this on the touch sensitive colour screen.

I resisted the temptation to pick an other language…

display settings

The guide covers all the detail, but you just need the follow the screen.

printer startup guide

Diagrams are quite clear.

screen diagram

The locking levers just lift up.

instructions for ink loading

Remember that you can use the much larger 700ml carts in this printer, so when you first set things up, the carts go into the holders quite deeply.

inside ink cart bay

There is also a guide to installing/changing tanks printed on the lid.

ink loading instructions

Twelve levers set for loading.

12 ink bays - empty

Here are all twelve carts ready to be locked into place. I found it easier to put all 12 in place before dropping them in place.

The carts do have physical tabs to prevent you putting the wrong ones in, but it’s easier not to try…

12 ink bays - with carts in place

Once the inks are installed, it’s time to install the print head.

Printhead

Canon printheads are user installable parts. The one for the PRO series large format printers replaces the two head assemblies for the older iPF range of printers.

The printer will move the head assembly/carriage to the centre of the platen, ready to set things up.

empty print head carriage

There are two locking levers to raise, to open up the holder for the printhead.

The first one lifts to the front.

opening locking clamps

The second lever lifts to the back.

2nd clamp open

The printhead is in a plastic tray, and lifts out.

printhead in box

All the parts just fit together – there is no need to force anything.

printhead rady for insertion

Remove the orange cover and lower the head into place.

printhead in place

The two levers just clip back. Note the currently clear ink lines – next up, the printer is going to prime everything.

head locked in carriage

The printer then reminds you to close the cover, to start things off.

intructions to continue

The loading process takes a while – time or my first cup of tea…

starting the installation process

Alignment of the printhead

Once the ink is in the system, it’s time to make a few test prints for aligning the print heads.

This is an automated process and a small pack of paper is supplied for doing it.

The paper is loaded manually.

paper source for alignment

As you’d expect, this is shown on the screen.

instructions for loading single sheet

The paper is loaded in place, and locked in position.

sheet paper loaded in printer

The grey lever at the bottom is used to lock/release paper.

The printer wants to know what sort of paper is loaded.

Since this is the first load of any paper, ‘the last three used’ slots are empty. In normal use this gives a quick way of selecting papers.

selecting paper type

A bit more activity…

ink setup process

At last the adjustment process starts.

The print head assembly has sensors built in that measure printed patterns and fine tune the print setup – this is a fully automatic process.

printing adjsutment print

As the sheet finishes printing you can see that there are two inks showing as ‘low’.

The paper type is shown, along with the fact that there is no roll paper loaded.

What about the 2nd roll holder? Actually I’d not plugged it in it at this point. It appears in the list when connected.

printing under way

At the end of a print, I’m asked if I want to continue?

continuing the adjsutment process

Ah, it seems that more than one sheet is required.

printing second adjustment sheet

In fact, five sheets are produced.

My iPF8300 came with a roll of paper for this which I have kept for consistent calibration over the years.

The PRO-2000 comes with 160ml of ink in each cart (more than the 90ml in the 6400, but less than the 330ml in my 8300)

five adjustment sheets

Connecting up the printer

Next up it’s time to connect the printer to my network.

printer connection options

The simplest way is a direct Ethernet connection (there is a network socket nearby).

connecting to a wired LAN

I can then access the printer from any device on our network.

Ethernet and USB sockets are round the back.

USB and Ethernet sockets

It’s simple to change the network connection from the printer.

changing network setup

I can check the network status

network status display

It’s picked up an IP address from a DHCP server, which also lets it find its way out onto the internet for firmware updates. You can control this connectivity – it’s all in the on-line manual if you need more details.

Wireless connectivity might be useful for some home office environments (OK my house is unusual in having a wired Gigabit Ethernet network throughout).

Selecting wireless, brings up several local networks.

local wireless networks

There are a number of ways of connecting – you can also set up networks for connecting to things like phones and tablets – why, I’m really not sure, but you can…

WiFi setup options

More settings and software

There are a lot of printer functions available to set from the front panel, although I’d note that you may find it easier to set some via the built-in web server of the printer.

I’ve just linked to its IP address, although you can go via the printer driver setup.

Web interface for the printer

It was at this point I installed the printer software in the two Macs I’d be using for testing (Win PC setup is similar but we are a Windows free household).

The web based printer setup works very well, driven (Mac and Win) from a specific setup web page

The setup downloads all relevant software from the net, which given this is a newish model printer is worth doing to get the latest versions.

software installation

It’s a simple install process – unless you have good reasons, I’d just install everything.

installing Canon software

The software will look for the printer depending on how it’s connected.

looking for printer on network

The printer is found on our network.

printer on network

The driver is installed along with software such as ‘Free Layout’.

installing printer software

I’m also installing the accounting manager – I’ve more about using this in the main review.

accounting manager setup

The PSP plugin offer printing capabilities for various photo editing software.

Again I’ll look at this in the review, but I’m afraid that if you are used to using the excellent and straightforward print plugin from the older iPF printers, you’re possibly going to be disappointed. This has much more of a ‘consumer’ feel to it – too many whistles and bells.

psp printing plugin

Finally, the printer needs to be added to your system.

select printer for system use

This worked just fine – note how I’ve got the web based manual open in the background. I didn’t need to refer to this at all for setup, other than to make sure I’d not missed anything I might need to cover in the review…

Adding a printer instance and queue

The printer is pretty much ready to go, but there is one other important function I like to do with any new Canon large format printer, and that’s perform a Colour Calibration.

Colour calibration

The print head assembly has sensors in it that can measure print density and fine detail. We’ve already seen this in the alignment process, but it also lets it calibrate the printer to a known state.

This is NOT the same as making printer ICC profiles – I’ll look at that in the main review.

I’d calibrate a printer after initial setup and then again after 6 months use. It also needs doing after print head replacement.

You can instigate the process via the front panel.

selecting colour calibration process

There are all kinds of advanced options that are best ignored.

If you don’t know what they are and why you might need them, then take the hint ;-)

selecting auto adjustment for calibration

Auto adjust, with a sheet of the supplied adjustment paper will do just fine.

The printer prints patterns with all the different inks and measures them. That’s it.

colour test pattern

The calibration make for more consistent printer behaviour, so that if you use one of my ICC profiles, it’s more likely to be accurate on your printer.

A few more printer settings

I’d always suggest a good look through printer menus – there are all kinds of features and functions that you may (and may not) need one day.

maintenance options

A quick check of the maintenance cart shows not much ink used up in the installation and set-up.

waste ink cart level

Amongst the “DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON’ options are ‘Prepare to transportation’.

This will drain the secondary ink tanks and ink lines into the maintenance cart (maybe several of them) ready to move the printer. This is why I told the Velmex people to bring spare carts when they want to get the printer out of my kitchen – remember, it was shipped without ink because of the need to get it into the house…

Other features you might wish to look at are setting the printer name.

setting the printer name

…and a whole range of usage related options.

paper settings

I’ve set the printer to pause if I’ve the wrong paper loaded. Partly because I’m swapping papers a lot and partly because the main printer I’m printing from is upstairs.

warnings about incorrect paper setting

The printer has a hard disk inside, for storing job information.

hard disk unit contols

Not something I’d use much, but great if you want to store print data for making repeat copies

disk information

Reprinting jobs is perhaps easier via the web interfaces. You can’t simply access the disk as a server or anything like that.

I’ll mention just one other feature set I’d suggest looking at in the manual, and that’s auto maintenance settings.

For most people I’d suggest leaving these unchanged, until you know what they are and if changing them is relevant to how you intend to use the printer. Take note though, that lack of regular use is one of the major factors affecting printer reliability.

auto maintenance settings

Your printer should now be ready to print your work…

I’ll cover this in the main Canon PRO-2000 review.

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  • vasile

    thanks again . before seeing it on “portrait mode” in your (uk) door, I really believed that I might convince my wife that is a desktop printer bought as a replacement for our old all-in-one Samsung.

    • Keith Cooper

      You can see the hassles in getting it out again in the follow up article ;-)