Canon PRO-2000, 4000 printer setup and installation
Canon PRO-2000, 4000 printer setup
Initial setup for the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 series large format printers
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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Tipping it on its side helps – but be careful to use some tape to keep the various doors/flaps/covers shut.
If you just get it dropped off on a pallet, this is what you’ll need to unpack.
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.
The stand just bolts together.
Note the protruding locating pins that line the printer up with the stand.
Having a third person to guide the printer on to the stand speeds things up.
Do not forget the securing bolts – it would be a shame if your nice new printer fell off the stand…
It’s now worth looking at all the parts you have left over.
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
The cart just slots in. It should last for quite a bit of printing until it needs replacing.
The black data cable is for the optional 2nd roll holder/take-up unit.
This is an option with the PRO-2000 but standard for the PRO-4000 and PRO-6000
It slots on to the stand a lot more easily than I thought it would.
Note the locating pins.
These fit into slots to the right
…and to the left.
You can also see where each plate takes a bolt to hold things firm.
The bolts have a locking compound on them, so won’t come adrift over time.
The data cable is fitted behind the unit, connecting it to the printer (the one cable handles data and power).
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.
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.
This is also where the paper vacuum system holds paper flat during printing (very effectively too).
Roll holder one is under the output panel.
The roll holder takes 2″ paper roll cores
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.
The roll holders just drop into place.
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.
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.
The back of the cloth can be detached and fitted at the front of the printer in these slots.
There are clear instructions in the on-line manual.
By adjusting the cloth, several different modes of use are available
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.
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).
This moves some of the paper support rollers as can be seen in the pictures below.
Secondly, paper feeding.
Note the lead under the printer. You need to get down on the floor to connect this up.
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.
Here’s where I’ve set the second roll for take-up – it’s spooling a seven metre long print.
Here’s the print.
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…
The guide covers all the detail, but you just need the follow the screen.
Diagrams are quite clear.
The locking levers just lift up.
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.
There is also a guide to installing/changing tanks printed on the lid.
Twelve levers set for loading.
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…
Once the inks are installed, it’s time to install the print head.
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.
There are two locking levers to raise, to open up the holder for the printhead.
The first one lifts to the front.
The second lever lifts to the back.
The printhead is in a plastic tray, and lifts out.
All the parts just fit together – there is no need to force anything.
Remove the orange cover and lower the head into place.
The two levers just clip back. Note the currently clear ink lines – next up, the printer is going to prime everything.
The printer then reminds you to close the cover, to start things off.
The loading process takes a while – time or my first cup of tea…
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.
As you’d expect, this is shown on the screen.
The paper is loaded in place, and locked in position.
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.
A bit more activity…
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.
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.
At the end of a print, I’m asked if I want to continue?
Ah, it seems that more than one sheet is required.
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)
Next up it’s time to connect the printer to my network.
The simplest way is a direct Ethernet connection (there is a network socket nearby).
I can then access the printer from any device on our network.
Ethernet and USB sockets are round the back.
It’s simple to change the network connection from the printer.
I can check the network status
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.
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…
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.
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.
It’s a simple install process – unless you have good reasons, I’d just install everything.
The software will look for the printer depending on how it’s connected.
The printer is found on our network.
The driver is installed along with software such as ‘Free Layout’.
I’m also installing the accounting manager – I’ve more about using this in the main review.
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.
Finally, the printer needs to be added to your system.
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…
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.
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.
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 ;-)
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.
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.
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.
A quick check of the maintenance cart shows not much ink used up in the installation and set-up.
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.
…and a whole range of usage related options.
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.
The printer has a hard disk inside, for storing job information.
Not something I’d use much, but great if you want to store print data for making repeat copies
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.
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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