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Canon iPF6450-6400 setup and assembly

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Canon iPF6450/6400 assembly and setup

Setting up the imagePROGRAF 6450, out of the crate

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The iPF6400 and 6450 are Canon’s latest 24″ large format printers. The main difference is that the 6450 has an internal hard disk for storing print jobs.

We’ve recently (May/June 2013) had an iPF6450 here for Keith to write a review.

Normally our big printers turn up ready to go, but this one was delivered in its shipping crates.


We have a detailed review of the iPF6450 and shorter one covering the SU-21 spectrophotometer attachment, but this article covers just the assembly of the printer.

Note that the SU-21 only works with the iPF6450 – the iPF6400 lacks the socket for the SU-21 to plug in to it.

Canon iPF6450

The printer comes in a lot of big cardboard boxes.

If your supplier isn’t delivering it and assembling it, then you’ll need to set it up yourself.

The job really does require two people for several stages, and note that if it’s coming via a courier, you’ll be lucky to get more than having it dumped at your doorstep.

First up, here’s the actual printer, which we’ve carted through to the back of the house – there is a lot of orange tape and packing to remove (mouse over image to see)

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The most obvious change from the old iPF6300 is the huge box holding the ink cartridges. The new printer can take 300ml cartridges, as opposed to just the older 130ml. (mouse over image to see)

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Printer stand

Everything is very well packed, and the instructions well written and clear to follow.

This is the box for the printer stand.

printer stand in shipping box

The various nuts and bolts.

tools and fittings

The cross bar slots into the legs, and the top plate fits in place (mouse over image to see)

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Tighten the bolts well, although I noted that the top plate bolts have thread-lock compound applied.

Fit the print catcher attachments, and then the catcher cloth itself (mouse over image to see)

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The printer securely fits in place on the top tray – two locating pins mate up with holes in the printer base. Screws fasten the printer in place.

Note that there is an additional unused locating pin – this is connected with the optional SU21 spectrophotometer unit, which I’ll cover in another article.

fitting of printer to stand

I’d note the presence of the maintenance cartridge (waste ink unit MC16)

This comes already in place, and needs no fitting (mouse over image to see)

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Ink cartridges

The printer comes with a set of ‘starter’ cartridges, which contain ‘only’ 90ml of ink – these need loading into the printer.

Replacement cartridges are available in 130ml and 300ml sizes

You can see I’ve re-attached the lower front cover, in front of the maintenance cart slot. It simply clips into place.

ink carts and print heads

printer lcd didplayThe carts need installing before the two print heads.

I note too that the printer comes with UK and european power leads, just in case I want to take it on holiday with me…

I switch on the printer, and the display screen guides me through the setup (although, the printed sheet is perhaps more convenient).

The iPF6450 has ‘sub ink tanks’ that act as a buffer between the cartridges and the print head (allowing for ‘hot swapping’ of inks)

These need filling during the initial setup, with ink from the freshly installed cartridges.

This filling (and the ink lines to the printheads) mean that when you’ve finished the setup procedure, it’s likely that at least 40% of your ink will appear to have vanished.

Well, it has gone form the carts, but is still in the system, not flushed through into the maintenance cart.

The printer does ask a few basic questions when it powers up, such as the time zone and working language.

set printer language

The cartridges (after a gentle shake) are placed into the holders (mouse over image to see)

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The clamp needs a firm push to lock in place – be careful with this first one, you don’t need to put your whole weight on it! If the art is mis aligned it will be quite obvious.

When loaded in place, the LED lights up (mouse over image to see)

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All twelve ink cartridges in place.

12 ink carts fully loaded

Now for the two print heads.

Print Heads

Each print head (PF05) is held in place with two locking bars (mouse over image to see)

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The cartridges need unpacking – handle with care (mouse over image to see)

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Remove the protective orange clips and place the head in the carriage (mouse over image to see)

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Use both locking clips to retain print head (mouse over image to see)

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Repeat for the second print head (mouse over image to see)

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Close the top cover.

The printer will now do a lot of whirring and things – 40 minutes later it should be ready to perform an adjustment print

print head setup

The printer is supplied with several A2 sheets of HW Coated paper, which you can use for head alignment and subsequent calibration.

set up printing for head alignment

You need to load a sheet – first tell the printer that you’re using a sheet.

set paper type

The paper type is available in the standard paper menu.

HW coated paper selected for printing

Follow the instruction to load a single sheet.

loading sheet paper into printer

Once set up, the head adjustment setup will occur.

Various patterns are printed and then measured by the sensors on the print carriage.

alignment print

If you look through the right hand window, you’ll see red green and blue lights from the inbuilt colorimeter and paper measurement unit during the process.

The adjustment sheet – after head alignment.

print head alignment finished

You printer is now ready to use, but I’d suggest spending a while longer, running a calibration print, before diving in to driver installation and network setup (these are covered in the main review).


Calibration is set up through the main printer menu, and requires another sheet of a known paper. I’d suggest running the calibration after initial setup, after your first ink change and then every so often after that. Also run it after print head replacement.

I say ‘every so often’, since this depends on how much printing you do – with our iPF8300 (light use) I do it every 8-9 months.

The calibration process is different if you have a printer with the spectrophotometer attachment, where you’re likely to want to do it more regularly (the spectro is not for casual ocasional paper profiling use, such as I’d want – remember hat I’m looking at fine art photo printing, not prepress and proofing).

Start in the adjustment menu.

calibration for print density

Select calibration.

calibration setup

Automatic is what we need.

auto calibration settings

I’m using the same paper as for the print head setup

hw coated paper loaded

Calibration under way (mouse over image to see paper)

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Allow a good couple of hours to set up the printer from delivery.

You will need a second person for some of the lifting, but they can be dismissed once the printer is on its stand…

The empty printer can easily be tilted up to get round corners and stairs – this is not advised one it’s full of ink. Ink and printhead loading should be carried out where you are going to use the printer, if there are any access issues.

The printed guides and on-screen instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Those ‘starter’ cartridges do go down a fair bit at the start – I’ll cover ink use in our main review of the iPF6450.

One final note. Once filled with ink, you should not tilt the printer very much when moving. When it came to taking the printer back to Canon, the roll paper unit was removed (two screws at the back) to reduce the depth of the printer and enable it to be carried (after detaching the stand) to the back of an estate car (station wagon). The printer can be drained of ink (from the ink sub-tanks) but it would not be cheap.

ink levels after setup


Plan ahead for delivery, if printer assembly is needed. Two people are required for setup, and remember to allow for a lot of left-over packaging once you are finished.


Printer Type 12 Colour – 24″/609.6mm
Print Technology Canon Inkjet on Demand 6 colours integrated type (6 chips per print head x 2 print heads)
Number of Nozzles Total: 30,720 – BK, MBK, C, M, Y, PC, PM, GY, PGY, R, G, B: 2,560 nozzles for each colour x 6 colours x 2 print heads
Print Resolution 2,400 x 1,200 dpi
Nozzle Pitch 1,200 x 2 includes Non-firing nozzle detection and compensation system
Line Accuracy ±0.1 % or less
Ink Droplet Size 4 Picoliter per colour
Ink Capacity Bundled Starter Ink: 90 ml
Sales Ink: 130ml and 300 ml
Ink Type LUCIA EX 12 Colour Pigment Ink:
BK, MBK, C, M, Y, PC, PM, GY, PGY, R, G, B
OS Compatibility Windows XP/Server 2003/Server 2008/Vista/7 (32/64bit),
Macintosh OSX 10.5.8-10.7.x
Printer Languages GARO (Graphic Arts language with Raster Operations)
Standard Interfaces USB 2.0 High-Speed
Ethernet 10/100/1000 Base-T/TX
Buffer RAM 384 MB
Hard Drive none in 6400 – 250GB in 6450
Media Width Roll paper and Manual Feed from top: 203.2 mm (8″) – 610 mm (24″),
Manual Feed from Front: 250 – 610 mm / POP board use only: A2, A1
Media Thickness Roll paper: 0.07 – 0.8mm, Cut sheet: Manual feed from top: 0.07 – 0.8mm,
Manual feed from front: 0.5 – 1.5 mm
Minimum Printable Length Roll Paper: 203.2mm, Manual Feed from Top: 279.4mm, Manual Feed Front: 350mm
Maximum Printable Length Roll paper: 18m (Varies according to the OS and application),
Manual Feed from Top: 1.6m, Manual Feed from Front: 914mm
Maximum Media Roll Diameter 150.0 mm
Paper Feed Method Roll Paper: One Roll (top-loading [front operation possible], front output),
Cut Sheet: 1 sheet Front loading and front output, top loading and front output
Media Feed Capacity Manual Feed: 1 Sheet, Roll Feed: 1 Roll
Borderless Printing Width (Roll Only) 10″ (254 mm), B4 (257 mm), 14″ (356 mm), 16″ (407 mm), A2 (420 mm), A2+/17″ (432 mm), B2 (515 mm), A1 (594 mm), 24″ (610 mm)
Physical Dimensions (W x D x H) Main unit with Auto Roll Feed Unit (standard) – 1,227 (W) x 702 (D) x 344 (H) mm; Weight: approx. 54kg (excluding consumables and printer Stand).
Main unit with a basket open and a printer stand – 1,227 (W) x 870 (D) x 1,001 (H) mm; Weight: approx. 70kg (excluding consumables)
Basket closed: 1,227 (W) x 751 (D) x 1,001 (H) mm
Power Supply AC 100 – 240 V (50 – 60 Hz)
Power Consumption Operation: 100W or less
Power off (stand-by): 0.5 W or less (In compliance with ErP Directive Lot.6)
Operating Environment 15 – 30°C, 10 – 80 % (Condensation free)
Noise Level (Approx.) Operation: approx. 47dB
Stand-by: 35dB
Operation: 6.4 Bels or less Based on ISO 7779
Regulations Europe: CE mark (EN60950, EN55022 classB, EN61000-3-2, EN-61000-3-3, EN55024), Germany: TUV, Russia: Gost-R, Other Countries: CB Certification
Environment Certificates International Energy Star Program (WW), IT ECO Declaration (Europe), WEEE (Europe/India), RoHS directive, ErP directive, REACH, EPEAT
What’s in the Box? Hex wrench screwdriver, 2 x print heads, 1 x set of starter ink tanks – 90ml each, EU/UK Power Cord, 3 inch core adapters, Spacer for borderless printing, Set up guide, Basic guide, User manual CD-ROM, User software CD-ROM (Mac & Win), Carrying caution leaflet, Safety/Standard Environment leaflet, Media sample – sheets, PosterArtist Lite leaflet, PosterArtist Lite software CD-ROM, Driver setting guide
Software Included Canon Printer Driver for Windows and Macintosh, Status Monitor/Print monitor, – Free Layout & iR enlargement Copy, Media Configuration Tool, PosterArtist Lite (PC only), Print Plug-in for Microsoft® Word/Excel/PowerPoint (PC only), Print Plug-in for Photoshop®, Canon Calibration Management Console, Print Plug-in for Canon Digital Photo Professional
Optional Items Printer Stand ST-28, Roll Holder Set: Rh5-25 (2-inch core roll holder with 3-inch paper tube attachment and borderless print spacer)
User Replaceable Items Ink Tank: 130ml – PFI-106: BK, MBK, C, M, Y, PC, PM, GY, PGY, R, G, B,
300ml – PFI-206: BK, MBK, C, M, Y, PC, PM, GY, PGY, R, G, B
Print Head: PF-05
Maintenance Cartridge: MC-16

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