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FAQs

Software (10 topics)
Inkjet Ink (3 topics) (scroll down to view)

Review prior to submitting a Tech Support Ticket.

End of Life (EOL) Software - what does it mean

Software that has gone End of Life is out out of production. Freehand develops and releases upgrades to replace older software keeping up with modern OS requirements and adding new features.

Users can still use EOL versions for as long as they can maintain user control. Print, deactivate, reactivate, etc. Once a loss of control occurs the user will upgrade through a discounted upgrade path online in Freehand’s web store.

A loss of control will occur from a crash, virus, reformat for example. Since software development if forward moving, getting up and running after a loss of control is through the use of the latest version.

Operating System Compatibility

When Microsoft and Apple no longer support their OS Freehand support for the OS will also end. If your OS is not listed then it is NOT supported.

Be sure to check the current COMPATIBILTY list.

Locate Serial Numbers and Installers

Software Serial Numbers and Installers are displayed in the My Account of each user. This system has been in place since March 2015. Users of software purchased prior as well as as current users can locate their serial number in active software. Installers of older software versions that have gone EOL may NOT be available in the My Account.

AccuRIP Ruby • AccuRIP Black Pearl
(MAC) Go to the AccuRIP Menu > About AccuRIP. It is displayed in the Version/Build Window.

(Windows) Go to the Help Menu > About AccuRIP. It is displayed in the Version/Build Window.

 

Separation Studio 4
(MAC) Go to the Separation Studio Menu > About Separation Studio 4. It is displayed in the Version/Build Window.

(Windows) Go to the Help Menu > About

Separation Studio 4. It is displayed in the Version/Build Window.

If a serial number is NOT displayed submit a tech support ticket. If you have a question about EOL software and Installers, contact tech support as well.

Transfer/Move Software License

Avoid downtime. Free, fully-functional trials keep you operating when outside of support hours. Login to your My Account, Download and Install the latest version.

Current shipping versions can be moved to another computer as well as older out of support version as long as a user maintains control over the deactivation and activation process. Once control over an older version is lost that version can be upgraded to the latest version.

AccuRIP (Ruby and Black Pearl):
Before transferring away from the original host computer be sure you have the newest version installed on the host computer before deactivating. If the blue FREE update download arrow appears in the main software window click it to update. If not, you are up-to-date. 

Restart the computer then open AccuRIP. From the Licensing Menu choose Deactivate Serial Number. Already showing as deactivated? Reactivate then Deactivate. The License is now ready for Activation on another computer within the Operating System range for your software License. Download software to the next computer, Install and enter serial number when prompted.

Important: If you deactivate an EOL (end of life) version you may lose control of the older version. This action would trigger the need to upgrade. Older version presently working will continue to operate even after they have gone EOL until some local system situation causes the user to lose control over that version.

Video: AccuRIP Black Pearl Transfer 

 

Separation Studio 4:

Avoid downtime. Free, fully-functional trials keep you operating when outside of support hours. Login to your My Account, Download and Install the latest version.

Current shipping versions can be moved to another computer. Older version users can upgrade to the latest version.

How to Transfer Spot Process Separation Studio™ Software
Before transferring away from the original host computer be sure you have the newest version installed on the host computer before deactivating. If the blue FREE update download arrow appears in the main software window click it to update. If not, you are up-to-date. 

Restart the computer then open Spot Process Sep Studio 4. From the Licensing Menu choose Deactivate Serial Number. Already showing as deactivated? Reactivate then Deactivate. The License is now ready for Activation on another computer within the Operating System range for your software License. Download software to the next computer, Install and enter serial number when prompted.

Important: If you deactivate an EOL (end of life) version you will no longer have access to the older version, and this action will trigger the need to Upgrade.

Video: Sep Studio 4 Transfer

Ripcore Error Messages

There are two unique errors: “Unable to Connect to Ripcore” and “Lost Connection to Ripcore” although Mac users may not see an error message displayed.
See Video links at bottom.

Windows Only:
“Unable to Connect to Ripcore” message appears when OPENING AccuRIP. AccuRIP closes when you click the message. Check if the Ripcore Service has been turned off whether by a firewall software setting, or by a user. From the RUN accessory press and hold the Windows keyboard button and the letter “R” simultaneously, enter “services.msc.” Locate the Ripcore Service and START the service if it is not on. Open AccuRIP. Note: if it was ON follow the video instructions.

Mac Only:
You only can see the AccuRIP Menu (no others appear). AccuRIP does NOT open. You may see an error message. Follow video instructions.

“Lost Connect to Ripcore” message appears on screen each time you print a file. AccuRIP OPENS. This indicates the problem is with the FILE and not the software. A PostScript error is crashing the engine. Locate and resolve the file’s PostScript error. Tips: Close and reopen AccuRIP, resetting the software. From the File Menu print a TEST PAGE to prove the RIP is operational. Still need to print the same file? Copy and paste the file contents to a new blank document, and convert all fonts to curves or outlines. If it does not print, recreate the art and simplify the design.

Video: (Mac) Unable to Connect to Ripcore
Video: (Windows) Unable to Connect to Ripcore

6900 Error Message

Error 6900 indicates that you are operating either an out-of-date software version that has gone End of Life (EOL), or an earlier version. To stay current with a shipping version users can update to the latest build version by downloading and running the currently posted Installer located in your My Account.

Users of earlier AccuRIP versions can upgrade in the Shop ($195). Freehand has many offers that deliver FREE upgrades to qualified licenses when users purchase specific supplies such as All Black refillable ink systems and more. See website or contact Freehand support online for current offerings. https://solutionsforscreenprinters.com/software/

Avoid downtime by first using a Free, fully-functional trial to keep working. Trials are available in your My Account / Downloads.

Streaking/Banding Appears on Film

Streaking and banding are “generally” the results of clogged nozzles in a printer or a poor film quality. It is not a result produced by a software.

The very first thing to do is check the the printer is clean and ready to operate. Using either the built in Maintenance tool in AccuRIP Ruby or the manufacturer supplied utility for printing a Nozzle Pattern test print page (Epson or Canon) print to paper sheet or film roll a Nozzle Pattern test. If the printers clogged clean it.

If the printer is clean print the same file to paper or a different brand of film. If the issues goes away it is the film brand causing the issue.

Increase the printer resolution in Sep Studio 4 or AccuRIP.

Here’s a fast way to learn the best settings for your ink and film supplies. AccuRIP has an exclusive feature the “Droplet Weight Density Test Print.”  It is designed to allow you to print a test print for each resolution setting. All 15 droplet weights are then printed on one film at the selected printer resolution. Follow the direction on the film, expose that film then wash it out.

Video: Droplet Weight Density Test Print

Files NOT Printing

Note: if you are working AccuRIP Black Pearl or earlier and are no longer printing, upgrade to the current version ($195). You may have temporarily survived an OS upgrade that has subsequently become unstable as new updates release. Support for previous versions has ended.


AccuRIP Software

Windows Users Only:
AccuRIP software has the intelligence to identify and setup/connect to a GENUINE Epson printer driver. Windows users can experience FLASE DRIVERS. These generic drivers will NOT print properly. Identify and remove bad drivers. Epson is your source to acquire Genuine Epson Drivers. AccuRIP will connect and properly function with Genuine Epson Drivers.

Video: (Windows) Epson Driver Resolve

Windows/Mac Users:
In addition, improper connection types, unexpected IP address changes and PostScript Errors are reasons files won’t print or stop printing. AccuRIP’s current version has Auto Detect and Connect ability resolving unexpected (USBm WiFi and Ethernet) connection failures automatically.

Step-by-Step: Restart both the computer and printer. Using the Epson Printer Driver PRINT a TEST Page. If it fails to print, contact Epson directly. If the test passed, Open AccuRIP. From the File Menu select Test Print. If that prints, open a new (blank) page in DRAW or Illustrator and create a simple black square. Print it to prove a successful connection and driver. Address problem files that may contain a PostScript Error. Need help? Submit a Tech Ticket.

Same/Wrong File is Printing

Mac Users:
When a Mac computer repeats print jobs, fails to print, or does unexpected (odd) things it is time to simply reset the Mac Print System. Apple built in this feature for a good reason, sometimes the print “traffic cop” loses its mind, and no longer manages print files properly.

Resetting the Mac OS Print System:
It’s very easy to do. This will clear all previous printer drivers and reset the Unix CUPS System (Common Unix Print Services). FYI: The steps are the same for Mountain Lion and higher OS versions. Right-Click any printer in the Mac System Preferences/Printers. Choose Reset Print System. Restart the computer and printer. If the Genuine Epson Driver has not already been added back to the System Preferences/Printers, do that now. Test print the Epson driver.

Open AccuRIP Black Pearl and from the File Menu select Edit Configuration. Select the proper settings for your printer, then click OK. This will rebuild a new AccuRIP Print Driver.

Apple Support Info Link

Stuck in Software Trial Mode

The AccuRIP Trial will run for 14-days. Upon expiration you will be prompted with a Window to enter the purchase serial number – fully activating the software.

Already purchased a serial number? Trial not expired?
Simply open the Trial version, go to the Licensing Menu and enter the serial number to fully activate the software. This can be done at any time during an active or expired trial.

Premium vs Advanced - Separation Studio 4

Separation Studio 4 software has two License options to select from – Premium or Advanced. You are welcome to change the License option anytime without penalty up to 2 years after the selection is made. So, you actually can’t make a mistake.

The software is exactly the same on day one. The Premium version will be enhanced periodically and will always support the latest Apple and Microsoft OS release. Users will equate this License to a subscription. The Advanced version will not provide any enhancements or automatic support of a new OS. Those changes would be optional upgrades for Advanced users. The Advanced License is the License style that Freehand users have experienced will all previous software. Premium is a new option that provides a lower entry cost for the user, and is a favorite for users that love to work with the latest.

NEW USERS:
The Advanced License is offered by Resellers and directly at Freehand in the Shop, while the Premium License is available exclusively online in Freehand’s Shop.

UPGRADERS:
Only available online in Freehand’s Shop are the Upgrade Licenses to both the Advanced and Premium software.

If you need help making the selection please contact sales via email sales@solutionsforscreenprinters.com, via CHAT or submit a tech support ticket online.

Inks and Ink Usage FAQs

Ink Starvation

This term given is to the event when ink stops flowing to a print head. Usually a symptom of “external refillable bottle systems” it can sometimes apply to “inset refillable ink tanks” as well. If at anytime ink stops flowing to the print head resulting in streaky printing or no ink flow at all unplug the air hole and ink fill hole plugs leaving the system open to air. This generally repairs any air bound situation allowing the ink to flow again. It is ok to run the printer with the ink fill hole unplugged. Plugs are generally used to prevent spillage during transportation and handling.

Blotchy results – Some users of Ulano PIJF film have reported blotches of ink across films after converting to a refillable ink system. The specific reason is that Ulano PIJF film (Pigment Inkjet Film) is not for DYE ink, it’s for Pigment ink, it can not quickly absorb the water based dye ink. Therefore even a small amount of excess ink will build up on the print head then drip as it moves across the film. Many users have made settings changes in AccuRIP over time. The key is to return AccuRIP back to default settings then print a Droplet Weight Density test print page to determine best settings. Blotches and drips can be avoided by using a proper dye compatible film such as Freehand’s DarkStar brand. With properly matches supplies clean results are guaranteed.  (Add link to our more detailed list of tech advice).

https://solutionsforscreenprinters.com/shop-freehands-solutions-for-inkjet-products-and-film/

Desktop printers – desktop printers are “drop in style” printers meaning they have little to no reserve of ink in the print head making them easy to switch between color and black dye ink systems. Generally the inks are fully exchanged after a single head cleaning.

Refillable All Black Ink systems use “auto reset” chips. These chips reset to 100% full reading after they display an out of ink message. Removing the tanks, filling with new ink then installing back into the printer is all that is needed to reset the ink counter to 100%.

Auto reset chips can be removed and replaced as many times as needed or desired without the chip counter being reset. Chips retain the ink levels until it reads out of ink. The next removal and install at that time will reset the ink counter to 100%.

No chip resetter is required with Auto Reset chips.

Wide Format printers – these style printers have long hoses that reach from the stationary ink tanks to the print head. The long hoses hold a good amount of ink and must remain free of air at all times.

Installing a Dmax Black Dye ink system, for the first time it is best to power clean the portion of the print head the inks are installed into. Handled on the front control panel of the printer it takes generally 15 cleaning to fully exchange the ink in the hose for the new Dmax dye ink.

When dye ink reaches the print head your prints will be noticeably darker and more durable. Print test pages every 5 cleaning until you see a difference.

T3200 series users that load a refillable tank into the Matte slot can clean the matte slot alone from the front control panel of the printer.

Sometimes Epson forces firmware updates on printers that can cause a chip to stop operating. Freehand has replacement chips.

Refillable Ink Systems

Older two-part ink systems and one-time use tanks have been replaced by more efficient and eco-friendly refillable ink systems that dramatically drop the cost per print.

Freehand provides refillable Ink Master Kits for the following printers:
Epson 1430/1400/1500W
Epson P400
Epson 4900
Epson T3270 (matte slot only system)
Canon Pixma Pro-100

Unexpected Print Results

When the results on the film are unexpected, or unacceptable you can do some quick tests to determine why this is happening. The top user issues are:

• halftones appear/do not appear on film
• halftones wrong size/shape
• too much ink on the film (puddling/dripping)
• not enough ink on the film
• nothing prints on the film

Understanding why…
AccuRIP and Separation Studio 4 are engineered to print files to film and have built in controls. While a users first thought is the software is not working properly, the answer is either in the selections made by the user, or the film/ink selections. While it may be easy to blame software or an ink system, the answers are generally not the result of either in regards to engineering quality/ability.

Halftones happen (or don’t) based on the data in the file. At any time the art file uses process (cmyk) colors, or a spot color that has been tinted (1-99%) or has a gradient/blend then a halftone will be produced. The type, size and angle of the halftone is determined by the user settings in the RIP or Print Commander. Check the setup and edit as needed. One of the most common misconceptions of users is that a RIP can incorrectly process or change file data when it can not. RIPs pass the file data over to the printer. The RIP can’t think.

When too much ink appears on film the first step to take is to reset back to the default settings and then print a Droplet Weight Density Test Print (DWDTP) from the software. You will then have all the available droplet weights at the resolution the RIP is set at. Select the best one and then lock it into the settings of the software. Another common issue of too much ink is created by film brand/type selection. When you print with DYE INK such as Freehand’s Dmax Ink you will get the best results from Dye Film. Some manufacturers will market their film as dual purpose (pigment and dye) when the fact it it will produce the best results on one and adequate or poor results on the other. Ulano’s PIJF, for example, is Pigment Inkjet Film. Use this brand with pigment ink. You will be improve your print results and production by selecting Dye Film and Dye Ink.

When not enough ink is laid down you can be suffering from ink starvation, low/no ink or a clog. Ink starvation is discussed in a previous tab. Check your ink levels noting that Epson reported levels can be incorrect. A visual inspection is best. A pattern nozzle check may be useful to determine if a clog exists (minor or severe). Use a cleaner such as Amaze-Ink for clear/address a clog.

When nothing prints on the film yet the film comes out of the printer send in a tech ticket to determine the cause. A corrupt file or a PostScript Error in the file often prevents a file from printing altogether. Clear a stuck file. Then print a simple graphic like a square to check the driver connection. When that file prints you may have a file with a bad font, too many anchor points or another PostScript issue. Convert the fonts, rasterize the file or do a google search about PostScript file errors. Sometimes copying the elements to a new page will resolve the issue.

Additional Tabs on this page to review:
• Ink Starvation
• Files NOT Printing
• Same/Wrong File is Printing
• Streaking/Banding Appears on Film

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