Affects Version/s: All versions of neoStampa 8 and neoStampa 9.
Diluent ink is a transparent additive that helps other inks penetrate further into the substrate. It's usually used with thick materials (carpets, towels, etc.) or when we don't want the ink to stay on the surface of the material.
Diluent ink has to be set up on Calibration Wizard when calibrating the scheme. Please be aware that if we change the values of diluent ink once the scheme is finished, the color results will change and we'll have to repeat the calibration process.
When we start Calibration Wizard and set up the different inks, we can configure Diluent Ink on Custom Inks Setup, setting this ink on the right printing head and clicking on the Mask button on the right, which will open the Settings menu.
Since Diluent Ink works like a Mask, we have more options than we really need:
- Off (Use it as spot color) uses a spot color (either spot color on Adobe Illustrator or spot color channel on Adobe Photoshop) as a guide to fill Dilution ink. This model is not really used with Dilution Ink unless the customer only wants certain parts of the design filled with Dilution Ink. We have to take into account that the colors will change depending on the quantity of Dilution Ink used, so we won't be able to do a proper job with color matching.
- Full Mask is generally used for White Ink pre-treatment, we'll only use it when we want to cover all the print uniformly with the same quantity of diluent.
- Fill Ink is the default method we'll use for Diluent Ink. The more quantity of ink we use, the less amount of Diluent Ink. We can set the Minimum Value of ink we'll use so that every pixel of the design has some amount of Diluent Ink (if our Minimum Value is 5%, the amount of Diluent Ink will go down until 5% and then it'll be a constant 5%). There have been some cases where customers complain about this transition (it was noticeable), so we might want to use the next mode.
- Dynamic Fill Ink is the evolution of Fill Ink and lets us when a Minimum Value of ink is introduced, have a smoother transition. Usually, though, it might use more ink than Fill Ink on the intermediate steps.
DILUENT INK - FILL INK
The more ink we use, the less quantity of diluent ink we'll have.
DILUENT INK - DYNAMIC FILL
Similar to Fill Ink, but with better management of minimum value ink.
Other options on the menu:
- Putting ink in white pixels fills ink through the image, and fills the maximum quantity of ink on white pixels, which usually is not needed. We should make sure this option is unchecked.
- Intensity calculates the difference between the ink we’re using and the percentage we’ve defined and it fills it with Dilution Ink (if the ink is 20% and the intensity is 80%, it will fill it with 60% Dilution ink). In most cases, we recommend we use the Total Ink Limit on this field.
- The minimum value puts this quantity of ink everywhere. If our intensity is 80% and the minimum 10%, it will fill Dilution ink until 70% and then it will add 10% everywhere. With Dynamic Fill Ink the progress of this curve will be smoother.
- Choke options reduce the amount of ink around the edges of the printed color, but currently only work on neoPrintServer (not yet on neoStampa).
This is the default starting point, with Fill Ink we introduce the same ink limit (300%), and the program will fill up diluent ink until this point.
Sometimes, though, we only need to use diluent ink up to a certain point, so we can introduce a lower value.
By default, diluent ink is not used when there's no ink. In this case, we force the use of diluent on white pixels (it can prevent bleeding) and we set a minimum value of diluent.
A minimum value of diluent is useful, but in this case, it goes over the global ink limit and can produce bleeding.
With the Dynamic Fill method, we establish a minimum and a maximum value of diluent, so transitions of diluent ink are smoother.
Again, sometimes using a value that goes over the maximum ink limit can be problematic, so we have to set these values and test the results carefully.