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HP Pen Plotters - Troubleshooting HP Pen Plotter Accuracy Problems

Issue:
Troubleshooting HP pen plotter accuracy problems from the beginning of the plot to the end.
Solution
This note covers the following HP Plotters:
  • HP 7570A HP DraftPro plotter
  • HP 7595B HP DraftMaster SX plotter
  • HP 7575A HP DraftPro DXL plotter
  • HP 7596B HP DraftMaster RX plotter
  • HP 7576A HP DraftPro EXL plotter
  • HP 7599A HP DraftMaster MX plotter
  • HP C3170A HP DraftPro Plus plotter
  • HP 7595C HP DraftMaster SX Plus plotter
  • HP C3171A HP DraftPro Plus plotter
  • HP 7596C HP DraftMaster RX Plus plotter
  • HP 7595A HP DraftMaster I plotter
  • HP 7599B HP DraftMaster MX Plus plotter
  • HP 7596A HP DraftMaster II plotter
  • HP 758X Series plotters
Common causes and solutions
  • Media expansion. It is strongly recommended that a media expansion problem be investigated before attempting to repair the plotter. See below for detailed trouble shooting steps.
  • Media slippage due to dirty grit wheel. Clean the grit wheel.
  • Media slippage due to worn-out pinch roller(s). Replace the pinch roller(s).
  • A software problem. Run the plotters Demonstration plot. If the Demo is perfect, the problem may lie with the software package.
Media expansion problems
Problem explanation
  • Humidity is the primary cause of media expansion. The expansion due to humidity is caused by moisture absorbed by media fibers.
  • If the media was packed under certain conditions and then used in other conditions, media absorbs humidity from the air until saturated. In the meantime, the fibers of the media will expand.
Quick troubleshooting method
  1. Load HP polyester film and plot.
  2. If the drawing is significantly more accurate when using film, the problem likely lies in media expansion. See below for solutions.
How much expansion can be experienced?
Maximum expansion/contraction (that is, deformation) due to humidity:
Plain paper:
+ / - 0.50%
Polyester Film:
+ / - 0.07%
Translucent/Vellum:
+ / - 1.00%
Example of deformation applied to a Architectural E sheet of media:
Physical Media length: 48 inches.
* Expansion due to humidity
Plain Paper:
1% max deformation
* 48 inch = .48 inches
Translucent Bond / Vellum:
2% max deformation
* 48 inch = .96 inches
Polyester film:
0.14% max deformation
* 48 inch = .07 inches
Deformation Percentage * Length = Potential Expansion
How to solve problems due to media expansion
Condition the media first!
Condition the media before plotting according to the following:
  • 85% conditioned after 15 minutes
  • 95% conditioned after 2 hours
  • 100% conditioned after 24 hours
      note:
    The longer the media is conditioned, the more accurate the drawing.
How to condition single sheet media
In addition to opening the box, remove each sheet from the box and expose them to the same conditions as the plotter.
Do not change the environmental conditions (air conditioning, opening windows or doors in a air conditioned room, etc.) once the conditioning the media, or during plotting of the drawing.
Do not expose the plotter to sources that can affect the accuracy of the drawing (sun light, windows, air conditioning systems, etc.).
How to condition roll sheet media
Conditioning roll media is more difficult than a single sheet. Even when removed from the box and the plastic, the only portion to receive conditioning is the portion in contact with the environment (unrolled).
To condition roll media, unroll the portion of media needed for the drawing, put the pinch wheels up, and allow the unrolled media to condition properly (20 minutes minimum, 24 hour maximum) before starting the plot. The same rule applies to long axis drawings. Unroll and condition the whole length (all the frames) of the plot before starting to plot.

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