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Have been struggling with my Epson 3880 smudging the leading edge of larger prints. In this case 10-16 on 11-17 paper. For quite sometime I got perfect prints in this size. Then suddenly about a month ago it started putting out prints with strong smudging along the leading edge (as if the ink hadn't dried and the printer mechanism had grabbed it to push it on thru). I also can get a bit of the same though much less on the trailing edge. Smaller size prints (say 8x10) work perfect.
I'm using same paper, stored flat with weight on it, same software (generally print thru LR 4.3), and as far as I can tell have made no changes in my workflow. I do place a single sheet in the top feed (the printer does not grasp it as suggested in the manual). Having read the manual repeatedly, I've examined the paper for curl - doesn't seem to be any - but have tried a bit of reverse curl. Perhaps minimal improvement. I've considered Paper Feed Adjustment though I'm not experiencing "white lines on print." Paper thickness hasn't changed. Paper thickness is at default and I'm not getting "vertical banding." Platen Gap is Auto as paper hasn't changed and paper thickness is at 3 (0.03mm) again, the default. I haven't touching drying time though I wonder if it would help.
To me it seems the feed mechanism is grasping larger paper too soon or incorrectly. (Oh, on OS X, I'm using US B 11x17 (no mention of border or expansion) and I'm feeding a single sheet from the top. The manual suggests that all 3 feed mechanisms can work with this paper.
Anyway, I'd really appreciate insight from others. This an excellent printer and up until now, I've been completely pleased with its output. (Oh, using Epson drivers with the correct choices. Once more nothing has been changed except the output.)
As we all know experimentation is expensive