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Print alignment problems


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Tried a search but didn't quite get the result I was looking for, so apologies if this is a repeating topic.

I am making artboards into a flip book.  So what I do is put 4 artboards into a group, and the books I make require 5 double sided pages, so there are ten groups.  So I have the groups named front page X and back page X.  I export into PDF(separate files).  I will print the front page, then simply turn it around, put it back in the printer, and the boards come out on the back.  I have them lined up in terms of what is on the back is where it should be, and I can put them together into the book.

My issue comes from the fact that I have lines around outside of the boards, boards are all the same size, but when they print, they are slightly off.  So when I cut, I don't have them lined up on both sides of the page.  If you picture the traditional window drawing of a square with 4 squares inside, I cut the page on the top, bottom and sides of the window, along with down the middle, so you end up with two halves of the window.  But you can see through the paper that the square on the other side is pretty close at one end, and off about an eighth of an inch at the opposite end.

So at the end of all that, is it a problem with my printer, or is there something I can do with Affinity to get them lined up better?  

Thank you.

 

 

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That is what is referred to as "bounce", a high end digital press will have very little, a desktop printer will be something like 2-3mm. As you are duplexing this you are potentially doubling the margin of error.

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13 hours ago, BofG said:

That is what is referred to as "bounce", a high end digital press will have very little, a desktop printer will be something like 2-3mm. As you are duplexing this you are potentially doubling the margin of error.

So essentially, I'm basically going to have to assume this will happen unless I get something quite sophisticated?  

Thanks for the reply, btw.

 

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It happens on all sheet-fed printers, generally though yes the more expensive the less bounce you get. Although I have seen people complaining about it happening on £30,000+ machines.

As you are in control of the artwork (and not printing it for someone else) it's probably best just to think about how to adjust the images to mask that variation in the print position.

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5 hours ago, BofG said:

It happens on all sheet-fed printers, generally though yes the more expensive the less bounce you get. Although I have seen people complaining about it happening on £30,000+ machines.

As you are in control of the artwork (and not printing it for someone else) it's probably best just to think about how to adjust the images to mask that variation in the print position.

Wow.  OK, well thank you for the info.  Considering they are just for me, I will deal with it(and for the few people I do make one up, well, their price is very good :-) ).

Thank you for the perspective and info.

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16 minutes ago, golfortennis said:

Considering they are just for me, I will deal with it(and for the few people I do make one up, well, their price is very good 🙂 ).

If you could print directly from Affinity Designer, not going the extra mile via a PDF Reader, you could use the N-Up option in the printing dialogue. Value for Across, Down and Repeat has to be 1 and for Skip it has to be 0. For the back page you can define the Left and Top offset. ;)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, joe_l said:

If you could print directly from Affinity Designer, not going the extra mile via a PDF Reader, you could use the N-Up option in the printing dialogue. Value for Across, Down and Repeat has to be 1 and for Skip it has to be 0. For the back page you can define the Left and Top offset. ;)

You may regret posting this answer.  :-)

I guess I always assumed I had to go through a PDF or some other export.  I see the Print option in AD, and it appears I can select my group and print it.  So that is a good start.  I have to say the Value stuff you posted is complete news to me, though.   I have one file with 40 artboards broken into 10 groups.  For what you are saying, should I have 10 files with 4 boards each?

 

Thank you.

 

Edited by golfortennis
found N up option.
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13 minutes ago, golfortennis said:

You may regret posting this answer.  🙂

Don't worry. I am good at ignoring things. ;)

I have no idea how you organised your artboards, but maybe the screenshot of the printing dialogue gives you an impression of what I mean. Please note, that you can only enter positive offsets.

print-n-up.jpg

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That approach might help if the margins themselves are slightly off, other than that you will be aiming at a moving target. If the origin accuracy of the printer is say +-2mm per feed, and you measure the first print and adjust to that, there's no guarantee the next feed won't bounce the other direction or by a different amount.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/16/2022 at 2:39 PM, BofG said:

That approach might help if the margins themselves are slightly off, other than that you will be aiming at a moving target. If the origin accuracy of the printer is say +-2mm per feed, and you measure the first print and adjust to that, there's no guarantee the next feed won't bounce the other direction or by a different amount.

 

Thought I had already posted this question.  Has it been your experience that double sided printing helps mitigate the bounce issue, or it will still be the same?  Or could that make it worse?

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11 hours ago, golfortennis said:

Has it been your experience that double sided printing helps mitigate the bounce issue, or it will still be the same?  Or could that make it worse?

It won't affect it on each side in isolation, but combined the margin of error doubles. E.g. side one shifts 1mm left, then side two also shifts 1mm left. Your offset is now 2mm. Of course it's possible that the second side shifts the opposite direction and so reduces the offset.

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16 hours ago, golfortennis said:

Has it been your experience that double sided printing helps mitigate the bounce issue, or it will still be the same? 

I have no first hand experience with this but I guess that unless the printer somehow prints on both sides of the paper at the same time (instead of making 2 passes through the print mechanism, one for each side of the paper) then it won't reduce the bounce.

I doubt there are any consumer grade printers that can do that, but maybe someone knows of some that can?

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