How To Solve Common Issues with Edible Ink Printing

How To Solve Common Issues with Edible Ink Printing

It’s not unusual to run into problems with your printer from time to time and similar issues can arise when using edible inks to print images and designs onto edible paper or icing sheets. Maybe your printer isn’t recognising the ink cartridges, the print quality on your image is poor, or there’s no ink coming out at all, and you are left with blank edible sheets coming out of your printer which we know is frustrating especially when you want to finish decorating your cake creations.

Check out some of these troubleshooting tips which may help to solve those niggly problems.

Your printer does not recognise the edible ink cartridges

  • First of all, check that you have the correct cartridges for your printer – sounds simple, but mistakes happen!
  • Make sure you remove the bottom cradle from the cartridge before inserting it into the printer. You should hear a ‘click’ which will indicate that the cartridge is correctly positioned.
  • If you are using refillable edible ink cartridges, ensure both the cartridge cavity and the sponge are full of ink as this weight helps the printer to recognise the new cartridge.
  • If there are still issues, try turning the printer off and restart after a couple of minutes.

There is no ink coming out, or a certain colour is not printing

  • Check that there is ink in the cartridge and refill or replace the empty cartridge if necessary.
  • If using new cartridges check that the ‘Pull’ strip has been removed from the cartridges before inserting into the printer – this strip covers the hole where the ink flows from the cartridge.
  • Sometimes an airlock can cause the ink to stop flowing. If this happens, remove the cartridge, turn it upside down and back again before replacing in the printer.
  • If there are still issues and the ink does not flow you may need to pierce the vent hole on the top of the cartridge to release the airlock before placing back into the printer.
  • Always carry out a nozzle check to test colours are printing as you wish.

The print quality is poor and there are streaks across the printed image

  • There can be numerous reasons as to why print quality can be poor such as clogged nozzles or printhead, empty ink cartridges, incorrect paper settings or print quality settings.
  • Running a nozzle check will indicate clogged nozzles or printhead, especially if you can see broken or missing lines on your printed image. If this happens, run a print head clean and carry out some test prints to get the ink flowing correctly again.
  • Check the paper/media settings on your printer and adjust if necessary to achieve the print finish and quality you are looking for. Remember that colours do not always print as they appear on the computer screen.

The printed image ‘runs off’ the edible paper or icing sheet

  • As edible paper and icing sheets come in standard A4 and A3 sizes you need to check that the size and shape of the image you wish to print will fit. Bear in mind that you may need to re-size images to fit onto sheets that have pre-cut circles, such as cupcake toppers.
  • The pre-cut sheets have set dimensions so it may be easier to create a template so you can repeat the image and check this in print preview on your computer screen first.
  • Practice printing on regular paper first to check size and alignment before using the edible paper or icing sheet.
  • You may need to perform a print head alignment if you still experience print ‘run off’

Remember if you need some help with your edible printing, contact your local Cartridge World team for some expert advice. They may not be master bakers but they will certainly have you printing perfect edible images so you can have your cake and eat it too!