i hope this is not a silly question but I was wondering whether the number of passes in a profile uses more ink. I am currently using overprint but need just a little more white ink to make the finish more opaque for printing on clear. I was hoping just to be able to increase the number of passes rather than put down another layer of white. Can someone please explain this to me?

if I did White -> CMYK with an overprint of 2 times, will this put down white underneath twice and then colour on top twice?

I look forward to some enlightened responses.



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Shake your cartridge, prior to starting, do a power clean, then print. White is a solid ink, not like cmyk which are translucent. The ink can seperate in the line, even with the circulation, so if you do not do the above - you will be laying down a milky solution and not ink. You are laying down white, then cmyk - so you must be leaving a clear border or have some clear interior or it would be better to just use white media. Many with white ink, find that out after.

Hi Irving,

Thank you for the response. I do shake the cartridge every day but I haven't done a power clean. I do print white ink about 3 days a week on average. I hadn't thought about the ink separating in the line but it makes sense.How often should I do a powerful clean? Currently I do a white overprint first (2 times White Only) and then return to origin and print WH-CMYK. It works but it takes longer and is not ideal for large or multiple print jobs at once.

I will try this an report back.

Only do it before you need to print - You will be flushing the ink below the circulation line. Try it without the overprint and see if it makes a difference for you. If you must do it your original way, that sounds like nite time printing while you sleep. Make sure to read the special ink manual and pick up some more tips when printing with white. The manual comes with the machine and folks choose not to read. Also check Roland site for videos on printing with white. YOur serial number is your access.

I don't know if it is a BN-20 thing but it is still see through if I don't use overprint. It is quite limiting as a Return to Origin is not accurate on larger jobs and the second print over the top may not line up perfectly. This also means I can print one job at a time..... You can see the wood through the white in the attached image.


Why do you see the wood underneath? 

So several things:

You need to read the manual on using white

You should not have any objects under your white (they should be knocked out)

White should be printed to the clear media

If you are using for inside application then white is printed last to make the cmyk opaque

Hi Irving,

To address your points, the wood is the surface to which the sticker is applied. The photo I sent shows only a single coat of the white ink on a sticker that is stuck onto a wooden surface.

  • I have read the manual several times and I am using White -> CMYK to print.
  • White is the base I use to print on clear. If I need white to be showing over a colour background, I use a white base (colour on top) and cut out the area I need as white from the coloured background. I usually put another white layer over the cut-out section.
  • Always
  • White->CMYK so that the surface cannot be seen

I am currently using a 2 times white overprint and returning to origin. I am then doing another White-CMYK over the top. It seems to provide the best results but it means that I can only work on one job at a time and it takes hours. Hopefully, there is something else to try as this is not efficient and it is costing me a fortune in time.

Got it, and know you would need the larger machine to get some what better times.

Hi Irving. With printing white ink as a base, should I leave time for ink to outgas before printing over the top or is that only a time delay before laminating? I usually leave 24 hours before laminating and a minimum of 3 hours between printing white and then colour over the top (return to origin). I hope this makes sense.

The machine is design and prints slow enough not to need to print your white pass then cmyk.

You can do that though by printing adding time in the print area, then return to origin.

It makes plenty of sense, just do not think it will help, but you can test both and see for your self.


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