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360 Print Issues


New Member
I’ve been fighting with this thing for a bit now and can’t get it to print properly.

It started with every so often I would get a couple inches of the print where everything was blurry like the heads weren’t aligned. It would fade in and out. (There was another recent thread with this issue)

So I aligned the heads and cleaned the encoder strip, seemed to have fixed it for a bit, but the next day I’m getting the same issue but worse. Instead of fading in and out, it’s constant. Plus I’m getting generic carriage movement errors and the print is skewing.

I got prompts to clean the encoder several times, which I did, nothing was coming off of it, cloth was still clean. I tried to do an optimize image quality and got errors saying the sensor couldn’t read the white of the vinyl properly. I did some sensor calibrations and switched to paper and it would go through the optimization but everything was still blurry. I took out the carriage lubrication felt which is black around where it makes contact with the rod (I ordered a new one). Also the rod doesn’t feel very lubricated except in the service station.

Got a message saying line sensor out of life, I cleaned the line sensor (that got rid of the message) and swapped to a new maintenance cartridge, same issue.

The prints look like they are registering fine until they hit the second row of heads, then it’s looks like those heads are misaligned by quite a bit.

I tried a manual printhead alignment, no difference.

Since the encoder caused a bit of skew and blurriness in the past (not to this degree),I was thinking about cleaning the sensor on the carriage that reads the encoder strip but the scan axis test shows problem areas consistent with each pass so I wouldn’t think that would help.

I’ve attached some pics of the results I’m getting. Any idea as to what’s causing all this? Time for a new encoder? Our SMK3 is at 80%, if this is possibly related to that.


  • Skew.jpg
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  • Scan Axis Test.jpg
    Scan Axis Test.jpg
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  • PH Alignment.jpg
    PH Alignment.jpg
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Active Member
Very strange. So our technician once told us to check if the the two white pads were touching on the brackets that form an X underneath the machine. He said if they weren't touching or they were out of line the machine will start doing weird stuff.

Also, when you were cleaning the encoder strip, was it always dirty or was it clean? Maybe something is causing it to get dirty every time it goes back into the hole!

Have you double checked your firmware?


New Member
The pads are touching, I never even noticed those were there before.

The first time I cleaned the encoder strip, a tiny bit of dirt came off, nothing compared to when I do monthly cleanings, but you could tell there was at least something there. The next two times, absolutely nothing. I even made sure to clean extra thorough on the last time.

Firmware is latest version.

I can't tell if this is something with the encoder, a sensor or mechanical from the carriage not moving properly.


New Member
Update: It was a dirty encoder sensor. I was hoping not to have to take it apart that much but ended up doing it, we're back up and running.

Thanks for the input.