Problem Printing with Ricoh SG3110DN


We occasionally get phone calls from clients who are using Ricoh printers for dye sublimation, who have one of a few common sublimation printing problems, often leading to self inflicted hair removal ;-). 

This post is intended as a quick explanation for anyone who has these common issues. 

1: Banding Issue

Probably the most common issue on the SG3110DN, the banding issue is usually caused by print head alignment, which is an easy thing to fix. 

Press the menu button, scroll down to maintenance, press #, scroll down to head position, press #, it’ll display “print head pattern”, click # again. You will then see that you can scroll through four options, high quality, standard, low quality, envelope print. Print the head pattern for each, and then go back to head position, and select Adjusment, and follow the instructions to select the lines which are the closest in alignment. When you’ve done this for each, press the back button (bendy arrow) to go back to the main “ready” screen, then turn the printer off, wait a few seconds and turn it back on again. Then do a print, and if the banding issue isn’t fully fixed, repeat the process. This usually works first time, occasionally though it takes a couple of goes, but it’s rare that it doesn’t fix the problem.

If this doesn’t work, if you’re not using the power driver, just double check what paper type you have selected, make sure you have Inkjet plain paper selected, and “quality priority”.

The only time we have heard of banding issues which cannot be fixed this way, is with people running cheap, non sawgrass sublimation inks and CIS systems. If you are having any kind of an issue which you’re struggling to resolve, and you are running with a CIS system or refillable cartridges using non Sawgrass ink, the best bet would be to give the supplier a call and ask them for support.

2: Print looks fine on paper, but only partially sublimates.

 We have had this a surprising number of times now over the years. A customer will phone and say everything was fine, and then all of a sudden the quality of the prints just started to go down hill. 

It looks the same as it always did on the sublimation paper, but then the issue happens when pressing, often leading the customer to think that it’s an issue with the blank, the paper or their press. 

The simple answer to this issue is…

Oops, you installed the wrong cartridge! 

These printers often come with standard inks in the box, and occasionally these are put to one side, and then mistaken for dye sub inks later down the line, which is where problems begin. 

It’s made more difficult to spot the error seeing as the standard ink won’t start running through straight away, as you’ll have some dye still in the tubes, and by the time the ink begins to run through and the image on the blank begins to deteriorate, it’s a bit later and it often isn’t instantly associated with the cartridge change. 

The other issue that can cause this, is the misunderstanding that some make in thinking that the SG3110DN are purely dye sublimation printers. Some people think this is the case, and therefore when they see cartridges available for them much cheaper than Sublijet R, they don’t realise that there is also standard ink available for this printer.  This issue would’t happen with the Sawgrass Virtuoso printer, as these are purely dye sublimation printers, so you won’t find anyone selling standard printing inks for the virtuoso. 

If you make this mistake, it’s a case of getting yourself a waste ink tank, some new sublimation ink cartridges, and running any of the relevant colours through until the dye gets all the way through the pipes, doing the odd small test press to see if it’s sublimating yet. 

We’ve had a couple of customers who have done this on all cartridges, accidentally installing the full set of inks, who made the decision that this was probably the right time to upgrade their printer anyway, to save themselves the hassle.

3: Black looks Brown. 

This usually isn’t a printer issue but is often mistaken as such. Black Dye sublimation dyes are prone to burning, which turns them a reddish brown colour. So if you’re seeing brown on the blank when it should be black, try dropping temp and / or time, and see what happens.  

4: Colours don’t quite look right.

Have you set everything up as per the setup instructions 

5: Error SC21100

This one isn’t all that common, but if you do get it, it’s to do with the encoder strip, which is a grey almost clear strip of plastic which is attached to the carriage. More than likely it just has some dust on it and needs a wipe. 

If you lift the top cover, and look down,  not directly where the carriage band is but behind the metal towards the front of the printer slightly, you’ll see it. 

Encoder strip on SG3110 and Sawgrass Virtuoso
Plastic cover has been removed, to give a better view of the encoder strip. It’s exactly the same with the Sawgrass Virtuoso.

If you have something like a big lint free cleaning swab / Q tip cleaner, you may be able to give the encoder strip a wipe without removing the plastic cover that will get in your way – but removing the plastic cover as we have done in the image above isn’t too much trouble. 

There is a screw on the top plastic cover that  needs unscrewing, and then this plastic cover slides out (it’s a bit fiddly). The encoder strip can be wiped with a clean lint free cloth, but make sure you don’t use any kind of cleaning solution.

The above is all almost identical by the way for the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400. 

6: Error SC20000

Try doing the same as above, giving the encoder strip a wipe, and then turning the printer off and on again.

7: Error 28212

The fix for this error is to trick the printer into thinking you have changed the print head.

Press the up and down arrows simultaneously, hold for about 10 seconds, and then press the # key. You’ll then see the service menu. Press the down arrow once, to get to Engine Maint, then press # again, and you will see the SP number. Enter the code here, by using the arrow to select each number, going through 1,2,3 etc, to get the correct number for each, and press # when you’ve got to the correct number.  

The code you need to enter is 3009002, when you press # on the last number, you will see the message “CARRIAGE CHANGE 3009002″ press #, and you’ll see the word “EXEC”, press # again, it will ask you once more “OK?”, press # again. It will get back to EXEC, at this point press the back button three times , press the arrows up until you see “end”, and press enter. Finally turn the printer off with the power button, turn it back on again, and the error 28212 error should be removed.

Other Errors.

There are some errors that will require you to call Ricoh, or Sawgrass. If you have a Sawgrass Virtuoso printer and you have any kind of an error, then Sawgrass tech support will be able to help. If you have an issue with your SG3110DN or other Ricoh printer running Sawgrass ink, then Sawgrass tech support may be able to help also. You can phone Ricoh and request technical support, but note that as soon as they know you’re using anything other than their original print cartridges, they’ll more than likely refuse to carry out any warranty repairs. 

If all else fails, give us a bell, on 01625 876949 – and don’t worry if you didn’t buy the printer from us, doesn’t matter, we’ll still try to help. 

Please note: You may void your warranty by attempting any repair on your printer, and we advise that you speak to the supplier from whom you purchased your printer before attempting to carry out any maintenance or repairs. 

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