Troubleshooting Steps: Vertical Dots / Pizza Wheel Marks

In this article we will cover cause and solutions for these dots that appear vertically down your prints, also known as "Pizza Wheel Marks". This article will only focus on results when using sublimation paper and not vinyl.

The issue primarily occurs when you are printing an image that has large blocks of dark or black colour on it. These dots appear when the printed page is too wet with ink.  The wet ink then gets picked up by the small wheels or "cogs" located under the exit guide.  This is why we often refer to these as pizza wheel marks: it looks like someone rolled a pizza wheel across your paper.  This problem can also cause a bleeding effect where black may merge slightly with other colours around it.  In order to resolve the issue, we first need to solve the root cause.


Check your sublimation paper and print environment

Its important to check that the sublimation paper your are using is suitable for the printer and inks you have. For example, using TexPrint XP HR/ DT Light which is a type of paper designed to be used in conjunction with an Epson printer and inks. Keeping with Beaver paper in this example, you would need to be using their TexPrint R or DT Heavy paper. 

Its also recommended to check the humidity level of your print environment, 50% or under is optimal, any higher and it may start to have an effect on the printed output. When receiving your stock of paper, please also wait for it to acclimatise to your print environment prior to use.


Check your settings 

Next, check that you are selecting the correct paper setting in the Print Manager print settings. If your paper is not listed, then please choose "Type B". If bleeding still occurs, then please choose the Polyester substrate option as this profile lays down the least amount of ink. Setting the Print Quality to High Speed can also help.


Perform a couple of head flushes

If the despite following the above the issue still persists, sometimes performing a couple of of head flushes can sometimes help clear the issue. You may follow the article below on how to perform a Head Flush.

How-To: Perform a Head Flush


Clean the exit guide

The final step is to clean the little "cogs" or wheels located under the exit guide. The exit guide is the small black plastic strip you see near the front of the printer when opening the top cover of your printer. There are two methods you can apply when cleaning the exit guide. Either by performing a de-condensation which will simply feed 3 pages through the printer or by removing the exit guide itself. Below if the link for our article how to perform any of the two methods.

How-To: Clean the Exit Guide/ Feed Assist Plate (SG500/1000)


If you are still experiencing issues or have further questions regarding the press process, please contact our Sawgrass Care Team for assistance by click the 'Help' button on the bottom right of the page, or click here.