I imagine the HP Designjet Z3100 isn’t the only printer with an automatic cutter that doesn’t want to cut canvas. Afterall, canvas is tough material, with all that weave, warp, bias and such. If you try it (inadvertently of course, as I have done), the cutter jams up pretty quickly because the canvas just drags and bunches up.
So, you have to trim the canvas manually. To do this, you press the paper advance button several times to move the roll forward until the rear edge of the print clears the front of the printer. Then you can trim it off (I use scissors). However, you then need to get the canvas back into printing position. Interestingly, there is no button to pull the canvas back into position (I wish there was)! So what do you do?
For a long time, I thought the only procedure was to perform a paper “Unload”, pull the roll out the back and then reload the roll.
However, there is an easier way. Just lift the big blue handle (ignore the warning if you get one), reach around the back and rotate the spindle hub by hand until the front edge of the canvas is back into printing position. Then lower the big blue handle. The printer will do a quick paper check and will be ready to print again. Simple.
I am happy to report that in firmware version 188.8.131.52-5 released in late August 2008, HP added a “Move Paper” function accessible through the front panel. It allows you to advance and retract the paper/canvas without cutting it, unloading it, lifting the big blue handle or pressing the paper advance button. This can be done by going to Paper Menu , Move paper and then using the Up and Down arrows on the Front Panel. By holding down the Up or Down arrow, the paper/canvas will retract or advance smoothly and precisely by any desired amount.
For trimming canvas, the Move Paper function lets you precisely and smoothly advance the canvas to where you can safely trim it at the right size and then smoothly retract the canvas so the leading edge is back in the proper printing position.
Thanks HP–it’s exactly what I wanted!