Postmark's CMYK Print Engine is now supported by the Navigator RIP.
This RIP is also marketed under the name "Maestro".
Navigator supports 4 printers.
The PM-417D with dye ink
The PM-417P with pigment ink.
The PM-836D with dye ink
The PM-836P with pigment ink
The Navigator system provides color management and screening at the full speed of the printer. The RIP supports both 1200 and 600 dpi modes for full control over speed and quality.
ICC color profiles ship with the RIP but you may add your own as well.
Required components: The output plugin installer. Navigator Server version 6.4 or later. Navigator RIP version 11.0r3 or later.
The correct components are bundled together in a unified installer available on the Postmark installation DVD.
Architecture: The system consists of 3 components: the Navigator Server, the Navigator RIP, and the Navigator Client. The Server and RIP are not generally interacted with beyond configuration. The user will interact with the Client application on a daily basis. The Client can be installed on any networked Macintosh or Windows computer. It may also run on the actual RIP computer but that isn't necessary. The processing occurs in the Server and RIP applications, but the User controls the system from the Client.
In addition to the Postmark specific information available on this page, other relevant links may be useful as well.
The Postmark RIP uses the Navigator Server, the Navigator RIP, and the RIP's color management engine, ColorPro.
1. Connect your printer's USB port to a USB port on the RIP computer.
2. Connect the serial communications port on your printer to a USB port on the RIP computer via the supplied USB-to-Serial serial port adapter.
3. Check under Computer Management in the RIP computer's OS for 3 pieces of necessary information.
Take note of the serial COM port number of the USB-to-Serial adapter. (in this example, "COM3")
Take note of the name of the device. (In this example, Canon-finetechPM-200A). It is the portion after "Canon-finetech" that is important and differentiates the different supported models. (In this example, PM-200A)
You must also determine the USB port ID for the printer. This is shown in the properties of that device. There are quite a few different "property" categories. Your information is under "Device instance path". (in this example, "USB001")
If you are able to see both the printer and the adapter, and you have obtained the three pieces of information (in this example, "COM3", "PM-200A", and "USB001") you are ready to run the Xitron RIP installer.
4. Insert the hardware protection key (A.K.A. the dongle) into an available USB port. Insert the DVD. If you have autorun enabled, it will begin the installation. If not, you can start it yourself by double-clicking the installer application on the root level of the disk. It takes a few minutes to unpack the installation files. Do not be stressed out by this dialog box:
5.Click through the following screens. . .
6. Unless you are doing some repair or troubleshooting, take the top choice as shown.
7. You will have received a license key in the package. Enter it on this screen.
8. Your life will be more fulfilling if you take our recommendation for the next two screens. Support will be easier, documentation will be more applicable. Etcetera.
9. Just wait.
1. We're not ready to print yet. Visit this file and open it with a text editor.
It will look like this:
What you need to do is make sure that ComPortName=COM3 matches the COM port name from the computer management dialog box. If your port has a different number in the computer management dialog box, you must change this text file to match.
If you delete the entry accidentally, or type over it, you can just type "ComPortName=COM3" (or COM1 or whatever) on its own line in this file.
2. Ok. Now you are ready to start up Navigator Server. Go ahead. It takes a few seconds to start. The Server also starts another process: the RIP. You don't have to start or stop the RIP process yourself. The Server does that.
3. Once its open, go to the "Manage Devices" menu item. Click the "+" button to add a device.
Your device type is always going to be "CFT". That stands for Canon Fine Tech. Which is the underlying printhead technology in this printer.
Your device name is up to you. (e.g. If you have purchased the Postmark 4.17 inch dye printer then you might choose to name it after Postmark's name for this printer: PM-417D.)
A note on the naming seems indicated here.
Note on the naming of printers and printhead technology.
This family of Postmark printers uses Canon Finetech printheads. You will see some references to the printhead and some references to the actual printer while going about your business so you may as well understand it.
Postmark PM-417 dye uses the CFT Print Module 200a (PM-200a)
Postmark PM-417 pigment uses the CFT Print Module 200z (PM-200z)
Postmark PM-836 dye uses the CFT Print Module 210a (PM-210a)
Postmark PM-836 pigment uses the CFT Print Module 210z (PM-210z)
In the window below it may become more clear how you wish to name your Device. There are two names: Device Name and Printer Name.
The Device Name can be different. In this case it's "PM-200A" but it could be "PM-417D" or it could be "Aunt Janet's New Printer".
Printer Name MUST be the name from computer management. In our example it was PM-200A. You can always just go look at Computer Management again. But the note on printers and printheads above may also help.
The three things you must get right in this window are the Printer Name and Port Name (from Computer Management), and the link to the printer config file. That last one should be correct already, but your Postmark support provider may instruct you to link to another file. If so, here is where to do that.
Here is what it looks like correctly configured for my 4 inch dye printer on USB001.
4. Next, go to the RIP application. Choose the Page Setup Manager . . .
Make a new page setup.
4. Open the Page Setup Manager in the RIP application and configure the RIP for output to your device.
Inside the RIP we follow the Canon Fine Tech naming convention for the printheads.
Postmark PM-417 dye is equivalent to PM-200a
Postmark PM-417 pigment is equivalent to PM-200z
Postmark PM-836 dye is equivalent to PM-210a
Postmark PM-836 pigment is equivalent to PM-210z
So to configure a RIP Page Setup for connection to a Postmark 417 dye at 600 dpi, choose the correct screening, device, and resolution, as shown below.
Resolution and speed
We support 2 modes and speeds.
600x600 rendering (with 1200x600 output) at 400mm/s
1200x1200 rendering and output at 200mm/s
600x600 rendering (with 1200x600 output) at 300mm/s
1200x1200 rendering and output at 150mm/s
Choose a matching speed for your resolution inside the "configure device" dialog box.
Our experience shows that errors will occur if you run the belt speed faster than indicated.
Our tests show that HDS Superfine is a good choice for the printer. However, you may wish to experiment with other screens for different printing applications. You are welcome to do so. You will need to make a new color profile if you elect to do this. Please see the RIP documention for information on screening and color management.
Make sure that your HDS Superfine screening selection uses the same configuration choices as we show below:
Putting all of these things together in one Page Setup again for review....
The Page Setup below is configured to drive a narrow dye printer (PM417D) at 1200dpi on copy paper.
ICC Color Management
The final piece to the puzzle is the color profile. Information about how to configure Color profiles was linked at the start of this document (and also right here).
Postmark and Xitron continue to make new profiles for these devices. Please contact your Postmark support provider to inquire about a profile for your preferred substrate. The RIP ships with several profiles as well. If you know how, you can make your own ICC profiles and install them in the RIP.
The general requirement for moving past this stage is to have 2 Page Setups and a number of ColorPro Setups created.
The 2 Page Setups you will want are 1200dpi and 600dpi at appropriate speeds.
The ColorPro setups you will want are any of the included, general purpose ones (such as Copy Paper) and any specific to your substrates.
Once you have those you can continue to the Client application.
The Client application
The Client app has two main windows relevant to the Postmark printer.
A job manager view and a printer device monitor. You can see them below.
The Job Manager window appears automatically when you launch the Client. To open the Device Monitor, open the Client application and go to the View menu.
You can see from the Client picture that you can have many workflows for different situations. You can have pre-programmed processing paths for different resolutions and paper profiles. Dragging a PDF to the appropriate workflow causes the system to start. Each Workflow you create will create its own Hot Folder at C:/Navigator/Workflows. This folder is shared so that anyone on the network can see it.
You may submit jobs either by dragging and dropping onto the client window or by putting files directly into these hotfolders.
To see what elements are inside a workflow click on that workflow in the left column. You will then see the Workflow Actions it uses and any jobs that have been submitted to that workflow.
To make a new workflow you can duplicate an existing one and then make changes.
To change from Glossy Paper to Copier Paper, just change the Paper Profile from the dropdown list shown below. That dropdown list named "Paper Profile" is a list of the ColorPro setups you have made in the RIP.
Normally you will operate the printer with two Client windows open: The Job Manager and the Device Monitor. Sometimes maintenance must be performed on the printer. You can open the maintenance utility by clicking on the Maintenance Utility button.
It looks like this:
This maintenance utility was not written by Xitron. We simply provide a link within the software to open it. The documentation for that utility is attached to this article; below.
Because the Postmark RIP uses the Navigator Server, the Navigator RIP, and ColorPro, these are going to be of particular interest:
Some videos of particular relevance are below.