The underlying technology is very similar to a mimeograph. It brings together several processes, which were previously carried out manually, for example using the Riso Print Gocco system or the Gestetner system.
The original is scanned through the machine and a master is created, by means of tiny heat spots on a thermal plate burning voids (corresponding to image areas) in a master sheet. This master is then wrapped around a drum and ink is forced through the voids in the master. The paper runs flat through the machine while the drum rotates at high speed to create each image on the paper.
Step 1: Getting Ready
Remember that every different color you want to print, you have to print separate. So you have to think in layers. Also remember that you have to make a lot of prints to check the quality of it, so you have to use a lot of paper.
Accessories needed: drums in the needed colors, a lot of (used) paper, the layers you want to print and of course a risograph.
Step 2: Preparing
Turn the risograph on.
Place the drum with the color you want to use first in the risograph.
Lay down the first layer you want to print on the glass sheet.
Place a stack of paper in the paper holder. I always use used paper to test so no paper is wasted.
Step 3: Make a Master
Now you have to make a master layer. If you look at the panel of the risograph, you can see the green light burning at the M of master. This is all you have to prepare to make a master. Press the green button. After a little time and a lot of noise one copy is coming out with the first layer printed. But the copy will be very faint. Make another 10 copies. After a couple of copies you will see the print appear.
Step 4: Determine the Placement
Are you not happy with the placement of the print? To move it forewords or backwards you can use the buttons (1). To move it to the right or left side you have to turn the wheel (2).
Step 5: Ready to Print!
Now you can use plain paper to print the first layer!
Step 6: Errors
Some errors that you may encounter:
If this icon (1) is popping up, probably your paper is stuck in the risograph. Check if everything is right and push the button with the same icon to start again with printing.
Is your paper getting dirty? Clean the wheel in the paper holder, there’s probably some ink on it.
If this icon (2) is popping up you need to refill the paper.
Step 7: Printing the Second Layer
To print the second layer, you have to repeat the first steps. Change the color drum, change the paper on the glass sheet, make a master layer and make some test copies by using used paper.
If you’re happy with the copy, you can start to print the second layer on the first layer. Put the first copies you made
with the first layer in the paper holder and make some test copies. If you’re not happy with the placement of the second layer, you can change it with the tools I mentioned earlier.
Step 9: The End
After a lot testing, checking and changing you finally have your own riso printed copy!