Inkjet Printing On The Cheap With A Continuous Ink System

Inkjet printers are cheap to buy, but expensive to run. Replacement cartridges can easily cost double the price of the hardware itself, leading many to decry the technology entirely. However, the hackers of the world have the problem licked – enter the continuous ink system.

[cprossu] wanted an affordable color printing solution for the hackerspace. A cheap printer was sourced from a thrift store. The model chosen was selected for its lack of cartridge DRM and the availability of kits on eBay for conversion to a continuous ink system. This involves running large refillable tanks of ink instead of small individual cartridges which must be thrown away when empty.

[cprossu] discusses both the challenges you’ll likely face in a general build, as well as the specific work required to handle the conversion on an Epson Artisan 725. There’s also excessive label-maker abuse, which always brings a smile to our face. It’s a conversion well worth considering if you find yourself regularly purchasing expensive cartridges. We’ve even seen similar builds as far back as 2009, right from the ground up!

Continuous Ink Project

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This ancient by internet standards, circa 2002, but its a great read. ¬†[Eddie], frustrated by the high cost of ink cartridges set out to build a continuous inking system. This would mean that the cartridges would be filled from larger, cheaper reservoirs of ink continually. Along the way he transitioned from simple tubes with some putty to more complicated systems. Eventually he had to hack the chips that told the printers the cartridge was in need of replacement. ¬†While the systems he’s using may be difficult to find now, the execution should work on other models. Completely unrelated to the project itself, is that [Billy Mays] as the site favicon? We suspect it is [Eddie] himself.

[via hacknmod]