Back in the beginning of 2009, I got a new printer, an Epson R1900. I got it because I wanted a wider format printer. It prints 13" wide. They have wider formats, but this was perfect for my needs. Printing transfers for shirts.
It has eight different cartridges. And that gets expensive when you're printing a lot of stuff. I usually bought the off-brand cartridges, but it could still get spendy.
About two and a half years ago, I became aware of the continuous ink system (CIS). And I was very interested. When I found that this system would work with my printer, I ordered one from CISInks.com. There were two types of ink available, pigment and dye. I went with the dye ink after finding out that the images could be just as vibrant on the transfers, it all came down to settings.
Besides the instructions that came with the system, I also watched some videos. Here is one that was very helpful. Part of the system installed in the video is different than mine, but the actual installation of the cartridge pack is the same.Brian had to help me get the lid off of the old cartridge system, it broke, but I really don't need it any more. I doubt I'd ever go back to the individual cartridges. He also cut part of the top of the printer out so that the tube/ribbon wouldn't be affected when the lid was closed. Clicking on any of these pictures will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.
Then there was the ink waste. When the printer prints, there is excess ink. When the heads are cleaned during maintenance, when you change a cartridge, there is excess ink. This ink normally is dumped into a waste pad at the bottom of the printer. It builds up over time and will kill the printer. I had no idea about this, but when I originally blogged about this, a comment was left, alerting me to the potential for major printer damage and how to prevent it. I ended up getting a waste ink system at RepublicInks.com. I needed Brian's help drilling the holes for the tubes, I was able to do all of the other modifications myself and it's worked nicely ever since.
Size difference in the tanks against the cartridge. The ink to fill the tank is $5.99 for 100ml. That fills a tank more than once.
There is another problem that comes with this printer. Because of the waste ink dump to that pad in the bottom, over time, that pad will get full and the machine will no longer work. The printer has an internal counter that thinks it knows when saturation has been reached by the number of pages printed. With the dump tanks, there's no longer the problem of saturation, but the printer doesn't know where the ink is going, it just keeps counting. Epson used to have a utility on their website that would set the counter to zero, but they no longer support it. Fortunately, there is a website that has a counter reset program. The download is free, a trial reset will give you a 10% reduction in the counter, buying a key will allow you to reset the counter to zero.I really think this system is a great system. The only drawback I've had is of my own making. If I don't regularly do the maintenance, say, turn it on every couple of days, the printer heads start to get a little clogged. Running the cleaning cycle uses a lot of ink, but the time it takes bothers me more than the ink waste. Remember the problems I had a couple of weeks ago when I tried to print the negatives for my stampmaker. After doing all of that cleaning and printing (all of the PDF instruction pages for my kits, close to five hundred pages of high quality printing), the last nozzle check I had was perfect. And this is when I found that counter reset utility.So, what can I do with a CIS? Well, print my own cardstock, for one thing. The darker colors aren't as vibrant as manufactured stock, but the lighter prints turn out nicely. I used paper I'd printed in the Christmas cards I sent out last year. I also used my own paper in the haunted mansion I made for one of my besties:And the box I made to "wrap" it in.Then there's the special gift bag I made to carry a special afghan.And these adorable little one piece boxes. This paper design is one I made. I had a cardstock stack (pad of preprinted cardstock) and I really liked one of the patterns, but used all but one sheet. When I looked for it online, it appeared it had been discontinued. So, I made my own. Took me hours..... I made multiples of this pattern printing on both sides of the paper. One side I set the printer to a little lighter color. I really like how it turned out.If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'll help you as much as I can.