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Inkjets Answered

So, I just saw this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-uN2Dmn0M

I know there are inkjet refills for sale..so why couldn't we make our own ink? Maybe starting with pen refills?

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What about laser printers? A laser toner cartridge is a lot more expensive an ink cartridge, but it will do a lot more pages. Cash-per-page, how do laser and ink-jet compare?

. Since I do very little printing, ink jet cartridges have a tendency to dry out or gum up before I get more than a dozen or so pages. So that's $3-4/page. . A toner cart costs me $60-70 bucks, but I can get 1500+ pages out of it. Less than five cents per page.

Yeah, I used similar logic (ink cartridges dry up) to justify my color laser printer (An HP2600N. Works nice.) It's only depressing that a new set of cartridges costs nearly the same as a new printer. (4 cartridges @ about $85 each! Ouch.) So now I have an HP2600DN ($299 on sale...) and a perfectly functioning but empty 2600N chassis. (I did some experiments refilling the cartridges with cheap toner. It didn't work :-( ) A $300 printer prints some 1500+ pages, which isn't too bad... For photos, services like costco, walgreens, etc are somewhat cost-effective compared to home inkjet printing (less so for full pages, alas.)

> 4 cartridges @ about $85 each! Ouch. . Ouch is right! Thank goodness I don't need color. . . Since I don't print much, a used laser will last me 2-4 years before the drum wears out. There is a place here in town that sells "passed inspection" (ie, still in good shape, but not rebuilt) lasers for $200 w/cart (I suspect it's the cart that was in the printer when they got it, but so far they've given me 1000+ pages and I'm on my 3rd printer from them). I'm using a H-P Laserjet 1100, right now.

$3-4 a page?! That sucks, you should buy different cartridges. L

. At 600dpi (may even be 1200), it does pretty good. If I need something in color (very seldom), I can just get a friend or family to print it for me. Give 'em a buck for ink and paper and everybody is happy. . Granted, my laser probably won't do photo-quality by your standards, but it does OK by mine. :)

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westfw

10 years ago

It'd be a more impressive video if it wasn't propaganda for a company selling "slightly less overpriced" ink. Note that some inkjet cartridges include the printhead as well as ink, so you get a new printhead every time you replace the cartridge. Even without that, you might want to remember that an inkjet makes extremely small droplets of ink, so slight amounts of impurities might have bad consequences. And the flip side of expensive ink is really cheap printers. As it happens, I did some consulting for HP and received one of the original HP thinkjet printers as part of my payment, and later won one of the original HP painjet printers at a trade show. Those were both about $500 printers when they were introduced, and didn't produce very good output (and ink was still "expensive" even if not by todays standards as shown in the video.) Now you can buy a printer that does near-photo quality for well less than $100. To some extent, ink cost is irrelevant: measure cost per page from the time you get your printer till you replace it, including the cost of the printer and ink. And you can always pick a printer based on availability of cheap third-party ink. Or pick up an old (probably huge) laser printer from someplace for free.

I say fill it with lemon juice and make secret messages by boiling it in cabbage water.

There are people who sell printer inks (for canon, hp, epson, lexmark etc) by the litres produced in a very low-tech backyard setup. Of course they are not from canon, epson, hp and gang if you know what i mean. And i'm pretty sure they won't be sharing the recipe with us. So, if you're wondering if it's possible, then YES..What's the chemical composition? beats me..

There are various sources for quality inkjet ink and replacement chips for those printers that require them. You can not just put any ink into the cartridges. Injet ink has to be able to break up into micro-drops and remain liquid until then. Also a change in chemistry from one ink to another could adversely effect what ink remains in the print-head, thereby clogging it. The ink in ball point pens is a gel to prevent it from leaking out around the ball. It could not be used to replace ink in an inkjet cartridge.