3880 Photo Black ink feed is leaky. Printer still OK for Piezography Pro?

My 5-year-old Epson 3880, currently loaded with Epson ink, has developed the widely documented problem where the Photo Black ink feed system develops a leak and drips Photo Black ink all over whatever paper you feed through it.

But Matte Black mode is unaffected and still works perfectly.

For color work, I’m thinking of replacing the 3880 with a P800. And I’m thinking of converting the 3880 for use with Piezography Pro. I last used Piezography over 10 years ago with an Epson 1160 and a CIS, so I’m not new to Piezography in general. But it’s been a while, so I have a series of questions related to making sure that using my 3880 with Piezography Pro is feasible. And if it is, I want to make sure I order the right supplies.

[li]Given that the photo black ink feed of my 3880 is leaky, should I use this printer with Piezography?[/li][li]Because Photo Black does not work, is it practical to use this printer with the Piezography Photo Black in the Matte Black position? I’m asking this because I would prefer to print B&W on gloss/baryta.[/li][li]Given that my 3880 is currently loaded with Epson inks, I assume I need to flush out those inks before loading Piezography Pro?[/li][li]Is it easy to reproduce the Piezography Carbon toning using the Piezography Pro warm ink set?[/li][/ul]
If I can use Piezography Pro Photo Black through the matte ink feed of my 3880, is the following the correct list of items I will need to order to convert my 3880 to Piezography Pro?
[li]Set of 8 cartridges with syringes[/li][li]Set of 8 control chips[/li][li]Set of 8 Piezography Pro inks (Photo Black only), warm tone[/li][li]PiezoFlush solution[/li][li]QuadTone RIP license for Mac[/li][/ul]
Is that more than I need, less than I need, or just right?

I hope this is possible and affordable, because the Piezography BW prints I made on my 1160 before it died are the best black and white prints I’ve made on any medium, darkroom or digital.

I hope this tech support question can be answered soon, because I’d like to be able to make a go/no-go purchase decision before the Piezography Pro pre-sale discount expires. Thanks!

Hi Carbon~

It sounds like your PK damper may be acting up, and no longer providing good ink flow. The solution would be to replace the ink supply system (which includes the damper unit), but if you feel the MK and all other channels work well, and you prefer printing on glossy media, then you could get a Pro Gloss only setup, and install the PK ink in your MK channel, and leave your printer in MK mode. Knowing that your printer is 5 yrs old and having issues with one damper, I will warn you that it may start having other issues in the near future, and flushing then charging with Pro inks could cause flow issues if your dampers or other parts are nearing the end of their life. Have you ever followed our instructions for manually cleaning your printer’s internal components, such as the capping station, wiper blade + bottom of the print head?

Piezography Pro has a very warm tone ink set, that is similar though not exactly the same as Carbon K7.

You will need cartridges installed in all 9 channels of your printer, and refill carts come with reset chips attached (you just need to add OEM chips).
The Piezography pro ink set consists of a set of three warm and three cool tone inks, along with black (photo black, in your case) and Gloss Overprint. You get a warm tone print by using the curve blending sliders in QuadTone RIP, by using all or mostly the warm tone curve.

For Mac, you will need to purchase/download/install both QuadTone RIP and QTR Print Tool from www.quadtonerip.com

If you were impressed with your Piezography output on an 1160 (12+ years ago?), then you will be amazed by the quality and capabilities of Pro!

Please let me know if you have further questions, or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Warmly~ Dana :slight_smile:

Hmmm.I will think about the potential issues your raised given the age of the printer. It sounds like if I want to use Piezography with the least chance of trouble, I’ll either have to sink some money into repairing/refurbishing and cleaning this 3880, or pick up a newer printer that can be used with Piezography.

One thing I’m considering is that I also have a dead 3800 (unresolvable clogs, tried everything). While I am not likely to pay a service center the hundreds of dollars it would take to fix the 3880, I may try opening up both the 3800 and 3880 myself, and swapping in the ink supply system from the 3800 into the 3880 to see if that makes the 3880 fully functional. Right now I’m reviewing your thread about damper replacement.

Thanks for your advice, Dana, now I have a better idea of what to consider before jumping in.

Keep in mind the ink supply from the older/clogged 3800 may be in worse condition than the one currently in your 3880.

Yes, I’ve considered that. What I might do is order a PiezoFlush cleaning kit and see how far I get, see how gunked up the printers are inside. That might tell me whether I should make any further investments in refurbishment plus the several hundred dollars it will take to get back into Piezography from scratch. If I decide to buy a replacement ink system, I would prefer to have Compass Micro put it in, but that wouldn’t be cheap either.

Ultimately I hope you guys find a way to make the P800 work with Piezography Pro, because the world seems to be running out of affordable 17x22 printers that can take third party inks. (I don’t have the money or the space for a 4900)