About the Printer Maintenance & Cartridges category

In this forum, Registered InkjetMall Customers can post questions about printer maintenance, IJM cartridges, and more. Non-registered users who have not requested access will be able to view but not post.

We do not officially offer support for fixing printer hardware. We support our inks and cartridges (products we sell) and not products that others sell. But we have many decades of experience fixing printers and if we have the time, we’ll help you on your journey.

Just a note, Epson printers are not always friendly machines. They are full of moving parts and they will eventually all die from use. Some printers last really well (ehem, 9880, ehem) and some printers have problems like the x900 and SureColor series (even though the x900s are such beautiful printers!!!). Before jumping to a conclusion that it is somehow our inks or cartridges that are at fault, please remember that we have been running x880 printers for the better part of a decade on their original OEM heads and ConeColor/Piezo inks at Cone Editions Press without a problem to the day. All that is needed is preventative maintenance and TLC. Our 9900s at CEP have lasted as long or longer on ConeColor ink and refill carts than the printers out there running OEM ink.

-IJM Support Team

3880/piezography printing very light. I have used this 3880 for piezography for 3 or 4 years successfully. I have not printed for a while, a few months. When I printed this week every image was light and lacking contract. I’m sure the input image is good so something is happening in the printer, but its very consistent. I get the same result every time and with every print. I have today done the 3880 cleaning routine Dana outlines on YouTube, run a power clean, then printed again with the same result, exactly. I’ve talked a length with my friend who is a very experienced piezography user. We’ve done everything we can think of. What should I consider next? Replace 3880? Replace any other parts?

I also run into a similar problem with my 3880. I have been using Piezography for almost 3 years and have been extremely happy with the results.
Now I have a problem with the tone rendering on the print. The dark tones from 70 % to 99 % are printed clearly lighter than what they should. The light tones are printed a little bit darker. I print with my Epson 3880 with Piezography Warm Neutral P2 = 6 shades of gray. I have made density measurements from test images with 0 - 100 % darkness with 5 % increments and also 95 - 100 % darkness with 1 % steps. For the 90 % field the density is 1.3 when it should be 1.45. The 95 % filed is 1.40 when it should be 1.6. the 98 % is 1.55 when it should be 1.70.

The nozzle check print looks perfectly fin. I also made a cleaning with Piezo Fluch according to IJM video instructions with no help.

I also printed on baryta paper with the shade 1 for glossy paper with exactly a similar result. Printed also on Canson Rag Phoptographic with the corresponding curves and same problem again.

After thees tests I found, by reading discussions on IJM that there is a possibility to print a test image where every testfield is printed solely with only one inking channel by using calibration mode on QTR / Print tool. QTR Cal Mode Flush images / QTR-8Channel flush.tif

The measured densities of every field of this image are: The MattBlack HD density is 1,62. Shade 2 is 1,09. S 3 is 0,94, S 4 0,79, S 5 0,48 and S 6 0,33 density units. Every ink channel filed is very even with no density variations. ore banning.

What should the densities of every single channel print fileld be, printed with warm Neutral on Hahnemule Matt Fibre paper? Probably the densities on this paper are a little lower than printed on for example Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. Does the measured densities that I here write give any hint where the problem could be?

I live in Finland and buy the Piezography inks from Taos in France who is the European diler for IJM.

br Lasse

Please prints the 129 Step target and measure and upload the measurements here and I will compare/graph it again linear.


Hello Walker

If I understand you correct this means that new linearization curves should be made for all papers I use?

Do you have any idea what the reason for the change in tone rendering could be? Is it common that there is such a shift in the output of a 3880? Is the change a signal that my 3880 is approaching it’s end of life?

I will print the 129 target (Piezography-129step-Spyder.tiff) and come back with the measurements. I will do it on Hahnemule Photo Rag 308 gsm.

Is it possible to upload the 129step tiff as a target to SpyderPrint software? Where to find instructions how to do it?

Do you need Lab values or only L?

br Lasse

Most likely this is simply a case of having not agitated the ink carts and then printed out sedimented ink. If so, I can do 1 calibration for the 1 measurement you send and this can be applied to all the curves you use to get them back into spec.

These inks need to be agitated weekly.


If sedimented ink is the reason should I just agitate the carts and print 20? A4 / letter sized sheets with the 8channel flush image? A new calibration will lead to too dark rendering after the well agitated ink comes back in use.

Is it shade 2 or 3 that now lack density based on my previous measurements of the 8 Channel flush image (The MattBlack HD density is 1,62. Shade 2 is 1,09. S 3 is 0,94, S 4 0,79, S 5 0,48 and S 6 0,33 density units.)? Which are the target densities per ink shade on Hahnemule Photo Rag? I suppose the best would be to print just that flash image where the problem is. Why consume the other shades inks?

br Lasse

In my previous statement I said you most likely printed out sedimented ink so your ink that remains is permanently lighter. It is good to agitate anyway and do 3 power cleanings to clear your lines and then test. But most likely it will remain light and you need to calibrate for now until you put new ink in the printer.

Always agitate after extended printer sits and always do that before running any cleaning or printing on the printer.


Can you give the target densities so I know which ink shade(s) has the problem?

br Lasse

I don’t have the target densities for this printer and ink combo as I do all the R&D on a very different platform.


Hello Walker

I emptied the shade 2 and 3 cartridges and filled them with new ink. How many letter size papers do I have to print with half the sheet covering QTR-C flush.tif(shade 2 ink channel) and the other half with QTR-LC flush.tif (shade 3 ink channel) in Print Tool calibration mode to get the new ink on the. printed sheet?

br Lasse

10 full letter size sheets per channel


1 Like

Hello Walker.

I just got out my first “proofofpiezography-21” test image and it looks that everything is as it should be. A tiny bit still too light in the dark tones but it is not yet dry so it will be fine.

Thank you for your help.

1 Like

you are welcome,