Epson 3880 Misaligned Photo Black

Nozzle check consistently showing misaligned nozzles on my photo black.

Using a 3880 with P2M inks. I’ve tried the following:

  1. Humidifier keeping moisture at about 35-40% (Denver)
  2. Piezo flush on capping station, squeege
  3. Paper towel and piezoflush to underside of print head
  4. Power clean and numerous standard cleans
  5. Agitate ink carts probably twice a month

These nozzles are deflected. It’s possible that the wrong voltage is going to the head or that it’s just old and dying.

The PK ink can be put in the Yellow or LLK channel and printed from there using K6 (p2) curves.


I’ve got it on a voltage regulator. If I switch out the Yellow for the PK, then what do I do with the shade 2.5? Conversely, the 4.5 in the LLK position?

Voltage to the HEAD is no way determined or fixed by a voltage regulator. It’s determined by the Head Rank input when the epson repair/factory tech put the head into the first place.

Sorry, did not realize P2M meant (negatives. Meth3?)

You still want to use this for Meth3 yah? This printer is no longer capable of doing both Meth3 and K6.


What I need it for is digital negatives. Is there a workaround if I give up the postive/k6 option?

Can you explain the common reasons why nozzles become deflected?


Walker, would I use version 2 set up for digital negs?

It looks like version 2 is the only version that omits the K ink position.

This deflection has always puzzled me too. When I’ve looked at diagrams of an Epson piezo head, the exit of the nozzle appears to be simply a hole in a ceramic or glass plate. The ink seems to be “flicked” by the piezo element, and directed by the “hole”.

Based on my understanding, the deflection appears to be caused by either a damaged piezo element flicking the ink the wrong way through the “hole”, or a buildup up pigment on the inside of the hole drawing the flicked ink in a new direction. If it is the damaged piezo element, I can see this being a permanent situation, and the channel not being usable anymore. (Is this condition caused by running too many clean cycles or using the printer too much with clogged nozzles, overheating the piezo element?)

If it is a buildup of pigment causing the flicked ink to be drawn in the wrong direction, I suppose if it were to sit with piezoflush for a long time it might clear. I’m hedging my bets on damaged piezo elements given that I’ve not heard of deflected nozzles repairing themselves.

Forgive me if my reply seems oversimplified. But, if I know the main causes this condition (overheating nozzles?), perhaps I can avoid this condition and have many great loving years with my printer.


In my experience with well over 400 of these printers at this point, I would say old funky piezo elements are to blame for deflection probably in combo with worn out holes. It is very un-usual to see deflected nozzles un-deflect when there are so many. A nozzle that has crud in the outlet hole that causes a deflect usually does so somewhat randomly and in a splayed fashion (sometimes making two lines or a soft line). This nozzle pattern suggest old head and old piezo elements.

Meth3 uses no black ink.

Here’s all the placement charts (complex).

Our upcoming PiezoDN system will use K ink but not 2.5 and 4.5. It will use 1-6 + GO so you would be able to use C,M,Lc,Lm,Y,Lk,LLK channels with this and still be able to print with P2 curves for Piezography and negs for Palladium (soon platinum + a ton of others).

That said, I’m not sure how long your head is going to live . . .

best all,