Epson 3880 with non-working yellow print head - what are my options?


One of my Epson 3880 printers yellow channel stopped working. I had been using it for Piezography and printing with matte paper. I think I inadvertedly didn’t replace it before the ink ran out on that channel and after a year+ of not printing, was able to get all other channels working and did the whole Epson program flushing with PiezoFlush + all the QTR channel printing, only to verify that all the other channels were printing correctly, except for the yellow one.

Took the printer to my closest Epson Service Center and got the call today that after trying to flush the head, it’s just not working/very clogged and unrepairable. Epson doesn’t have any new heads since the printer has been discontinued for several years, and they won’t purchase heads from other parties.

I’m just reading that the printer only needs 6 channels to print on matte paper (I’m still using the original Selenium Piezography inks), so I’m wondering what is the best course of action to try to save the printer.

Thanks for any guidance and recommendations. I’m willing to buy a new head if the price is reasonable and its state is healthy (whatever that may mean). Just don’t want to get ripped off on eBay or anywhere else.


Dear Rene, all you need to do is install the Piezography community edition and then use the Curves-HD/3880-K6 curves. This bypasses the Yellow channel and you are a’ok, no need to do anything with the yellow.


Thanks, Walter!

So the default behavior of the K6 curves is to always ignore the Yellow channel? Is this the channel that usually clogs irreversibly in these printers?

For the HD curve, do I use my standard inkset? Or do I need new HD inks? I don’t quite understand the difference between the old and the new HD curves/system.

I’ll review the information online, and ask you any additional questions that may come up. The K6 HD curve will be for Matte paper only, correct?

Thanks for everything,


yes, it ignores the yellow channel.

No the yellow generally never clogs.

you can use either standard or new but the curves were made for new. Either will work though, better performance with New.

Either matte or gloss yes.

Hi Walker,

As I’m getting ready to set up my printer as you advised, I discovered that the bottles of ink I have state “Expiration date” = 2017 and some in 2016. The 2017 are brand new bottles, never opened, but also, stored all these years upright and without turning them regularly as I see you recommend.

Shall I discard them and order new ones? What can happen if I shake them vigorously and then fill the cartridges? I definitely don’t want to end up with bad prints or worse, clog the printer.

Please advise. I’m preparing an order for HD matte ink, so if necessary, I’ll purchase a whole set for this and my other full-working printer.



Piezography inks are actually quite immortal. The expiration dates are more of a reference point for US when we store them in the warehouse so we don’t accidentally ship old ink but really you can successfully print with these inks after a good shake and sit-for-24hrs cycle.



Excellent! Thanks.

BTW, what’s the sit-for-24hrs cycle?


After shaking, let it sit so all the bubbles come out. Then you can use the ink.


Ahhh, perfect! Thanks again!

I’ll order the HD ink today.