Questions about R3000 refillables from a prospective purchaser

printer

#1

In this country Epson has a generous cash-back offer on the R3000 & inks until the end of Sept. We pay a lot more for printers and inks here than you do in the US, so I’m thinking seriously about getting one.

While I’ve had generally good experiences with refillables (yours and other suppliers) in my peizo printers (1410 & R1900), I’ve had a struggle with refillables (not yours) in my colour printers (2100 & R2400). I’m not a high volume colour printer and tend to print in bursts, and I also travel a bit, which results in periods without printing. It’s not clear to me whether I’ll bother with non-OEM inks if I do get an R3000, but given the nature of my printing I will need at least some refillables to use with cleaning solution that I insert between printing sessions. Plus I’d want to leave open the option of non-OEM inks, and given the cost of non-US freight I’d need to get several sets of carts. So I have a couple of questions about the refillables for the R3000.

I’ve seen some reports that carts without batteries are becoming available for the R3000. My local supplier has some, and there are reports in dpreview that you’re assessing them at the moment. I’d probably prefer yours, given the effort you’ve put into QA.

Qu1. Is this correct?
Qu2. If so, when?
Qu3. How would they operate? Will there be any way to reset all of them at once, or will it be an ARC-style of operation?

The point of #3 is that I really dislike auto reset carts. In a 7 or 8 or 9-colour printer there’s always one cart that is about to reset, which disrupts printing. On the printers that I’ve owned you can burn through a lot of ink with these frequent resets of one cart at a time, and if these newer battery-less carts can’t be reset in sync they I may prefer the ones with the batteries. Chip resetters that work on the older ARC chips have been a god-send.

Qu4. Is it true that in the R3000, changing a cart (i.e. resetting the chip) doesn’t result in a head clean cycle, like on my existing printers?

If that’s the case then an ARC-style cart might be ok. I could do what I used to do and fill them all up when LM is out, since that colour is always used up fastest.

Qu5. How much ink is used in an R3000 in changing between ink and cleaning carts? These printers have print lines that need to be cleaned out don’t they, like the larger printers, albeit shorter ones? So I assume I’ve got to do enough head cleans to get the peizoflush through, and then do the same when the inks go back in. This must use more ink than the older printers (2100, 2400, 2880).

TIA


#2

[B]Hi TIA, Well, you have certainly done your research and know your stuff & I appreciate that! To answer your questions:[/B]

"I’ve seen some reports that carts without batteries are becoming available for the R3000. My local supplier has some, and there are reports in dpreview that you’re assessing them at the moment. I’d probably prefer yours, given the effort you’ve put into QA"
Qu1. Is this correct? [B]Yes, this is correct[/B]
Qu2. If so, when? [B]Around 8-12 months[/B]
Qu3. How would they operate? Will there be any way to reset all of them at once, or will it be an ARC-style of operation? [B]NO ARC on these carts, we are still in the process of developing & hope to find a reset option, such as a resetter
[/B]
[B]I agree 100%, I also do not enjoy the auto-reset feature and would rather have the option of resetting manually when I top off all the cartridges at once.
[/B]
“Qu4. Is it true that in the R3000, changing a cart (i.e. resetting the chip) doesn’t result in a head clean cycle, like on my existing printers?”[B] Correct[/B]

“Qu5. How much ink is used in an R3000 in changing between ink and cleaning carts? These printers have print lines that need to be cleaned out don’t they, like the larger printers, albeit shorter ones? So I assume I’ve got to do enough head cleans to get the peizoflush through, and then do the same when the inks go back in. This must use more ink than the older printers (2100, 2400, 2880).” [B]The absolute easiest and faster workflow to switch between Inks & Flush is to run the Adjustment Program (Windows only for the R3000) which moves ink/flush from the cart to the head with one program (using approx.10mls of fluid), instead of running tons of cleaning cycles (which is bad for the head). The other work around is to run QTR-Flush images until the ink/flush shows up (which is a painfully SLOW process)

SO, to conclude, the current Battery style chips on the R3000 cartridges are reliable and easy to use, having the option of resetting manually will save you time and ink (as you know). We always recommend keeping spare batteries on hand for these chips, their shelf life is around 1 year. The batteries are easy to change and in-expensive to purchase.

It is always good policy when leaving your printer sitting without use for 3+ weeks to install Flush Carts and run the Adjustment Program, making sure your NC shows flush at the head.

Kindly, Kelly[/B]


#3

Thanks Kelly. Much appreciated.

8-12 months is a long wait. 10mls is a lot of ink each time you install the flush carts, although to be honest at the moment I’m doing several head cleans now at each change, so perhaps it’s not that much more. At least with your inks the cost of this is less. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

How easy is it to install a waste ink kit in an R3000?


#4

Very easy, you simply remove one rear cover and one side cover and remove the line to the waste pad and install it into the waste bottle. Literally, less then 10 minutes.

The adjustment program duplicate the printers Initial Fill when you turn the printer on for the very 1st time, it is MUCH more effective at removing pigment then head cleanings. And, yes you are close to using the same amount of ink and it’s much harder on the head to run cleaning cycles.


#5

Any drilling of holes?

I think there still must be more ink used in the R3000 at a change to peizo and back, compared the older printers, no matter how you do it, simply because of the ink lines that have to be cleared. That’s the price you pay for a larger capacity printer I guess. If it doesn’t necessarily do a clean at each cartridge change then that’s a partial offset I guess.


#6

No drilling of holes, they are already pre-drilled into the cap of the waste bottle, here are the instructions for installing
http://shopping.netsuite.com/c.362672/site/techdocs/Waste-Ink-Bottle-email.pdf


#7

Thank you for answering my questions so promptly.

I have been thinking about that 10ml figure you mentioned in your first post as the ink used during a initial power charge, or whatever it’s called. Is that a total of 10ml, or 10ml per cart, meaning a total of 90ml? A total of 10ml doesn’t seem enough for an initial load, but 90ml is a heck of a lot, like over 3/4 of a 110ml bottle. If it were 90ml in total each time then you’d really burn through ink if you did this too often, and you’d really need one of those waste ink tanks. Are the R3000 ink lines from cart to head really that long?

I can now see from research that the R3000 waste ink tank does not require holes to be drilled, which is good. I have yet to fit the one I bought for my R1900, as drilling is required as I understand it.


#8

p.s. I found this article on the piezography blog:


which quotes different figures. It mentions 15ml per ink for the initial charge, then it mentions 20ml in the context of the pro printers (not clear whether this is per cart just for the larger printers, but I suspect it is both), then it mentions 15ml per colour again under “Windows recommended Ink change procedure”.

If it really is 9x15ml = 135ml at each swap of the carts, that’s $28 of ink of your ink (much more for Epson’s) plus perhaps around $20 of flush. It’s not going to be an economical printer for me to run if I need to do this multiple times per year. I think I’d be better off with a 2880, if only I could buy one.

So my only question is: can please you confirm that it’s going to be 135ml of flush and 135mm of ink each time I hibernate and then reawaken the printer?


#9

Brian, my math was based on the fact that our R3000 carts hold “approximately” 30mls of fluid each, after running the Adjustment Program the carts are 2/3 full, which is approximately 10mls drawn from [U]each[/U] cart, if you add the ink that is in [U]each[/U] line which would be approximately 5mls each, that equals approx.15mls each color position. So, yes you are correct in your understanding that you will use 135mls of fluid per switch over. Yes, you are also correct in the fact that it is not cost effective to switch back and forth between inks in the R3000 there for we have always recommended the R2880 for this simply reason.


#10

yes its a lot of ink trapped inside the printer in the form of ink lines and the dampers… The R3000 is a PRO printer though not called that by Epson. It uses the 3880 print head and has long ink lines and ink dampers. It is a printer that is designed to be run as a production printer though it is not marketed that way. So it is not a viable printer to use sparingly whether with OEM inks or ours. We buy the R2880s from the Epson clearance center. Those print with the same quality as the R3000 and can be put to sleep quite easily and economically as well as used with a wide choice of inks by simply swapping cart sets and doing a single head cleaning.

Both printers send about 35% of the ink you purchase into the waste pads - so a waste tank is a good idea and they fit without drilling. You can pass the tube out the plastic quite easily. The waste ink can be given to artist friends to paint with or make works on paper. All Epson printers constantly perform head cleans in order to keep the heads functioning. It is part of Epson ownership and cost of using - but difficult to compute other than over time.

For intermittent use - its best to use a printer that does not have ink lines and dampers. Period. On the other hand - we sell a lot PiezoFlush systems to colleges and universities which get into the practice of putting their large format printers into hibernation and enjoy printing without hassle as a result. Its cost of ownership. Get the R3000 if it gives you the benefit of printing lots of prints without having to change ink carts. But if you are not in the habit of making 100 prints or so at a time - then get the R2880 and several sets of refillable carts and you can keep it going all day by swapping carts and then perform the refilling at the end of the day.

Jon


#11

Thanks to both of you. I’m only just waking up to the fact that the R3000 is really just a baby 3880, with all that entails (although unlike the 3880 it can print on rolls at least). I’m rather annoyed with myself for not keeping an eye on this.

What this means is that Epson is no longer making a 13" pigment printer that doesn’t have these long lines. I.e. no non-Pro printers. I guess if you print often enough the larger carts are good, but if you don’t, what do you buy? I will have to see if I can find a 2880 in this country. Not sure what my chances are. I can’t fund any reference to a refurbishment program here, but perhaps if I phone them.

:frowning:

p.s. Given all this, the 3880 must be the better buy of the two of them, surely? Why would you buy a 3000, except perhaps size (and roll paper)?


#12

Hopefully I haven’t used up my quota of questions on this just yet.

What is the best way, other than cleaning carts, of keeping the R3000 from clogging when not used for a while? Will cleaning the capping station in flush and having the print head sit on the cleaned, moist (but not too moist) capping station help at all, or will this having minimal impact in preventing clogs? There must be something that would buy a little time.

Given the above, I am reluctant to buy a 3000. But I’m having trouble finding a used 2880. I’m going to have to bring my 2400 out of mothballs and see how much life it has left. You may see an order for carts & inks.


#13

We only recommend storing with Flush Carts. I have heard of all kinds of different solutions for keeping humidity up around the printer, BUT I can’t recommend any thing other then flush carts, it is"tried and true" & we stand behind it. Of course, this would be your printer and you could obviously try any solution you wanted too to save yourself some extra $$, but at some point you might be costing your self more expense and headache in the long run. Dealing with a clogged head due to lack of use is one of the hardest and time consuming issues you will run into, as I am sure you have learned by now. Preventive maintenance and proper storage is always your best line of defense against clogged nozzles. We have more then 20 printers here in our R&D dept. and ALL of them are stored with flush carts when they sit ideal for more then a week. Of course we have access to all the flush and carts we need/want, BUT if I could get away with saving myself that little bit of extra time it takes to NOT have to do this, I would! BUT, I have learned my lesson more then once, just to end up spending hours trying to clear up clogged channels and even worse, thrashing printers because they sat unused with pigment inks & no amount of cleaning fixed it…our last R3000 ended up this way due to NOT storing it with Flush carts. So, in my personal opinion, saving a few dollars now would cost you a few hundred dollars later on and the life of your printer would be shortened by possibly years…Spend the extra $ and store the printer correctly, maintain what you have properly with regular manual cleaning and you will be printing successfully with your investment for years to come.


#14

Thanks Kelly, let’s leave it at that. If it was only once a year for summer holidays then it’s an option. Or perhaps a couple of times a year. But once a month gets very expensive and wasteful. And the cost to freight inks over to this part of the world is significant.

Epson haven’t made it easy. I can’t see a serious, quality, photo printer in their current, limited range that doesn’t have this problem.

I’m going to see how far I can get with what I have or what I can buy second-hand, but once I’m forced to buy a printer with dampers & ink lines then I’ll have to reconsider whether any sort of printing is viable, even monochrome.

Thanks again.


#15

One last idea. On this web site http://www.marruttusa.com/printer/support/epson-stylus-photo-r3000-help.php it suggests:

“[I]If you go on vacation, why not leave your printer switched ‘on’ and connect your printer to the mains through an inexpensive central heating timer switch, set to turn on for a few minutes every other day - when you return, your print head will be in perfect order, ready to print.[/I]”

The idea being that there’s a mini head-clean at power on. Ever heard of this one or tried it? I realise that it would consume some ink, but presumably less than an ink line charge.


#16

No answer on this one either. I guess IJM either uses its printers continuously, or puts in cleaning carts, and so has no need of workarounds like this, and in any case may be reluctant to comment on the suggestion of a competitor.

If anyone else reading this can comment I’d welcome hearing from them.


#17

We do put in cleaning carts as a practice. And we do not have experience with connecting printers to central heating timer switches - so we can not really comment on it. But, I do know that it will cause a very small amount of ink to be pulled through the ink lines with much less turbulence than when performing the ink charge. Beyond that I can not speculate whether it will work on the R3000 with its long ink lines in the same way it would benefit a printer that has cartridges mounted directly on the print head.


#18

Thanks. Sounds like it may at least prevent or delay clogs. There’s still the issue of preventing pigments settling, and that will require usage and agitation of the carts I guess. Still a tough decision for me.


#19

This is one of those “for the record” posts, for anyone reading this thread. I’ve managed to find a second-hand R2880, and take delivery next week. It’s a bit of a punt, but the owner posted me a clean nozzle check, so it should be alright. I’m going to pass on the R3000 for the moment.

After I bought this printer I realised that another option would have been to get a 1430 and put in ConeColor inks. I can make my own profiles, so it’s all possible. There aren’t either LK and LLK in this printer, but for what I would use it for that shouldn’t be a problem. There are several reservations I have about this option. (i) I used to have a 1410, and I felt that the build quality was not as good as the more expensive printers. (ii) IJM doesn’t sell refillables for the non-US versions of this printer. (iii) There are a number of reports of people with leaking carts in this printer, and as someone who has had a lot of problems with this issue in other printers, I’m a bit gun-shy.


#20

I’m glad you ordered a R2800, and expect you’ll have good results with this printer for several years (providing it’s in good used condition).

Yes, the 1400/1410/1430 aren’t built as good as the R2880 and other more expensive printers, but they produce decent quality, and for the price they are more disposable/replaceable when they die.
It’s not normal/common for our carts to leak in any printer, though at one point several years ago we had an issue with R2400 carts leaking, and immediately tested several other cartridge designs to fine the one we currently sell (and sold for years with good results). Often times, if a cartridge leaks, it’s due to mis-use or a very dirty printer, and is resolved by correct use of the cart and/or cleaning the printer.

Best regards~ Dana