Refillable cartridge options for tri-colour and printers with cartridge pairs.

Printer models that use 2 cartridges are notoriously expensive to replace the empty cartridges. The reason for this is that these type of cartridges also have an integral printhead built into the cartridge. This adds cost to producing these type of cartridges.

Customers complain that printer manufacturers are ripping them off with the cost of this type of replacement cartridges. That is not the case, the printhead does a big job and is a delicate item produce.

Ink cartridge suppliers are contantly looking at ways to get these type of cartridge costs reduced for the customer. We have listed the options that HobbyPrint offer below. All are based on an element of re-use. It is necessary to point out that all cartridges with integrated print heads have a limited number of times that they can be re-used.

These types of Printheads are not designed with longevity or re-use in mind. Print quality will deteriorate as each refill is made. Print quality deterioration becomes noticeable after 5 to 10 refills. After this number of re-fills, a new cartridge will be required to be purchased.

Based on our experiences, we offer and have listed below, 5 cost-effective methods of replacing the 2 cartridge systems with integrated printheads. Our aim is always to give our customers value for money and in terms of cartridge replacement. A quality product that is easy to use with big savings.

  • Remanufactured cartridges
  • Refillable Cartridges – Only
  • Refillable Cartridges – Used to work as CISS with an Ink tank
  • Cartridge Mate – DIY refillable cartridges
  • InkTec Refill Kits

Remanufactured Cartridges
Our remanufactured cartridges are quality-controlled through the production process from start to finish. The checks ensure that the cartridge construction is sound and that the print heads are viable. The inks are formulated to match as close as possible the manufacturer’s original inks and the cartridges have a patch installed that allows for the ink levels to be shown.

These cartridges are easy to use, plug and play. No “cartridges not recognized” issues and no button sequences required each time that the printer is turned on. They are covered by our “fit for purpose” warranty, In simple terms, they work!

We shy away from the cheaper remanufactured alternatives owing to the issues that they can cause customers.

Refillable Cartridges
Our HobbyPrint refillable cartridges can be used as refillable cartridges or they can be used with a Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS), simply by attaching a CISS tank and tube system to them. This brings a printer into line with the many ink tank printer models that are available today, that in fact, the CISS was the forerunner too.

The cartridges are a refurbished cartridge which have been cleaned, sponges replaced and print heads tested and cleaned. The cartridges have had the top of the cartridge modified by adding a see through top with fill holes drilled into them and coloured grommets installed into the fill holes.

These cartridges currently do not show ink levels which is not a major issue as a top-up plan can be put in place weekly to avoid the cartridges running out of ink. When used with outside ink bottles as a CISS, it is the ink levels in the tank that replace ink level monitoring.

The cartridges can be refilled until the print head starts to degrade and the print quality degrades. At this point, simply replace the cartridges and away you go. Typically a pair of cartridges will cost £60.00 and 30ml of good ink, £9.00. This is enough ink for 10 refills on the colour which equates to £6.90 cost per pair of cartridges for each replacement cycle. A further £3.00 should be added to this calculation and divided by 10, for another bottle of black ink.

Huge savings with the benefit of being able to create a hobby printer through choosing which ink you wish to use with the cartridges. If an edible ink is used, the printer can be used to print on printable icing and wafer paper sheets. The ink can also be used to print photo’s, images and documents for craft projects or normal everyday printing. What we call a hobby printer.

CartridgeMate – DIY refillable cartridges
The cartridge mate is another quality product that saves money and that makes sense. Buy a kit once and then buy low-cost cartridge refills tanks for subsequent refills. Easy to use, makes sense, environmentally friendly and very economical.

The kit is supplied with a cartridge holder container with a drilling jig cover with a hand drill bit and a separate filling jig cover. Cartridge refill tanks are also supplied.

The cartridge to be filled is placed in the cartridge holder container, the drilling jig cover is then placed onto the cartridge holder container. The hand drill is used to locate into the hole location guided by the drilling jig to drill a 4mm hole into the cartridge, a single hole for a black cartridge and 3 holes for each colour for a colour cartridge.

(Personally, I cheat on the hole drilling. I use a good battery electric drill with a 4mm drill bit and gently drill the hole guided by the drilling jig cover. I ensure that I only drill a small amount below the cover. It is a quick and simple job and I find it faster than using the hand drill bit.)

After the hole or holes have been drilled, the drilling jig cover is removed and replaced with the filling jig cover. An ink tank is then located onto the appropriate colour port in the filling jig cover and simply pressed down. The ink tank then automatically fills the ink cartridge. This is done once to fill the black cartridge and 3 times to fill a Cyan, Magenta & Yellow coloured cartridge.

Any further refills that are done to the modified cartridge (Drilled to 4mm) are simple and very quick. Place the cartridge to be filled in the cartridge holder container, place the filling jig cover onto the container and simply place, push and click the appropriate ink tank in place. You should be able to do this up to 10 times without loss of quality.

InkTec Refill Kits
InkTec refill kits are easy to use and the kits contain good quality items and consumables. They work well with good results. The kit is supplied with a cartridge holder clip, a couple of mini-syringes, needles and ink refills supplied in large syringe-type containers.

The cartridge to be filled should be placed in the cartridge holder clip and the old label should be removed and replaced with a newly supplied cartridge label that gives a filling location, 1 for black cartridges and 3 for the colour cartridges for each separate ink colour, Cyan, Magenta & Yellow.

After the label has been replaced, place the supplied needle on the ink refill syringe and then using the filling location on the label, insert the needle into the cartridge and push down into the cartridge. Pull the needle back a little and apply gentle pressure to the plunger of the ink refill syringe. Slowly fill the cartridge pulling the needle back a little as you fill.

After filling the cartridge, use the mini-syringe supplied and locate into the hole on the bottom of the cartridge holder clip. Pull the syringe plunger back gently to pull a small amount of the ink through the printhead, which will prime the printhead. Remove the filled cartridge from the cartridge holder clip and dab the printhead onto a tissue a couple of times. This will show the colours primed in the printhead. Put the cartridge into the printer and you’re done.

Keep the cartridge holder clip and syringes and when the re-labelled cartridge is ready to fill again, place in the cartridge holder clip, fill with ink and prime the heads. Simple.

We supply 30ml bottles of ink and syringes for further re-fills after you have run out of ink.

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