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Creating a continous inking printer

Computers & Mobile Technology
Creating a continous inking printer

There are few personal tech indignities that get me more riled up than the cost of printer ink, the control of the ink trade by the big printer companies, and the inability of most cartridges to be user-refillable. So I love this ol’ hack, from 2002, that’s resurfaced on the hack sites. It takes an Epson 760 printer and makes it into a continuous ink supply system by hacking each of the carts and attaching tubing that feeds ink to them. I assume folks have done similar hacks to other printer models.

Eddie’s El-Cheapo CIS (Continuous Inking System) [via Hack n Mod]

14 thoughts on “Creating a continous inking printer

  1. Mike says:

    “I assume folks have done similar hacks to other printer models.”

    Since the printer in the photo is a Canon, I’d say that was a given. :-)

  2. says:

    looks like a damn good idea, but where do you get printer ink in large quantities?

  3. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Search on “bulk ink”

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      I punched holes in the top of my cartridges and use bulk ink (found via Google) to refill them. You don’t *have* to run the tubing, just poke a hole and cover with tape. Then use a syringe (available at any hobby shop…one for each color) to fill the cartridges as needed. However, for large prints, or continuous roll printing, the tubing system is a must!

      This is what I do on my CD duplicator/printer. I have saved over $1000 in ink in the last year alone.

  4. Mike says:

    I’m all for DIY when it saves money or is innovative, but why bother with home made when CIS (continuous ink system) is now available on ebay for around $50? I was looking into getting one for my Canon 620 printer. If it works, will pay for itself after using the first set of cartridges.

  5. Bulk Ink says:

    I have always loved hacks and this alows me to acully print out all my home made graphics really cheap and put them up on my house. Keep up the brilliant work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A continuous ink system (CIS), also known as a continuous ink supply system (CISS), a continuous flow system (CFS), bulk feed ink system, or an off-axis ink delivery system is a method for delivering a large and practically unlimited volume of liquid ink to a comparatively small inkjet printhead. Many business and professional grade printers incorporate a continuous ink system in their design to increase the speed and volume of printing capacity. Some aftermarket companies also build retrofit accessories to convert certain models of consumer-grade printers into continuous flow systems.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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