Friday, December 13, 2013

Rihac - Continuous Ink System - A review after a year and a bit.

So you are probably aware of how your printer stores and uses ink and how to refill it. And you probably wonder why it costs so much for an ink cartridge... It is generally the most expensive liquid you will buy in terms of dollar per litre - including designer perfume.

Our epson printer is an older wireless epson T40W - it was costing approx $60-$70 for a full set of Epson cartridges or about $40 for a full set of 3rd cartridges. Considering that I like to print photos and my partner is a relief teacher and tends to print out school worksheets by the 30's as she has no access to a photocopier at the school. We tend to go through ink a bit....

I think the worst part is running out right in the middle of printing something at 1am or having to brave the weekend shops only to find they don't have that cartridge... aside from the exorbitant price...

So I did some research and this Australian company RIHAC makes a continuous ink system. Continuous ink systems are a 3rd party add on system that pipes ink from ink tanks outside of the printer to replacement cartridge heads.

My printer was out of warranty anyway so I decided to give it a go and bought the System on special for @$100. including the ink

The T40W is one of the harder ones to set up - and took me about 2 hours to get set up perfectly - mostly running the piping so that it didn't catch on anything as the printer head moved back an forth - the instructions were pretty clear but it was still a bit of a challenge.

Brother printers seem to be the easiest to set up - literally plug in and go so if you are buying a new printer have a look at the Rihac website to see which ones are the easiest to install.

So it has been well over a year and a half since I put in the system - and I have just bought my first refill pack for $50. And although there have been times where the printer needed cleaning or the system needed a prime or head cleaning, it has been fantastic. There has been no difference in print quality for the work we do with it.

I think I have saved at least $400 in ink cartridges for my printer - and running out of ink mid print is a thing of the past as I can see how much ink I have left (not some software thing that can't be checked).

If you do a lot of printing - or if you print your own photos, have a look at a continuous in system for your printer. If you are at a school and you do art prints either on a A3 or large format printer this could save you a bundle as not only do they have the dye based in but also pigment ink for high quality photo work.