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do you use after market ink's

Discussion in 'Polls' started by NazGraphics, Apr 18, 2009.

do you use after market ink for your wide format printer

  1. yes thats all i use

  2. i would not recomment it

  3. i am scared might mess up my printer

  4. the are same has the OEM

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. NazGraphics

    NazGraphics Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    san leandro ca.
    just curios good to use or don't touch it
  2. Charlie J

    Charlie J Very Active Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    How about another option such as: No.
  3. Biker Scout

    Biker Scout Very Active Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Not scared about using 3rd party inks. However, I'll do my homework before jumping on some cheapo ink bandwagon.

    Ink has come along way in the last 10 or so years. I find it interesting that many old timers, or people who have grown up in the wide format industry are slow adopters and often shun away new market trends, in favor of "playing it safe".

    It helps to know some ground rules when ink shopping... like who actually makes the OEM ink for my printer? Mutoh, Roland, Mimaki don't actually manufacturer ink, but buy bulk ink on contract with an ink formulary company. The ink has to pass high quality standard acording to the printhead manufacturer. In this case, (most cases) it's Epson.

    Things to consider is the chemical make-up, particle size, soluable solution etc... with a little bit of homework, and reading MDS Data Sheets it's easy to determine what's going to work and what's not. Getting print samples from the company is a good way to start. Finding others who use the same ink and asking their experiences with it is also wise.

    I hear the argument all the time about "Voiding the Warranty" and I don't buy it. That's a fear tactic pushed by OEM's and Tech Support. Leagally, that's not true... we, as consumers are protected by "Magnuson-Moss Act"
    They have to prove that any 3rd party product you used/installed was a direct result of it's failure, to void the warranty on that particular part. Not the whole machine. So, if your motherboard goes out, motors or drives fail... they have to prove without a shadow of a doubt that the ink did it. But the reality of the law is that they can't. The only part that's in direct contact with the ink is the print head and hoses/tubes themselves. In other words, they have to have a direct correlation to one another.

    Now if you are going to jump into 3rd party inks, use some common sense. Be prepared to buy or have another printhead on standby. Not that you are certainly going to need one... just don't go crying to your printer's tech support when you have clogged nozzles. Also, learn your printer's insides and mechanical workings. You can often trouble shoot your own machine and save time and money. Start by purchasing ink from repituable ink manufacturers. You might end up being suprised to learn that the 3rd party ink that you are getting is the same company that makes the more expansive private label OEM ink! Several of the well established ink manfacturers have relly solid warranties on their ink as well. Meaning, if their product damages your printhead they will repair/replace at their cost!

    Again, do some research, and don't let the fuddy-duddy types disuade you from potentially saving your company thousands per year on print costs. In this economy, we all need a competitive edge.

    (BTW... I havn't read it just yet, but this months Wide-Format Imaging magazine has an article about 3rd party inks. Betting there will be some links to some of the more repituable ink companies as well.)
  4. gtjet

    gtjet Active Member

    Jun 3, 2005
    We triied a third party ink, it seemed ok at first, but then we noticed it was not as durable as the max inks and then very consistently we found nozzle plugging toward the end of the ink cartridge, this was such a pain we threw a way the cartriges with over 10-25% of the ink left. The black and magneta were particularly bad and eventually we just disposed of the ink, even the un-used cartridges. We just had enough of working to manuallly unplug the nozzles by soaking them in cleaning fluid forever. Since we switched back we have had no problems and things are back to normal.

    What an expensive, time consuming mess. The only third party ink we know of that others have good luck with is triangle, we just do not want a bulk system or color profiling to do right now and with triangle you need that.
  5. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    We use Triangle inks on a bulk system. We have been very pleased with the inks overall, and love the cost savings (for us, it's on the order of about $4k a month). We have had zero issues and have been running them on the XC for just shy of two years, and on the XJ since it was new about a year ago.
    At ISA I also talked with Triangle regarding their cartridges which are now available. Even using the cartridges, you can realize a savings of about 25%. I also saw another vendor advertising $89/liter inks. I didn't pay much attention to them because I'd never heard of them. Triangle's been around a long time and they know their stuff.
  6. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I just started using Bordeaux. So far so good. Didn't have to do any fills and clean out the old lines, just stick the new one in, and let er rip. Haven't replaced all the colors yet...but like I said, good so far. Since my warranty is up, might as well check it out.
  7. NazGraphics

    NazGraphics Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    san leandro ca.
    good reading guys tx for the info i just came back from the 2009 ise from Vegas i saw at least 10 new company s seling ink's and just made me think ink is ink or not
  8. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

    Apr 26, 2006
    ink is not just ink. I ran Lava inks, and they ruined my printhead, stunk up the shop, and every job I cranked out got returned for fading, getting scratched too easily, and poor colors.

    I hear Triangle is good, but I am afraid to try any others.
  9. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    washington state

    Good luck with the Bordeaux brand. My experience was that these cartridges (220's) don't have any kind of built-in (low ink) warning so when the cartridge empties, the machine continues to suck out all of the ink in the lines and you then have to laboriously get ink flowing through the lines again using a syringe. Takes some time and is maddening as hell.

    Not to mention that your print is screwed up. Loss of ink and media in that scenario. (the other colors go on merrily printing away, completely oblivious to the fact that one color is not printing)

    My vendor seemed to be okay with this problem when I informed them about it and simply stated "oh well, many people use it". Apparently those customers have adjusted to the fact that the machine can run dry of ink without warning. I find no economy in the Bordeaux line of inks. (at least as they're currently packaged).

    When I succeed in getting a faster printer, I'm interested in going to a bulk ink system however.
  10. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    Ink is, or damn well should be, a trivial expense if your pricing model is correct. The average ink usage on a properly priced job is maybe 1-2% of the cost.

    That being the case, I cleave to OEM inks exclusively. Then if there's any problems, I avoid the inevitable finger pointing session between the ink and the printer manufacturer.
  11. particleman

    particleman Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    Bulk ink is all about cutting cost, sure you can still make money using OEM ink. Bulk ink by the liter you can cut ink cost in half. If you are into high volume this is a HUGE reduction in cost. Bulk ink is not for everyone as you will more than likely have to learn to profile your equipment.

    We use triangle at the moment, no problems at all. In fact there is a significant advantage in the colors we can achieve with this ink compared to OEM.
  12. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    Blaine, Mn
    Ditto for Triangle Inx- better colors, more durable, cheaper. Mild solvent
    vs. Eco solv also- better bite, you can print on more materials.

    COREYAARON New Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    I've used every Mimaki ink available, i've used Hilord solvent, i've used epson, i've used Jteck. Hands down Jteck has provided the widest color gamut of any ink i've ever seen. The facility in Italy has a gruesome QA department, the ink is waterbased and is a piece of cake to clean up. Every ink they offer has "nanotechnology" which on average saves15 to 30 percent of ink costs compared to most "other" inks. Why do i know this, bc i profile a large amount of different printers from different manufacturers and have found that what they claim is true. So, they get my vote as #1! Second goes to maybe Mimaki Hot Solvent, very dangerous to inhale but adheres to almost anything and is just about the best direct print solvent i've used, Hilord is great too.
  14. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    rare I know, but I'm going to limit my typing here... and rarer still... agree with bob on this point! :thumb:
  15. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

    Apr 18, 2003
    Have used nothing but Triangle MLD bulk ink in my SP-540V since it was new (almost 4 yrs now). I can heartily recommend it.
  16. high impact

    high impact Very Active Member

    We use Triangle MLD ink with a bulk ink system. I am very pleased with the ink performance and savings but if I had an opportunity to do it again I'd stick with the OEM Max inks.
    IMO - Roland didn't offer a good ink when we purchased our printer which made the decision easy at the time.
  17. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

    Mar 6, 2009
    Really? What model is that just out of curiosity? Signcraft?
    I know Roland's inks are $140 large and Mega's are $80. That's a $60 difference and a $240 difference per set. Quality arguments aside...that does seem like a viable cost difference. Considering I use Roland's inks for now...My ink cost is actually 5% on average wraps and banners. Give or take depending on ink coverage.
  18. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    Blaine, Mn
    I pay $140 per liter for Triangle Inx- aren't the large carts 440MLs?
  19. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I'm using Lyson inks in my valuejet with no problems.
    Bit smellier but that's it.
    Lyson ink also seems to be a lot more scratch resistant than OEM.


    JETBEST USA Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    I suggest that you do your research on third party ink's and get feedback from reliable sources. Some manufacturers of Third Party Inks claim their products give magnificent results, but that is not always the case. At JETBEST we guarantee our Inks produce equal results as OEM Inks and in some cases even better. If you have any questions please feel free to contact :

    Angel Ochoa,
    (818) 287 5899,
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010

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