Saturday, 2 August 2008

Inside an Epson 4800 220ml inkjet cartridge

Have you ever wondered what the inside of an Epson 4800 220ml inkjet cartridge looks like? Here I have a look at a used cartridge and muse on why Epson does not like re-use…

It was easy to open up one of these cartridges. I just slit the paper label around the shut line with a scalpel and prised the top off with a couple of wide screwdrivers. The whole lot is simply clipped together with twelve securing tabs, which you can see in the photo.

The result is shown in the photo below (and it was only while I was adjusting it in Lightroom that I noticed the letter heading “The Shame of Litter” in the newsprint…)

Inside is an aluminised plastic bladder with a valve (see close up photo of it below) for the ink to be drawn out into the printer. It slips out quite easily, being held in place by the neck of the valve. There is no connection between the ink container and the cartridge so there is no physical connection with the cartridge’s chip.

This lack of connection means that it would be pretty easy for Epson to re-use the cartridges by simply putting in a new ink bladder and resetting the chip. It would also be pretty easy for Epson to supply re-fills for users to put in themselves, but that would mean that Epson would have to sanction or sell a chip re-setter, which Epson seem dead set against. Epson’s recent aggressive defence of their intellectual property trying to put a stop to third party ink and cartridge suppliers indicates that this is far from their thoughts.

I am very happy to re-use the maintenance tank (see this link for my instructions on how I do that), but refilling a used bladder seems to be too much of a risk to me.

Epson seem pretty set against doing anything “green” that would challenge their current business model of selling a reasonably priced printer and making their money on the ink – of course that might upset us, the users, if we had to pay for Epson’s profit in the printer purchase price – we might not like the numbers that came out – but not re-using something that seems eminently designed to be re-used seems perverse in the current sustainability climate.


Earl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earl said...

Hmmm... I wonder what the inside of the smaller cartridges look like? I kept the set I pulled out of the printer when I switched my 4000 to clear refillable cartridges. It might be worth looking into to see if they can be refilled. The clear plastic cartridges use a different method to draw up ink. The bag method shown in your pictures looks to be a very "clean" method. I have to hold my cartridges in place with some tape to make sure the chips stay in contact. I will look inside the smaller carts. Thanks for the post.

Michael said...

Information on Choosing and Trade the Correct Inkjet Cartridges

Here is a list that you can use in buying inkjet cartridges:

1. Do not buy standard inkjet cartridges
Inkjet cartridges of this kind will only damage the “nozzles” of your printers

2. Be wary on the warranty
Most of the printers come with a warranty. However, there are some cases that might void this warranty like using inkjet cartridges that are manufactured by a different producer.

3. be wary of buying inkjet cartridges online

4. Consider the price
When buying inkjet cartridges, it is best to consider the price of the items

Mistewoods supertprinting said...

I use refillable cartridges that I purchased here with a chip resetter:

The inks sold here are for garment printing.

They work great for me.

steve said...

Its really good post which give a full description and information about Epson Ink Cartridges.There are very post which give this kind of useful info.

Unknown said...

It is so damn cool to see what the heck is complex stuff made of, in fact, I would like to find out what is Generic Viagra made of

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