First off, I need to thank Jose Rodriguez for his YouTube videos and contributions to various online Forums. It is the technique HE developed which allowed me to modify the original cartridges for my Epson 3880 printer, turning a “throw away” product into something not only “Greener” but much more cost effective.
Using nothing more than a blunt sewing needle, by following the simple instructions set forth in the video I was able to modify the original Epson “one way” valve used in the 3800 and 3880 ink cartridges. You see, the valves are designed to let ink out, but not back in. So without this modification, re-filling is just not an option. The entire process took me about 90 minutes, including the weighing and refilling of the then modified carts.
Why bother you ask? Because this opens the door to refill original carts using either third party inks, such as those from Jon Cone, or STS Inks (who took over Image Specialists) or, to buy original Epson ink in bulk, thereby greatly reducing your printing costs. Sure there are many re-fillable cartridges out there, available on Ebay or Amazon, and I am using such carts in my Epson R2400. But the fact is, the cartridges from Epson are built MUCH better than any of those offered by aftermarket companies. In fact, the Epson carts are built like tanks!
So, after the alteration process was complete, including re-filling and re-setting the chips, my Epson 3880 registered ALL tanks as full using the Epson Print Utility. I ran a quick nozzle check which was perfect, and proceeded to print using my newly modified carts, freshly filled with Epson OEM ink harvested from the larger 110ml carts I purchased off of Ebay.
If you print larger format at any quantity, you might want to consider taking a look at this video. It will save you money on your print costs.