Technology

Add a CISS to your Printer for Cheap Ink


If you are sick of spending a lot of money replacing ink cartridges, you might consider retrofitting your printer to use a CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System).

CIS Continuous Ink Supply

Once installed, a CISS has large tanks of generic ink held outside of the printer and has supply lines feeding into a special cartridge in the printer. Your overall cost to print will dramatically be reduced and let you print more without running out of ink. Replacement 250mL bottles of ink costs about $15 which is about 50 larger than what normal cartridges hold.

 

Installation

Installing a CISS isn’t for everyone. You need to be comfortable with permanently modifying your printer and be very careful to use force but not so much that you will damage your printer.

Every CISS will have different instructions to match your particular printer. Not all printers are CISS capable, only printers that “semi-professionals” use will have aftermarket CISS options. Most printers that have cartridges with integrated print heads will not be CISS capable since the printheads won’t last long enough.

On my Epson WorkForce 7110 the installation was very quick:

  1. Remove the top cover
  2. Tape over the cover switch to trick the printer to think the cover is always closed
  3. Remove cartridge top panel
  4. Remove Epson Ink Cartridges
  5. Install CISS Cartridge
  6. Tape supply lines in a way that it has enough line to get to both edges but not enough that it will cut it own lines as it slides back and forth

 

Priming

Before you can start using your CISS, you should prime the cartridge to remove the air in the lines. The CISS cartridge holds a small amount of ink but the real purpose of the CISS is to pull ink from the main tanks outside the printer. If there are any air in the line, the printer will not be able to resupply the ink in the cartridge.

CISS Air in the Supply Line

To do this, you need to take the syringes included and open each ink port and pull a vacuum to get ink to the cartridge. (Make sure to open the vent ports on the CISS or you will have trouble getting the ink to flow)

CISS Priming Cartridge

 

Once you have done this for all 4 colors, then you are ready to do a test print.

CISS Primed Cartridge

 

 

Done

After running some test prints, the quality is on point with the original Epson Ink Cartridge. Enjoy cheap endless ink.

Epson CISS


I'm a 31 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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