Looking For Reliable Printer…

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Adibobea9, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Adibobea9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #1
    I need a good printer, but currently I don't print on a regular basis. My teacher continues to insist on getting an Epson, but my experience has been that the printer heads continually get clogged and waste the already expensive ink to clean them. For those that have had this same type of issue I have a few questions:

    What are other good and affordable printers that work well with Macs?
    What has been your experience with buying 3rd party ink?
    Have you been successful in replacing the ink yourself by way of syringe?
    Any tricks in keeping the printer heads clean and ready to use?
    Am I destined to pay out of this world prices and suffer like everyone else?

    Thanks for any help…
     
  2. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #2
    I've been using a Canon i850 since 2004. ($150)
    Print quality is excellent.
    Color matching is excellent.(with properly configured files, and Canon inks/paper)
    In four years, I have never had a clogged print head.
    I have not installed 3rd party inks, or recharged the tanks myself.
    I use Canon coated paper exclusively for color proofs.
    Driver seems to work flawlessly in Leopard.

    Always turn off the printer when it is not in use.
    This parks the print heads, preventing them from drying out.
    Replace the cartridges every six months.
     
  3. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #3
    You don't offer enough information to make a specific suggestion. Do you have a budget? What are your size requirements for output? Do you need PostScript compatibility (on-board RIP)? From what program(s) will you be printing? Photoshop files are pre-rasterized. Is calibration important to you? Does the device need to be networkable or just USB connection to single computer? How long do prints need to last and will they be displayed in direct sunlight?

    If you want great color, don't use third-party inks.
    Canon imagePROGRAF series offer best value for consumables.
    HP Designjet Z series include automatic nozzel cleaning every few hours.
     
  4. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    ɹǝpun uʍop 'ǝuɐqsı&#
    #4
    the printer heads continually get clogged

    in this case, print more often. light documents. also, if it clogs severly, put some boiling water in a punnet and dip the cartridge in it. dry off with tissue.

    What are other good and affordable printers that work well with Macs?

    canon, HP.

    What has been your experience with buying 3rd party ink?

    great, but messy because i don't have latex gloves. i use the syringe injection thing. they work ok, sometimes the colour is a bit off but considering the cheap ink i don't mind.

    Have you been successful in replacing the ink yourself by way of syringe?

    ya. just don't use epson. their cartridge needs some chip resetter thing from 3rd party (you should be able to get that from where you bought the refill kit) but it'll cost you an extra few bucks. refilling is relatively easy to do. but messy if you don't have, again, gloves.

    Any tricks in keeping the printer heads clean and ready to use?

    as mentioned, print regularly and use the hot water method to clean sever clogging off.

    Am I destined to pay out of this world prices and suffer like everyone else?

    no. and i'm not part of the "everyone else".



    other tips: i suggest you get a new printer when you decide to buy a new cartridge since they come with the printer. (it's cheaper to buy a new printer than buying both black and colour ink cartridges) however, they have less ink in them. so use the refill. only buy a new printer when the cartridge is broken.

    don't refill to the brim. only put in adequate amount each time you refill. and make sure the syringe needle is thin enough to go through the hole.

    oh, and i chucked my canon printer out of my bedroom window yesterday after it didn't want to suck paper in. tried to fix it... no luck. after declaring it dead it ended up 4 metres below the window. loud bang in the middle of the night. woken up some neighbours. btw when i connect it to the plug it still turned on :p
     
  5. Adibobea9 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #5
    I guess when I said affordable I assumed it would be on the low budget student pricing that I currently can afford. But I guess many people that frequent the boards have different ideas on affordability.

    I would love to get the printer you suggested but I was thinking more along the lines of <$300.
    I usually print your normal 8X11 but would also need it to output 11X17.
    The whole PostScript thing flew over my head.
    Printing from Word to Photoshop and Illustrator.
    Calibration is always helpful yes.
    Just needed for one computer for home use and school projects.
    I have never taken into account how long the prints need to last, but I guess until I get a stable job, so hopefully not too long…
     
  6. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    I'm also looking for a cheap tabloid printer that's easy-to-refill cartridges. Hopefully one that prints to the edge or with a bleed.
     
  7. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #7
    Though I use larger HP's, I was thinking of recommending the 17" Canon iPF5100 since it has a sheetfed tray in addition to accepting media rolls. But this will blow your budget by at least $1500.

    Perhaps another student will be able to offer a sound recommendation now that you have outlined your specific requirements.
     
  8. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    My professor seems to swear his Epson is where it's at also. Maybe we have the same professor? I haven't used one myself, but he keeps telling us to invest in an Epson that will print 13x19. I think you can pick one up for around $400-600. Again, I haven't looked into it too much or ever used one, but that's what he likes (along with Epson paper).
     
  9. chv400 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #9
    Probably not quite what you were thinking of but heres an idea.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16828122003&Tpk=thermal printer

    It's a thermal printer so you wont have to worry about ink cartidges, downsides are you must use thermal paper and that the printer itself costs more than an inkjet. While thermal paper does cost more than plain paper, you wont be spending 30 dollars for cartidge replacemetns.
     
  10. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #10
    That's a monochrome printer. A graphic designer surely can't benefit much from a printer like that. I think the OP is looking for something that'll print in color.
     
  11. Adibobea9 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #11
    Yes, being a Graphic Designer I need a color printer. It is amazing to me that the machine is like a free gift because the ink is so expensive. I hope I can find something that won't be too difficult to refill myself…

    P.S. klymr, I am from Utah also so we may very well have the same professor…
     
  12. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #12
    I guess now it depends on where you are going to school. I'm way up north at USU.
     
  13. clapperboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #13
    Printing rather infrequently (once every month or so), and living here at 9300 feet, I had a lot of trouble with heads drying out. I print mainly DVD covers for event videos.

    A year and a half ago I bought an Epson R260 for $80 shipped. I sold the full-sized ink cartridges on eBay for $40. Then I bought a continuous ink refill system from Print-On-A-Dime for $90. It assembled fairly easily in a couple hours. The colors work well once you get things 'calibrated' ie experiment with screen vs print. The heads have never dried out, but if there's an occasional glitch, it pretty painless to do a cleaning. You can check ink pricing on their website. It's ceased to be a factor on my cost side. I still have around 4oz of each of the colors left.

    Not sure if it would hold up in more demanding photo or publishing applications, but I'm definitely happy with it.
     

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