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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Printers and CISS and how it ties with Card making

Okay, apparently loads of people have come clean recently about using CISS with their Printers, people like Joanna Sheen, and the lady from what was Cupcake Crafting, etc, so I thought I'd put this info out there for those card makers who arent too sure what this is all about. And before I forget I bought mine from City Ink Express, who do the warranty on the CISS for LIFE!

A CISS is a Continuous Ink Supply System. It has a small 4 bottle or even 6 bottle reservoir which attaches by tubes to the cartridges INSIDE your printer. As you print the printer draws ink from the cartridge, which causes a vacuum, and then the vacuum is filled from the tubes attached to the bottles. So you have a Continuous supply of ink running into the cartridge so it never runs out.
 As the cartridge never runs out of ink, (unless you forget to by refill ink) you dont have to replace them. You just leave it be.

Ciss Ink costs me @£20 for 4 bottles. An ink cartridge holds 4-11 mls of ink. I buy 400 mls of ink for @£20. On some printers cartridges are @£20 each. So if you buy Cartridges for £20 each you are paying £80 for 16 or 44 mls of ink.

400 mls £20, or 44 mls for £80?

How do printer manufacturers work?

Printer manufacturers make their money from the sale of cartridges, not from the sale of printers! That's why in some instances the printer cost less than the cartridges.
Printer manufacturers dont want you to use a CISS. Because they arent making huge amounts of money from you buying ink else where. They dont want you to use Compatible cartridges either. They want your money, not you going paying someone else a lot less than they charge.
Now under European Law they CAN NOT STOP you using compatibles or CISS systems. They state that using ANYTHING other than THEIR Cartridges invalidates your printers Warranty.
The reason they say this is because they need you to buy their cartridges because they make the printers at a massive loss, intending to re-coup the money from you when you buy their Cartridges. You dont buy the cartridges, they dont make the ridiculous amounts of money from them.
So using a CISS or compatible cartridges will NOT invalidate your warranty.

Next I dont want to have to buy another printer, but can I get a CISS?
YES! CISS are built for nearly every machine in existence.
Yes Initially its an outlay, but generally less than having to replace a full set of "proper" cartridges. This time instead of buying a "consumable", you are investing in a constant source of ink.
A lot of sample makers use CISS. I do, I do know others who have them.

I had a sheet feed printer, with a tape of ink, like the old type writers originally. Yes, that is how they were made when they first came out!
Then I moved to an Epson which had a separate scanner, yes they didnt come built in back then!
Then I got an HP, beautiful machine, but then thats when ink prices started to slowly rise, as printer manufacturers discovered how to fleece us.
Then hubby got me another Epson, not a good desicion, as it wouldnt take half the stuff the HP did.
I struggled along for a few years, then got a Ciss. Back then they were new. This is back when you could by the ink refill packs in supermarkets, remember the ones where you had to drill a hole in the top of the cartridge and use a syringe? Ciss was new back then, and I did have issues with it.
Then compatibles came on the high street. Much cheaper, but the quality wasnt always there.
Finally I had had enough, and last year bought myself an A3+ printer. Ciss had developed enough that it was reliable now.
So I bought myself one, and an extra set of bottled inks.
this is what it looks like :
The Inks are in the small collection of fused bottles on the left. The tubes run from the bottles into the top of the machine, which has to be slightly open to let the tubes through into the printer. BUT its not damaging the printer.

The tubes then are attached to the ink cartridges. The tubes are fed in in such a way as to not disrupt the movement of the print head carriage, the actual bit that does the printing, and are held by a small clip, so that once its in the right position they dont move around and fall into the machine.
The cartridges act in exactly the same way as your ordinary cartridges. They can be removed, and the clip and metal brace that holds the lid open, can be removed, and no one would ever know you had a CISS installed. It will allow you to use manufacturers cartridges, and compatibles, then switch back to CISS. You are not doing anything permanent or damaging to your printer.
This is what my printer says when I close the lid, and the cartridges are "seen" by the printer. I just press okay, (The blue rectangle bottom Right of the shot) and off I go.

Now I had an issue earlier this year, my printer developed a fault or 2. But it was still within warranty, so I contacted City Ink Express, and as it was a printer fault, he advised me to speak to HP. I did. I took the Ciss out of the printer, and HP sent me a "new" Printer. Only it wasnt actually a new printer, but a re-conditioned one, grr, and it had a sheet feed issue, kept trying to pull the printed sheet back into the printer, so back to HP, and this is printer number 3.
When I went to fit the CISS it wasnt recognised. OH NO! Back on the phone and email to City ink. I suspect that when the original one went haywire on me it fried the cartridges. So new set of cartridges, at no cost to me as its a lifetime warranty, and my Ciss has been running perfectly ever since.

I will say that a lot of issues with CISS seem to be related to the company you buy them from. I do know that the guy at City Ink WILL NOT sell you a CISS or CISS and Printer bundle until he has support videos in place. Yes I had to wait a couple of weeks, lol. And when City Ink Express say its a lifetime CISS warranty, he does actually mean it!

But I will say that if you are a card maker, my HP takes 300gsm with no issues and its a bottom feed machine, also vellum, acetate, and tissue paper. I dont have a problem with print quality its perfect. HP and Brother seem to be the work horses for card makers, they take most of what you throw at them, and for cardmaking, a lot of it, I would recommend HP.

Hope this helps those of you who are still curious about CISS systems, and clears up some of the confusion around this new way of getting ink onto your printer.



Laney said...

Thanks for that Lou I have never honestly heard of them until now,very interesting review and I'm having a good old think about it!!

Linda Simpson said...

Fabulous information and written in terms we can understand. Seriously thinking about this myself.

Linda xxx

Lexie said...

Great post Lou. Well worth looking into once I have some spare dosh.

Debbie Fisher said...

Wow never heard of this, what a great idea xxx

We All Craft Together said...

Thanks so much for this info. Will definitely be investing. Haven't even heard of this before. Thanks again for sharing.


Lorraine said...

Thanks for giving us all this info on CISS, I had heard of it but I wasn't too sure about it to be honest but thanks to you explaining the system so well I'm now going to save my pennies and get one hun.
Huge hugz, Lorraine xx

irkaty said...

I got a brand new Epson. I like epson :)
Problem is they haven't sorted out the kinks in the ciss for it yet :( meanwhile I'm paying up to £70 for a full set of colours! !!!!!!) They promised it would be available in April and I'm still waiting and slowly going broke :'(
Go for ciss it saves soooooo much money

irkaty said...

I got a brand new Epson. I like epson :)
Problem is they haven't sorted out the kinks in the ciss for it yet :( meanwhile I'm paying up to £70 for a full set of colours! !!!!!!) They promised it would be available in April and I'm still waiting and slowly going broke :'(
Go for ciss it saves soooooo much money

Anonymous said...

Hi Lou

Could you tell me what type of printer you use?


l00pyscraftcreations said...

Hi Annonymous,

I bought mine as part of a bundle deal by City Ink express. I bought the A3+ HP 7500. It was quite expensive as it was A3+, he does have several types of printers, and he also does CISS for printers you may already have, Hope this helps, xx

We All Craft Together said...

Hi Lou

Thanks for the info on the printer, I was on someone else's PC so didn't log in ... hence anonymous! Off to see about an A3 printer now!

Thanks again.