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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at buying an Epson 4880 to do some t-shirts but mainly for printing on Chromaluxe metal. I have a 16x20 press and would like to print as big as my press will allow.

I've had various Epson desktop printers (C88,etc.) over the years, and fought clogging until I got a Ricoh 3300. It's been great to just turn on the printer and start printing.

I've looked at the Ricoh 7100, but it really doesn't go as big as I would like (only 13" wide) and I'm thinking I will get better prints with the 8 ink Artanium vs. the 4 ink Ricoh.

My only concern in all this, is if I will go back to fighting clogs. From what I've read, the 4880 is much better than the older desktop Epsons.

Any thoughts or real world experience?
 

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you can't even compare a Stylus Pro to a home/office Epson, they are worlds apart. And, yes, an 8 colour printer will give you noticeable results over a 4 colour - we moved years ago from a 4 colour Stylus Pro to the 7 colour ones we're on now, and there's no way we'd go back!
If moving to a printer of this calibre, I'd question whether sticking with consumer level Sawgrass inks, rather than commercial/industrial level bulk inks with a refill cart system would be a better way forward- better quality inks available at a much cheaper £ per ml. And then where in the world you are would then likely dictate which alternative ink supply is better for you, for Europe, you're likely looking at InkTec, and in USA, more likely J-Tech.
 

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you can't even compare a Stylus Pro to a home/office Epson, they are worlds apart. And, yes, an 8 colour printer will give you noticeable results over a 4 colour - we moved years ago from a 4 colour Stylus Pro to the 7 colour ones we're on now, and there's no way we'd go back!
If moving to a printer of this calibre, I'd question whether sticking with consumer level Sawgrass inks, rather than commercial/industrial level bulk inks with a refill cart system would be a better way forward- better quality inks available at a much cheaper £ per ml. And then where in the world you are would then likely dictate which alternative ink supply is better for you, for Europe, you're likely looking at InkTec, and in USA, more likely J-Tech.
Not to say you can't get non-sawgrass inks for the 4880, however, J-Tech and other large format ink vendors won't officially support <42 inch carriage printers. Sawgrass currently licenses only for large format printers 42 inches or greater.

Will be interesting to see what happens in about 6 months when the patent is expired.
 

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I'm looking at buying an Epson 4880 to do some t-shirts but mainly for printing on Chromaluxe metal. I have a 16x20 press and would like to print as big as my press will allow.

I've had various Epson desktop printers (C88,etc.) over the years, and fought clogging until I got a Ricoh 3300. It's been great to just turn on the printer and start printing.

I've looked at the Ricoh 7100, but it really doesn't go as big as I would like (only 13" wide) and I'm thinking I will get better prints with the 8 ink Artanium vs. the 4 ink Ricoh.

My only concern in all this, is if I will go back to fighting clogs. From what I've read, the 4880 is much better than the older desktop Epsons.

Any thoughts or real world experience?
The 4880 is no longer manufactured. It was replaced with the 4900. In terms of clogs the 4880 is no better than any desktop Epsons I have owned. You must print frequently in any case.
 

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If you are looking for size capability larger than the Ricoh 7100 I would take a look at the Epson T3000. It's a 24" wide printer that takes 700ml (Sawgrass) cartridges. Even though you are still in a closed cartridge system that's a lot of ink! It is a 4 color, not an 8 color printer but so far I have been very impressed with the results I've seen out of it.
 

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The 700ml Sawgrass carts are $320 which really isn't a bad value. In order for the 1 year warranty to be honored the closed cartridges would need to be installed in the printer. If refillable cartridges are used you would be on your own if something happened to the printer.
 

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so roughly £200 for 700ml, which is equivilent to £285 per litre, so about £200 a litre more expensive than a litre of InkTec's sublimation ink.
Only a four colour system, but still that's costing you £800 more each time you fill up, for a £2000 printer. You could buy an extra printer and keep it in its box as an alternative to Sawgrass' warranty for those price differences.
Equally, ink companies like InkTec also have warranties and guaranty services for printers running their inks.
 

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Wish we had not bought the 4880 it's clogs daily have to clean 3 or 5 times to clear the print heads. We use sublijet carts 2 chips gave up the ghost so had to buy 2 more within two weeks of each other. Worst printer ever, yet we have 2epson 10600s which are amazing machines
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wish we had not bought the 4880 it's clogs daily have to clean 3 or 5 times to clear the print heads. We use sublijet carts 2 chips gave up the ghost so had to buy 2 more within two weeks of each other. Worst printer ever, yet we have 2epson 10600s which are amazing machines
I was afraid of that. It seems like the only people who are happy with their Epsons are the large format users. I don't know if I'm ready to jump into an Epson 7890/9890. I also have a lead on an Epson 7700 for cheap, but I'm back to 4 inks again.
 

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4880 shouldn't struggle anymore than its bigger brothers, so I am confused why you're having problems with it. Although, it does seem a shame that your using Sawgrass consumer inks in a pro level printer.
 

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Wish we had not bought the 4880 it's clogs daily have to clean 3 or 5 times to clear the print heads. We use sublijet carts 2 chips gave up the ghost so had to buy 2 more within two weeks of each other. Worst printer ever, yet we have 2epson 10600s which are amazing machines

Can't agree more with robo029 on Epson 4880. And it seems it has a mind of its own. Absolute nightmare!
 

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The DX5 print head in the 4880 is used in a lot of their other printers (including many wide format Epson printers); the ink (in theory) should behave the same. Are there specific issues with the function of the 4880 that pose a problem? I've been using 4880 printers for DTG for years and they have handled the highly viscous waterbased inks fairly well - we have had to deal with a number of error codes on the printers at various times, so I'm wondering if people are experiencing the same types of issues or if they have specific ink issues with the sublimation inks in those printers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Outside of this thread, I had a couple of users say that they like the 4880, so I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I was able to pick up a like new 4880 printer locally, so we'll see how well it works. Since I'm in the US, what's the best ink, Sawgrass or Artanium UV+?
 

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Artainium is one of Sawgrass' consumer inks. For a pro level printer, like the 4880, I would recommend staying away from consumer inks, and get some professional level inks, and in turn avoid paying for Sawgrass extortionate pricing.
 

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I've had two 4800 printers and two 4880 printers using sawgrass inks and sawgrass driver. They were a nightmare - constantly clogging and poor colour matching. I subsequently switched to Ricoh 7100 using sawgrass inks and its so much better. No clogs even when left for weeks and super colour reproduction.
Yes, I agree the Epson should be the best printer if printing photos on photo papers - but I'm printing sublimation T shirts and mugs etc and the Ricoh is miles better quality and cheaper running only 4 inks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Since this thread resurfaced, I figured I should follow up with my experience. We shut down our Ricoh printer last year and have used the Epson 4880 exclusively since.

So far everything has worked fine. I still haven't started printing on Chromaluxe yet, so I haven't taken advantage of the larger print size on the 4880. Still just printing mugs, mouse pads, and puzzles.

Our volume is definitely on the low side, but I run at least one test print a week, and so far so good. Occasionally the test print will say that it is running a cleaning cycle and then automatically print another test. So far this has worked fine.

Now that business has slowed down a bit after the holidays, I'm planning on finally getting the Chromaluxe printing started. I'm anxious to do some larger dye sub prints.
 

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Since this thread resurfaced, I figured I should follow up with my experience. We shut down our Ricoh printer last year and have used the Epson 4880 exclusively since.

So far everything has worked fine. I still haven't started printing on Chromaluxe yet, so I haven't taken advantage of the larger print size on the 4880. Still just printing mugs, mouse pads, and puzzles.

Our volume is definitely on the low side, but I run at least one test print a week, and so far so good. Occasionally the test print will say that it is running a cleaning cycle and then automatically print another test. So far this has worked fine.

Now that business has slowed down a bit after the holidays, I'm planning on finally getting the Chromaluxe printing started. I'm anxious to do some larger dye sub prints.
What inks are you using? RIP? I hit the proverbial Epson lotto twice in one month and scored a 4880 and 4800 for unreal prices, and both are firing on all cylinders. I'm planning on keeping one for doing prints for an artist and the other will be my new sublimation printer once I decide on a RIP and ink.
 
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