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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I recently purchased a Ricoh 3300 printer with Subli jet ink and have been trying to calculate ink costs. Since I just set this up, they advised me that 12% of the 1st cartridges would be used to charge the system, which I understand, but it seems like I am not quite getting the bang for my buck. I did a check on my ink supply and came up with Y-32%, M-19%, C-17%, and K-33%. I checked my print count and it was 69 color prints. When I print, I normally do 8.5x11 paper and will print 2 full wrap mugs, checkbook covers, or anything similiar as to not waste paper. With my calculation with the system already charged my next set of cartridges should produce around 120 color prints. If that is the case and I am paying $240 for a full ink set, each 8.5x11 print would be over $2 once you figure shipping. I guess I am wondering if this is the norm. Like I said, I just started a couple of months ago and still learning quite a bit.
 

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contact David Gross at Conde or search thru the forum or on the conde site. . He did the GX-7000 ink cost and I thought he had done them on this one as well.

I thought the charging was just pulling the ink up into the lines and if so you don't lose that ink. Unless its dumping it into the waste thingy instead but don't think so. Can't recall tho.

Mark
 

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Yeah, I think I just stated the charging the wrong way. I did find what Dave did for the GX 5050 and he had it figured at $.50 per 8x10. I guess I can't figure out why my prints are costing $2 for 8x10 full color.
 

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The 3300 has small 29 ml cartridges. I would estimate that it takes about 60% of the first cartridge to load the tubing up to the print heads.
 

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Is there a site where you can calculate / compare different ink & paper costs?

I saw an old post that calculated an ink cost of $.00625 per square inch of full coverage (or $.50 for 80 sq inches in an 8 x 10 letter size print). However, I believe that estimate was just for one brand of ink used in a specific printer.

I'm wondering if there's an easier way to compare the printing costs of all the different ink & paper brands than contacting each one separately. I'm guessing that's probably wishful thinking, but figured it was worth asking since there are so many different ink brands and printers out there.
 

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I have printed 250 color pages using the GXe3300n and so far have used: 1 black and 2 of each color ink cartridges (total= 7 inks used). I'm printing about 80% coverage on each page. Also the printer is now requesting a new ink maintenance tank. At $60/ink and $30 for the maintenance tank that's $450, or about $1.80 per print. With paper it's closer to $2.

I think either the 7000 is much more efficient or DG's calculations are off.

What I've observed is that the actual printing is quite miserly on ink, it's the maintenance cycle that seems to really suck it down, I've seen it drop about 10% over one maintenance cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was on the phone with Conde yesterday asking about this. I was told a full set of cartridges should yield around 150 8x10 color prints. I know this may vary. My problem, I have went through 2 sets and need to order another set now. My count is 146 color and 0 black/white. Of that 146 count, 80% are mug prints on 8.5 x 11 sheets with 4 - 3"x3" designs. I'm not even doing 50% coverage and I have used $480 worth of inks already and the ink collector needs changed. When I purchased the unit, I called and they helped me set up everything, so not wanting to screw anything up, I have not messed with the settings. I went into properties to check the print quality and it has 3 choices High, Standard and Fast. Mine is set on High. I have also noticed that it seems like much ink is left on the paper after pressing, but I have no clue because this is new to me.
 

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I think you're seeing what I'm seeing: The ink usage while printing seems quite frugal, but maybe the maintenance cycles are what's taking all your ink. Are you using the printer frequently every day or does it sit for a while between batches?
 

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The big push for this printer is no head clogs but that comes at a price. The ink is twice the cost of the bagged system for the epsons but either one is really expensive.

We still use the 1280 and are on our second printer and have found that putting a drop of cleaning solution (from our DTG supplier, DTGInks.com) in the capping station helps keep the head clean. We also use printer jockey to flush clogged channels.

I cannot say that small format (yes, the R-7000 is small format) dye sub printing yields a profit unless you are doing this work every day. We still offer it because it leads to other sales.
 

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I think our concern is that we bought the machine based on consumables costs that are turning out to be much much higher than we were led to believe. If we'd known at the outset that per-page cost was going to be about $2 that would have affected our buying decision.

I think Ricoh has a problem with this printer, maybe it's something they can fix with a firmware update (ie. be less aggressive with the maintenance cycles). Otherwise, any buyers reading these forums will think twice about getting one.
 

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I think Ricoh has a problem with this printer, maybe it's something they can fix with a firmware update (ie. be less aggressive with the maintenance cycles).
I think it is important for you to understand that Ricoh did not build or sell this printer as a dye sub printer. Epson has also not built a dye sub printer. The OEM printer manufacturers build printers to sell their ink and none of them to date that I am aware of make their own dye sub ink. The ink is what really motivates the printer manufacturers. This is why Epson keeps changing the ink chip encryption - to prevent 3rd party ink manufacturers from taking their consumables. Having to support the hardware components on the printer is not worth it just for the sale of the printer.

So I think you are going to find it a hard argument for Ricoh to spend money to change their printer when they are not making money on the ink. You probably have a better chance of hoping Sawgrass recoups their R&D money on making the ink for this type of printer and will drop the price.

Just something to consider.

Mark
 

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Good point about it not really being Ricoh's problem. Although 'regular' users with regular inks aren't going to be happy about the per-page cost either.
 
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