I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Discussions
JJ Winkel
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I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
Apr 4, 2013

I have since a long time a new 3880 I-refill kit from InkRepublic, but till now never got to install it mainly due to some drawbacks like too large, too much air causing banding when nearing emptiness, etc...

But as I also read that they have many advantages I decided to try to make one smaller.

Some preliminary pics :

Size comparison

In Situ

Cover almost closed

To avoid a too long post, I made a pdf describing what I did, it's here:

http://www.casimages.com/f.php?f=130404070553781858.pdf

Before I permanently seal the test cartridge and start "destroying" the other eight ones, please feel free to submit any further suggestion or comment.

Thanks

-- hide signature --

C&C welcome if ever there's a pic of mine posted above !
JJ.

Serhat Abaci
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 4, 2013

intressting!

but the pdf file is broken

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JJ Winkel
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The pdf file is good.
In reply to Serhat Abaci, Apr 5, 2013

Serhat Abaci wrote:

intressting!

but the pdf file is broken

Serhat,

I tested the pdf, it is ok,

Unfortunately you cannot read it on-line, you have to download it first.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but if required I can publish it as a post here.
--
JJ.

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HotArt
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 5, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

I have since a long time a new 3880 I-refill kit from InkRepublic, but till now never got to install it mainly due to some drawbacks like too large, too much air causing banding when nearing emptiness, etc...

But as I also read that they have many advantages I decided to try to make one smaller.

Some preliminary pics :

Size comparison

In Situ

Cover almost closed

To avoid a too long post, I made a pdf describing what I did, it's here:

http://www.casimages.com/f.php?f=130404070553781858.pdf

Before I permanently seal the test cartridge and start "destroying" the other eight ones, please feel free to submit any further suggestion or comment.

Thanks

-- hide signature --

C&C welcome if ever there's a pic of mine posted above !
JJ.

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HotArt
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to HotArt, Apr 5, 2013

HotArt wrote:

JJ Winkel wrote:

I have since a long time a new 3880 I-refill kit from InkRepublic, but till now never got to install it mainly due to some drawbacks like too large, too much air causing banding when nearing emptiness, etc...

But as I also read that they have many advantages I decided to try to make one smaller.

Some preliminary pics :

Size comparison

In Situ

Cover almost closed

To avoid a too long post, I made a pdf describing what I did, it's here:

http://www.casimages.com/f.php?f=130404070553781858.pdf

Before I permanently seal the test cartridge and start "destroying" the other eight ones, please feel free to submit any further suggestion or comment.

Thanks

-- hide signature --

C&C welcome if ever there's a pic of mine posted above !
JJ.

This looks like a great idea.
Have you considered cutting the cartridge to the same size as the orginal, while using a smaller diam. fill hole & plug in order to be able to close the printer's cover completely?
Also, have you tried it with ink for a number of days to make sure every thing holds up when the modified cartridge is pressurized?

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Andrew Curatola
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to HotArt, Apr 5, 2013

Very good idea if it keeps working down the line without any problems. If I had a 3880 I would have giving it a shot. I have all the tools you mentioned plus more. Your idea is how things get invented.

Andrew

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Petruska
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Looks good, but....
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 5, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

I have since a long time a new 3880 I-refill kit from InkRepublic, but till now never got to install it mainly due to some drawbacks like too large, too much air causing banding when nearing emptiness, etc...

But as I also read that they have many advantages I decided to try to make one smaller.

Some preliminary pics :

Size comparison

In Situ

Cover almost closed

To avoid a too long post, I made a pdf describing what I did, it's here:

http://www.casimages.com/f.php?f=130404070553781858.pdf

Before I permanently seal the test cartridge and start "destroying" the other eight ones, please feel free to submit any further suggestion or comment.

Thanks

-- hide signature --

C&C welcome if ever there's a pic of mine posted above !
JJ.

I would question your new plexiglas end panel gluing attachment to the cartridge integraty.  This is an unknown bonding interface, dissimilar materials, plus the cartridge operates with internal pressurization placing more force on that glue joint.  It may last forever, but I would be worried about it may fail and the ink that could flood the floor or carpet.  Floor protection may be required until the glue joint proves its durability.

This is still a very professional cartridge modification and one wonders why the China suppliers just don't make it this way to begin with.

Bob P.

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johnsong
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to Serhat Abaci, Apr 6, 2013

Serhat Abaci wrote:

intressting!

but the pdf file is broken

Need to add .pdf to the fill

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JJ Winkel
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Additional testing ....
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 6, 2013

Bob's hint about gluing plexiglas to the cartridge plastic got me wondering.

So far I only tested the robustness of the joint by trying to rip the two parts apart by hand, and though I am not a famous bodybuilder I did apply some force without breaking the joint. But decided to do another more scientific rupture test, if only to put my mind at rest.

Details :

Cartridge body seems to be made of some white hard plastic pvc that can be cut, drilled, sanded, glued, etc ...

Back plate is made of transparent hard PMMA (Altuglas / Plexiglas), 2 mm thick, it's 2nd prefered glue is cyanoacrylate glue better known as SuperGlue both in liquid or gel form (1st prefered being Chloroform ...... excellent if you want to make very neat and invisible joints, but that's another story).

So far I used two scrap off cuts glued together with gel superglue like that and left to dry minimum 24 hours :

For the scientific test I modified the jig like that :

I started with lighter weights and ended here :

2920g = 6.44 pounds

I stopped there as it was the scale's max, I didn't really want to break the jig and the axle began to bend

So now some maths :

The test jig's glued surface (colored light blue) is about 1.6 cm²,  actual full size it will be 4.90 cm² thus the equivalent test weight would have been  2.92 kg x 4.9 / 1.6 = 8.94 kg / 19.7 pounds

And it still didn't break yet .....

Now about pressure :

The internal area of the backplate is : 63 x 25 = 1575 mm² = 15.75 cm² =  2.44 in²

The equivalent test pressure would be :  8.94 kg / 15.75 cm² = 0.568 kg/cm² = 8 psi

Would you think that's enough ?  Can that poor rubber accordion pump of the 3880 exceed that pressure ?

Before that I did use some other glues like silicone and MS Polymer (supposed to be the strongest of all ... :-O) none resisted very long.

One more detail : inkjet inks are water based, so no solvent to attack the joint in the long run.

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JJ Winkel
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to HotArt, Apr 6, 2013

HotArt wrote:

This looks like a great idea.
Have you considered cutting the cartridge to the same size as the orginal, while using a smaller diam. fill hole & plug in order to be able to close the printer's cover completely?

Well cutting the cart to the same size as the OEM ones would have been like using the 80 ml refillable ones with only the benefit of the better valve, but then it would have been necessary to reduce the tube to the internal air filter and give up the nicer and larger refill plug too.

The small protrusion doesn't bother me really as long as I can almost close the cover to keep the carts shielded from direct sunlight, and it is nice to see the ink levels at a glance.

Also, have you tried it with ink for a number of days to make sure every thing holds up when the modified cartridge is pressurized?

Not yet as I actually have not yet glued the backplate, still waiting for some more comments, but I will for sure and let you know.

-- hide signature --

JJ.

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jtoolman
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 6, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

HotArt wrote:

This looks like a great idea.
Have you considered cutting the cartridge to the same size as the orginal, while using a smaller diam. fill hole & plug in order to be able to close the printer's cover completely?

Well cutting the cart to the same size as the OEM ones would have been like using the 80 ml refillable ones with only the benefit of the better valve, but then it would have been necessary to reduce the tube to the internal air filter and give up the nicer and larger refill plug too.

The small protrusion doesn't bother me really as long as I can almost close the cover to keep the carts shielded from direct sunlight, and it is nice to see the ink levels at a glance.

Also, have you tried it with ink for a number of days to make sure every thing holds up when the modified cartridge is pressurized?

Not yet as I actually have not yet glued the backplate, still waiting for some more comments, but I will for sure and let you know.

-- hide signature --

JJ.

To me, the biggest advantage of this modification is the ability to top fill as opposed to the filling method integrated into the small 80ml refillables. Since the modified carts extend a bit beyond the

80 ml carts, what gains in internal ink volume are attained?

I have done a top fill modification to both on my 80ml refillable cart sets for my two 3800s and so far it is working very well.

The positives are that I can top off the carts when needed and there is no resetting needed as the chips always read full. Since one never removes the carts, the outlet port seals are not exposed to the wear caused by removing and reinserting.

The negatives are that you can no longer fill to the top. Due to the location of the new fill plugs.

If I had to do it over again, I would forgo this mod.

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Petruska
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You do thing right!
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 6, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

Bob's hint about gluing plexiglas to the cartridge plastic got me wondering.

So far I only tested the robustness of the joint by trying to rip the two parts apart by hand, and though I am not a famous bodybuilder I did apply some force without breaking the joint. But decided to do another more scientific rupture test, if only to put my mind at rest.

Details :

Cartridge body seems to be made of some white hard plastic pvc that can be cut, drilled, sanded, glued, etc ...

Back plate is made of transparent hard PMMA (Altuglas / Plexiglas), 2 mm thick, it's 2nd prefered glue is cyanoacrylate glue better known as SuperGlue both in liquid or gel form (1st prefered being Chloroform ...... excellent if you want to make very neat and invisible joints, but that's another story).

So far I used two scrap off cuts glued together with gel superglue like that and left to dry minimum 24 hours :

For the scientific test I modified the jig like that :

I started with lighter weights and ended here :

2920g = 6.44 pounds

I stopped there as it was the scale's max, I didn't really want to break the jig and the axle began to bend

So now some maths :

The test jig's glued surface (colored light blue) is about 1.6 cm²,  actual full size it will be 4.90 cm² thus the equivalent test weight would have been  2.92 kg x 4.9 / 1.6 = 8.94 kg / 19.7 pounds

And it still didn't break yet .....

Now about pressure :

The internal area of the backplate is : 63 x 25 = 1575 mm² = 15.75 cm² =  2.44 in²

The equivalent test pressure would be :  8.94 kg / 15.75 cm² = 0.568 kg/cm² = 8 psi

Would you think that's enough ?  Can that poor rubber accordion pump of the 3880 exceed that pressure ?

Before that I did use some other glues like silicone and MS Polymer (supposed to be the strongest of all ... :-O) none resisted very long.

One more detail : inkjet inks are water based, so no solvent to attack the joint in the long run.

-- hide signature --

C&C welcome if ever there's a pic of mine posted above !
JJ.

I'm also an engineer and I appreciate when someone looks at a new design from all angles.  I love the glue line bond shear test method apparatus!  Looks like the glue works well with the two dissimilar materials.  One good thing with the clear plexiglas end cap, you can see if any ink is slowly migrating through through bond line.

Bob P.

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irvweiner
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Re: You do thing right!
In reply to Petruska, Apr 6, 2013

'Us Engineers' love to keep making love to our projects'!!!

1: Several 2-56 screws could be placed around the rear perimeter, guaranteeing the rear cover plate never breaking off due to a creeping fracture in the glue joint.

2: A 6-32 or 1/4-20 Nylon bolt plus O-ring could be used as a new flush ink entry port on the cart's top or new (slightly thicker) rear cover plate.

3: Stop and create more prints!!  YES

irv weiner

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HotArt
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Re: I modified a 38xx I-refill cartridge ...
In reply to jtoolman, Apr 7, 2013

jtoolman wrote:

JJ Winkel wrote:

HotArt wrote:

This looks like a great idea.
Have you considered cutting the cartridge to the same size as the orginal, while using a smaller diam. fill hole & plug in order to be able to close the printer's cover completely?

Well cutting the cart to the same size as the OEM ones would have been like using the 80 ml refillable ones with only the benefit of the better valve, but then it would have been necessary to reduce the tube to the internal air filter and give up the nicer and larger refill plug too.

The small protrusion doesn't bother me really as long as I can almost close the cover to keep the carts shielded from direct sunlight, and it is nice to see the ink levels at a glance.

Also, have you tried it with ink for a number of days to make sure every thing holds up when the modified cartridge is pressurized?

Not yet as I actually have not yet glued the backplate, still waiting for some more comments, but I will for sure and let you know.

-- hide signature --

JJ.

To me, the biggest advantage of this modification is the ability to top fill as opposed to the filling method integrated into the small 80ml refillables. Since the modified carts extend a bit beyond the

80 ml carts, what gains in internal ink volume are attained?

I have done a top fill modification to both on my 80ml refillable cart sets for my two 3800s and so far it is working very well.

The positives are that I can top off the carts when needed and there is no resetting needed as the chips always read full. Since one never removes the carts, the outlet port seals are not exposed to the wear caused by removing and reinserting.

The negatives are that you can no longer fill to the top. Due to the location of the new fill plugs.

If I had to do it over again, I would forgo this mod.

Re: The negatives are that you can no longer fill to the top. Due to the location of the new fill plugs.
As you know following your design I too use cartridges with the fill hole in the top position. I fill the cartridges to the top by leaning the printer backward while refilling.
I have another question, since there is a cost to every modification (even if it is only time), buying both sets of cartridges & using the inkrepublic chips fitted on the cone style cartridges might be an option (it they would work). Does any one know if the inkrepublic chips can be fitted on the cone style cartridges?

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JJ Winkel
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First summary, not yet conclusion ...
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 7, 2013

My experiment was not to compare one against the other, I already had my IR carts and to use them or not use them, that was the question .... Not using them meaning getting rid of more cash.

I can only compare what I now actually know of the IR carts having carried an autopsy on one and from what has been said / shown on-line about the 80 ml refillable carts. So what have I got so far :

1) Modified IR / InkJetCarts carts, reduced length:

Benefits:

  • True 80 ml useful capacity (measured)
  • Very good ink valve almost identical to oem
  • Nice one way air filter preventing ink back flow into printer pressurizing system
  • Sturdy build with one thick wall only 
  • Clearly visible ink level
  • Large refill plug easy to fill and manipulate
  • No piggy back chips and resets maintenance cart too, no need of an additional resetter  

Drawbacks:

  • Work involved
  • Still protrudes but no need to remove/rework the printer cover
  • Chip reset procedure not so user friendly
  • More expensive (but I already had mine ... )

2) Modified 80 ml Inkjetmall / IJF / ..., with top fill modification:

Benefits:

  • Less work involved
  • Do not protrude, printer cover can be closed
  • Chips show always full and no need to remove them to reset the chip
  • Cheaper (unless one has to buy the oem chips too)

Drawbacks:

  • Multiple thin walls to drill thru, less long term reliability ?
  • Need for additional fill hole plugs, reliability after multiple reuse ?
  • Reset requires not empty oem chips to start with 
  • Requires additional maintenance chip resetter 
  • Possible carts locked due to chip protruding ( But see my post here : What really happens ...

Not drawbacks but questions:

  • As these carts are even smaller than my reduced ones, what is their actual useful capacity ?
  • How is their air pressure system ? 
  • What happens to it if filling to the top ?

If I wrote something wrong or forgot some points, please let me know.

Thanks for reading ....

-- hide signature --

JJ.

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jtoolman
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Re: First summary, not yet conclusion ...
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 7, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

My experiment was not to compare one against the other, I already had my IR carts and to use them or not use them, that was the question .... Not using them meaning getting rid of more cash.

I can only compare what I now actually know of the IR carts having carried an autopsy on one and from what has been said / shown on-line about the 80 ml refillable carts. So what have I got so far :

1) Modified IR / InkJetCarts carts, reduced length:

Benefits:

  • True 80 ml useful capacity (measured)
  • Very good ink valve almost identical to oem
  • Nice one way air filter preventing ink back flow into printer pressurizing system
  • Sturdy build with one thick wall only 
  • Clearly visible ink level
  • Large refill plug easy to fill and manipulate
  • No piggy back chips and resets maintenance cart too, no need of an additional resetter  

Drawbacks:

  • Work involved
  • Still protrudes but no need to remove/rework the printer cover
  • Chip reset procedure not so user friendly
  • More expensive (but I already had mine ... )

2) Modified 80 ml Inkjetmall / IJF / ..., with top fill modification:

Benefits:

  • Less work involved
  • Do not protrude, printer cover can be closed
  • Chips show always full and no need to remove them to reset the chip
  • Cheaper (unless one has to buy the oem chips too)

Drawbacks:

  • Multiple thin walls to drill thru, less long term reliability ?
  • Need for additional fill hole plugs, reliability after multiple reuse ?
  • Reset requires not empty oem chips to start with 
  • Requires additional maintenance chip resetter 
  • Possible carts locked due to chip protruding ( But see my post here : What really happens ...

Not drawbacks but questions:

  • As these carts are even smaller than my reduced ones, what is their actual useful capacity ?
  • How is their air pressure system ? 
  • What happens to it if filling to the top ?

If I wrote something wrong or forgot some points, please let me know.

Thanks for reading ....

-- hide signature --

JJ.

With the IJF carts for the 3800 the maintenance cart becomes always empty. Even though they include a supposedly special chip for the MC, I have found ( twice already ) that the always full chip ends up not being recognized and you simply can just leave the original MC chip in place. It automatically resets it and keeps it always empty.

Also, with the IJF carts and their controller chips, you only need the Mk and PK original chips. So in case you have to buy them from someone like CONE, the total outlay will not be as much as having to buy a complete set.

The total volume I have been able to fill up these carts is only about 60-65, maybe 70 ml tops.

The internal square wall supports take up a lot of what would be useful ink volume.

The weak point on my top fill mod is the double walled area that one would have to drill through. To really have a good seal, you really need more surface area on the hole. If the cart had any area that was at least 1/8" thick, then a better sealing hole could be produced.

During testing with a set of failed carts, I found that I would have a few hole/plug seals that would leak and some that would not. I was originally using the 5/32" drill. Since I have a complete set of numbered and letter size drills I figured that If I ever do this again, I would use a decimal size that is about 4 thou smaller in diameter that the 5/32" simply to provide a tighter plug seal of the hole.

The other problem is that since my hole is located on the flat corner of the top of the cart and it's at an angle, I cannot fill to the top. In fact I have to keep the ink level below the hole, thereby loosing another 7-10ml of ink volume. It's not really that big a deal since you still have like 60ml of ink per cart to print with.

The so called 80ml refillable carts are also not very translucent so it is not easy to visually monitor levels, without actually removing them. Which negates the very reason for the top fill mod.

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JJ Winkel
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Now Up and Running with Cone InkThrift dye inks ......
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 23, 2013

A few more pics :Fill'em up ......

60 ml each

In Situ

Printing cover closed ....

As I have a stock of A3+ Epson PGPP, I made a specific profile and printed an evaluation print, then scanned it with my IT8 profiled V750 scanner :

Look at the full size scan (un-retouched)

OK, Agreed the Epson PGPP is no good for B/W but with the Cone InkThrift dye inks the colours are gorgeous and the gloss excellent, much better than with OEM inks.

Thanks for reading ......

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JJ.

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Petruska
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That looks sooooo good!
In reply to JJ Winkel, Apr 24, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

A few more pics :Fill'em up ......

60 ml each

In Situ

Printing cover closed ....

As I have a stock of A3+ Epson PGPP, I made a specific profile and printed an evaluation print, then scanned it with my IT8 profiled V750 scanner :

Look at the full size scan (un-retouched)

OK, Agreed the Epson PGPP is no good for B/W but with the Cone InkThrift dye inks the colours are gorgeous and the gloss excellent, much better than with OEM inks.

Thanks for reading ......

-- hide signature --

C&C welcome if ever there's a pic of mine posted above !
JJ.

Very nice modified set of carts.  I really like that the cover doesn't close all the way, it lets you see when you are running low on ink much easier.

Yes the Cone dye inks are great.  Both the pigment and dye inks have a great gloss, I always say better than OEM.

You should market these modified carts.

Bob P.

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JJ Winkel
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Some news and updated pdf
In reply to JJ Winkel, Aug 15, 2013

Well 4 months later the carts are still as when I mod them, no trouble no leak no nothing .....

I updated the pdf with some more pictures :
http://www.casimages.com/f.php?f=130815065755573689.pdf

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JJ.

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williamio
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Re: Some news and updated pdf
In reply to JJ Winkel, Aug 17, 2013

JJ Winkel wrote:

Well 4 months later the carts are still as when I mod them, no trouble no leak no nothing .....

I updated the pdf with some more pictures :
http://www.casimages.com/f.php?f=130815065755573689.pdf

-- hide signature --

JJ.

Looks really interesting. May I know how much time you took to modify the carts? I dont think I can be that handy

by the way, I am using the original refill carts from Inkrepublic. It works fine without modification. the only downside (probably not a real disadvantage) is the open cover. I took it out by following some tips on

http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=7914

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