Has anyone made/changed their printer to a black and gray ink system?


TPF Noob!
Feb 18, 2012
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Have an older color 6-ink Epson inkjet printer. I would like to change it to a black and white system. Has anyone figured this out already? I'm even willing to mix my own inks and chems if I can figure it out!
Do not know if this helps but mine is all black. I am a screen printer and purchase a the epson 1400 and it uses all black ink with rip software to print all at the same time for screen output. Perhaps there is a system out there similar for black and white. I would think you need some type of rip software though.
I've been using monochrome inks in Epson printers for over ten years, starting with the Epson 3000 (not the current one, obviously) and Jon Cones 'Piezography' ink system and software. Later I switched to my own formulations and I have used a variety of software. It can be done without a RIP or with a RIP such as QTR, which is cheap. There are other, more expensive RIPs, but many people use QTR.

There are many options. Here are some places to look. Once you have got some background, I'll try to answer any questions. There's also the matter of how to use bulk ink supplies - either via a continuous ink supply system (CIS or CISS) or via refillable cartridges.

Jon Cone Article

Paul Roark (you need to look around on his site - there is a huge amount of useful information)

Piezography blog

iezography store




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Yes, the piezography site is where I fell in love! My first love is B&W film, but I do enjoy digital too. I would like to start out with refillable cartridges. Working on my masters and already spending oodles so I'ld like to do this cheaper, besides I love the whole project of working something out. I would love to develop my own system. I saw a thread of yours earlier so I investigated the ink supply site. Any further advise will be greatly appreciated.
Which printer do you have? Do you want to use matt or gloss paper?

I found MIS to be a great source of all the little bits you need to mess around making up your own inks and filling cartridges. There is now the 'Ebony' ink which can be diluted to give all the shades you need, and that makes it very economical. I also used Epson ink from the large cartridges, but now I think I would start with the Ebony. It has also got good longevity ratings, and it is quite neutral on its own. There's more info on the Roark site. I made up my own inks mainly because I wanted a system for printing on gloss paper, and one didn't exist back then. I used (and still use) IJC/OPM for most of my systems, but now I would recommend QTR even though I prefer IJC/OPM. QTR is in much wider use.

It's an interesting project in itself.
Good luck,
Thanks for the good info. I have a not so great Epson RX620 but I want to find a 1400. I prefer matte paper. Working with some Hahnemuhle paper for my current project.
Epson 1400 is a great printer as I've read in a lot of reviews.. and it works well with compatible cartridges.. Will it be worth it? If i would use comaptible ink cartridges with it? cost of black ink cartridge for Epson is really average.. inkjetsuperstore black ink cartridge
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