In this week’s segment on plotter maintenance, we’ll be discussing one of the most important parts of a plotter – the ink cartridge set. Ink cartridges allow ink to be dispersed across the printing area of a plotter, and are crucial in the plotting process. Without ink, plotters simply cannot operate. For this reason, it is important to know when it is time to change out the ink cartridges in your plotter so that you can avoid having issues with your printed documents.
First, most ink cartridges have a firm expiration date, owing to the sensitive qualities of ink. The expiration date of the ink can typically be found on either the cartridge itself or the packaging which it came bundled in. Make sure that the ink you are using is within its recommended usage period. If your ink has expired, don’t chance using it in your plotter – it may have coagulated, which can cause the ink to jam up the inner mechanisms of the device.
Second, keep a close eye on the level of ink left within the cartridge. Once the system recommends changing out the cartridge owing to depletion, don’t hesitate to swap it out – trying to squeeze out the last drop from the cartridge may cause the plotter to print washed-out or faintly printed images. Also, the ink at the bottom of the cartridge has a much stronger chance of coagulating or thickening, and is therefore less suitable for printing than the fresh ink at the top. Long story short – if your machine is telling you it’s time to change your cartridges, doing so may save you in the long-term.
For more information on large format plotters and large format printing, give us a holler at (866)-338-4464, or