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Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Build


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Thought I'd start a new thread on this printer. Not much info really on this printer for conversion, maybe in the DTG area, but all the videos I've seen don't really catalog what needs to be done. Also it's weird that almost all the videos out there most people operate this printer with all the covers off, or at least most of them. I figure this is so have easier access to cleaning it?

So I bought one used for $200 and the guy had not done any maintenance prior to putting away for a year. I didn't try it out at the guy's place as he was giving me a ton of carts and other stuff, so I figured no matter what I could get it running.

Got it home. Cleaned it up from dust and smears. Took the refillable cart system he bought and loaded them with Piezo cleaning fluid, all from inkjetmall.com. Ran the printer and this printer there is a ton of ink in the lines and such. So doing a deep cleaning it printed a test pattern with a clean head. I was surprised. I didn't have enough fluid to fill the carts and the lines so I'm waiting on a shipment from inkjetmall.com for another set of refillable carts to fill with DTF ink and more cleaning fluid for the refillable cleaning carts I already have.

I'll do a full system flush and then switch from the Piezo flush to the DTF cleaning fluid. Not so much switch out as when the carts are empty-ish I'll just put in the DTF cleaning fluid.

I also bought some remanufactured Epson carts so I can harvest their chips. Unfortunately they don't sell chips separately and there is no chip resetter that I know of. The good part is the refillable carts have a chip on them that you put the original Epson carts' chips on top of and it constantly resets the ink levels without having to do anything. The remanu. carts were  like $150.00.

So for the conversion it seems pretty straight forward. I couldn't find any real instructions, but I'll check the DTG build thread later. But get a chip resetter for the waste tank, which I did, you need two waste tanks to use the resetter. You have to switch back and forth. Luckily he gave me 3 waste tanks including the one in the machine.

You need original Epson carts for their chips. You need refillable carts with their own build in resetter chip. I'm assuming you just need to remove the pizza cutter wheels on the front roller system and that's it.

Most people say don't worry about the ink in the lines and dampers unless you're letting it sit for a week or more. Just shake the carts before use as normal. I didn't go for the squirt gun carts, but maybe I will if I run through ink quickly. It has 9 channels so I won't be refilling white often, I hope.

Seems like people do a wet cap, I guess I know the meaning of what this is, but in practice I have no idea of what to do. I guess most people don't switch out carts with cleaning like the XP-15000 as there's so much ink or cleaner in the line and also being a more professional printer it stays clean for longer and if you use it most of the time you're good. At least I'm hoping for.

 

I guess that's all for now. When all my supplies come in I'll document how it's working.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cartierusm said:

Thought I'd start a new thread on this printer. Not much info really on this printer for conversion, maybe in the DTG area, but all the videos I've seen don't really catalog what needs to be done. Also it's weird that almost all the videos out there most people operate this printer with all the covers off, or at least most of them. I figure this is so have easier access to cleaning it?

So I bought one used for $200 and the guy had not done any maintenance prior to putting away for a year. I didn't try it out at the guy's place as he was giving me a ton of carts and other stuff, so I figured no matter what I could get it running.

Got it home. Cleaned it up from dust and smears. Took the refillable cart system he bought and loaded them with Piezo cleaning fluid, all from inkjetmall.com. Ran the printer and this printer there is a ton of ink in the lines and such. So doing a deep cleaning it printed a test pattern with a clean head. I was surprised. I didn't have enough fluid to fill the carts and the lines so I'm waiting on a shipment from inkjetmall.com for another set of refillable carts to fill with DTF ink and more cleaning fluid for the refillable cleaning carts I already have.

I'll do a full system flush and then switch from the Piezo flush to the DTF cleaning fluid. Not so much switch out as when the carts are empty-ish I'll just put in the DTF cleaning fluid.

I also bought some remanufactured Epson carts so I can harvest their chips. Unfortunately they don't sell chips separately and there is no chip resetter that I know of. The good part is the refillable carts have a chip on them that you put the original Epson carts' chips on top of and it constantly resets the ink levels without having to do anything. The remanu. carts were  like $150.00.

So for the conversion it seems pretty straight forward. I couldn't find any real instructions, but I'll check the DTG build thread later. But get a chip resetter for the waste tank, which I did, you need two waste tanks to use the resetter. You have to switch back and forth. Luckily he gave me 3 waste tanks including the one in the machine.

You need original Epson carts for their chips. You need refillable carts with their own build in resetter chip. I'm assuming you just need to remove the pizza cutter wheels on the front roller system and that's it.

Most people say don't worry about the ink in the lines and dampers unless you're letting it sit for a week or more. Just shake the carts before use as normal. I didn't go for the squirt gun carts, but maybe I will if I run through ink quickly. It has 9 channels so I won't be refilling white often, I hope.

Seems like people do a wet cap, I guess I know the meaning of what this is, but in practice I have no idea of what to do. I guess most people don't switch out carts with cleaning like the XP-15000 as there's so much ink or cleaner in the line and also being a more professional printer it stays clean for longer and if you use it most of the time you're good. At least I'm hoping for.

 

I guess that's all for now. When all my supplies come in I'll document how it's working.

It should be very similar to the p800 if not identical in terms of conversion, dampers, ink system parts, cartridges, etc. main difference is cosmetic from what I know and of course the lack of Chipless support. 
 

i don’t run mine naked, seems like a silly thing to do. One of them is going on over a year without an issue. 

 

 

Edited by johnson4
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Ok got the Epson 3880 up and running kind of. Not many tutorials out there because it's pretty obvious what you need to do to convert it.

1. You don't need to remove the pizza cutter wheels. The black carrier they are attached to just pops out if you poke the very small round hole with a center punch or something as you're sliding the black carrier toward the back of the printer. They pop out. You don't need to disassemble the printer at all.

2. Fold up a piece of cardboard to trip the limit switch on the ink cart door if you need to leave it open because you're using the squirt gun carts.

 

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I hit the wrong button on the above post. Here it is again.

Ok got the Epson 3880 up and running kind of. Not many tutorials out there because it's pretty obvious what you need to do to convert it.

1. You don't need to remove the pizza cutter wheels. The black carrier they are attached to just pops out if you poke the very small round hole with a center punch or something as you're sliding the black carrier toward the back of the printer. They pop out. You don't need to disassemble the printer at all.

2. Fold up a piece of cardboard to trip the limit switch on the ink cart door if you need to leave it open because you're using the squirt gun carts
   a. Per Johnson4's suggestion be careful you're ink is good and clean as those larger carts for this printer don't have a filter.

3. Get refillable carts. All the ones I found small and large come with auto reset ink chips. You need your old carts from Epson or re-manufactured carts that HAVE CHIPS --- READ the description some don't come with chips. I bought some as I wanted two sets of chips for my ink carts and my cleaner carts. The re manuf. carts cost about $25 per cart. So when you get your refillable carts you take the chip off the Epson carts and put it under the chip on the refillable carts and they reset the ink level at intervals.

4. You'll need the Epson Adjustment Program from 2Manuals.com to purge the lines and ink.

5. You'll need to make an output tray to keep the print level and even with the bottom out feed rollers.

6. Make an external waste tank and waste tank chip resetter, for this you'll need 2 waste tanks as you switch back and forth.

So once you do all that if the printer is used, which is most likely will be, run a nozzle check and if that's clear continue. You'll fill one set of the refillable carts with cleaner and use the adjustment program and run the Initial Fill. That'll clear out the lines and fill them with cleaner. Then do some head cleanings and print test pages to make sure they're clear. Then switch over to ink carts and repeat the procedure. Make sure your printer is on Photo Black, not Matte Black, you can do this from the Epson Menu on the printer. The MK, matte black, cart you will just keep a cleaning cart in there to fill the space, keep anything from drying out and the printer needs to see a chip there.

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Posted (edited)

Ok so mine is dropping ink on the page. Anyone know what causes this? It seems to be printing pretty good other than that. Obviously the prints are usable with the ink drops.

You can see it in the star graphic on the right, on the left edge of the page and other places.

 

IMG_1608.JPG

Edited by cartierusm
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39 minutes ago, cartierusm said:

Ok so mine is dropping ink on the page. Anyone know what causes this? It seems to be printing pretty good other than that. Obviously the prints are usable with the ink drops.

You can see it in the star graphic on the right, on the left edge of the page and other places.

 

IMG_1608.JPG

Did you happen to run or leave any strong cleaner in the printer? If not, that’s likely a leaky damper. 

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I left the piezo flush in for about a week. Is that bad? Even peizo flush says leave in for 24-48 for bad clogs. I thought you can leave cleaner in indefinitely. Or did you mean like the really potent ones used for really bad clogs?

I did find out just now this is a pretty common problem with the 3880 it's usually a bad damper but most likely a bad switch where it switched form matte black to photo black. Luckily for me the new CADLink update that just came out allows you to assign ink channels. So per the webs suggestion I'm switching my black carts and chips and see if printing from MK solves the problem If not I'll just remove a white channel and be good.

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24 minutes ago, cartierusm said:

I left the piezo flush in for about a week. Is that bad? Even peizo flush says leave in for 24-48 for bad clogs. I thought you can leave cleaner in indefinitely. Or did you mean like the really potent ones used for really bad clogs?

I did find out just now this is a pretty common problem with the 3880 it's usually a bad damper but most likely a bad switch where it switched form matte black to photo black. Luckily for me the new CADLink update that just came out allows you to assign ink channels. So per the webs suggestion I'm switching my black carts and chips and see if printing from MK solves the problem If not I'll just remove a white channel and be good.


i just meant really strong cleaner. Cleaning solution or piezo flush is perfectly fine. The switching black damper usually fails on them as they age. I haven’t had one fail yet. Just the regular dampers.
 

this is what the switching damper and regular dampers look like. You can also buy the whole assembly sometimes, but it’s much more expensive and unnecessary. 
 

 

6A9A46E5-CA22-4524-847E-F1BE9C456133.jpeg

2964EC25-FCD8-4DBF-BEB2-AABC2A1C1456.jpeg

Edited by johnson4
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Ah, thanks, good to know.

That was my problem printer is up and running no more black streaks!!

I'll do a cure and test print and see how it looks. So far the ones it did print but mess up, colors and quality look great.

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10 minutes ago, cartierusm said:

Ah, thanks, good to know.

That was my problem printer is up and running no more black streaks!!

I'll do a cure and test print and see how it looks. So far the ones it did print but mess up, colors and quality look great.

That's awesome. It's a really good printer, I think you'll like it. Did you have a spare on hand?

Edited by johnson4
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Spare cart or damper? I just took the MK cleaning cart you said to leave in there, put the PK chip in and put it in the PK channel and did the same for the PK cart with black already in it. Printed and pressed. Looks great. A bit slow printing, about the same as the XP-15000.

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20 minutes ago, cartierusm said:

Spare cart or damper? I just took the MK cleaning cart you said to leave in there, put the PK chip in and put it in the PK channel and did the same for the PK cart with black already in it. Printed and pressed. Looks great. A bit slow printing, about the same as the XP-15000.

Yea, all the 180 nozzle printers print about the same speed. The small variables are on the head pass speed. It should do 6 12” X 24” an hour. It’s about 2.4 inches a minute. 

Edited by johnson4
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7 minutes ago, cartierusm said:

Thanks.

I just noticed the number of nozzles to print with for the XP-15000 is missing from the 3800 profile in CADLink. There other new options as well.

Yea, it’s all “pre made” based on your printer. 
 

generally users with Cadlink use 720x1440 for the resolution. 

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Yeah the XP-15000 printed pretty quick wit that, but once I changed to 1440 x 1440 it slowed way down, but I like the 1440 x 1440 quality better. I had to turn the white underbase way down. Stock is was set to 55%. I'm down to 35%. Seems to be printing great.

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29 minutes ago, cartierusm said:

Yeah the XP-15000 printed pretty quick wit that, but once I changed to 1440 x 1440 it slowed way down, but I like the 1440 x 1440 quality better. I had to turn the white underbase way down. Stock is was set to 55%. I'm down to 35%. Seems to be printing great.

Yea, It effectively doubles the ink when you double the resolution. Acro does the same. Good to hear it's goin' for ya. I've never had a 3880, does it have a roll adapter?

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LOL NO idea. Google came up with nothing. I mean the printer drivers that CADLink installed has a separate one for roll printing that XP-15000 drivers didn't, but I don't see any accessory out there that is made for it, but I have a full machine shop so I'll make one if it gets to that stage. Thinking of getting a mini shaker from china and save $1000. I did order a curing station from china last week and it says it's already in the country. Got a really nice one for $250 shipped.

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Just now, cartierusm said:

LOL NO idea. Google came up with nothing. I mean the printer drivers that CADLink installed has a separate one for roll printing that XP-15000 drivers didn't, but I don't see any accessory out there that is made for it, but I have a full machine shop so I'll make one if it gets to that stage. Thinking of getting a mini shaker from china and save $1000. I did order a curing station from china last week and it says it's already in the country. Got a really nice one for $250 shipped.

Yea, It's not bad. 

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OK printing went great yesterday. The last print of the day at 10pm the white ink started to run again. So I just ended the print for the night.

Shook all the carts this morning and turned on the printer. First print the white was way lighter than last night. So I ran a nozzle check on a piece of film. A missing pixel here and there, but a pretty good nozzle check. So I ran another print and could see the white gradient from top to bottom of print. So I'm assuming this is normal for startup in the morning cause there's no way to shake the white ink in the lines? So what procedure should I employ in the morning?

Here's some pics, the first one is the first print of the day. The second one if you zoom in you can see the white getting darker down the print.

IMG_1612.JPG

IMG_1613.JPG

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Weird. The print just now, first object was fine, second one on the same page was a little lighter and the third one has a run. I'm now shaking (turning the carts gently) to mix the white and try again.

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1 hour ago, cartierusm said:

Weird. The print just now, first object was fine, second one on the same page was a little lighter and the third one has a run. I'm now shaking (turning the carts gently) to mix the white and try again.

Sounds like a damper issue, that'd be my first guess anyway.

 

When you switched your cleaner cart into your black, are you now printing with the black as matte black? If not, you are likely printing with cleaner right about now.

 

Edited by johnson4
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LOL no, I switched the printer to matte black on the control panel and in the software. I did a head clean or two to clear the lines besides the charging of the lines when it switches from the different blacks.

I did read you should change the dampers every few years. You think I should just do this anyway as a precaution?

Also, it's doing the same error in the same spot. So I printed the same page 3 times now. The first one on the page is great. The second object on the page has a bit too much white in one area and the third one is light and also pooling and missed an area (strip) altogether. Does this still sound like a damper issue. See pics below.

1. Middle graphic where it's pooling in only one spot.

2. Overall pic.

3. Last object on page where it's doing weird things.

IMG_1614.JPG

IMG_1615.JPG

IMG_1616.JPG

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The damper is what controls the overall ink flow, it has a pressurized ink system. If the damper leaks, it will allow more pressure than it should. Since you already have a bad switching damper, I would recommend it. 

 

Switching over to matte black on the printer and in the software is perfectly fine and what I meant above. For me, it takes 2 heavy cleanings or one ink charge to fully clear the line from the cart to the head. 

 

Other than that, I don't really know. Dampers, ink cartridges. That's the only physical thing to cause these issues that I am aware of from my experience. If you are running the carts without the filters, then it very well could be the dampers are clogging as well. This is how mine killed off the dampers within a few days with the gun carts.  Brand new bottles of ink usually contain small fragments of things, I have taken photo's in the past of brand new cartridges, filled with brand new ink when empty, had at least 4-5 small blobs on the filter, Multiple brands. If the dampers are as old as the printer, that would be my first step. 

 

If it's software related, I don't know I don't really use CAD link. 

 

For example, With the 80ML filtered carts, I replace my dampers about every 6 months. For the gun carts, They failed within 7 days ( sooner) and I had to replace them. That's why I have about 25 spares on hand, I'll go through them within the next 6-8 months. I can't say specifically for you, but for sure on my end my first step is replace all the dampers- IF 1-2 heavy ink cleanings do not help or fix the issue.

Edited by johnson4
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