I wrote a post back in January wondering if inkjet printer manufacturers would ever ship inkjet printers with inkwells instead of cartridges but wasn’t very optimistic about it ever coming to pass!
It turns out Xerox are doing just that with their solid ink printers! You buy the blocks of ink (no cartridge), drop them in the ‘well’ where they are liquified and printed from! Brilliant!
Ethan Goldman says
These printers are great in terms of reduced packaging, and the output is supposed to look great as well, but you should be aware that there is a substantial energy cost. These printers not only use more energy when they are running, they also need to stay powered on 24/7 or the ink will solidify in the nozzles and then be wasted when the printer starts again.
In an office where people are printing around the clock this might not be an issue, but in our case (where a conventional laser printer would only need to be powered on for 40-60 hrs/week) the solid ink printer would have more than doubled the electricity consumption. As standard inkjet printers use even less energy, this made the Xerox solid ink printers a less-green choice for us.
Shell Haffner says
Hi – just noticed your tweet on @XeroxCorp. Thanks for your enthusiasm about our cartridge-free solid ink technology.
On the energy consumption – the commenter is correct, we use more energy on-site than a comparable color laser printer (not double though). Over the product’s entire life, we actually consume roughly 30% less overall energy and Earth’s resources than that same color laser printer. We have produced a detailed report (and had it peer reviewed) on the lifecycle impact of solid ink. Check it out here.