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Printer Ink Cost and Efficiency in Large Format Printing: How to Save Money

Though the need for large-format printing is becoming continuously unavoidable in corporations, printer ink cost continues to remain a hurdle. It is something that can quickly add up for large-format printers. This makes it challenging for businesses and individuals to produce high-end prints whilst staying within their budget.

However, maximising profits and reducing expenses is not unattainable. It simply requires ink usage to be optimised and ink waste to be minimised for every print duty. In this article, we'll expand on these two strategies and uncover others, with the aim of helping businesses and individuals reduce printer ink cost concerns and improve ink efficiency when conducting large-format printing.

Why Is the Cost of Ink So Expensive?

Printer ink has been used for decades to help businesses perform essential tasks. Yet it remains one of the most prohibitive costs of using and maintaining your printer. There are two main reasons that printer ink is so expensive.

The first is the legitimate cost of research and development. Printer producers are always working to provide their customers with durable, reliable prints that provide clarity and detail. Ink quality contributes to the overall quality of any print. Also, the cost of branded ink is sometimes more expensive to recoup costs lost on printers. When companies sell printers at a very low price, they recover their losses in the cost of more expensive ink.

How Much Does Printer Ink Cost to Make?

It can be difficult to determine the exact cost of making printer ink. While the ink itself may be inexpensive, the cartridges that store and produce ink make up a significant part of the cost of printer ink.

What Is the Average Cost of Ink for a Large Format Printer?

Large format printers print large documents that require more ink to produce. As a result, the cartridges inside these printers are larger and contain more ink. The cost of an ink cartridge for large format printers can vary significantly based on the ink brand, the cartridge size, and other factors. The cost of black ink for printer systems can also vary from colour ink prices. The best way to understand the cost of ink is through how much is used. In general, the average ink cost per page is about USD2.69 per square meter or USD0.25 per square foot.

What Manufacturing Influences Determine Ink Costs?

The price you pay for ink has many influences beyond the cost of the ink that ends up on your printed page. These are the biggest factors that influence your printer ink cost over time.

The Complexity of Producing Ink

Ink cartridges must be developed in a way that allows them to seamlessly supply ink to pages with no margin of error. Ink cartridges actually work by using a complex process that heats a filament to pressurise ink in a way that accurately propels tiny droplets through the print head and onto the paper.

How Much Demand Must Be Met

The demand for ink to supply home and office printers is consistently high, with minimal fluctuation. When demand is high, prices will stay high to pay producers and continually match demand.

Qualitative Ink Requires Research and Testing

Different inks are made to provide high-quality prints that print rapidly, avoid smudging, and even remain vibrant against the elements. To develop inks that meet the demands of printer users, companies must continually conduct expensive research to improve their products.

Specialised Ink Must Be Manufactured for Different Printers

Unfortunately, ink cartridges are not one-size-fits-all. As a result, specialisation increases research and development costs.

What Causes Ink Costs to Go Up in Large Format Printing?

As a business, you're responsible for keeping costs manageable. If your large format printing costs seem higher than average, you may be making choices that increase your costs. These are the most common reasons for unusually high printing costs:

Inefficient Cartridge Use

The printer you use determines the type of ink cartridges you'll have to purchase. Unfortunately, all too often, when the printer comes at a bargain, the ink cartridges will be costly and run out of ink quickly.

Wrong Ink Being Used

Printer manufacturers design printer heads and a specific type of ink to be dispersed effectively through them. When you purchase a different type of ink, your printer may not use it as efficiently. As a result, you'll run out more often and increase the printer ink cost with extra purchases.

Using Low Page Yield Cartridges

Cartridge page yield describes the number of pages you can print with one cartridge. While the prices for cartridges with a low page yield are lower overall, they often end up costing the buyer a higher per-page price.

How to Reduce Your Large Format Ink Cost

While you can't change the cost of ink cartridges, you can take steps to lower your personal or business expenses. Take these steps to help reduce your large format ink costs.

Improve Efficiency in Printer Use

When your printer uses ink efficiently, your ink costs are lower over time. These tips can help you improve efficiency.

Use the Right Ink

Using ink designed for your printer will yield the best printing results and reduce total printer ink cost. While the cost of OEM ink may be higher than the price of generic ink, you'll save money because the ink designed for your printer will produce more efficient results.

Choose an Efficient Printer

Printer prices vary significantly by manufacturer and model. When you purchase a low-priced printer, you're likely to pay more for ink cartridges than you paid for the printer itself.

Correctly Adjust Your Printer Settings

Your printer should work efficiently and provide the best results possible. But for the printer to work accurately, you need to adjust your printer settings based on your needs and the materials you print on.

Reducing Ink Wastage

Ink can dry out or fail to work properly when you don't use it routinely. Ink that goes unused increases your overall printer ink cost. These tips can help you reduce ink wastage.

Select a Cost-Effective Cartridge

Choose your cartridge by how many pages it prints and how it stores and supplies ink.

Use Automatic Nozzle Cleaning Machines

The tips of printer nozzles collect small deposits of ink with use. When nozzles aren't used consistently, these deposits can dry up and cause clogs. Machines with automatic nozzle cleaners can allow you to program cleanings and reduce ink wastage due to clogs.

Maintain Printer Health

If your printer is in poor health, it isn't likely to print efficiently. As a result, you can end up wasting ink due to repeat printings when errors occur. By performing maintenance as recommended in your printer's owner's manual, you can avoid wasting ink due to poor performance.

Limit Internal Printer Testing

If you have to run a test print before every project, you'll use twice as much ink. Limit internal printer testing to an as-needed basis. When you use your printer frequently, testing shouldn't be required often.

Advanced Techniques to Maintain Ink Cost Efficiency With Large Format Printers

With some careful shopping and printer knowledge, you can take additional steps to decrease your ink costs.

Use Third-Party Inks

While the ink developed by your printer manufacturer will provide the best and most efficient results, some third-party inks can provide satisfactory results and a lower price. When shopping for third-party inks, read reviews and only purchase highly rated products.

Add Ink-Saving Software

Ink-saving software can change the commands that send ink through your printer. The software uses machine learning to substitute ink in a way that reduces colour saturation without changing the appearance of images on the page.

Switch to a Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS)

When typical cartridges are used, air replaces ink in the cartridge, eventually emptying the cartridge. With a CISS, the printer pulls the ink out onto the print head and continually pulls more ink into the cartridge, so it never empties. When ink starts to get low, more ink can be poured into the tank instead of purchasing replacement ink cartridges. While the system might have a large up-front cost, it can help users save money over time.

Reach Out to HP to Discuss Your Large Format Printing Needs

Large format printing is a necessity in many businesses. The printer you use and other actions you take can help you save on ink costs, so you can utilise your large format printer for your business needs more effectively. Contact HP Virtual Booth to discuss your large format printing needs and your options for maintaining ink cost efficiency.

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