Plotter printers

Why You Shouldn’t Use Third-Party Ink Cartridges in Your Large Format Printer

Using a third-party ink cartridge for your large format printer may seem like a good idea at first. Many sellers market these ink cartridges as cheaper but equally effective alternatives to first-party cartridges. However, you're often sacrificing quality in exchange for a lower price. This can compromise your print jobs and cost you more money in the long run.

When you use third-party ink cartridges, you could wind up doing damage to your printer. These products can ruin projects in many different ways; for example, they may mess up the page you're printing on, the print head, or the entire large format printer.

Can You Use Third-Party Ink in Your HP Plotter Printer?

You might not think it matters whether you use ink from the printer's manufacturer or from another company. But opting for third-party ink cartridges can do more harm than good. You might believe you're saving money by purchasing and installing a generic ink cartridge. But the potential damage these cartridges may cause could actually cost you more.

Several issues can develop when using third-party large-format printer ink in your printers. These issues could make printing projects a hassle that you can otherwise avoid by sticking with the manufacturer's ink. This is the case with almost all consumer, commercial, and industrial printers across virtually every printer brand. So whether you have an HP Officejet, HP Officejet Pro, or another type of HP printer, it's best to use an HP ink cartridge that's designed specifically for these printers.

What Happens If You Use Non-HP Ink Cartridges?

Installing third-party ink cartridges can cause various issues with your large format printer that make it preferable to continue buying cartridges from the manufacturer. These problems may include:

Poor Print Quality

One of the main issues with third-party ink cartridges is the risk of compromised quality with your print jobs. In many cases, ink that's not compatible with your printer could produce blurry lines on the paper.

Certain inks may also gradually fade because of their water-based pigmentation when the original manufacturer uses oil-based pigments.

Printer Damage

Another potential issue with third-party ink cartridges is printer damage and subsequent malfunctions. The inferior quality of many third-party inks could gradually clog printer heads and cause other types of problems requiring repairs. A blocked printhead could become apparent if you see streaks, dots, or absent colours in your print projects.

Even if all you need to do is clean your printer to get it working again, you'll still need to spend the time and money on more frequent cleaning. Also, if you require maintenance for your printer, it's important to keep in mind that you'll likely need to cover the costs. Regardless of whether your printer is still under warranty, the warranty will likely be voided if your printer sustains damage using off-brand ink.

Of course, as this ink causes more damage and your printer requires more frequent repairs over time, your printer's lifespan will likely decrease significantly. Eventually, this would require you to replace your printer much sooner than you would when sticking to the manufacturer's ink.

Colour Inconsistencies

In line with other quality issues, you might experience certain problems with colour consistency if you use third-party ink cartridges in your HP printer. In the end, you might not be entirely dissatisfied with the final product. But the colour may not quite match what you expected when preparing your design.

If you want to maximise the accuracy of your print projects and ensure the print matches what's on your computer screen, you're better off using the original equipment manufacturer's ink.

Health Risks

Not only can third-party ink cartridges cause harm to your printer, but they can also cause harm to you due to chemical exposure. Depending on the type of printer ink you use, it could contain various cheap and harmful chemicals that increase the risk of developing respiratory illnesses and other health issues.

Specifically, many generic inks contain ink particles, total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), and styrene, among other dangerous chemicals. Some inks release these chemicals at lower levels that are safe for consumers. But low-quality ink may release them at dangerous levels that put you and other users in harm's way. The main reason for this is that while OEM inks tend to undergo more thorough checks and must maintain compliance, generic ink won't have these precautions in many cases.

Cartridge Failure

In some cases, your third-party large-format printer ink cartridges may not work upon installation. For instance, your printer may not recognise the cartridge's chip, causing the printer to not complete the print job.

Other cartridges may simply not fit into the printer when loading them. Incompatible cartridges could also cause more damage to your printer because of their improper fit. For example, when closing the loaded printer, your cartridge may not seal properly, leading to a leak that causes the ink to interfere with the printer's internal mechanisms. Air may also enter the cartridge and cause it to fail.

All these potential issues make it necessary to continue using the manufacturer's ink cartridge whenever you plan a large-format print project.

Use the Manufacturer's Ink to Avoid Potential Problems

If you're considering using third-party ink cartridges in your HP printer, you're better off avoiding these alternatives. They're often of lower quality and are incompatible with your printer, potentially costing you more money and frustration in the end. Buying first-party ink from the manufacturer will ultimately help protect your investment and maintain consistently high quality across all print projects. The key is finding the right manufacturer for your large format printer and inks.

If you want to learn more about how to know which ink to buy for printers of all types, HP can help you find what you need based on your specific requirements. Want to find the ideal printer and ink for your large-format print application? Contact the experts at HP today, and we'll help you locate the right solution.

Download our eBook now and discover how innovation is streamlining workflows, producing prints of unmatched quality and increasing IT efficiency like never before.

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