Modern Printer Innovations: Refillable Cartridges and Other Ink Inspirations

It is quite a startling fact to discover that UK households work their way through some 50 million inkjet cartridges every year.

Color ink for refillable cartridges

It is therefore no surprise that many consumers are looking for ways to reduce their printing costs by taking advantage of some modern printer innovations such as refillable cartridges and other ideas that offer a cost-saving and environmentally-option by allowing you to print with greater efficiency and economy.

Here is a look at some the technology now available and how it could save you money and print more efficiently and resourcefully.

Refillable tanks

Epson have recently introduced a new breed of printers that would appear to be offering an end to our reliance on ink cartridges.

The business model to this point for many printer manufacturers has been to sell their printers at a very low price and sometimes below cost price, and then rely on the regular sales of ink cartridges to make their money that way.

Epson have taken the seemingly bold step of creating an inkjet printer that has refillable tanks that are designed to give the user about two years of use, at an average of 200 printed pages per month.

The strategy is to make a profit on the sale of the printer itself by setting a price that is around three times the typical high street price of a printer. Some consumers may well baulk at the price tag but the manufacturer suggests that the consumer wins on the deal in the end, by making savings of near to 60% by using a refillable tank, compared to a conventional cartridge printer.

It could be that consumers who are relatively heavy users of ink cartridges could make significant savings by using a printer with a refillable tank, but you will have to do the maths to see if it works for you.

Many innovations

Epson are not the only company working away at creating an alternative to the standard printer cartridge option that so many are used to working with, but still begrudge the ongoing cost.

Planon PrintStik

This innovative printer uses thermal technology to print your documents. This small and highly portable printer can actually be used without the need to connect to any outlet as it is fully rechargeable and has Bluetooth connectivity as well as a USB connection.


The Prepeat is an inkless printer that has the ability to erase and rewrite documents. It relies on a special thermal process and uses plastic paper, which is how it manages to offer the chance to start over again with each sheet.

The slight problem with this model is that it comes with a hefty price tag that would require you to be a large paper user in order to justify the cost and save on cartridge costs, but it certainly offers a glimpse into future printer technology.

Web-enabled printers

This is an innovation that is definitely worth talking about because it offers you the chance to print documents without needing to turn on your computer.

Whilst that is not going to save you on ink cartridge costs, there is a potential saving overall to be gained, as you will be saving energy by only using the resource that you need in order to run a print job.

The HP e-all-in-one Photosmart printer comes with its own unique email address. Using your email access, you can then email documents or pictures directly to your printer using HP ePrint technology, regardless of where you happen to be.


If you are looking for an inkless alternative then thermal printing technology appears to be the most viable solution at this point.

When comparing impact printing with thermal printing, there are obvious technical variances and pros and cons on both sides to consider. Impact printing will normally take longer to complete than thermal and when it comes to maintenance and running costs, thermal printing has less components that will need replacing or repairing compared to its more mainstream counterpart.

Many business owners are waking up to the advantages of thermal printing technology and it is something that is worth considering when comparing all the various options available at the moment.

Refillable cartridges are certainly another positive step in the right direction in trying to find a way to keep printing costs under control and there are sure to be future innovations that will offer an attractive solution.

The next time you are looking to upgrade your printer, be sure to check out the latest technology and decide what will work best for you and your business, before you buy.


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