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What is a continuous ink supply system?
Continuous ink supply systems, or CISS, allow you to have larger volumes of ink connected to your printer. Instead of being restricted to the maximum cartridge volume, this is an external ink supply system.
what is a CISS?
the best CISS printers
best CIS systems
best CISS ink for sublimation
Continuous Ink Supply Systems
Continuous ink supply systems are exactly what you’d imagine after hearing the name… They’re a way of providing a continuous supply of ink into your printer!
They come with a set of cartridges that are inserted permanently into your printer, in the usual location. The cartridges have a set of tubes running from them to an external set of larger ink tanks.
This means that instead of regularly buying and replacing cartridges, you simply top up the external tanks. You can pick up ink refills for these much cheaper than buying new cartridges all the time.
They are especially useful for sublimation, as when you are creating sublimation transfers, you are using a ton of ink. Cartridges just run out too quickly.
Best CISS Printers & Systems
There’s a ton more info about continuous ink supply systems down below. For those who just want to know where to get the best gear, check out what’s available here.
Either of the 3 CISS listed in the table above are good for Epson printers. Just make sure you choose the right one for your printer. The INKXPRO CISS for Workforce is definitely the best rated and most popular choice for those printers.
There are a lot of helpful video tutorials on how to install and set up a CISS, as well as troubleshooting support.
The applied transfers are vivid, bright, and colorful, and last well. So long as you set up your printer settings correctly, this ink will work very well in your CISS.
Who Should Use A CISS Printer?
CIS systems are added aftermarket. Printer manufacturers do not tend to make, supply, or appreciate these systems. That’s because printer companies make most of their revenue selling small ink cartridges as often as possible.
The printer is a one time sale, often priced to cover the cost of manufacturing (or even as a loss leader), and then they make their real money selling you the ink replacements for the years to come.
Nevertheless, a CISS is best for those who are using their printer a lot, whether for sublimation or regular inkjet use. This might include those in office environments, graphic designers or small business owners.
A CISS is especially useful for those doing a lot of dye sublimation printing. Printing images for dye sub uses a lot of ink and you don’t want to be buying and replacing new cartridges all the time.
The other good thing about CISS ink is that you can see very clearly when you are going to run out of ink. When you can’t see the ink levels you’re liable to run out in the middle of a print and you lose what had been done so far. When you can see the ink levels you can easily top them up before they run out.
Cheaper to print higher volume
Use for sublimation ink
Choose from more ink brands
Less chance you’ll run out of ink mid-job
Save time by not replacing ink cartridges
Feel like a pro
Usually each time you change a cartridge, the printer will clean the heads. This wastes quite a bit of very expensive ink each time. With CISS installed, you only clean when it becomes necessary. This might be if you have a blockage or the quality of print decreases.
Installing a CISS can void the warranty on your printer
Perhaps the biggest con is that you might experience technical difficulties fatal to your printer. For example, if the ink tubing was to come off its clip and drop down into the printer during printing, you may destroy the print head. However, if you keep an eye on things, it will unlikely happen to you.