You may have heard the term ‘eco-solvent printing’ but what is an eco-solvent printer? Simply put, it is a type of printer that uses eco-friendly solvent inks to produce high-quality images on a variety of substrates.
In recent years, eco-solvent printers have become increasingly popular among business owners and graphic designers and even for home use, due to their ability to produce vibrant prints at a fraction of the cost and environmental impact of other printing methods.
However, there is also confusion over the term eco-solvent when used to describe different types of ink. In recent years, a number of water-based “eco-solvent” inks have come onto the market for use in standard desktop printers.
In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about eco-solvent printers. We will also try and demystify the difference between standard eco-solvent ink and newer water-based eco-solvent ink.
What are the benefits of eco-solvent printing?
Because Eco-solvent printing uses less harsh solvents it enables printing on a variety of different materials, providing excellent print quality while minimizing environmental impact.
One of the biggest advantages of eco-solvent printing is that it produces very little waste. The solvents used in eco-solvent printing evaporate completely, so there is no need for hazardous waste disposal.
Unlike traditional solvent-based printing, which can release harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air, eco-solvent inks are much safer and healthier for both workers and the environment.
Eco-solvent printing is also more cost-effective and versatile than traditional printing methods, due to the fact that it uses less ink and requires less energy to dry. In addition, eco-solvent prints are more durable and resistant to fading, making them ideal for outdoor applications.
These types of printers often require less energy to operate, further reducing their environmental footprint. While eco-solvent printing technology is still relatively new, it is quickly gaining popularity due to its many benefits. With its combination of quality, safety, and sustainability, eco-solvent printing is an ideal solution for a wide range of printing needs.
In addition, eco-solvent inks are made from renewable resources, so they have a lower carbon footprint than traditional petroleum-based inks. This makes eco-solvent printing an excellent choice for homes and businesses that are looking to reduce their environmental impact.
What are the drawbacks to eco-solvent printing?
While eco-solvent printing has many benefits, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered before making the switch. One of the main disadvantages is the initial investment in an eco-solvent printer can be higher than a traditional printer.
For example, a large format Roland TrueVIS VG3-640 Eco-Solvent Printer will set you back in the region of $23,000
Eco-solvent inks are also more expensive than traditional inks. However, the cost-effectiveness may outweigh the initial cost as the ink tends to go further and is more versatile.
In addition, eco-solvent printers tend to be larger and slower than their solvent counterparts, so production times can be longer. They can be heavier than other types of printers, making them less portable.
Finally, eco-solvent inks can be more difficult to work with, and prints may require special finishing techniques and specialized media to protect against fading or damage from UV light exposure which can be pricy. They aren’t ideal for some materials as they require heat to properly dry and adhere which can be damaging.
Despite these drawbacks, eco-solvent printing remains a popular choice for many due to its reduced environmental impact, reduced odors, increased durability, and improved print quality. For many businesses and homes, the benefits of eco-solvent printing outweigh the disadvantages.
Tips for choosing the right Traditional eco-solvent printer?
If you are considering making the switch to [traditional not water-based] eco-solvent printing, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you choose the right printer for your needs.
The first thing to consider is what type of materials you will be printing on. Eco-solvent inks are ideal for a variety of different substrates, including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and more.
If you plan on printing on a range of different materials, it is important to choose a printer that is compatible with all the types of media you want to use.
It is also important to consider the speed and production capacity you need from your eco-solvent printer. If you plan on using your printer for large-scale projects or high-volume printing, it is important to choose a model that can handle your production needs.
You should also consider the price of the printer and the cost of eco-solvent inks. While these printers can be more expensive up front, they are often more cost-effective in the long run due to the increased durability and versatility of eco-solvent inks.
When it comes to choosing an eco-solvent printer, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best printer for your needs will depend on a variety of factors, including what type of materials you plan on printing, your production needs, and your budget. By considering all of these factors, you can find the perfect eco-solvent printer for your home or business.
Eco-Solvent vs Water-Based Eco-Solvent Ink
Eco-solvent inks have been around for many years and differ from more traditional solvent inks in that although they are still oil-based they contain less aggressive VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) than solvent inks.
This makes them easier to use in a studio environment as long as there is adequate ventilation. The chemicals in them do not degrade inkjet nozzles as fast as solvent inks, and so don’t need as much maintenance.
Don’t be fooled though you cannot use these types of eco-solvent ink in a standard desktop inkjet printer.
Water-based “Eco-Solvent” Ink such as Eco Rush (Sold on Etsy) is designed to work with standard desktop inkjet printers for creating T-Shirt transfers etc. Although the terminology used may be slightly confusing as you can see from the reviews, this is a good ink.
Eco rush ink is made from natural ingredients. Unlike traditional printing inks, which are made from petroleum-based products, eco rush ink is made from renewable resources such as vegetable oil and tree resin.
This makes it more environmentally friendly. In addition to being more sustainable, eco rush ink is also less likely to cause skin irritation or other health problems. For these reasons, eco rush ink is becoming an increasingly popular choice.
EcoTank vs Eco-Solvent
EcoTank printers are a newer technology that does not require cartridges. You simply fill the tanks with ink and it prints. This fact on its own makes these printers more eco-friendly as you reduce your use of disposable plastic. There is some confusion about these printers being capable of using traditional eco-solvent ink – normally used in larger format machines.
You cannot use standard eco-solvent ink in these machines. However, as covered above, you can use the newer water-based “Eco-Solvent” inks like the ones sold by Eco-Rush. The video below describes how to convert a standard Deskjet printer like the Epson 150000 to use these water-based inks.
Top 3 [Water-Based] Eco-Solvent Printers for 2023
Here are my top choices for water-based eco-solvent printing. All of the printers below can use water-based eco-solvent inks. So, if you are in the market for an environmentally friendly printer please read on.
1. Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer
If you’re looking for a printer that doesn’t require cartridges, the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a great all-around option. This printer is Wi-Fi enabled, so you can print from anywhere in your home. It also has a color LCD display, so you can easily navigate the menus. It can also be used with Eco Rush inks.
The high-capacity refillable ink tanks allow for cartridge-free printing and massive savings on replacement ink cartridges as well as the plastic saved from going to the landfill.
- Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing ― High-capacity ink tanks mean no more tiny, expensive ink cartridges; Epson’s exclusive EcoFit ink bottles make filling easy and worry-free
- Dramatic Savings on Replacement Ink ― Save up to 90% with replacement ink bottles vs. ink cartridges – that’s enough to print up to 7,500 pages black/6,000 color, equivalent to about 90 individual ink cartridges.
- Can be used with water-based Eco Solvent Ink
- Zero Cartridge Waste – By using an EcoTank printer, you can help reduce the amount of cartridge waste ending up in landfills.
- Impressive Print Quality ― Unique Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology and pigment black ink produce extremely sharp text – plus impressive color photos and graphics – on virtually any paper type.
- Built-in Scanner & Copier, Plus Auto 2-sided Printing ― High-resolution flatbed scanner and a color display for easy document copying and navigation; paper-saving auto 2-sided printing.
2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer is perfect for the home or small office. This printer is designed to be efficient and easy to use, with a variety of features that make it a great choice for anyone looking for a quality printer.
The EcoTank ET-2720 can print up to 27 pages per minute in black and white, or 15 pages per minute in color. It also has a built-in duplexer for printing on both sides of the paper, as well as a 150-sheet paper capacity. The printer also includes Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can easily print from your computer or mobile device.
The EcoTank ET-2720 is an excellent value, and it offers quality printing that is sure to meet your needs.
- This Printer is designed for high-volume printing
- Can be used with water-based Eco Solvent Ink
- Epson Fast Ink Delivery System ensures that the printer prints quickly and efficiently
- This printer has a 2.2″ LCD display with an adjustable tilt angle
- QuietPrint technology makes the printer quiet when in use
- Prints at approx. 10ppm for B&W and 5ppm for color prints
3. Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 Wireless Wide-Format Color All-in-One Supertank Printer
The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 Wireless Wide-Format Color All-in-One Supertank Printer is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality printer that can handle a wide range of printing tasks.
This printer is built with an impressive set of features, including wireless printing, automatic two-sided printing, and support for a variety of media types. The EcoTank Photo ET-8500 also features an intuitive touchscreen display, which makes it easy to navigate the printer’s menus and settings.
Overall, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 is a great choice for anyone in need of a high-quality and versatile printer.
- Cartridge-free printing for lab-quality photos, graphics, and creative projects — get vibrant colors and sharp text with Epson’s high-accuracy printhead.
- Extraordinary media handling capabilities —print borderless pictures up to 8.5″ x 11″ on a variety of paper types including cardstock, CD/DVDs, and other specialty media up to 1.3 mm thick; auto 2-sided printing
- Amazing value — save a ridiculous amount on photos and creative projects with affordable in-house photo printing; print 4″ x 6″ photos for about 4 cents each vs. 40 cents with traditional ink cartridges.
- Can be used with water-based Eco Solvent Ink
- Save up to 80% with low-cost replacement ink vs. ink cartridges.
- Zero-cartridge waste — with high-yield ink bottles; each replacement ink bottle set is equivalent to about 100 individual ink cartridges
- Print, scan, and more from your mobile device with the Epson Smart Panel app – set up, monitor, and operate your printer directly from your mobile device; supports iOS and Android
Can I use eco solvent ink in my inkjet printer?
As mentioned above. An inkjet printer is not the same as an eco-solvent printer. Inkjet printers use tiny droplets of ink to create an image on a piece of paper. An eco-solvent printer uses a special type of ink that is dissolved in a solvent. This solvent is then sprayed onto a piece of paper, which creates an image. If you use oil / solvent-based eco-solvent ink in a standard inkjet printer you will most likely ruin it!
Eco-solvent printers are not as common as inkjet printers, but they have a few advantages. First, eco-solvent ink is less likely to fade over time. Second, eco-solvent ink is less likely to smudge or bleed when it comes into contact with water. Finally, eco-solvent printers tend to be cheaper overall than inkjet printers.
If you’re looking for a printer that will create high-quality images that will last for years, an eco-solvent printer is a good option. However, if you’re on a budget, an inkjet printer may be a better choice.
What materials can eco-solvent ink be printed on?
Eco-solvent ink is designed for use on a variety of surfaces, including banner material, vinyl, window film, and more. They offer superior adhesion to these surfaces and provide long-lasting, durable prints.
In addition, eco-solvent inks are UV resistant and can withstand exposure to sunlight and other harsh weather conditions. As a result, they are an ideal choice for outdoor applications.
Eco-solvent inks can also be printed on a variety of coated papers and boards. These include self-adhesive papers, synthetic papers, and pressure-sensitive films.
When printed on these materials, eco-solvent ink provides excellent resistance to smudging and scratching. In addition, they offer superior color reproduction and density.
Is eco-solvent ink waterproof?
When it comes to eco-solvent ink, the answer is not as simple as a yes or no. Unlike water-based inks, which are made from a suspension of pigments in water, eco-solvent inks use a variety of different solvents as their base.
As a result, the answer to the question of whether eco-solvent ink is waterproof depends on the specific composition of the ink in question. In general, however, eco-solvent inks are more resistant to water than their water-based counterparts.
Can eco-solvent print on fabric?
Yes, eco-solvent printers can print on fabric. In fact, they’re often used to print fabrics for signs and banners. The inks used are designed to be resistant to fading, so your prints will look great for a long time. In general, for printing eco-solvent ink on fabric, the surface will require a coating to help the ink adhere better.
This is the same for most solvent-based printers and you’ll find that this coating can affect the feel or ‘hand’ of the fabric. A good rule of thumb is that the thicker the coating, the stiffer the fabric will feel. If you’re looking for a softer hand, look for a thinner coating.
Eco-solvent printers can print on both synthetic and natural fabrics, as long as they’ve been properly pre-treated. This means that you have a lot of options when it comes to the type of fabric you use for your prints.
One thing to keep in mind is that eco-solvent inks can be more difficult to remove from natural fabrics than from synthetic fabrics. This means that if you’re going to print on natural fabrics, you’ll need to be extra careful when pre-treating them. In general, it’s a good idea to test your fabric before you commit to using it for a large project.
Whether you are looking for a traditional large format printer for commercial applications that use Eco-solvent inks or a smaller desktop printer for home use that uses water-based “Eco-Solvent” ink there are a wide variety of machines available in different sizes.
These printers are becoming more and more popular because they offer high-quality prints, low emissions, and easy recycling. These printers are designed to use less solvent and ink in the printing process, which makes them the ideal eco-friendly printer.
Eco-solvent printers can be used for a variety of applications, including sign printing, vehicle graphics, and wall murals. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly large format printer that offers stunning prints with low environmental impact, then an eco-solvent printer may be the perfect option for you.
It’s important to do your research before making a purchase, as we’ve covered here the confusion over eco-solvent and water-based eco-solvent inks and printers needs to be understood.