Ever wonder about home Printers?

We had an Epson printer which we stopped using because the ink seemed too expensive and given the low prices of snapfish and other similar sites it was cheaper to get photos printed elsewhere.

As you may have seen in my about page, I’m an electronics engineer and so naturally I find electronics interesting. Periodically, I disassemble broken or no longer used items to see “what makes them tick.”  I’ve been doing this since I was 13-years-old or so, and I guess some interests never fade. Printers are relatively cheap, but the ink seems outrageously expensive. I’ve always heard that the reason the ink is so expensive is that the manufacturers lose money selling the printers and then make up for it by selling the ink. After disassembling this printer I can see why this is probably true.

Look at the number of plastic and metal frame components for this Epson printer and consider that each plastic component requires a mold and a machine to hold them.

Epson Printer Plastics

Epson Printer Plastics


Then, take a look at the number of mechanical and electrical components necessary. There is a power supply with metal enclosure, display and keypad, stepper motors, gears, springs, screws, belts, etc. Wow!

Epson Printer Electrical and Mechanical

Epson Printer Electrical and Mechanical

And, of course, let’s not forget about the ink.

Epson Printer Ink Cartridges

Epson Printer Ink Cartridges

I really don’t care for the cost model of printers and inks, but I can see why they do it this way. If we paid for the true cost of the printer, very few people would buy them.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


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