With the continuous development of inkjet printer industry over the years, Epson printheads have been the most common-used for the wide format printers. Epson has used micro-piezo technology for decades, and that has built them a reputation for reliability and print quality. People may get confused with many kinds of options. Hereby Rainbow would like to give a brief introduction of different Epson printheads, which includes: Epson DX5, DX7, XP600, TX800, 5113, I3200 (4720), hope it will help everyone to make a reasonable decision.
For a printer, The print head matters a lot, which is the core of speed, resolution and lifespan, let’s take a few minutes to go through the features and difference between them.
DX5 & DX7
Both DX5 and DX7 heads are available in solvent and eco-solvent based inks, arranged in 8 lines of 180 nozzles, total 1440 nozzles, same amount of nozzles. Therefore, basically these two print heads are quite the same regarding the print speed and resolution. They have the same features as below:
1. Each head has 8 rows of jet holes and 180 nozzles in each row, with a total of 1440 nozzles.
2. It is equipped with a unique wave-size connection that can change the printing technology, so as to solve the horizontal lines caused by the PASS path on the drawing surface and make the final result looks wonderful.
3. FDT technology: when the amount of ink is ran out in each nozzle, it will get a frequency conversion signal Immediately, thus opening the nozzles.
4. 3.5pl droplet sizes enables the resolution of the pattern to get an amazing resolution, DX5 maximum resolution can reach 5760 dpi. which is comparable to the effect in HD photos. Small to 0.2mm fineness, as thin as a hair, it is not difficult to imagine, no matter in any small material can get a highlight pattern!
The biggest difference between these two heads is not the speed as you may think, but it is the operating costs. The cost of DX5 is around $800 higher than DX7 head since 2019 or earlier.
So if the running costs are not too much of a worry for you, and you have enough budget, then the Epson DX5 is an recommended one to choose.
The price of DX5 is high due to the shortage of supply and demand on market. DX7 Printhead was once popular as an alternative to the DX5, but also short in supply and encrypted printhead on market. As a result, fewer machines are using DX7 printheads. The printhead on the market nowadays is second locked DX7 printhead. Both DX5 and DX7 have been stopped production since 2015 or earlier time.
As a result, these two heads are gradually being replaced by TX800/XP600 in economical digital printers.
TX800 & XP600
TX800 also named DX8/DX10; XP600 also named DX9/DX11. Both two heads are 6 lines of 180 nozzles, total amount 1080 nozzles.
As stated, these two print heads have became the much economical choice in the industry.
The price just around a quarter of DX5.
The speed of DX8/XP600 is around 10-20% slower than DX5.
With proper maintenance, DX8/XP600 printheads can last 60-80% of the life DX5 printhead.
1. Much better price for printers equipped Epson printhead. It would be a better choice for starters who can’t afford an expensive equipment at the very beginning. Also it is suitable for users who do not have a lot UV printing jobs. Like if you do the printing job once or twice a week, for easy maintenance, it’s suggested DX8/XP600 head.
2. The printhead cost much lower than DX5. The latest Epson DX8/XP600 printhead can be as low as USD300 per piece. No more heartache when need to replace a new printhead. As the print head is consumer goods, normally the lifespan around 12-15 months.
3. While the resolution between these printheads no much difference. The EPSON heads were known for its high resolution.
The main difference between DX8 and XP600:
DX8 is more professional for UV printer (oli-based ink) while XP600 is more common-used on DTG and Eco-solvent printer (water-based ink).
Epson 4720 printhead is almost identical to the epson 5113 printhead in appearance, specifications and performance, but due to the economical price and availability, the 4720 heads had gained a lot customers favorites compared with 5113. Furthermore, as 5113 head stopped production. 4720 printhead gradully replaced 5113 printhead on market.
On the market, 5113 printhead have unlocked, first locked, second locked and third locked. All locked head need used with decryption card to compatible the printer board.
Since January 2020, Epson introduced I3200-A1 printhead, which is the epson authorized printhead, there’s no difference on outlook dimension, only the I3200 has a EPSON certificated label on it. This head no longer use with the decryption card as 4720 head, printhead accuracy and lifespan is 20-30% higher than the previous 4720 printhead. So when you buying 4720 printhead or machine with 4720 head, please pay attention to the printhead equipping, whether it’s old 4720 head or the I3200-A1 head.
Epson I3200 and the disassembled head 4720
a. In terms of printing speed, the dismantling heads on the market can generally reach about 17KHz, while the regular print heads can achieve 21.6KHz, which can increase production efficiency by around 25%.
b. In terms of printing stability, the disassembly head uses Epson household printer disassembly waveforms, and the print head drive voltage setting is only based on experience. The regular head can have regular waveforms, and the printing is more stable. At the same time, it can also provide print head (chip) matching drive voltage, so that the color difference between the print heads is smaller, and the picture quality is better.
a. For the print head itself, the disassembled head is designed for home printers, while the regular head is designed for industrial printers. The manufacturing process of the internal structure of the print head is constantly updated.
b. The ink quality also plays an important part for the lifespan. It require manufacturers to conduct matching experiments to greatly increase the service life of the print head. For the regular head, the genuine and licensed Epson I3200-E1 nozzle is dedicated to eco-solvent ink.
In summary, the original nozzle and the disassembled nozzle are both Epson nozzles, and the technical data is relatively close.
If you want to use 4720 heads stably, the application scenario should be non-continuous, working environment temperature and humidity should be good, and the ink supplier shall be kinda relatively stable, so it’s suggested not change the ink supplier, to protect the print head as well. Also, you need full technical support and cooperation of the supplier. So it’s quite important to choose a reliable supplier at the begin. Otherwise it requires more time and effort by yourself.
All in all, when we choose a print head, we should not only consider the price of a single print head, but also the cost of implementing these scenarios. As well as maintenance costs for later use.