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How Are Ink Cartridges Actually Made?

How Are Ink Cartridges Actually Made?

Posted By: John Published: 30/12/2015 Times Read: 180 Comments: 0

Ever wondered how ink cartridges are actually made? No? Well you’re about to find out, as we set out to answer that very question.

Despite Planet Earth becoming increasingly reliant on digital tech, around 314 million inkjet cartridges are sold each year in Europe – indicating that print remains very much a part of our day-to-day lives. Of the million or so people that purchase replacement ink cartridges on a regular basis, we wager few stop to consider the amount of technological know-how and intricate design that goes into each inkjet cartridge.


You see, printer cartridges aren't simply containers; they’re advanced components that are essential to the functionality of the printer itself. Each individual cartridge features a sophisticated connection chip that ensures seamless connectivity with your printer, as well as a carefully developed ink formula that’s rigorously tested to guarantee maximum page retention.

What’s the result of this complex design and thorough testing process? A cartridge capable of accurately delivering up to 36,000 drops of ink per second in a complete spectrum of true-to-life colours – all thanks to a single connector chip that’s been stringently tested in real world conditions.

But how do original equipment and third-party manufacturers produce these carefully engineered pieces of tech? It all starts with the production of bespoke machinery, which is designed and built in accordance with the requirements of the specific printer in question. Expert operatives, who each possess years of technical skill and know-how, carefully construct each connector chip so that it is 100% attuned to the printer in question.

This chip is applied to the small, moulded container that houses the ink as well as the print head. Once assembly is complete, the cartridge enters the testing phase. Here, it is put through a series of tests and inspections to ensure it is both fit for purpose and capable of functioning in an array of variable conditions.

Often, new cartridges are placed in their intended printer prior to leaving the factory, in order to check their print and build quality in a real world environment. If the cartridge falls short in any area, it’s simply sent straight back to the beginning of the production process – where it’s stripped down, diagnosed and checked for any faults or imperfections.

As for ink? We’ll save that for another blog, after all – printer ink is surprisingly complex, and contains an innumerable amount of both natural and man-made chemicals and dyes that aid colour reproduction and increase surface retention.

If you enjoyed this article and want to read more like it, be sure to check out the rest of the Printhead blog, here. Alternatively, if you’re interested in purchasing cheap, compatible ink cartridges directly from us, visit the Printhead homepage or use the search bar above to choose your printer model from the drop-down.

Struggling to find the compatible cartridge you require? Call the Printhead team today on 0845 519 5405 and our experts will be happy to help you. 


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