Table of Contents

Piezography Manual

Epson® 3800, 3880, & P800, (EU version P900) Instructions

How to install and use Piezography ink on the 3800, 3880, and P800, (EU version P900.)


Epson 3880

Use these procedures to convert your color printer to a Piezography printer. If you are installing a Continuous Ink System (CIS), please refer to the installation instructions provided with the CIS. If you are installing user refillable cartridges, please refer to the installation instructions in the "Support" menu above.

Whether you use refillable cartridges, CIS, or pre-filled cartridges (available outside the USA), the placement of the shades of Piezography ink are critical and not arbitrary. You must refer to the shade placement chart provided here on this document.

Most Piezography systems depend upon the QuadtoneRIP software with which to control the ink shades. Installation instructions and support of that software is provided by the manufacturers of those software. We provide our own guides to our suggested use of QuadToneRIP, so that you can get the best results from that product. Additionally, Piezography on the Mac requires the use of Print-Tool. This software has quickly become a de-facto utility for anyone wanting to properly color manage their printing workflow. A full manual for Piezography can be downloaded with the free Piezography Community Edition.

Printer Testing

Most P900 customers are going straight to Piezography Pro inks. Now that the P800 / 3880 /3800 printers are only available used or refurbished, we recommend that you test your printer first with either color inks or with PiezoFlush to make sure it is functioning properly. Some of the Piezography inks are so light that any print head anomalies in these positions will be difficult to see initially without color inks or without the pink of PiezoFlush. In time, you will intimately learn which ink channel prints which shade of Piezography ink.

In addition to printing a perfect nozzle check, make certain that the printer does not have unfixable banding problems by making some test prints. Take the time to scrutinize your printer’s performance before the next step. It is not possible to diagnose many printing problems on a printer that has not first been tested with Epson inks. Ideally you should also align your print-head for UniDirectional printing before switching to Piezography inks.

If you are having problems with your printer or print-head, please look at our detailed instructions on how to clean your print head.

Ink Change Procedure

  1. Test the printer with Epson inks to verify that it functions perfectly, as described above.

  2. Open the cartridge bay door, remove Epson cartridge(s) and install refillable cart(s) into printer (please refer to the refillable carts instructions for the correct way to fill and prime), then close the cartridge bay door. The printer should now pressurize carts. When it stops, the green power light should be on and “ready” displayed on the printer LCD panel. If you see a red light or cartridge error ( 38xx only) on the LCD at this point, one or more chips has not been recognized or seated correctly. If this is the case, open the cartridge bay door, then push firmly on the cartridge that is not being recognized. Follow this by lifting up on the back of all carts, then close the cartridge bay door.

  3. Perform 3 Power/Heavy Clean Cycles after installing carts to purge color ink and get Piezography ink from carts to the print head. Print a nozzle check to make sure all positions are fully printing, then print a test gradient and examine it for color staining. Yellow, which is the worst for color staining, will show up in the highlights. If color staining is present, do another Power/Heavy Clean Cycle or a few regular cleaning cycles. Follow this by printing another gradient to make sure color is gone before printing images.

  4. Verify that you have a perfect nozzle check pattern before printing images.

Printer Specs & Review

Epson SureColor P900 European Version. The P900 that is sold by EPSON in Europe can be used with refillable carts and a simple chip resetter to reset the OEM cartridge harvested chips that you can attach to refillable cartridges. The chips can be reset to full each time you refill the cartridge.

Unfortunately, the P900 sold by EPSON in North America / South America can not be used this way. It's main printer board will not allow a chip to be used twice (resetting) and there are no 3rd party P900 chips available due to the world wide shortage affecting semiconductors for the inkjet industry. We can only hope a North American work-around will become fashioned without having to replace the main printer board with one from EU or China.

The P900 is an improvement over the P800 it replaces even as it uses smaller ink cartridges and has a 10th ink channel (violet) that can not be used with QTR driver for Piezography. Still, the remaining 9 channels means no black ink mode changing! We will be offering refillable cartridges and a chip resetter. You'll need to import the printer from Europe (or bring one back in checked baggage.)

Epson SureColor P800.This is one of the best handling paper printers ever. Seems to just

Epson 3880

 load everything without a complaint. We have run thousands of sheets through this model printer without head failure or damper failure (a problem of the previous generation the 3800/3880 models). In general we think this is one of the best printers in the 17″ class.

Epson 3800 / 3880.These two 17″ printers are for all practical purposes the same hardware. They are often both available in the Epson clearance center as a refurb from $749 to $949. This is one of the best handling paper printers ever. Seems to just load everything without a complaint. We have several of these printers at InkjetMall which we use for online printing services and all of our teaching workshops. Between the 3880s and 7880s, we handle 90% of the online print requests. With three 9880s we have it all covered. Pro printers are built exceptionally well. You do get what you pay for when it comes to the Pro line. For some people, printers work better than the newest P-series printers because they give you more control of platen gap and init-fill options. Over-all, these printers are a must-buy for long-term professional printing.

Compatible Ink Types


Ink Position Chart

Cartridge Position
Piezography K7
Piezography K6
Piezography P2
Piezography PRO
Light Light Black
Gloss Overprint (for gloss printing) or PiezoFlush (if NOT printing gloss)
Gloss Overprint (for gloss printing) or PiezoFlush (if NOT printing gloss)
Gloss Overprint
(for gloss printing)
Gloss Chroma Overprint
(for gloss printing)
Light Magenta
Shade #5
Shade #5
Shade #5
Warm: Medium
Light Cyan
Shade #3
Shade #3
Shade #3
Cool: Medium
Light Black
Shade #6
Shade #6
Shade #6
Cool: Light
UltraHDMatte Black and HD Photo Black (switchable)
UltraHDMatte Black and HD Photo Black(switchable)
UltraHDMatte Black
UltraHDMatte Black and HD Photo Black(switchable)
Shade #2
Shade #2
Shade #2
Cool: Dark
Shade #4
Shade #4
Shade #4
Warm: Dark

P900 Violet is not usable
Shade #7

Flush / Not Used HD Photo Black
Warm: Light

* Change black ink for matte or gloss printing. Use “K7" or "HD K6" curves

PiezoDN Compatible

* Change black ink for matte or gloss printing. Use “HD K6" curves.

PiezoDN Compatible

** NO need to change black ink, can also print digital negatives. Use “P2” curves

PiezoDN Compatible

*** Warm and cool split-tone, change black ink for matte or gloss printing, can also print digital negatives. Use “PRO” curves

PiezoDN Compatible

What is the difference between K7, P2, K6, PiezoDN, and Pro?

Storage of previously used ink cartridges

You may wish to remove and save one or more cartridges that you have removed from your printer, for use in the future. If you want to store your cartridges for later use, place the removed cartridges in plastic bags, close the bags tightly to minimize ink evaporation, and place the cartridges in a box so that they sit upright, as they do when they are in the printer. Storing a previously opened cartridge on its side or upside down will allow ink to leak out of the air vent holes. We recommend taping over the vent holes to prevent evaporation. Many of our ink cartridge (large and small) come with vent-hole plugs. Make sure to place these vent-hole plugs back into the cartridge before storage. Make sure to remember to remove them when you want to use the cartridge again though!

Note: On small format cartridges, it is very important that you do not allow ink to touch the air inlet filter. Make sure your cartridges remain upright at all times.

Getting started with Piezography printing and QuadtoneRIP.

Now that you have your inks installed, you must print your images through QuadToneRIP shareware software. It is not possible to achieve good results without using QuadToneRIP. Go hereto download and install QuadtoneRIP for Mac or PC.

We provide a comprehensive user manual for Piezography along with a set of pre-made curves "profiles" for use with QuadtoneRIP and various fine-art inkjet papers. After installing QuadtoneRIP make sure to ask download and install our free Community Editionset of curves and documentation. This will guide you through the process of installing your Piezography printer on both Windows and Mac operating systems so you can print.

Supported Papers

We support an ever evolving list of fine art inkjet papers. You can see the list of officially supported papers here.

Technical Support

We provide free technical support at our forum.We also provide direct paid phone support.Before requesting support please register on our forum and also look through all of the support documents from the "Support" menu above.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may find it very helpful to view our F.A.Q. section for Piezography. This will tell you a lot!

Helpful Links