Replacing Ink in an Empty Brother Cartridge with UV Ink?

Discussion in 'Ink Cartridges, Toner and Refills' started by timebound, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. timebound


    Nov 19, 2019
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    So, I was gifted a great Brother MFC-490CW printer recently (great for all my needs, at least!)!. I do a lot of work with ultraviolet ink (I make glow-in-the-dark artsy stuff), and I had sorta assumed this printer would have cartridges like other printers that had sponges you could remove, clean, then soak up with your UV ink and replace into the cartridge and pop it back into the printer. After some research on the matter, however, I see that these cartridges don't use sponges, but instead use ink bags.

    So, I'm trying to figure out a workaround, if one is possible. The UV ink is completely clear, so if I just refill the yellow cartridge with the UV ink, the two are probably going to mix, and I'm going to end up printing out something that is faintly yellow in plain light but maybe or maybe not glows under a blacklight. I need it to be invisible under normal light, and I need the UV color to be precise.

    Does anyone know if the ink bag can be removed, cleaned, and replaced back into the cartridge without ruining the whole thing? Or is it possible to fashion a new ink bag and install it inside the cartridge? It's already an empty cartridge, so it's not a disaster if I ruin or break it (I'm more worried about the kinda pricey UV ink!). I can always buy a cheap printer for the ultraviolet ink if I need to... but I really like the precision and quality I'm getting out of the Brother printer.

    Just wondering if anyone had any ideas or experience with this. I've thought about a lot of options, like seeing if there is some kind of cleaning solution or even water, assuming it wouldn't break the print head or printer itself, that I could inject into the ink like a refill. Then I'd set the printer to print on pure yellow until the pages print out completely clear, so all the yellow ink would be entirely gone. But I would very much not like to ruin the printer, and while that'd work on a cheap HP printer just fine, I'm not experienced enough with the Brother printers to know if this will break/damage the printer.

    In other words, I'd love to find a workaround, but I'm not willing to break the printer to try. Has anyone ever tried using any novel inks in their brother printer cartridges before? I know I can't be the only one. Plenty of people use UV ink, lemon juice/vinegar, etc, for various effects.
    timebound, Nov 19, 2019
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  2. timebound


    Mar 16, 2020
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    Buy a cheap Canon printer and replace the ink with UV ink, I did so, it worked, wouldn't risk any of my other printers. In this scenario when things go wrong you can always replace the cartridge (coming with the print head), that's not something you would be able to do with Brother, Epson or HP (unless you buy an HP printer with cartridge-printhead but I would advice against, the cartridges are not as practical for long term use as Canon).

    Yes, me here raising hand, and it worked. The prints came out blank (invisible) but I could see the images and text (up to photographic quality) using UV light, neat. I planned to use this on PVC inkjet cards (security feature) but turns out the ink wouldn't penetrate the PVC just as the color ink does.

    Yes, you are right, the first print are transitional until the full ink sets on your system. But as said above, I would advice against doing this on a Brother printer.

    About what you ask, no, the bag can't be removed and cleaned, it's not exactly a "bag" inside the cartridge, it's a mix or cartridge box and plastic with flexible parts, you can't remove it, both things are one. Anyway if you want to play around with ink, there are refillable empty and transparent cartridges available that have no bag at all.

    My reason against doing this on the Brother printer is, in the long run the chemicals might not be gentle on your printer (same as vinegar) and could cause corrosion or clogging. In my case the color cartridge used for my UV ink tests ended up clogged. Worked hard to unclog and couldn't recover the cyan, the yellow came back fully, magenta 70%, but cyan dead solid.

    Doable? yes, might kill your printer? perhaps, doable on a cartridge print head? yes, disposable? oh yes, cheaper? oohhh yes.
    exploradorgt, Mar 16, 2020
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