I’ve found a way to print flashcards and materials while saving LOTSA time and money. This is a common question that mummies at the recent home practice intensive workshops* asked, so here’re the details for all of you…
In the past, I’ve been using a HP photo inkjet printer. The quality is superb, but ink cartridges cost RM100+ per month for my volume of printing (hundreds of flash cards each month).
After a friend suggested the “ink tank system”, I explored further and found out that Epson released the first range of printers with in-built ink-tank systems. This is also known as Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS).
This means there’re huge external ink tanks at the side of the printer, for high volume printing.
There’re several models of Epson L-series CISS printers. I needed to print flash cards with photographs, so opted for the L800 with full range of colour ink tanks.
- Model: Epson L800 (newer models available now)
- Maximum paper weight: 280gsm
- Estimate: 9,900 pages for 70ml black ink tank; 1,800 pages for 70ml coloured ink tank
I bought my Epson L800 at Low Yat (Malaysia) at about RM800+. The ink tanks have lasted me 1 year of printing (some heavy-duty months, some lazy months). I’ve just bought ink tanks at RM36 each.
Previously, I’ve made flash cards using 300-310gsm art card. (Thick cards are easier to flash fast.) However, I couldn’t find any ink-efficient printer that could print on such thick paper.
The print, glue and stick method is rather time-consuming for large number of cards.
The print and stick method shared here is much faster, but incurs the cost of adhesive paper.
The most efficient is printing directly. With Epson L800, I’m now printing directly on 270gsm paper, which saves me lots of time. I’ve been flashing 270gsm cards, which is still fast enough.
Get paper without glossy finishing, i.e. as paper-like as possible. This absorbs ink faster instead of running at the edges. (Deleted on 17/11/17) New tip: When printing on glossy art card, go to Print, Print Settings, under Media Type, choose Epson Premium Glossy. Fabulous print quality!
Tip #2: Remember to print something full-colour every week or so. If you’ve nothing to print, just run the simple test print. This ensures that the printer ejects some ink, so that the nozzles won’t be clogged. If they become clogged, there’ll be white lines across the image. You’d then have to run the cleaning function a few times till the problem is resolved.
Where to get paper?
Here’s an updated list of paper suppliers:
- For convenience: Shichida Tensai store. RM20 per 100 A5; RM38 per 100 A4. (Note: The card stock has glossy finishing, so I don’t think Epson L-series can print directly on it.)
- For bulk savings: Find a local paper supplier near you. May request for some or most to be cut into A5.
Block 162 Bukit Merah Central
Tel: +65 6273 5333
Fax: +65 6278 9707
(Updated note on 11 August 2015: Hiap Moh sells 270gsm and ~300gsm card stock.)
2. Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur:
(310gsm art card, ~RM0.14 per A4)
10, Persiaran Cahaya 2, Taman Cahaya Indah Light Industrial, 68000 Ampang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +603 42942108, +603 42942109
(270gsm art card, ~RM0.17 per A4)
B Soon Trading
No. 12 Jalan Brunei Barat, Off Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur 55100, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: +603 21489792
Happy making flashcards!
>>> P.S. Check out these printable and readymade flash cards*
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