What is an Eco-Solvent Printer – Helpful Guide

You’ve likely come across the term “eco-solvent printing,” but what exactly is an eco-solvent printer? In simple terms, it’s a type of printer that utilizes eco-friendly solvent inks to produce high-quality images on various substrates. In recent years, eco-solvent printers have gained popularity among business owners, graphic designers, and even for home use. This is primarily due to their ability to create vibrant prints at a fraction of the cost and environmental impact compared to other printing methods. However, confusion arises when different types of inks are labeled as “eco-solvent.”

In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about eco-solvent printers, demystifying the difference between standard eco-solvent ink and newer water-based eco-solvent ink. We’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of eco-solvent printing, as well as provide tips for choosing the right printer for your needs. Additionally, we’ll discuss eco-solvent ink and the differences between eco-solvent and water-based eco-solvent ink. Lastly, we’ll highlight the top three eco-solvent printers for 2023.

What Are the Benefits of Eco-Solvent Printing?

Eco-solvent printing offers several advantages that make it an attractive option for many businesses and individuals. By using milder solvents, eco-solvent printing enables printing on various materials, ensuring excellent print quality while minimizing environmental impact. One of the significant benefits of eco-solvent printing is its minimal waste production. The solvents used in eco-solvent printing evaporate completely, eliminating the need for hazardous waste disposal.

Unlike traditional solvent-based printing methods, eco-solvent inks are much safer and healthier for both workers and the environment. They produce fewer harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can be released into the air. Eco-solvent printing is cost-effective and versatile, requiring less ink and energy for drying. Moreover, eco-solvent prints are more durable and resistant to fading, making them ideal for outdoor applications. These printers also consume less energy, reducing their environmental footprint.

While eco-solvent printing technology is relatively new, its popularity is rapidly growing due to its combination of quality, safety, and sustainability. Additionally, eco-solvent inks are made from renewable resources, resulting in a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional petroleum-based inks. This makes eco-solvent printing an excellent choice for those seeking to reduce their environmental impact.

What Are the Drawbacks to Eco-Solvent Printing?

Despite its many benefits, eco-solvent printing does have some drawbacks that should be considered before making the switch. One of the main disadvantages is the initial investment, as eco-solvent printers can be more expensive than traditional printers. Alongside the higher upfront cost, eco-solvent inks are also pricier than traditional inks. However, their cost-effectiveness in the long run may outweigh the initial investment, as these inks tend to last longer and offer greater versatility.

Additionally, eco-solvent printers are generally larger and slower than solvent printers, resulting in longer production times. Their heavier weight also makes them less portable. Furthermore, eco-solvent inks can be more challenging to work with, often requiring specialized finishing techniques and media to protect against fading or damage from UV light exposure, which can incur additional costs. Some materials may also require heat for proper drying and adhesion, potentially causing damage.

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, many businesses and homes still opt for eco-solvent printing due to its reduced environmental impact, reduced odors, increased durability, and improved print quality. For many, the benefits of eco-solvent printing outweigh the disadvantages.

Tips for Choosing the Right Eco-Solvent Printer

If you’re considering transitioning to eco-solvent printing, there are several factors to consider when selecting the right printer for your needs. Firstly, it’s important to determine the materials you’ll be printing on. Eco-solvent inks are suitable for various substrates, including vinyl, paper, cardstock, and fabric. Ensure that the printer you choose is compatible with the media you intend to use.

Consider the speed and production capacity you require from your eco printer. If you anticipate large-scale projects or high-volume printing, select a model that can meet your production needs. Additionally, factor in the cost of the printer and eco-solvent inks. Although eco-solvent printers may have a higher upfront cost, their long-term cost-effectiveness, durability, and versatility often justify the investment.

It’s essential to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing an eco-solvent printer. The best printer for your needs will depend on various factors, such as the materials you’ll be printing on, your production requirements, and your budget. By carefully considering these factors, you can find the perfect eco-solvent printer for your home or business.

Understanding Eco-Solvent Ink: Eco-Solvent vs. Water-Based Eco-Solvent Ink

Eco-solvent inks have been available for many years and differ from traditional solvent inks in that they contain less aggressive VOCs. These inks are still oil-based but have a lower impact on the environment. They are suitable for use in a studio environment, provided there is adequate ventilation. Additionally, eco-solvent inks do not degrade inkjet nozzles as quickly as solvent inks, minimizing maintenance requirements.

However, it’s important to note that professional eco-solvent ink cannot be used in standard desktop inkjet printers. For eco-friendly printer ink compatible with standard desktop inkjet printers, water-based “Eco-Solvent” inks are available. These inks, such as EUVIVI, are designed for creating T-shirt transfers and other similar applications. Water-based eco-solvent inks are made from renewable resources like vegetable oil and tree resin, making them more environmentally friendly.

EcoTank vs. Eco-Solvent

EcoTank printers are a newer technology that eliminates the need for cartridges. Instead, they feature refillable ink tanks that significantly reduce the use of disposable plastic. It’s worth noting that there is some confusion regarding the use of traditional eco-solvent ink in EcoTank printers. Standard eco-solvent ink cannot be used in these machines. However, as mentioned earlier, the newer water-based “Eco-Solvent” inks can be used.

Top 3 Eco-Solvent Printers for 2023

If you’re in the market for an eco-solvent printer compatible with water-based eco-solvent ink, we’ve compiled a list of the top three options for 2023:

1. Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer

The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an excellent all-around environmentally friendly printer. It eliminates the need for cartridges and features high-capacity refillable ink tanks, resulting in cartridge-free printing and significant savings on replacement ink cartridges. This printer offers impressive print quality, supports water-based eco-solvent ink, and contributes to reducing cartridge waste.

2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner

This small eco-solvent printer is ideal for home or small office use. It boasts features like high-volume printing, compatibility with water-based eco-solvent ink, and a built-in duplexer for efficient two-sided printing. With its cost-effective ink delivery system and convenient LCD display, the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 delivers quality printing and ease of use.

3. Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 Wireless Wide-Format Color All-in-One Supertank Printer

The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 is a versatile printer suitable for a wide range of printing tasks. It offers cartridge-free printing for lab-quality photos and creative projects, remarkable media handling capabilities, and low-cost replacement ink options. This printer supports water-based eco-solvent ink, making it an excellent choice for those seeking high-quality prints with low environmental impact.


Whether you’re looking for a traditional large format printer for commercial use, utilizing eco-solvent inks, or a smaller desktop printer for home use with water-based eco-solvent ink, there are various options available. Eco-solvent printers are gaining popularity due to their high-quality prints, reduced emissions, and ease of recycling. With their lower solvent and ink consumption, these printers are the ideal eco-friendly printing solution.

Eco-solvent printers can be utilized for sign printing, vehicle graphics, wall murals, and more. For those seeking an eco-friendly large format printer with stunning prints and low environmental impact, eco-solvent printers are an excellent choice. However, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research before making a purchase, as understanding the distinction between eco-solvent and water-based eco-solvent ink is essential. Choose the right eco-solvent printer that aligns with your specific requirements, and enjoy the benefits of eco-friendly printing for your home or business.

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