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Changing the Canon iPF8300 MC-08 maintenance cartridge

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Changing the MC-08 maintenance cartridge on the Canon iPF8300

What does ~330ml or ~£100 of waste ink look like…


All desktop inkjet printers have collection areas for waste ink used in cleaning.

The maintenance cartridges for big printers are just larger and user replaceable.

Whilst testing a new paper with my Canon iPF8300, it decided that the cartridge was full – I’ve some info. about resetting such carts later, but fortunately I’ve had a spare MC-08 cartridge sitting waiting, for some time.

new mc-08 and old

I recently reviewed the smaller iPF6400/6450 printer, which has the flatter MC-16 cartridge (as with the previousiPF6300/6350 and iPF6100).

The iPF5100 has the MC-05 cartridge.

I’ve also included a link to our info on cleaning old printers

Canon Maintenance cartridges

I was in the middle of adding a custom paper type to the printer, for a short review, when the maintenance cartridge shows as ‘Full’

warning message

The cartridge is behind a panel at the lower right of the printer.

MC-08 cover on ipf8300

It just flips down and the MC-08 cartridge just pulls out.

access to cartridge

On the 24″ 6xxx series printers, the cartridge is removed from under the main print area, at the front.

Move your mouse over the image to see. The paper output guide has been unclipped.

The spare cartridge ships in a box, which even includes a bag for disposing of the old one

new cartridge and packing

Also included is a small clip – there is no specific information about this, so time for a look at the printer manual (kept close to hand in the tray at the back of the photo above).

It seems that it’s a shaft cleaner – goes inside the printer, but no need to replace it right now.

iPF8300 shaft cleaner device

The old cartridge is noticeably heavier and shows where the ink has been going.

full and empty compared

I replaced the new cartridge and everything started whirring – cleaning and ink agitation.

Then, after a bit of activity the printer throws an error code [Hardware Error 03800500-2F44]

error message -2f44

Whatever it was – everything was working just fine after switching back on. I suppose it might have been connected with the custom paper updating I was doing at the time the ‘full’ warning first came up?

Update [Feb 2014] It wasn’t this, there was an ongoing printhead failure, that even after an attempt at cleaning the right hand print head, eventually needed a (PF-05) printhead replacement.

The old cartridge

Being of a curious nature, I weighed the new cart before fitting, it was 495gm.

The ‘full’ MC-08 comes in at 816gm. That’s an extra 321gm

Allowing for the density of ink I’m happy to say it’s about a full 330ml cartridge’s worth of ink.

wwighing a full MC-08 cartridge

I’m still using some of the original set of 330ml cartridges that came with the iPF8300 printer.

Some inks are used very sparingly in my print work – others, such as the light grey (PGY) were the first to go, and were replaced by the larger (and cheaper, by volume) 700ml cartridges (below, next to a pint (568ml) of milk)

large 700ml ink cartridge

This maintenance cart was the one that came with the printer, so also contains ink used in the original setup and calibration.

It’s taken just over two and a half years to need replacing (we’re not a heavy duty print maker, and the printer has been left switched on).

How much of the maintenance cart was used?

Move your mouse over the image below to see the ink in the wadding.

I’d say that it had enough capacity for maybe another 40-50% of the ink load.

The ink in the used maintenance cartridge is around a full small (330ml) cartridge’s worth, or at full UK price, around £150 (although you can find them quite a bit cheaper, and 700ml ones at not much more). Maintenance cartridges work out around £50

Rough, (very) back of the envelope calculations suggest that ink used for setup and ongoing cleaning have come to just under 10% of that used for making prints. If I make an estimate of the ink used for initial setup, then this comes down to around 6%.

Remember though, that printmaking is not our main business, and the printer is only used every few days. If the printer was more heavily used, I’d think that percentage might well go appreciably lower.

I’d also note though, that we are most definitely not at the cheaper print end of the print market, so an overhead like that is not important (if it made a big difference, then it would tell me that we are not charging enough… ;-)

Re-set the cart?

I’ve seen it mentioned that you can reset the waste ink counter (as long as the cart isn’t showing ‘full’).

This is to my mind a risk I just didn’t want to take, but might be worthwhile in an emergency (cart shows up as nearly full and you have a rush job on, over the weekend…)

Details… Canon iPF wiki – try this at your own risk! I have heard of people forgetting they’d done it and ink dripping out of the printer.

Some time ago, I wrote a similar note about changing the maintenance tank on our old Epson 9600.

Cleaning dried ink

The cartridge keeps waste ink well out of the way, but if you need to clean any splashes, a damp bit of paper will help.

However, rather than buy expensive inkjet cleaning products, you really only need to check out the household products line at your local supermarket, Usually much better value than specialist inkjet cleaners.

I’ve written a short guide about ‘cleaning inkjet printers‘ that may be of interest.

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