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Epson 3880Epson Stylus Pro 3880
A2 Large format printer

Information about the Epson SP 3880 printer. The 3800 replacement

>> We now have a full Epson 3880 review








Epson 3880 A2 printer

We'll update this page with 3880 info until we are able to do a full review.

Information from Epson US

2015 April

2009 September 1st

Main differences from 3800

  1. New inks Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink Technology with Vivid Magenta
  2. New method of laying down the inks with HD2
    AccuPhoto HD2 Screening Technology. Complex mathematical architecture created from a collaboration of Epson and the Rochester Institute of Technology's Munsell Color Science Laboratory
    Optimizes ink usage to maximize the color gamut and provide smooth color transitions and gradations
    Compensates for various ink densities between resolutions, allowing for a single ICC profile to be used per media type.
  3. Coated head to improve cleaning/clog performance

August 31st

Standard Edition:CA61201-VM
MSRP:$1,295 *
Graphic Arts Edition:CA61201-GA
MSRP:$1,495 *
Maximum Printer Width:17" Wide
Ink Technology:Epson UltraChrome K3with Vivid Magenta

Printable Area

Maximum paper width 17"
Maximum cut-sheet size 17" x 22"
Minimum cut-sheet size 4" x 6"
Left and right margins 0 or 3 mm each (0.24" total)
Top and bottom margins 0 or 3 mm or 15 mm each
Maximum printable width 17.16" (full bleed, 17" width)

Media Handling
Main top-loading feeder Up to 17" x 22"
  Up to 120 sheets plain; 50 photo
Second top-loading feeder Up to 17" x 22"
  Single sheet manual feeder,
optimized for fine art paper
Front manual feeder Up to 16" x 20"
  Straight-through, single sheet
manual feeder up to 1.5 mm
Weight 12 lb bond, up to 1.5 mm cardboard

3880 inks - epson

Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink Technology with Vivid Magenta

High-density pigments for an extremely wide colour gamut
New formulation of Magenta pigments for extreme blues and purples
Professional print permanence ratings for truly sellable quality prints
High-gloss Microcrystal Encapsulation technology for reduced gloss differential
Superior scratch resistance from improved pigment and resin chemistry
Colour is stable immediately after printing - no short-term colour shifting
Produces a black density up to 2.55 with an L* value of 2.9*
*Data based on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper (260)

printhead design for 3880

Auto-sharing Black Ink Technology

Fully automatic switching between Black ink modes
Black ink conversion times:  
   Matte to Photo Black 2:55 min:sec
   Photo to Matte Black 1:55 min:sec
Ink used during conversion:B  
   Matte to Photo Black Approx. 4.5 ml
   Photo to Matte Black Approx. 1.5 ml

BInk used in conversion varies considerably based on temperature and other factors.

Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink (80 ml)

Photo Black T580100
Cyan T580200
Vivid Magenta T580A00
Yellow T580400
Light Cyan T580500
Vivd Light Magenta T580B00
Light Black T580700
Light Light Black T580900
Matte Black T580800

Epson Intelligent Pressurized Ink CartridgeC
Cartridge fill volume 80 ml each color x 9 colors total
Ink cartridge shelf life 2 years from printed production
date or 6 months after opened

CCartridge yields vary considerably based on images printed, print settings, paper type, frequency of use and temperature. For print quality, a variable amount of ink remains in the cartridge after the "replace cartridge" indicator comes on. The printer ships with full cartridges and part of the ink from the first cartridges is used for priming the printer

More info from Epson US

MicroPiezo AMC Print Head Technology
One-inch wide, high performance print head offers a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440
Produces variable sized droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters to greatly decrease print times, while optimizing photographic quality
Reduction of the metameric index makes it possible to achieve consistent colour under different lighting conditions
Ensures truly photographic prints, even in high-speed or lower resolution print modes.

AccuPhoto HD2 Screening Technology
Complex mathematical architecture created from a collaboration of Epson and the Rochester Institute of Technology's Munsell Colour Science Laboratory
Optimizes ink usage to maximize the colour gamut and provide smooth colour transitions and gradations
Compensates for various ink densities between resolutions, allowing for a single ICC profile to be used per media type

Auto-Sharing Photo and Matte Black Ink
Automatically utilizes 2 different black ink modes - Photo Black or Matte Black
Optimizes Black ink density for various media types
Dramatically improves final print quality on photographic media and fine art paper

Professional Media Handling
Prints on virtually any type of cut-sheet media from 4 x 6 up to 17 x 22
Top-loading, high-capacity paper feeder handles up to 120 sheets of plain, letter-sized paper or
up to 20 sheets of photographic media
Second, top-loading, manual sheet feeder accommodates thick fine art paper up to 17" wide
Front-loading, straight-through, manual sheet feeder handles media up to 16 inches wide and up to 1.5 mm-thick posterboard
Supports manual printing on both sides of specialty media
Prints on select BorderFree cut-sheet media from 4 x 6 up to 17 x 22

Advanced Black-and-White Printing Technology
Unique driver technology takes full advantage of our three-level black system to produce professional black-and-white prints from colour or grayscale image files
Produces a truly consistent print with no colour crossover or colour cast
Some of the world's greatest black-and-white photography has been printed using this technology

Superior Connectivity
Standard ports include one high speed USB 2.0 and one 10/100 BaseT Ethernet
Standard professional Epson drivers for Macintosh and Windows
Exclusive 17-Inch Size Printer Design
New print engine technology that takes full advantage of the latest in precision mechanical design, resulting in a significant reduction in overall printer size and weight
Incredibly quiet operation, perfectly suited for even home use
Large, 2.5-inch, backlit LCD control panel for easy, direct printer control, and operational status monitoring

Automatic Print Head Alignment and Nozzle Check Technology
Built-in sensor reads printed data for highly precise alignment of all colour channels in both bi-directional and uni-directional modes
Built in sensor analyzes a printed nozzle check pattern and automatically cleans the print head if required

High Performance Engine Speeds
Utilizing our latest high-performance print head technology, the SP3880 is among the fastest professional desktop printers in the industry
Print Mode 8 x 10 11 x 14 16 x 20
SuperFine - 1440 dpi HS 2:03 3:18 5:32
SuperFine - 1440 dpi 4:08 6:39 10:59
SuperPhoto - 2880 dpi HS 3:50 6:04 9:46
SuperPhoto - 2880 dpi 7:47 12:15 18:40

HS = High-Speed Print Mode (Bi-directional Print Mode) | Print speeds are shown in min:sec.

Based upon print engine speed only. Total throughput times depend upon front-end RIP, file size, printer resolution, ink coverage, networking, etc.

Epson PreciseColour Manufacturing
Unique production technology to ensure printer-to-printer colour consistency
Colourimetric calibration is performed during the manufacturing process
This process automatically evaluates and adjusts the colour performance of each printer produced
The result is extreme colour repeatability for demanding colour performance over time
Completely eliminates the need for internal printer calibration devices or procedures

World-Class Service and Support
Free one-year coverage under the Epson Preferred Protection plan limited warranty with toll-free telephone support available Monday through Friday and usually next-business day, full unit exchange service
Optional one- or two-year Epson Preferred Plus service plans available

ColourBurst RIP Software for Professional Graphic Design
(included in Graphic Arts Edition)
PostScript Language Level 3 compatible software RIP server - includes both Macintosh OS X (Panther and Tiger) and Windows XP versions
PANTONE licensed to include coated and uncoated libraries
Professional colour management technology, including separate input ICC profiles for RGB, CMYK, and grayscale images
Ink limiting technology with CMYK curve adjustments for complete colour control
In-printer linearization technology to ensure accurate colour across multiple printers
Easy-to-use RIP server interface
Professional job management to handle any workflow your network can produce
Print directly from any software application or drag-and-drop into a hot folder

US Press Info

Designed without Compromise
Reproducing that image, exactly as you saw it, has always been the challenge. Until now. With the introduction of the Epson Stylus Pro 3880, the bar has once again been raised and the realm of what's possible expanded. Engineered for the most discriminating professionals, it comes with a variety of technological breakthroughs that will make it the benchmark by which all other 17-inch printers are measured. In fact, there's so much innovation in this feature-rich printer, you might expect a much larger footprint, but the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is remarkably compact, equal in size to many 13-inch printers.

Your creative visions can be realized with the Epson Stylus Pro 3880

With the Epson Stylus Pro 3880, uncompromising quality is within reach. Engineered for the discriminating professional, this compact, 17" wide printer includes Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink Technology, world-renowned for professional printing applications. This, combined with an advanced MicroPiezo AMC print head, enables the Pro 3880 to produce gallery-quality colour and black-and-white output up to 17" x 22". The printer's industry-acclaimed ink set delivers a phenomenal colour gamut with breathtaking blues and violets. All-new AccuPhoto HD2 technology provides smoother colour transitions and better highlight and shadow detail for prints with a true photographic look. Exceptional print quality and professional media support - the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 makes it all possible. Now, you can achieve stunning wide-format prints to professionally showcase your work and bring your creative visions to life.

Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink Technology is a professional, 8-colour ink set with advanced magenta pigments that provide more dramatic blues and violets for an impressive colour gamut. Its three-level black technology delivers richer blacks, outstanding tonal range and an unprecedented gray balance, all of which ensure outstanding black-and-white prints. Built on Epson's heritage of professional ink technology, this pigment ink set offers instant colour stability. Colours stay consistent, whether viewed right out of the printer or decades later. With Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta, you get print quality and longevity that satisfies the most demanding professional.

The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 optimizes your working space. This compact, professional-level printer generates exhibition quality prints, worthy of gallery display, up to 17" x 22" - an innovation made possible by Epson's expertise in microminiaturization and professional printing technology.

AccuPhoto HD2 technology was created from a collaboration between Epson and the Rochester Institute of Technology's Munsell Colour Science Laboratory and combines a complex mathematical architecture and advanced screening technology to provide outstanding image quality. AccuPhoto HD2 is specifically engineered to ensure precision placement of each individual ink droplet, resulting in smooth, grain-free images. Choosing from an extraordinary number of possible ink combinations for each colour, this technology optimizes ink usage to maximize the colour gamut and provide smooth colour transitions and gradations. Reduction of the metameric index makes it possible to achieve consistent colour under different lighting conditions. And, it ensures truly photographic prints, even in high-speed or lower resolution print modes.

Our advanced MicroPiezo print head with AMC (Advanced Meniscus Control) is at the core of Epson's advanced ink jet technology, enabling the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 to deliver incredible detail. This permanent, high-performance print head creates variable-sized droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters and places them with remarkable accuracy and precision. This professional print head also incorporates an ink-repelling coating which decreases maintenance and increases reliability. Working together with Epson PreciseColour technology, the print head delivers consistent print quality every time from every Epson Stylus Pro 3880.

Part of an advanced workflow, the Advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode is your key to intuitive and consistent control, for stunning neutral or toned black-and-white prints. Choose from one of four present menus - neutral, warm, cool or sepia. Or, fine tune your image further with custom slider bars and the colour tone wheel that gives you precise control. Customized settings can be saved and recalled to achieve consistent prints every time.

The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 was designed without compromise so your visions could be printed without compromise. With its compact size, it represents the next step in professional desktop printing, and is a must have for the serious professional.

* MSRP. Dealer Prices may vary. All prices are in U.S. Dollars.

August 23rd

We've had a comment (thanks) suggesting that Epson is going to announce the 3800 replacement in time for the big IFA Berlin show (4th-9th September)

The loyalty discount scheme at Epson UK runs until the end of September, so we'd thought the announcement might be in time for an October trade show, but I don't know of any particularly important ones then.

Stylus Pro 3880There have been recent comments about a 3880 with the same vivid magnta ink set of the 7880/9880

However it seems Epson US just decided to get ahead and mailed this out

July 30th

It seem that an internal company bulletin at one Epson division mentions the update for the 3800, calling it a '3880', although this name was not certain.

Remember that the various Epson divisions round the world often get told very little about future products, so rumours do abound :-)

No Photokina this year, so one possible event could be Print 09 in Chicago (11th-16th Sept.)

January 12th

We're told that the Epson 3900 is due for announcement this summer.

The 3800 was announced in September 2006, so three years between announcements is quite reasonable ;-)

Most likely using a version of the improved Ultrachrome HDR ink technology

There is an Epson 78 page PDF presentation about the 7900/9900 which uses these inks.

Includes detailed info such as this chart showing ink drying colour stability.

epson HDR ink drying times and stability

Stylus pro 3800 information for comparison

There is an excellent comparative review of the gamuts of K3 and other ink sets at

There is also our full review of the 3800

SP3800 Download links

6 page Epson 3800 Pro Brochure

41 page reference guide

Ink costs

For those of you looking at a 3800, or even one of the new Canon or HP printers, there is this comparison of ink costs (based on manufacturers suggested prices)

The 3800 does not support roll media - this would be a problem for me, since one of the advantages of using a decent page layout function in a RIP is to be able to print varying sizes of print and tile them (I do this all the time with 44 inch roll media on my 9600)

Some specifications for the current Epson Stylus Pro 3800

Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink Technology
Professional Cut-Sheet Media Handling from 4” x 6” up to 17” x 22” (new)
Main Top-Loading High-Capacity Paper Feeder (new)
Second Top-Loading Manual Feeder – Optimized for Fine Art (new)
Front-Loading Straight-through Manual Feeder up to 1.5mm Thick
BorderFree Cut-Sheet Printing from 4” x 6” up to 16” x 20” (new)
Advanced MicroPiezo AMC Print Head Technology
Ultra-Modern Image Processing Technology (new)
Maximum Resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 dpi
Nine Individual 80ml High-Capacity Ink Cartridges (new)
Auto-Sharing Photo and Matte Black Ink Technology (new)
Pressurized Ink Cartridge Technology (new)
High-Performance Print Engine Speeds
Epson PreciseColour Technology
Automatic Head Alignment and Cleaning Technologies
Standard USB 2.0 and 10/100 BaseT Ethernet (new)
Epson PrintJob Information System
One-Year Epson Preferred Protection Plan

Competitive comparison:

Printer Feature Epson Stylus Pro 3800 Epson Stylus Pro 4800 Canon iPF5000
Maximum Printer Width 17-Inch 17-Inch 17-Inch
Maximum Number of Inks 9-Colour 9-Colour 12-Colour
Maximum Number of Inks Used for Printing 8-Colour 8-Colour 11-Colour
Three-Level Black? Yes Yes Yes
Auto-Switching Matte & Photo Black? Yes - Auto Sharing No Yes - Auto Switching
Maximum Ink Cartridge Fill Volume 80 ml 220 ml 130 ml
Pigmented Ink Technology UltraChrome K3 UltraChrome K3 Lucia
Printing Method AMC Piezo x 1 AMC Piezo x 1 FINE Thermal x 2
Print Head Replacement Not Required Not Required User Replaceable
Maximum Resolution / Minimum Droplet Size 2,880 x 1,440 / 3.5 pl 2,880 x 1,440 / 3.5 pl 2,400 x 1,200 / 4 pl
Print Speed - True Lab Quality 16" x 20" Print 5:32 (1,440 x 720 HS) 6:07 (1,440 x 720 HS) 6:00 (2,400 x 1,200)
Professional Media Support up to 1.5 mm Yes Yes Yes
Cut Sheet / Roll Support Yes / No Yes / Yes Yes / Optional
Borderless Printing Technology Cut Sheet Roll Only Roll Only
Paper Handling - Automatic Feed Top Input Tray Roll & Cassette - Manual Roll & Cassette - Auto
Paper Handling - Manual Feed Top, Front, & Rear Top, Front, & Rear Top, Front, & Rear
Connectivity - Standard USB 2.0 & 10/100 BaseT USB 2.0 & FireWire USB 2.0 & 10/100 BaseT
Connectivity - Optional Not Required 100 BaseT Ethernet FireWire
Estimated Purchase Price $1,295 $1,995 $1,945

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