This is a DIY guide for installation of CISS with Canon Pixma MX457 AIO Printer.
The Canon Pixma MX457 is a Multi-Function Inkjet Printer with Print, Copy, Scan and Fax functions along with Wi-Fi connectivity, Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint to enable users to print straight from their smartphones or tablets. The MX457 model comes integrated with ADF (Automatic Document Feeder). Overall, with all these features, this printer looks perfect for a small business/SOHO setup.
However, as with all AIO Inkjet printers, the cost of replacement ink cartridges is the main concern for most users. Cartridges of inkjet printers are expensive and the cost of per print is comparatively higher than laser printers. Refilling cartridges are an option provided it is done properly and quality ink is used.
CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System) is another option for users which allows them to print in bulk at a fraction of the cost.
A continuous ink system (CIS), also known as a continuous ink supply system, a continuous flow system, an automatic ink refill system, a bulk feed ink system, or an off-axis ink delivery system is a method for delivering a large volume of liquid ink to a comparatively small inkjet printhead. Many business and professional grade printers incorporate a continuous ink system in their design to increase printing capacity.
There were literally no guides or videos online for installing CISS on Canon Pixma MX457 model. All steps were done by viewing general guides and using my own best judgement.
- This is DIY installation guide which may be overwhelming for normal users.
- Attempt this DIY only if you are comfortable with the steps and you have a natural knack for DIY stuff
- Do not attempt this if this is your first DIY
- By performing this DIY, you void warranty of the printer, risk damaging the printer and cartridges
There are various CISS kits available in the market, however none is designed specifically for the MX457. So you need to use a general CISS kit and hope that it will be compatible with the Pixma MX457. Researching online led me to CISS kits from Splashjet, who are known to be manufacturers of high quality ink and CISS kits for all major printer brands.
CISS kit ordered from Splashjet Print Technologies.
- Empty CISS kit for Assembly
- Pigment Black Ink for Canon
- Dye Ink for Canon
Total Cost with shipping – Rs. 1864
The CISS Kit
I first printed several test prints, nozzle check print, head alignment print, so that I can check and compare with the print results after installing the CISS. Installing the CISS is recommended on new cartridges for best results.
Dismantling the printer was the biggest challenge. Maybe opening the entire printer is not necessary, but I wanted to open the top scanner part completely so that I can have a clear view and access to the printer cartridges to ensure that the tubes and cartridge have a free flow movement. I opened the printer completely as I wanted to route the tube cable inside the printer without causing any hindrance to any moving part.
If you decide to open the printer, be very careful as the plastic parts can be tough to remove and I could not find any service manual online with instructions on how to dismantle the printer. Remove all the visible screws and slowly start removing the plastic panels one by one starting from the corner panels. You would also disconnect the flex cables connecting the top part from the circuit board on the left.
After opening the printer, I attached the ink tubes with tape on the printer cartridges and did several mock movements along the guide rails rocking the cartridges from side to side. This is to ensure I get the best possible position and placement of the ink tubes before actually drilling and fixing the tubes on the cartridges. I also decided to route the cable through the cartridge compartment, run it inside the printer, drill a hole on the right side plastic panel and take the tube cable out through the hole. The advantage of this is, the cable will not be visible from the front and will not obstruct while closing/opening the front trays. The disadvantage is, incase you require to remove the CISS kit, you will have to open the printer again and the CISS ink tank will be like a permanent appendage attached to the printer.
Please note: If you want to route the cable from the front side through the trays, opening the printer is not required, but do check if the ink cable can freely move inside.
Once you are sure how to route the ink cable, you can start with the drilling process. Remove the labels from the cartridges so that you can see the holes where you need to drill. The black cartridge hole will be in the center, while the color cartridge will have 3 holes for Magenta (top), Cyan (left) and Yellow (right) color.
An issue with the color cartridge CL-741 after fitting the rubber sleeves and elbows, the top tube (Magenta) might interfere with the locking mechanism and will give error 1401 as the cartridge will not be aligned perfectly. To overcome this, I ensured that the rubber sleeve is pushed inside the hole as much as possible, and trimmed/cut the top of the plastic elbow slightly so that the color cartridge can fit inside the compartment locked. Once I did this, I did not receive the error.
After connecting all the tubes, I filled the tank with ink and primed the cartridges using the supplied prime tools. You would need to be careful during this process not to damage the print heads. There might be ink spillage during this process, so ensure you have tissue paper handy and do this on a surface where you can wipe of the ink easily, or there will be ink stains everywhere. Once everything was done to my satisfaction, I assembled the printer and fired it up. No errors were received and I printed all the test prints again. Overall the prints look good and there is not much difference between the original prints and after installing CISS. I will upload scanned copies of the before and after prints for reference.
The overall process was daunting and on several occasions I thought I had ruined the brand new cartridges and printer, and I should have taken the refilling route. It was also difficult as I decided to open the printer which made the process much more difficult. But the end result has been satisfactory and I am pretty happy with the setup. I have not taken much print outs now, and only time will tell if it was worth taking the risk.
This is not the perfect guide for installing CISS on a Canon Pixma MX457 printer, as there were no professional guide available on this. There maybe easier method if done by a professional CISS installer. So please use this guide at your own risk or take help from a professional.