The continuous ink system was originally developed for large format inkjet printers. Because of the printing volume and hence the amount of ink used in this type of printing, alternatives to small inkjet cartridges need to be developed.
Some large format printers are equipped with large bags such as cartridges that contain 100-200ml ink. This printer is a household name and this option is not available for small business/home users.
Another development is where ink is sent to the print head by a series of tubes. This often happens where piezo-style print heads are used in professional large-format printers. In this case, bulk ink is added to the reservoir and the ink is drawn by capillary action to the print head.
Printers with continuous inkjet for home users and small businesses were originally developed for piezo print heads. They consist of each ink bottle, the tube that sends ink to the modified cartridge that sits on the print head in the same position as the normal cartridge, the support mechanism for the tube, and priming equipment to set the system so that the ink is sent to the print head.
The addition of a continuous ink system now makes technology an economical inkjet for small businesses. With a better continuous ink system, the process is clean and painless (compared to refilling your own cartridge) and allows printing to continue at all times.
By observing the ink level in the ink bottle, additional ink is added just by opening the ink bottle cap, refilling, then securing the lid again.