What is a Solvent Printer?

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Updated December 5, 2022

If you are new to reproducing documents, you may wonder what a solvent printer is. Many of the best printers feature drastically different designs and features, and this includes solvent printers. So what exactly is a solvent printer, do you need one, and what benefits do they bring to the table for average folks? Keep reading to find out.


  • Solvent printers are models that do not use water-based ink, resulting in high-quality reproductions from the print head.
  • Eco-solvent printing eschews water and integrates with eco-solvent ink cartridges made from organic compounds.
  • This type of printing process is known for being useful on a wide range of substrate materials beyond paper.

What is an Eco Solvent Printer?

When learning about digital printers, the term solvent printing often comes up. Basically, solvent printing is when devices make reproductions without the use of water-based ink. There are also solvent printers out there, better known as eco-solvent printers, that have nothing to do with a standard dot matrix printer. Eco-solvent printers use eco-friendly ink to produce high-quality images on a number of materials, which is handy when learning the definition of a thermal inkjet printer.

Insider Tip

Eco-solvent cartridges may require unique recycling demands, so check the instructions for more information.

Just as with the solvent printing technique, solvent printers rely on ink that does not feature water as an active compound, which may not be true of a standard IPM printer.

What is a Solvent Printer Used For?

These printers make high-quality, full-color reproductions without any negative environmental ramifications. This makes them extremely popular for businesses and even graphic designers that work from home, as solvent ink bonds to a number of materials beyond paper. Additionally, many standard home printers now accept solvent ink as an option, and some manufacturers have released water-based solvent ink that maintains similar benefits to traditional solvent ink.

Benefits of Solvent Printers

There are a number of benefits to choosing a solvent ink printer for your next intensive print job.


The primary benefit of using one of these printers is to protect the environment. The ink used with these printers does not include any nasty chemicals, and they are considered to be easier to dispose of than traditional ink cartridges. Some are even fully reusable, further lessening any potential environmental impact.

Works on Many Materials

This type of printer excels on many types of materials and substrates, going well beyond simple paper. This is why you often find solvent models on the desks of graphic designers and propmasters who need to print out unique items quickly.

STAT: In the world of ink, you mainly have two choices: water-based ink or oil-based ink. (source)

High-Quality Prints

Solvent models are known for creating high-grade images and fantastic prints, regardless of the material used as a printing destination.

Solvent FAQs

Why should I switch to eco-solvent pointing?

If you want to be eco-friendly as you print, go with eco-solvent inks. They tend to have a strong smell during use, but the results are more than worth it.

Is zero waste more expensive?

In most scenarios, eco-solvent printing using eco-solvent ink is more expensive than traditional printing using other types of ink to create vehicle graphics and other graphics.

Tips for choosing the right traditional eco-solvent printer?

Eco-solvent printing and eco-solvent inks can get expensive, so comparison shop before committing to a purchase. Otherwise, go with format printers that excel with eco-solvent printing using eco-solvent ink.
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