Epson WF-3520 - Poor print quality & Weird looking sponge moving around inside?

S.A

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Hi,

I have an Epson WF-3520 and I haven't been printing much in the last 2 years. Lately, I noticed some kind of a sponge/velcro thing moving about in the whole area marked in red:

1622681536537.jpg


I don't have experience with the technical stuff and the hardware aspect of printers. Where did this sponge come from? Is it normal to move around and not be tied to something? Where is this thing supposed to be?

Is this by any chance the reason why im getting poor printing quality lately? Some colors are overlapping and I get a different color than what it is supposed to be. I almost gave up and bought a new printer because of this, but I decided to give it a second go by trying to clean the nozzle and so on, but no luck. I wasted a lot of ink cleaning the nozzle over and over but it keeps printing the same pattern everytime.

When fidgeting around with the cartridges and moving the printhead (or cartridge?) housing, I saw this sponge and I thought that it could be causing this issue all this time. I've seen this sponge move around from time to time (sometimes it goes on the far right and floats on top of that white plastic) but I didn't pay attetntion to it because my prints were coming out great, until now. Should I nudge it some place and make it vertical?

Also, what's with that blue smear on the left? Is this normal? I really have no idea what im looking at here.

I haven't been caring much for this printer by cleaning the inside of it and keeping dirt out, unfortunately. I hope I can get this fixed by myself because I see no need to buy a new printer after this had served me for 7 years with not much issues.

Any help is really appreciated, thanks.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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the blue section 2 is the overspray area for borderless printing, that's o.k. there;
you are right that this piece of foam does not belong there, it is blocking the function of the cleaning unit, the framed foampads underneath should rest closely against the nozzle plate in the idle position.
You may wash it and find a place for it - the service manual would tell you, but there is a slit directly left to the cleaning pads - that looks like a likely place - you may insert it there vertically, run a cleaning cycle and a nozzle check and post it here please.
 

S.A

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EDIT:

Thank you so much! Turns out this little sponge is what has been causing the issues in the last 3 months. All the prints are coming out perfectly now! :)

I took it out, washed it off, then shoved it between:

1622718688631.jpg


1622718688629.jpg


Did a nozzle clean twice and head alignment, and here's the result.

1622719646347.jpg


It looked like a nightmare before. The black color was getting partly printed on all the 3 colors on the right (sorry I don't have a before image for the nozzle check).

But here are some before & after shots for you:

1622719646349.jpg



1622720446273.jpg


Too bad I wasted a whole set of full cartridges trying to get this cleaned and working.

1622720446269.jpg


Fortunately, I found these cheap aftermarket cartridges (~$35 incl. shipping and tax for 2 sets of CMY + 4 blacks). A single OEM black cartridge used to cost me close to this whole set. My god, the greed.
https://www.amazon.com/Kashing-Remanufactured-Cartridge-Replacement-Workforce/dp/B07KY8DHV4

Im surprised the cartridges are so heavy and filled with ink compared to the ones I bought before them. The older ones came from this website and I don't recommend these cartridges at all, neither the store itself. They said it only takes 5-10 days for delivery, but it took them ~9 days just to process and ship my order, and another 15-25 days to get delivered. They also rarely reply to your emails.
https://refillbay.com/inkjet-printer-refills/epson-workforce-wf-3520.php

Anyway, im very happy with this fix and cheap cartridges as it should now last me a couple more years before needing to buy a new printer! I almost gave up twice and was about to buy a new ~$200 printer with one of those nice big tanks.

But unfortunately this whole process made the maintenance box (part #T671000) to get filled up pretty quickly. I don't feel like buying a replacement one. The price itself is ok, only ~$15, but it's not available locally so I have to ship it internationally and that would cost me a premium (I bought my printer from the US but I don't live there).

Can I just wash off the pads and re-install the box? I read that there are some softwares where it resets the chip for me and it'll only cost me something like $2-10 for a key. Is this advisable?

Thanks again for the help!
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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It's a kind of weird that your response does not show up here in this thread and the links in the email from the forum system create some error msg; am I right to understand that printing is o.k. now ?

'Can I just wash off the pads and re-install the box? I read that there are some softwares where it resets the chip for me and it'll only cost me something like $2-10 for a key. Is this advisable?'

I'm not aware of a resetter for the maintenance box specifically, there is the WicReset software which does a reset for the waste ink counter if the waste ink bin is not user replaceable/does not have a chip. Give it a try, a test is for free, just the reset of the waste ink counter would require a chargeable key on this software.
 

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Sorry, I edited my previous post and added some links which made it waiting for approval by mods. Looks like the post has now been approved.

Yes, im talking about softwares like the one you mentioned, but unfortunately my WF-3520 printer is listed under the section that says no resetting (functions only). Just my luck! Is that because it has a chip and there's no workaround it unless I get a physical chip resetter?

Anyone knows a solution by software? Even a paid one is ok. It would be much easier and faster to get it done instead of spending ~$30 for a new maintenance box and have it shipped internationally. I found chip resetters for the maintenance box itself but the price isn't a good deal ($20-40), and since I would probably only need to reset it once for the second half of the printer's life, it would be wise to just buy a whole new box instead which can last me until the printer dies. The stock box lasted me 7 years and it still has some empty space left in it.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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I haven't been printing much in the last 2 years.

Please keep your printer running once in a while - don't let the printer idle for too long, it's better to print a small image e.g. every week or so, you'll avoid excessive cleaning cycles becoming necessary otherwise.

I'm glad you got the printer working again, there are just a few missing nozzles left. The alignment mode does not solve any missing nozzles, it should only be done with all nozzles working.

I just don't know if a cartridge chip resetter - for refill cartridges would do a reset on the main. box chip as well, but I see that T6711 maint. box resetters are available via Aliepxress from China. And yes - you could replace the foam pads inside the maint. box e,g, with kitchen towel paper, just press it in. But this doesn't solve the chip reset.
 
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