"Description: This article examines the refill friendly case designs of Brother Inkjet printers, past and present. In particular, looking at the large Rhinofill, and small refillable cartridges."
The recent design of Brother inkjet printers has made them a big favorite with the refilling community. In earlier case designs, the cartridges were housed under the scanner lid, however this changed several years ago, possibly due to ink leaking on to the circuit boards. The cartridges in more recent models have been positioned behind a door on the front panel, giving easy access for external equipment. Continuous ink supply systems could be plugged into where the cartridges used to go. A hole was made for the silicone tubes to bypass the door, or the door was completely taken off.
C.I.S.S. systems have become less popular in recent years, often replaced with special refillable cartridges. In the beginning, Brother reusable cartridges were the same size as and a similar shape to ordinary compatible cartridges. However, a few years ago designers developed a new concept in cartridge design called the 'Rhinofill'. Rhinofill are large refillable cartridges for Brother printers with an added hook to trigger the door sensor. This is because the front cartridge door cannot be closed when using the Rhinofill, so the plastic hook slots into the door sensor, tricking the printer into thinking the door is closed. This clever invention revolutionized the refilling process, turning ordinary Brother printers into fully refillable printing machines.
Brother were one of the last mainstream printer manufacturers to use microchips on their cartridges. Introducing the new LC123 chipped cartridges for the first time put a temporary end to using large refillable Rhinofill cartridges; also putting a freeze on the use of compatible cartridges. Eventually microchip manufacturers caught up and developed a compatible chip which could be fitted to replacement cartridges. Later followed an automatically resetting chip for refillable cartridges. So the 'Rhinofill' was saved from extinction, but with the added hassle of chip recognition.
The latest range of Brother printers use the new LC223 cartridges, which are a very similar shape, but contain different microchips. A version of the large Rhinofill and smaller refillable cartridges are now available to order. They work with the following machines... Brother DCP-J4120DW, DCP-J562DW, MFC-J4420DW, MFC-J4620DW, MFC-J4625DW, MFC-J5320DW, MFC-J5620DW, MFC-J5625DW, MFC-J480DW, MFC-J680DW, MFC-J880DW printers.
There are two models that we are going to focus on in this article. The first is the DCP-J4120DW printer, scanner, copier. This A4 printer has the capability of printing a single A3 sheet from a rear paper feed. Although not intended for regular A3 printing, this added extra opens up possibilities for the amateur photographer. This machine is never going to compete with the Epson Expression Photo XP-760, or various Canon Pixma models, but most users will be satisfied with the picture quality of the J4120DW. Add to this WiFi, mobile printing app, scanner facility, and we have a winning combination for less than £80!
The more expensive Brother MFC-J4620DW adds a fax and a larger colour display on the front panel. This well constructed and robust machine ticks all of the boxes. However, setting it up with the Rhinofill large refillable cartridges can be tricky at first. For some, the small refillable LC223 cartridges could be an easier option.
All brand names and trade marks are the property of their owners and used for descriptive purposes only. These products are Non-OEM (Not made by Brother).