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Particle Tolerant Architecture

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In 1994 all 300-dpi thermal ink jet pens manufactured by HP had firing chambers with a single inlet. With this design, particles are a major contributor to yield loss and quality degradation. Particles can lodge in an inlet channel, block ink from entering the chamber, and result in a scrapped pen. Particles also float in and out of channels and cause intermittent defects in print quality.

The authors were challenged to design a pen that would be robust to particles with no degradation to manufacturing yield, pen fluidic performance, or print quality. The project started with simple hydraulic modeling, concept development, and peer review. Then design proliferation began. Since the pen was in manufacturing, the challenges normally present in an R&D project (no printer, no ink, no print quality standards, no printer drivers) were absent. Approximately 50 designs were created, built and tested in 6 months, leading to the successful design, which was ultimately patented. Since then, about ten other particle-tolerant architectures have been designed and introduced into manufacturing. The design concept has proved successful over drop weights from 5 to 150 nanograms. The concept not only guards against particles but facilitates control of drop trajectory and pen operating frequency.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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