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Thermal Ink Jet System to Enable Non-Traditional Applications

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Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) drop-on-demand printheads have traditionally been limited to the jetting of colorant in imaging and marking applications. The complexity and size of the ink delivery systems and printheads as well as the generally closed firmware employed in consumer TIJ printers have dissuaded most researchers from attempting to use TIJ in the various emerging digital fabrication applications. This dearth of public activity has contributed to the wide perception that TIJ is not appropriate for applications that involve the jetting of non-aqueous or thermallysensitive fluids.

In this talk, I will describe recent developments in noncolorant jetting applications using thermal inkjet technology. Methods to enable user control over jetting parameters (pulse widths, voltages, temperatures, number of nozzles) and to integrate these TIJ-based capabilities into larger systems are discussed. Methods to enable users to use a small (less than 150 μL) quantity of fluid to jet a large range of drop weights (from 2 pL to 220 pL) are also discussed.

In addition to describing these recent developments in TIJ capability, I will describe various applications that have been enabled by this capability and present theory and empirical data to show that TIJ is indeed capable of the ejection of non-aqueous fluids and thermally-sensitive materials (including enzymes and other proteins) without significant or meaningful degradation to these materials.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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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