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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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