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Imaging Considerations for Single-Pass Print System Design

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The interest in single-pass inkjet printing has accelerated due to a number of key advantages over other architectures and technological approaches. These include significant increase in productivity over scanning based printing architectures, ability to print using a wide variety of ink types onto different media at high speeds, and image quality that meets or surpasses equivalent scanning based applications. However, these benefits come with significant system design considerations and challenges. Unlike a scanning printer where image quality is benefited by built-in redundancy, in single-pass printing, you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. The design of a single-pass system must consider all possible variables that affect drop volume and drop placement. Drop placement is dependent on printhead characteristics like jet straightness, velocity uniformity, and alignment; combined with the accuracy of the substrate handling capability of the driving platform. There are potential ways to reduce such errors by properly architecting the system as a fully integrated unit. Important design considerations like interleave pattern between printing rows and proper spacing between these rows to reduce the overall footprint of the print zone can dramatically reduce these errors and thereby improve image quality. This paper investigates such errors quantitatively, how they correlate to system design and ways to address them in an integrated design approach. A variety of analytic and simulation tools used to understand effects on the single-pass image quality are described. Techniques to benchmark motion quality of a conventional printing press will also be discussed. By using these tools, a successful single-pass system can be designed that achieves target image quality requirements.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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