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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: 2010-01-01

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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