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Inkjet Technology for Digital Fabrication by Graham D. Martin, Ian M. Hutchings

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Chapter 15

Current Inkjet Technology and Future Directions

Mike Willis

Pivotal Resources Ltd, United Kingdom

15.1 The Inkjet Print-Head as a Delivery Device

The inkjet print-head (Figure 15.1) can be considered basically as a fluid delivery device, capable of generating drops of liquid of a precise size and in a controlled fashion, subject of course to the properties of the liquid itself. As almost all kinds of current inkjet print-heads have been developed for printing text and images, the drop sizes they produce reflect those needed for impressive images at the viewing distances of the application. Therefore standard drop volumes are in the range of 2–20 pl for print-heads designed for document printing, and 5–50 pl for those intended for outdoor and industrial printing applications.

Figure 15.1 FUJIFILM Endura SX-3 printhead The SX3 is a compact and lightweight jetting assembly designed specifically for deposition applications requiring multiple piezoelectric micropumps packed tightly together. There are 128 jets, and the nozzles are arranged in a single line with a 508 µm spacing between nozzles.

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At present the production quantities of print-heads required for inkjet digital fabrication are quite small, so there is little incentive to produce special designs. Therefore, at this stage of the evolution of print-heads the choice of dedicated heads available to developers for ...

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