MicroFab has developed array drop-on-demand piezoelectric
ink-jet print head technology for use in high speed, photorealistic
printing. Line arrays of 120 individual channels are fabricated
into less than one inch (170um spacings). The technology embodied
by this print head is covered by forty (40) U.S. patents, with
several pending. The figures below show the micromachined channels
and walls (each 85um wide) before attachment of an orifice plate,
and a fully assembled printhead with driver IC's on board.
Photorealistic Ink Jet Printing Through Dynamic Spot Size Control
As part of this print head technology developments effort,
we have developed technology for dynamically modulating the drop
volume. A 4:1 range of volume modulation has been achieved to
date, resulting in a 4:1 range in printed spot area. The modulation
is continuous (i.e., not discrete) over a significant part of
the total range. The print quality achieved is illustrated in
the figure below.
Image of fixed spot vs. modulated spot printing using the same ink-jet print head and 300 dpi resolution.
The array printhead design and manufacturing methods, and
the spot size modulation technology were developed by MicroFab
for Compaq Computer Corporation. Over 40 patents have been issued
covering this technology, and they are available for licensing.