Beyond Dispensing

The described set-up consists of the basic equipment that will allow the user to generate drops, to observe the drop formation and to optimize drop generation. It can be used to evaluate various solutions for dispensing, which is necessary during the formulation of ink-jettable materials.

In most cases, the generated droplets need to be deposited on a substrate that has to be moved under the dispenser. For such applications, the user has to provide at least a manual stage (for printing along a line) or two manual stages that are mounted orthogonally (for printing in two dimensions). A better approach is to have computer controlled stages where the positioning is set by a control program. If the user develops the motion hardware and software, the JetDriveTM box can be controlled through a USB 2.0 interface through a command set that is available from MicroFab. These options work when the deposition on the substrate requires only relative alignment (of the dispense locations), but precise alignment with respect to the substrate is not needed.

For accurate placement with respect to existing features on the substrate, a vertical camera is required. MicroFab’s systems (under Products/Complete Systems) employ such a camera and the associated functions for alignment. When selecting the image analysis option, the alignment process can be set such that alignment marks are picked up automatically. The printing system provide built-in printing patterns like lines, borders, arrays, arrays of arrays, combinations of circular/elliptical arcs and straight lines. Complex patterns can be generated using scripts to combine the basic patterns and/or defining discrete points.

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