Title:
Custom garment design and fabric printing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This patent describes an alternative form for the automatic creation of garments. The garment creation system includes mapping portions of an arbitrary image sensed by an image sensor device onto a garment and outputting a depiction of the garment. Additionally, a garment fabric printer is adapted to to print out corresponding pieces of the garment including the mapped portions. The printing can include printing out instructions for joining the pieces together on the fabric and printing such that joined pieces of fabric appear to be derived from a continuous pattern.



Inventors:
Silverbrook, Kia (Balmain, AU)
Application Number:
10/326308
Publication Date:
06/05/2003
Filing Date:
12/23/2002
Assignee:
SILVERBROOK KIA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
348/E5.024, 348/E5.055, 427/288, 347/2
International Classes:
G06F21/79; G06F21/86; H04N1/21; H04N5/225; H04N5/262; (IPC1-7): D06B1/00; B41J3/00; D06B1/02; B05D5/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
POON, KING Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SILVERBROOK RESEARCH PTY LTD (393 DARLING STREET, BALMAIN, null, 2041, AU)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A garment creation system comprising: a pattern generating means for generating at least one garment piece outline and a decorative finish to be imparted to said garment piece; and a garment fabric printer in communication with said pattern generating means for printing simultaneously said garment piece outline and said decorative finish on to a surface of a bolt of fabric passing through said printer, in use.

2. A garment creation system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said garment fabric printer prints simultaneously on the surface of the bolt of fabric, a plurality of garment piece outlines, each with their associated decorative finishes.

3. A garment creation system as claimed in claim 2 wherein said garment fabric printer prints out on the surface of said bolt of fabric instructions for joining said garment pieces together.

4. A garment creation system as claimed in claim 2 wherein said pattern generating means generates the decorative finishes on each of said pieces so that an image, created by fastening said pieces together to form a garment, appears to be continuous.

5. A garment creation system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the garment fabric printer is an ink jet printer having an image printing width corresponding to a width of the bolt of fabric.

6. A garment creation system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pattern generating means generates garment pieces of different sizes to cater for different sizes and shapes of bodies.

Description:

[0001] Continuation Application of U.S. Ser. No. 09/112,759 filed on Jul. 10, 1998

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0002] The following co-pending US patent applications, identified by their US patent application serial numbers (USSN), were filed simultaneously to the present application on Jul. 10, 1998, and are hereby incorporated by cross-reference: Ser. Nos. 09/113,060; 09/113,070; 09/113,073; 09/112,748; 09/112,747; 09/112,776; 09/112,750; 09/112,746; 09/112,743; 09/112,742; 09/112,741; 09/112,740; 09/112,739; 09/113,053; 09/112,738; 09/113,067; 09/113,063; 09/113,069; 09/112,744; 09/113,058; 09/112,777; 09/113,224; 09/112,804; 09/112,805; 09/113,072; 09/112,785; 09/112,797; 09/112,796; 09/113,071; 09/112,824; 09/113,090; 09/112,823; 09/113,222; 09/112,786; 09/113,051; 09/112,782; 09/113,056; 09/113,059; 09/113,091; 09/112,753; 09/113,055; 09/113,057; 09/113,054; 09/112,752; 09/112,759; 09/112,757; 09/112,758; 09/113,107; 09/112,829; 09/112,792; 09/112,791; 09/112,790; 09/112,789; 09/112,788; 09/112,795; 09/112,749; 09/112,784; 09/112,783; 09/112,763; 09/112,762; 09/112,737; 09/112,761; 09/113,223; 09/112,781; 09/113,052; 09/112,834; 09/113,103; 09/113,101; 09/112,751; 09/112,787; 09/112,802; 09/112,803; 09/113,097; 09/113,099; 09/113,084; 09/113,066; 09/112,778; 09/112,779; 09/113,077; 09/113,061; 09/112,818; 09/112,816; 09/112,772; 09/112,819; 09/112,815; 09/113,096; 09/113,068; 09/113,095; 09/112,808; 09/112,809; 09/112,780; 09/113,083; 09/113,121; 09/113,122; 09/112,793; 09/112,794; 09/113,128; 09/113,127; 09/112,756; 09/112,755; 09/112,754; 09/112,811; 09/112,812; 09/112,813; 09/112,814; 09/112,764; 09/112,765; 09/112,767; 09/112,768; 09/112,807; 09/112,806; 09/112,820; 09/112,821; 09/112,822; 09/112,825; 09/112,826; 09/112,827; 09/112,828; 09/113,111; 09/113,108; 09/113,109; 09/113,123; 09/113,114; 09/113,115; 09/113,129; 09/113,124; 09/113,125; 09/113,126; 09/113,119; 09/113,120; 09/113,221; 09/113,116; 09/113,118; 09/113,117; 09/113,113; 09/113,130; 09/113,110; 09/113,112; 09/113,087; 09/113,074; 09/113,089; 09/113,088; 09/112,771; 09/112,769; 09/112,770; 09/112,817; 09/113,076; 09/112,798; 09/112,801; 09/112,800; 09/112,799; 09/113,098; 09/112,833; 09/112,832; 09/112,831; 09/112,830; 09/112,836; 09/112,835; 09/113,102; 09/113,106; 09/113,105; 09/113,104; 09/112,810; 09/112,766; 09/113,085; 09/113,086; 09/113,094; 09/112,760; 09/112,773; 09/112,774; 09/112,775; 09/112,745; 09/113,092; 09/113,100; 09/113,093; 09/113,062; 09/113,064; 09/113,082; 09/113,081; 09/113,080; 09/113,079; 09/113,065; 09/113,078; 09/113,075.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0003] Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates to an image processing method and apparatus and, in particular, discloses a Garment Design and Printing System.

[0005] The present invention further relates to the creation of fabrics and garments utilising automated apparatuses.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0006] A number of creative judgements are made when any garment is created. Firstly, there is the shape and styling of the garment and additionally, there is the fabric colours and style. Often, a fashion designer will try many different alternatives and may even attempt to draw the final fashion product before creating the finished garment.

[0007] Such a process is generally unsatisfactory in providing a rapid and flexible turn around of the garments and also providing rapid judgement of the final appearance of a fashion product on a person.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide an alternative form for analysing the look of garments and for their creation. A further object of the present invention is to provide for automatic fabric creation.

[0009] In accordance with the first aspect of the present invention there is provided A garment creation system comprising:

[0010] an expected image creation system including an image sensor device and an image display device, said image creation system mapping portions of an arbitrary image sensed by said image sensor device onto a garment and outputting on said display device a depiction of said garment;

[0011] a garment fabric printer adapted to be interconnected to said image creation system for printing out corresponding pieces of said garment including said mapped portions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the present invention, preferred forms of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings which:

[0013] FIG. 1 illustrates the basic operation of an Artcam device;

[0014] FIG. 2 illustrates a series of Artcards for use with the preferred embodiment;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of the algorithm utilised by the preferred embodiment; and

[0016] FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of the outputting of printed fabrics produced in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED AND OTHER EMBODIMENTS

[0017] The preferred embodiment is preferably implemented through suitable programming of a hand held camera device such as that described in co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/113,060 entitled “Digital Instant Printing Camera with Image Processing Capability” (Docket ARTO1) filed concurrently herewith by the present applicant the content of which is hereby specifically incorporated by cross reference.

[0018] The aforementioned patent specification discloses a camera system, hereinafter known as an “Artcam” type camera, wherein sensed images can be directly printed out by an Artcam portable camera unit. Further, the aforementioned specification discloses means and methods for performing various manipulations on images captured by the camera sensing device leading to the production of various effects in an output image. The manipulations are disclosed to be highly flexible in nature and can be implemented through the insertion into the Artcam of cards having encoded thereon various instructions for the manipulation of images, the cards hereinafter being known as Artcards. The Artcam further has significant onboard processing power provided by an Artcam Central Processor unit (ACP) which is interconnected to a memory device for the storage of important data and images.

[0019] The aforementioned patent specification discloses an Artcam system as indicated 1 in FIG. 1. The Artcam system 1 relies on an Artcam 2 which takes Artcards 3 as an input. The Artcard 3 includes encoded information for manipulation of an image scene 4 so as to produce an output photo 5 which contains substantial manipulation in accordance with the instruction of Artcard 3. The Artcards 3 are designed to be extremely inexpensive and contain on one surface the encoding information and on the other surface a depiction of the likely effect which will be produced by the Artcard 3 when inserted in Artcam 2.

[0020] In accordance with the method of the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, a large number of Artcards 3 are prepared and distributed in packs 10. Each pack 10 relates to clothing wear of a specific size and includes images eg. 11 of models having clothing apparel 12 on to which an image captured by the camera will be mapped. The mapping can be to different items of apparel on different Artcards 3. One form of mapping algorithm is as illustrated 20 in FIG. 3 wherein the input image 4 is first warped 21 utilising a warp map which maps the image to a repeating tiling pattern that produces attractive warping effects. Of course, many other forms of algorithms could be provided for producing an attractive form of material with the algorithm being provided on Artcard 3 (FIG. 1).

[0021] Next, a second warp 22 is provided for warping the output of first warp map 21 onto the specific model image in the Artcard. Therefore, warp 22 will be Artcard specific. The result can then be output 23 for printing as an art photo 5. Hence, a user is able to point an Artcam 2 at a design image 4 and produce art photo 5 which has a manipulated version of the image based upon a model's item of fashion apparel or garment. This process can be continued until a desirable result is produced.

[0022] Next, as indicated in FIG. 4, when a final selection has been made, the Artcam 2 can be connected by its USB port, as illustrated at 30, to a fabric printer 34 which can comprise an ink jet fabric printer and associated drive controller electronics etc. Either the Artcam 2 or the inkjet printer 34 can be programmed to print out on fabric 35 the garment pieces eg. 36 having on the surface 37 thereof the original warped image so as to produce a garment corresponding to that depicted by the model on the Artcard.

[0023] The output fabric can include tab portions eg. 38 for alignment and border regions eg. 39 in addition to instructions 40 for joining the garment pieces together. Preferably, the output program includes providing for warp matching of border regions so as to present a continuous appearance on the garment cross seams. Additionally, a user interface could be provided for utilising the same Artcard with many different output sizes so as to taken into account different shaped bodies. By utilisation of Artcam technology, a system can be provided for customised production of garments and rapid depiction of the likely results by means of utilisation of the Artcam device 2.

[0024] It would be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the present invention as shown in the specific embodiment without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered in all respects to be illustrative and not restrictive.

[0025] Ink Jet Technologies

[0026] The embodiments of the invention use an ink jet printer type device. Of course many different devices could be used. However presently popular ink jet printing technologies are unlikely to be suitable.

[0027] The most significant problem with thermal ink jet is power consumption. This is approximately 100 times that required for high speed, and stems from the energy-inefficient means of drop ejection. This involves the rapid boiling of water to produce a vapor bubble which expels the ink. Water has a very high heat capacity, and must be superheated in thermal ink jet applications. This leads to an efficiency of around 0.02%, from electricity input to drop momentum (and increased surface area) out.

[0028] The most significant problem with piezoelectric ink jet is size and cost. Piezoelectric crystals have a very small deflection at reasonable drive voltages, and therefore require a large area for each nozzle. Also, each piezoelectric actuator must be connected to its drive circuit on a separate substrate. This is not a significant problem at the current limit of around 300 nozzles per print head, but is a major impediment to the fabrication of pagewidth print heads with 19,200 nozzles.

[0029] Ideally, the ink jet technologies used meet the stringent requirements of in-camera digital color printing and other high quality, high speed, low cost printing applications. To meet the requirements of digital photography, new inkjet technologies have been created. The target features include:

[0030] low power (less than 10 Watts)

[0031] high resolution capability (1,600 dpi or more)

[0032] photographic quality output

[0033] low manufacturing cost

[0034] small size (pagewidth times minimum cross section)

[0035] high speed (<2 seconds per page).

[0036] All of these features can be met or exceeded by the ink jet systems described below with differing levels of difficulty. Forty-five different ink jet technologies have been developed by the Assignee to give a wide range of choices for high volume manufacture. These technologies form part of separate applications assigned to the present Assignee as set out in the list under the heading Cross References to Related Applications.

[0037] The ink jet designs shown here are suitable for a wide range of digital printing systems, from battery powered one-time use digital cameras, through to desktop and network printers, and through to commercial printing systems

[0038] For ease of manufacture using standard process equipment, the print head is designed to be a monolithic 0.5 micron CMOS chip with MEMS post processing. For color photographic applications, the print head is 100 mm long, with a width which depends upon the ink jet type. The smallest print head designed is covered in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/112,764, which is 0.35 mm wide, giving a chip area of 35 square mm. The print heads each contain 19,200 nozzles plus data and control circuitry.

[0039] Ink is supplied to the back of the print head by injection molded plastic ink channels. The molding requires 50 micron features, which can be created using a lithographically micromachined insert in a standard injection molding tool. Ink flows through holes etched through the wafer to the nozzle chambers fabricated on the front surface of the wafer. The print head is connected to the camera circuitry by tape automated bonding.

[0040] Tables of Drop-on-Demand Ink Jets

[0041] The present invention is useful in the field of digital printing, in particular, ink jet printing. A number of patent applications in this field were filed simultaneously and incorporated by cross reference.

[0042] Eleven important characteristics of the fundamental operation of individual ink jet nozzles have been identified. These characteristics are largely orthogonal, and so can be elucidated as an eleven dimensional matrix. Most of the eleven axes of this matrix include entries developed by the present assignee.

[0043] The following tables form the axes of an eleven dimensional table of ink jet types.

[0044] Actuator mechanism (18 types)

[0045] Basic operation mode (7 types)

[0046] Auxiliary mechanism (8 types)

[0047] Actuator amplification or modification method (17 types)

[0048] Actuator motion (19 types)

[0049] Nozzle refill method (4 types)

[0050] Method of restricting back-flow through inlet (10 types)

[0051] Nozzle clearing method (9 types)

[0052] Nozzle plate construction (9 types)

[0053] Drop ejection direction (5 types)

[0054] Ink type (7 types)

[0055] The complete eleven dimensional table represented by these axes contains 36.9 billion possible configurations of inkjet nozzle. While not all of the possible combinations result in a viable ink jet technology, many million configurations are viable. It is clearly impractical to elucidate all of the possible configurations. Instead, certain ink jet types have been investigated in detail. Forty-five such inkjet types were filed simultaneously to the present application.

[0056] Other ink jet configurations can readily be derived from these forty-five examples by substituting alternative configurations along one or more of the 11 axes. Most of the forty-five examples can be made into ink jet print heads with characteristics superior to any currently available ink jet technology.

[0057] Where there are prior art examples known to the inventor, one or more of these examples are listed in the examples column of the tables below. The simultaneously filed patent applications by the present applicant are listed by USSN numbers. In some cases, a print technology may be listed more than once in a table, where it shares characteristics with more than one entry.

[0058] Suitable applications for the ink jet technologies include: Home printers, Office network printers, Short run digital printers, Commercial print systems, Fabric printers, Pocket printers, Internet WWW printers, Video printers, Medical imaging, Wide format printers, Notebook PC printers, Fax machines, Industrial printing systems, Photocopiers, Photographic minilabs etc.

[0059] The information associated with the aforementioned 11 dimensional matrix are set out in the following tables. 1

ACTUATOR MECHANISM (APPLIED ONLY TO SELECTED INK DROPS)
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
ThermalAn electrothermalLarge forceHigh powerCanon Bubblejet 1979
bubbleheater heats the inkgeneratedInk carrier limitedEndo et al GB patent
to above boilingSimpleto water2,007,162
point, transferringconstructionLow efficiencyXerox heater-in-pit
significant heat toNo movingHigh temperatures1990 Hawkins et al
the aqueous ink. ApartsrequiredUSP 4,899,181
bubble nucleatesFast operationHigh mechanicalHewlett-Packard TIJ
and quickly forms,Small chip areastress1982 Vaught et al USP
expelling the ink.required forUnusual materials4,490,728
The efficiency of theactuatorrequired
process is low, withLarge drive
typically less thantransistors
0.05% of theCavitation causes
electrical energyactuator failure
being transformedKogation reduces
into kinetic energybubble formation
of the drop.Large print heads
are difficult to
fabricate
Piezo-A piezoelectricLow powerVery large areaKyser et al USP
electriccrystal such as leadconsumptionrequired for3,946,398
lanthanum zirconateMany ink typesactuatorZoltan USP 3,683,212
(PZT) is electricallycan be usedDifficult to1973 Stemme USP
activated, and eitherFast operationintegrate with3,747,120
expands, shears, orHigh efficiencyelectronicsEpson Stylus
bends to applyHigh voltage driveTektronix
pressure to the ink,transistorsUSSN 09/112,803
ejecting drops.required
Full pagewidth
print heads
impractical due to
actuator size
Requires electrical
poling in high
field strengths
during
manufacture
Electro-An electric field isLow powerLow maximumSeiko Epson, Usui et all
strictiveused to activateconsumptionstrain (approx.JP 253401/96
electrostriction inMany ink types0.01%)USSN 09/112,803
relaxor materialscan be usedLarge area
such as leadLow thermalrequired for
lanthanum zirconateexpansionactuator due to
titanate (PLZT) orElectric fieldlow strain
lead magnesiumstrengthResponse speed is
niobate (PMN).requiredmarginal (˜10 μs)
(approx. 3.5High voltage drive
V/μm) can betransistors
generatedrequired
withoutFull pagewidth
difficultyprint heads
Does notimpractical due to
requireactuator size
electrical poling
Ferro-An electric field isLow powerDifficult toUSSN 09/112,803
electricused to induce aconsumptionintegrate with
phase transitionMany ink typeselectronics
between thecan be usedUnusual materials
antiferroelectricFast operationsuch as PLZSnT
(AFE) and(<1 μs)are required
ferroelectric (FE)Relatively highActuators require
phase. Perovskitelongitudinala large area
materials such as tinstrain
modified leadHigh efficiency
lanthanum zirconateElectric field
titanate (PLZSnT)strength of
exhibit large strainsaround 3 V/μm
of up to 1%can be readily
associated with theprovided
AFE to FE phase
transition.
Electro-Conductive platesLow powerDifficult toUSSN 09/112,787;
staticare separated by aconsumptionoperate09/112,803
platescompressible orMany ink typeselectrostatic
fluid dielectriccan be useddevices in an
(usually air). UponFast operationaqueous
application of aenvironment
voltage, the platesThe electrostatic
attract each otheractuator will
and displace ink,normally need to
causing dropbe separated from
ejection. Thethe ink
conductive platesVery large area
may be in a comb orrequired to
honeycombachieve high
structure, or stackedforces
to increase theHigh voltage drive
surface area andtransistors may be
therefore the force.required
Full pagewidth
print heads are not
competitive due to
actuator size
Electro-A strong electricLow currentHigh voltage1989 Saito et al, USP
static pullfield is applied toconsumptionrequired4,799,068
on inkthe ink, whereuponLowMay be damaged1989 Miura et al, USP
electrostatictemperatureby sparks due to4,810,954
attractionair breakdownTone-jet
accelerates the inkRequired field
towards the printstrength increases
medium.as the drop size
decreases
High voltage drive
transistors
required
Electrostatic field
attracts dust
PermanentAn electromagnetLow powerComplexUSSN 09/113,084;
magnetdirectly attracts aconsumptionfabrication09/112,779
electro-permanent magnet,Many ink typesPermanent
magneticdisplacing ink andcan be usedmagnetic material
causing dropFast operationsuch as
ejection. Rare earthHigh efficiencyNeodymium Iron
magnets with a fieldEasy extensionBoron (NdFeB)
strength around 1from singlerequired.
Tesla can be used.nozzles toHigh local
Examples are:pagewidth printcurrents required
Samarium CobaltheadsCopper
(SaCo) andmetalization
magnetic materialsshould be used for
in the neodymiumlong
iron boron familyelectromigration
(NdFeB,lifetime and low
NdDyFeBNb,resistivity
NdDyFeB, etc)Pigmented inks
are usually
infeasible
Operating
temperature
limited to the
Curie temperature
(around 540 K)
SoftA solenoid inducedLow powerComplexUSSN 09/112,751;
magnetica magnetic field in aconsumptionfabrication09/113,097; 09/113,066;
coresoft magnetic coreMany ink typesMaterials not09/112,779; 09/113,061;
electro-or yoke fabricatedcan be usedusually present in09/112,816; 09/112,772;
magneticfrom a ferrousFast operationa CMOS fab such09/112,815
material such asHigh efficiencyas NiFe, CoNiFe,
electroplated ironEasy extensionor CoFe are
alloys such asfrom singlerequired
CoNiFe [1], CoFe,nozzles toHigh local
or NiFe alloys.pagewidth printcurrents required
Typically, the softheadsCopper
magnetic material ismetalization
in two parts, whichshould be used for
are normally heldlong
apart by a spring.electromigration
When the solenoidlifetime and low
is actuated, the tworesistivity
parts attract,Electroplating is
displacing the ink.required
High saturation
flux density is
required (2.0-2.1
T is achievable
with CoNiFe [1])
LorenzThe Lorenz forceLow powerForce acts as aUSSN 09/113,099;
forceacting on a currentconsumptiontwisting motion09/113,077; 09/112,818;
carrying wire in aMany ink typesTypically, only a09/112,819
magnetic field iscan be usedquarter of the
utilized.Fast operationsolenoid length
This allows theHigh efficiencyprovides force in a
magnetic field to beEasy extensionuseful direction
supplied externallyfrom singleHigh local
to the print head, fornozzles tocurrents required
example with rarepagewidth printCopper
earth permanentheadsmetalization
magnets.should be used for
Only the currentlong
carrying wire needelectromigration
be fabricated on thelifetime and low
print-head,resistivity
simplifyingPigmented inks
materialsare usually
requirements.infeasible
Magneto-The actuator usesMany ink typesForce acts as aFischenbeck, USP
strictionthe giantcan be usedtwisting motion4,032,929
magnetostrictiveFast operationUnusual materialsUSSN 09/113,121
effect of materialsEasy extensionsuch as Terfenol-
such as Terfenol-Dfrom singleD are required
(an alloy of terbium,nozzles toHigh local
dysprosium and ironpagewidth printcurrents required
developed at theheadsCopper
Naval OrdnanceHigh force ismetalization
Laboratory, henceavailableshould be used for
Ter-Fe-NOL). Forlong
best efficiency, theelectromigration
actuator should belifetime and low
pre-stressed toresistivity
approx. 8 MPa.Pre-stressing may
be required
SurfaceInk under positiveLow powerRequiresSilverbrook, EP 0771
tensionpressure is held in aconsumptionsupplementary658 A2 and related
reductionnozzle by surfaceSimpleforce to effectpatent applications
tension. The surfaceconstructiondrop separation
tension of the ink isNo unusualRequires special
reduced below thematerialsink surfactants
bubble threshold,required inSpeed may be
causing the ink tofabricationlimited by
egress from theHigh efficiencysurfactant
nozzle.Easy extensionproperties
from single
nozzles to
pagewidth print
heads
ViscosityThe ink viscosity isSimpleRequiresSilverbrook, EP 0771
reductionlocally reduced toconstructionsupplementary658 A2 and related
select which dropsNo unusualforce to effectpatent applications
are to be ejected. Amaterialsdrop separation
viscosity reductionrequired inRequires special
can be achievedfabricationink viscosity
electrothermallyEasy extensionproperties
with most inks, butfrom singleHigh speed is
special inks can benozzles todifficult to achieve
engineered for apagewidth printRequires
100:1 viscosityheadsoscillating ink
reduction.pressure
A high
temperature
difference
(typically 80
degrees) is
required
AcousticAn acoustic wave isCan operateComplex drive1993 Hadimioglu et al,
generated andwithout a nozzlecircuitryEUP 550,192
focussed upon theplateComplex1993 Elrod et al, EUP
drop ejection region.fabrication572,220
Low efficiency
Poor control of
drop position
Poor control of
drop volume
Thermo-An actuator whichLow powerEfficient aqueousUSSN 09/112,802;
elasticrelies uponconsumptionoperation requires09/112,778; 09/112,815;
benddifferential thermalMany ink typesa thermal insulator09/113,096; 09/113,068;
actuatorexpansion uponcan be usedon the hot side09/113,095; 09/112,808;
Joule heating isSimple planarCorrosion09/112,809; 09/112,780;
used.fabricationprevention can be09/113,083; 09/112,793;
Small chip areadifficult09/112,794; 09/113,128;
required forPigmented inks09/113,127; 09/112,756;
each actuatormay be infeasible,09/112,755; 09/112,754;
Fast operationas pigment09/112,811; 09/112,812;
High efficiencyparticles may jam09/112,813; 09/112,814;
CMOSthe bend actuator09/112,764; 09/112,765;
compatible09/112,767; 09/112,768
voltages and
currents
Standard
MEMS
processes can
be used
Easy extension
from single
nozzles to
pagewidth print
heads
High CTEA material with aHigh force canRequires specialUSSN 09/112,778;
thermo-very high coefficientbe generatedmaterial (e.g.09/112,815; 09/113,096;
elasticof thermalThree methodsPTFE)09/113,095; 09/112,808;
actuatorexpansion (CTE)of PTFERequires a PTFE09/112,809; 09/112,780;
such asdeposition aredeposition09/113,083; 09/112,793;
polytetrafluoroethyl-underprocess, which is09/112,794; 09/113,128;
ene (PTFE) is used.development:not yet standard in09/113,127; 09/112,756;
As high CTEchemical vaporULSI fabs09/112,807; 09/112,806;
materials are usuallydepositionPTFE deposition09/112,820
non-conductive, a(CVD), spincannot be
heater fabricatedcoating, andfollowed with
from a conductiveevaporationhigh temperature
material isPTFE is a(above 350° C.)
incorporated. A 50candidate forprocessing
μm long PTFE bendlow dielectricPigmented inks
actuator withconstantmay be infeasible,
polysilicon heaterinsulation inas pigment
and 15 mW powerULSIparticles may jam
input can provideVery low powerthe bend actuator
180 μN force and 10consumption
μm deflection.Many ink types
Actuator motionscan be used
include:Simple planar
Bendfabrication
PushSmall chip area
Bucklerequired for
Rotateeach actuator
Fast operation
High efficiency
CMOS
compatible
voltages and
currents
Easy extension
from single
nozzles to
pagewidth print
heads
Conduct-A polymer with aHigh force canRequires specialUSSN 09/113,083
ivehigh coefficient ofbe generatedmaterials
polymerthermal expansionVery low powerdevelopment
thermo-(such as PTFE) isconsumption(High CTE
elasticdoped withMany ink typesconductive
actuatorconductingcan be usedpolymer)
substances toSimple planarRequires a PTFE
increase itsfabricationdeposition
conductivity toSmall chip areaprocess, which is
about 3 orders ofrequired fornot yet standard in
magnitude beloweach actuatorULSI fabs
that of copper. TheFast operationPTFE deposition
conducting polymerHigh efficiencycannot be
expands whenCMOSfollowed with
resistively heated.compatiblehigh temperature
Examples ofvoltages and(above 350° C.)
conducting dopantscurrentsprocessing
include:Easy extensionEvaporation and
Carbon nanotubesfrom singleCVD deposition
Metal fibersnozzles totechniques cannot
Conductivepagewidth printbe used
polymers such asheadsPigmented inks
dopedmay be infeasible,
polythiopheneas pigment
Carbon granulesparticles may jam
the bend actuator
ShapeA shape memoryHigh force isFatigue limitsUSSN 09/113,122
memoryalloy such as TiNiavailablemaximum number
alloy(also known as(stresses ofof cycles
Nitinol-Nickelhundreds ofLow strain (1%) is
Titanium alloyMPa)required to extend
developed at theLarge strain isfatigue resistance
Naval Ordnanceavailable (moreCycle rate limited
Laboratory) isthan 3%)by heat removal
thermally switchedHigh corrosionRequires unusual
between its weakresistancematerials (TiNi)
martensitic state andSimpleThe latent heat of
its high stiffnessconstructiontransformation
austenic state. TheEasy extensionmust be provided
shape of the actuatorfrom singleHigh current
in its martensiticnozzles tooperation
state is deformedpagewidth printRequires pre-
relative to theheadsstressing to distort
austenic shape. TheLow voltagethe martensitic
shape change causesoperationstate
ejection of a drop.
LinearLinear magneticLinear MagneticRequires unusualUSSN 09/113,061
Magneticactuators include theactuators can besemiconductor
ActuatorLinear Inductionconstructed withmaterials such as
Actuator (LIA),high thrust, longsoft magnetic
Linear Permanenttravel, and highalloys (e.g.
Magnetefficiency usingCoNiFe)
SynchronousplanarSome varieties
Actuator (LPMSA),semiconductoralso require
Linear Reluctancefabricationpermanent
Synchronoustechniquesmagnetic
Actuator (LRSA),Long actuatormaterials such as
Linear Switchedtravel isNeodymium iron
Reluctance Actuatoravailableboron (NdFeB)
(LSRA), and theMedium force isRequires complex
Linear Stepperavailablemulti-phase drive
Actuator (LSA).Low voltagecircuitry
operationHigh current
operation

[0060] 2

BASIC OPERATION MODE
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
ActuatorThis is the simplestSimpleDrop repetitionThermal ink jet
directlymode of operation:operationrate is usuallyPiezoelectric ink jet
pushes inkthe actuator directlyNo externallimited to aroundUSSN 09/112,751;
supplies sufficientfields required10 kHz.09/112,787; 09/112,802;
kinetic energy toSatellite dropsHowever, this is09/112,803; 09/113,097;
expel the drop. Thecan be avoidednot fundamental09/113,099; 09/113,084;
drop must have aif drop velocityto the method,09/112,778; 09/113,077;
sufficient velocity tois less than 4but is related to09/113,061; 09/112,816;
overcome them/sthe refill method09/112,819; 09/113,095;
surface tension.Can be efficient,normally used09/112,809; 09/112,780;
depending uponAll of the drop09/113,083; 09/113,121;
the actuatorkinetic energy09/113,122; 09/112,793;
usedmust be provided09/112,794; 09/113,128;
by the actuator09/113,127; 09/112,756;
Satellite drops09/112,755; 09/112,754;
usually form if09/112,811; 09/112,812;
drop velocity is09/112,813; 09/112,814;
greater than 4.509/112,764; 09/112,765;
m/s09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820
ProximityThe drops to beVery simpleRequires closeSilverbrook, EP 0771
printed are selectedprint headproximity658 A2 and related
by some mannerfabrication canbetween the printpatent applications
(e.g. thermallybe usedhead and the
induced surfaceThe dropprint media or
tension reduction ofselection meanstransfer roller
pressurized ink).does not need toMay require two
Selected drops areprovide theprint heads
separated from theenergy requiredprinting alternate
ink in the nozzle byto separate therows of the
contact with thedrop from theimage
print medium or anozzleMonolithic color
transfer roller.print heads are
difficult
Electro-The drops to beVery simpleRequires verySilverbrook, EP 0771
static pullprinted are selectedprint headhigh electrostatic658 A2 and related
on inkby some mannerfabrication canfieldpatent applications
(e.g. thermallybe usedElectrostatic fieldTone-Jet
induced surfaceThe dropfor small nozzle
tension reduction ofselection meanssizes is above air
pressurized ink).does not need tobreakdown
Selected drops areprovide theElectrostatic field
separated from theenergy requiredmay attract dust
ink in the nozzle byto separate the
a strong electricdrop from the
field.nozzle
MagneticThe drops to beVery simpleRequiresSilverbrook, EP 0771
pull on inkprinted are selectedprint headmagnetic ink658 A2 and related
by some mannerfabrication canInk colors otherpatent applications
(e.g. thermallybe usedthan black are
induced surfaceThe dropdifficult
tension reduction ofselection meansRequires very
pressurized ink).does not need tohigh magnetic
Selected drops areprovide thefields
separated from theenergy required
ink in the nozzle byto separate the
a strong magneticdrop from the
field acting on thenozzle
magnetic ink.
ShutterThe actuator movesHigh speedMoving parts areUSSN 09/112,818;
a shutter to block(>50 kHz)required09/112,815; 09/112,808
ink flow to theoperation can beRequires ink
nozzle. The inkachieved due topressure
pressure is pulsed atreduced refillmodulator
a multiple of thetimeFriction and wear
drop ejectionDrop timing canmust be
frequency.be very accurateconsidered
The actuatorStiction is
energy can bepossible
very low
ShutteredThe actuator movesActuators withMoving parts areUSSN 09/113,066;
grilla shutter to blocksmall travel canrequired09/112,772; 09/113,096;
ink flow through abe usedRequires ink09/113,068
grill to the nozzle.Actuators withpressure
The shuttersmall force canmodulator
movement needbe usedFriction and wear
only be equal to theHigh speedmust be
width of the grill(>50 kHz)considered
holes.operation can beStiction is
achievedpossible
PulsedA pulsed magneticExtremely lowRequires anUSSN 09/112,779
magneticfield attracts an ‘inkenergyexternal pulsed
pull on inkpusher’ at the dropoperation ismagnetic field
pusherejection frequency.possibleRequires special
An actuator controlsNo heatmaterials for both
a catch, whichdissipationthe actuator and
prevents the inkproblemsthe ink pusher
pusher from movingComplex
when a drop is notconstruction
to be ejected.

[0061] 3

AUXILIARY MECHANISM (APPLIED TO ALL NOZZLES)
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
NoneThe actuator directlySimplicity ofDrop ejectionMost ink jets, including
fires the ink drop,constructionenergy must bepiezoelectric and thermal
and there is noSimplicity ofsupplied bybubble.
external field oroperationindividual nozzleUSSN 09/112,751;
other mechanismSmall physicalactuator09/112,787; 09/112,802;
required.size09/112,803; 09/113,097;
09/113,084; 09/113,078;
09/113,077; 09/113,061;
09/112,816; 09/113,095;
09/112,809; 09/112,780;
09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820
OscillatingThe ink pressureOscillating inkRequires externalSilverbrook, EP 0771
inkoscillates, providingpressure canink pressure658 A2 and related
pressuremuch of the dropprovide a refilloscillatorpatent applications
(includingejection energy. Thepulse, allowingInk pressureUSSN 09/113,066;
acousticactuator selectshigher operatingphase and09/112,818; 09/112,772;
stimula-which drops are tospeedamplitude must09/112,815; 09/113,096;
tion)be fired byThe actuatorsbe carefully09/113,068; 09/112,808
selectively blockingmay operatecontrolled
or enabling nozzles.with muchAcoustic
The ink pressurelower energyreflections in the
oscillation may beAcoustic lensesink chamber
achieved bycan be used tomust be designed
vibrating the printfocus the soundfor
head, or preferablyon the nozzles
by an actuator in the
ink supply.
MediaThe print head isLow powerPrecisionSilverbrook, EP 0771
proximityplaced in closeHigh accuracyassembly658 A2 and related
proximity to theSimple printrequiredpatent applications
print medium.headPaper fibers may
Selected dropsconstructioncause problems
protrude from theCannot print on
print head furtherrough substrates
than unselected
drops, and contact
the print medium.
The drop soaks into
the medium fast
enough to cause
drop separation.
TransferDrops are printed toHigh accuracyBulkySilverbrook, EP 0771
rollera transfer rollerWide range ofExpensive658 A2 and related
instead of straight toprint substratesComplexpatent applications
the print medium. Acan be usedconstructionTektronix hot melt
transfer roller canInk can be driedpiezoelectric ink jet
also be used foron the transferAny of USSN
proximity droproller09/112,751; 09/112,787;
separation.09/112,802; 09/112,803;
09/113,097; 09/113,099;
09/113,084; 09/113,066;
09/112,778; 09/112,779;
09/113,077; 09/113,061;
09/112,818; 09/112,816;
09/112,772; 09/112,819;
09/112,815; 09/113,096;
09/113,068; 09/113,095;
09/112,808; 09/112,809;
09/112,780; 09/113,083;
09/113,121; 09/113,122;
09/112,793; 09/112,794;
09/113,128; 09/113,127;
09/112,756; 09/112,755;
09/112,754; 09/112,811;
09/112,812; 09/112,813;
09/112,814; 09/112,764;
09/112,765; 09/112,767;
09/112,768; 09/112,807;
09/112,806; 09/112,820;
09/112,821
Electro-An electric field isLow powerField strengthSilverbrook, EP 0771
staticused to accelerateSimple printrequired for658 A2 and related
selected dropsheadseparation ofpatent applications
towards the printconstructionsmall drops isTone-Jet
medium.near or above air
breakdown
DirectA magnetic field isLow powerRequiresSilverbrook, EP 0771
magneticused to accelerateSimple printmagnetic ink658 A2 and related
fieldselected drops ofheadRequires strongpatent applications
magnetic inkconstructionmagnetic field
towards the print
medium.
CrossThe print head isDoes notRequires externalUSSN 09/113,099;
magneticplaced in a constantrequiremagnet09/112,819
fieldmagnetic field. ThemagneticCurrent densities
Lorenz force in amaterials to bemay be high,
current carryingintegrated in theresulting in
wire is used to moveprint headelectromigration
the actuator.manufacturingproblems
process
PulsedA pulsed magneticVery low powerComplex printUSSN 09/112,779
magneticfield is used tooperation ishead construction
fieldcyclically attract apossibleMagnetic
paddle, whichSmall print headmaterials
pushes on the ink. Asizerequired in print
small actuatorhead
moves a catch,
which selectively
prevents the paddle
from moving.

[0062] 4

DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
ACTUATOR AMPLIFICATION OR MODIFICATION METHOD
NoneNo actuatorOperationalMany actuatorThermal Bubble Ink jet
mechanicalsimplicitymechanismsUSSN 09/112,751;
amplification ishave09/112,787; 09/113,099;
used. The actuatorinsufficient09/113,084; 09/112,819;
directly drives thetravel, or09/113,121; 09/113,122
drop ejectioninsufficient
process.force, to
efficiently drive
the drop
ejection process
DifferentialAn actuator materialProvides greaterHigh stressesPiezoelectric
expansionexpands more ontravel in aare involvedUSSN 09/112,802;
bendone side than on thereduced printCare must be09/112,778; 09/112,815;
actuatorother. Thehead areataken that the09/113,096; 09/113,068;
expansion may bematerials do not09/113,095; 09/112,808;
thermal,delaminate09/112,809; 09/112,780;
piezoelectric,Residual bend09/113,083; 09/112,793;
magnetostrictive, orresulting from09/113,128; 09/113,127;
other mechanism.high09/112,756; 09/112,755;
The bend actuatortemperature or09/112,754; 09/112,811;
converts a highhigh stress09/112,812; 09/112,813;
force low travelduring09/112,814; 09/112,764;
actuator mechanismformation09/112,765; 09/112,767;
to high travel, lower09/112,768; 09/112,807;
force mechanism.09/112,806; 09/112,820
TransientA trilayer bendVery goodHigh stressesUSSN 09/112,767;
bendactuator where thetemperatureare involved09/112,768
actuatortwo outside layersstabilityCare must be
are identical. ThisHigh speed, as ataken that the
cancels bend due tonew drop can bematerials do not
ambient temperaturefired before heatdelaminate
and residual stress.dissipates
The actuator onlyCancels residual
responds to transientstress of
heating of one sideformation
or the other.
ReverseThe actuator loads aBetter couplingFabricationUSSN 09/113,097;
springspring. When theto the inkcomplexity09/113,077
actuator is turnedHigh stress in
off, the springthe spring
releases. This can
reverse the
force/distance curve
of the actuator to
make it compatible
with the force/time
requirements of the
drop ejection.
ActuatorA series of thinIncreased travelIncreasedSome piezoelectric ink
stackactuators areReduced drivefabricationjets
stacked. This can bevoltagecomplexityUSSN 09/112,803
appropriate whereIncreased
actuators requirepossibility of
high electric fieldshort circuits
strength, such asdue to pinholes
electrostatic and
piezoelectric
actuators.
MultipleMultiple smallerIncreases theActuator forcesUSSN 09/113,061;
actuatorsactuators are usedforce availablemay not add09/112,818; 09/113,096;
simultaneously tofrom an actuatorlinearly,09/113,095; 09/112,809;
move the ink. EachMultiplereducing09/112,794; 09/112,807;
actuator needactuators can beefficiency09/112,806
provide only apositioned to
portion of the forcecontrol ink flow
required.accurately
LinearA linear spring isMatches lowRequires printUSSN 09/112,772
Springused to transform atravel actuatorhead area for
motion with smallwith higherthe spring
travel and high forcetravel
into a longer travel,requirements
lower force motion.Non-contact
method of
motion
transformation
CoiledA bend actuator isIncreases travelGenerallyUSSN 09/112,815;
actuatorcoiled to provideReduces chiprestricted to09/112,808; 09/112,811;
greater travel in aareaplanar09/112,812
reduced chip area.Planarimplementations
implementationsdue to extreme
are relativelyfabrication
easy todifficulty in
fabricate.other
orientations.
FlexureA bend actuator hasSimple meansCare must beUSSN 09/112,779;
benda small region nearof increasingtaken not to09/113,068; 09/112,754
actuatorthe fixture point,travel of a bendexceed the
which flexes muchactuatorelastic limit in
more readily thanthe flexure area
the remainder of theStress
actuator. Thedistribution is
actuator flexing isvery uneven
effectivelyDifficult to
converted from anaccurately
even coiling to anmodel with
angular bend,finite element
resulting in greateranalysis
travel of the actuator
tip.
CatchThe actuatorVery lowComplexUSSN 09/112,779
controls a smallactuator energyconstruction
catch. The catchVery smallRequires
either enables oractuator sizeexternal force
disables movementUnsuitable for
of an ink pusher thatpigmented inks
is controlled in a
bulk manner.
GearsGears can be used toLow force, lowMoving partsUSSN 09/112,818
increase travel at thetravel actuatorsare required
expense of duration.can be usedSeveral actuator
Circular gears, rackCan becycles are
and pinion, ratchets,fabricated usingrequired
and other gearingstandard surfaceMore complex
methods can beMEMSdrive electronics
used.processesComplex
construction
Friction,
friction, and
wear are
possible
BuckleA buckle plate canVery fastMust stayS. Hirata et al, “An Ink-jet
platebe used to change amovementwithin elasticHead Using Diaphragm
slow actuator into aachievablelimits of theMicroactuator”, Proc.
fast motion. It canmaterials forIEEE MEMS, Feb. 1996,
also convert a highlong device lifepp 418-423.
force, low travelHigh stressesUSSN 09/113,096;
actuator into a highinvolved09/112,793
travel, medium forceGenerally high
motion.power
requirement
TaperedA tapered magneticLinearizes theComplexUSSN 09/112,816
magneticpole can increasemagneticconstruction
poletravel at the expenseforce/distance
of force.curve
LeverA lever and fulcrumMatches lowHigh stressUSSN 09/112,755;
is used to transformtravel actuatoraround the09/112,813; 09/112,814
a motion with smallwith higherfulcrum
travel and high forcetravel
into a motion withrequirements
longer travel andFulcrum area
lower force. Thehas no linear
lever can alsomovement, and
reverse the directioncan be used for
of travel.a fluid seal
RotaryThe actuator isHighComplexUSSN 09/112,794
impellerconnected to amechanicalconstruction
rotary impeller. AadvantageUnsuitable for
small angularThe ratio ofpigmented inks
deflection of theforce to travel
actuator results in aof the actuator
rotation of thecan be matched
impeller vanes,to the nozzle
which push the inkrequirements by
against stationaryvarying the
vanes and out of thenumber of
nozzle.impeller vanes
AcousticA refractive orNo movingLarge area1993 Hadimioglu et al,
lensdiffractive (e.g. zonepartsrequiredEUP 550,192
plate) acoustic lensOnly relevant1993 Elrod et al, EUP
is used tofor acoustic ink572,220
concentrate soundjets
waves.
SharpA sharp point isSimpleDifficult toTone-jet
conductiveused to concentrateconstructionfabricate using
pointan electrostatic field.standard VLSI
processes for a
surface ejecting
ink-jet
Only relevant
for electrostatic
ink jets
ACTUATOR MOTION
VolumeThe volume of theSimpleHigh energy isHewlett-Packard Thermal
expansionactuator changes,construction intypicallyInk jet
pushing the ink inthe case ofrequired toCanon Bubblejet
all directions.thermal ink jetachieve volume
expansion. This
leads to thermal
stress,
cavitation, and
kogation in
thermal ink jet
implementations
Linear,The actuator movesEfficientHigh fabricationUSSN 09/112,751;
normal toin a direction normalcoupling to inkcomplexity may09/112,787; 09/112,803;
chipto the print headdrops ejectedbe required to09/113,084; 09/113,077;
surfacesurface. The nozzlenormal to theachieve09/112,816
is typically in thesurfaceperpendicular
line of movement.motion
Parallel toThe actuator movesSuitable forFabricationUSSN 09/113,061;
chipparallel to the printplanarcomplexity09/112,818; 09/112,772;
surfacehead surface. DropfabricationFriction09/112,754; 09/112,811;
ejection may still beStiction09/112,812; 09/112,813
normal to the
surface.
MembraneAn actuator with aThe effectiveFabrication1982 Howkins USP
pushhigh force but smallarea of thecomplexity4,459,601
area is used to pushactuatorActuator size
a stiff membranebecomes theDifficulty of
that is in contactmembrane areaintegration in a
with the ink.VLSI process
RotaryThe actuator causesRotary leversDeviceUSSN 09/113,097;
the rotation of somemaybe used tocomplexity09/113,066; 09/112,818;
element, such a grillincrease travelMay have09/112,794
or impellerSmall chip areafriction at a
requirementspivot point
BendThe actuator bendsA very smallRequires the1970 Kyser et al USP
when energized.change inactuator to be3,946,398
This may be due todimensions canmade from at1973 Stemme USP
differential thermalbe converted toleast two3,747,120
expansion,a large motion.distinct layers,09/112,802; 09/112,778;
piezoelectricor to have a09/112,779; 09/113,068;
expansion,thermal09/112,780; 09/113,083;
magnetostriction, ordifference09/113,121; 09/113,128;
other form ofacross the09/113,127; 09/112,756;
relative dimensionalactuator09/112,754; 09/112,811;
change.09/112,812
SwivelThe actuator swivelsAllowsInefficientUSSN 09/113,099
around a centraloperation wherecoupling to the
pivot. This motion isthe net linearink motion
suitable where thereforce on the
are opposite forcespaddle is zero
applied to oppositeSmall chip area
sides of the paddle,requirements
e.g. Lorenz force.
StraightenThe actuator isCan be usedRequires carefulUSSN 09/113,122;
normally bent, andwith shapebalance of09/112,755
straightens whenmemory alloysstresses to
energized.where theensure that the
austenic phasequiescent bend
is planaris accurate
DoubleThe actuator bendsOne actuatorDifficult toUSSN 09/112,813;
bendin one directioncan be used tomake the drops09/112,814; 09/112,764
when one element ispower twoejected by both
energized, andnozzles.bend directions
bends the other wayReduced chipidentical.
when anothersize.A small
element isNot sensitive toefficiency loss
energized.ambientcompared to
temperatureequivalent
single bend
actuators.
ShearEnergizing theCan increase theNot readily1985 Fishbeck USP
actuator causes aeffective travelapplicable to4,584,590
shear motion in theof piezoelectricother actuator
actuator material.actuatorsmechanisms
RadialThe actuatorRelatively easyHigh force1970 Zoltan USP
con-squeezes an inkto fabricaterequired3,683,212
strictionreservoir, forcingsingle nozzlesInefficient
ink from afrom glassDifficult to
constricted nozzle.tubing asintegrate with
macroscopicVLSI processes
structures
Coil/A coiled actuatorEasy toDifficult toUSSN 09/112,815;
uncoiluncoils or coilsfabricate as afabricate for09/112,808; 09/112,811;
more tightly. Theplanar VLSInon-planar09/112,812
motion of the freeprocessdevices
end of the actuatorSmall areaPoor out-of-
ejects the ink.required,plane stiffness
therefore low
cost
BowThe actuator bowsCan increase theMaximumUSSN 09/112,819;
(or buckles) in thespeed of traveltravel is09/113,096; 09/112,793
middle whenMechanicallyconstrained
energized.rigidHigh force
required
Push-PullTwo actuatorsThe structure isNot readilyUSSN 09/113,096
control a shutter.pinned at bothsuitable for ink
One actuator pullsends, so has ajets which
the shutter, and thehigh out-of-directly push
other pushes it.plane rigiditythe ink
CurlA set of actuatorsGood fluid flowDesignUSSN 09/113,095;
inwardscurl inwards toto the regioncomplexity09/112,807
reduce the volumebehind the
of ink that theyactuator
enclose.increases
efficiency
CurlA set of actuatorsRelativelyRelatively largeUSSN 09/112,806
outwardscurl outwards,simplechip area
pressurizing ink in aconstruction
chamber
surrounding the
actuators, and
expelling ink from a
nozzle in the
chamber.
IrisMultiple vanesHigh efficiencyHigh fabricationUSSN 09/112,809
enclose a volume ofSmall chip areacomplexity
ink. TheseNot suitable for
simultaneouslypigmented inks
rotate, reducing the
volume between the
vanes.
AcousticThe actuatorThe actuatorLarge area1993 Hadimioglu et al,
vibrationvibrates at a highcan berequired forEUP 550,192
frequency.physicallyefficient1993 Elrod et al, EUP
distant from theoperation at572,220
inkuseful
frequencies
Acoustic
coupling and
crosstalk
Complex drive
circuitry
Poor control of
drop volume
and position
NoneIn various ink jetNo movingVarious otherSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
designs the actuatorpartstradeoffs areA2 and related patent
does not move.required toapplications
eliminateTone-jet
moving parts

[0063] 5

NOZZLE REFILL METHOD
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
SurfaceThis is the normalFabricationLow speedThermal ink jet
tensionway that ink jets aresimplicitySurface tensionPiezoelectric ink jet
refilled. After theOperationalforce relativelyUSSN-09/112,751;
actuator is energized,simplicitysmall09/113,084; 09/112,779;
it typically returnscompared to09/112,816; 09/112,819;
rapidly to its normalactuator force09/113,095; 09/112,809;
position. This rapidLong refill09/112,780; 09/113,083;
return sucks in airtime usually09/113,121; 09/113,122;
through the nozzledominates the09/112,793; 09/112,794;
opening. The inktotal repetition09/113,128; 09/113,127;
surface tension at therate09/112,756; 09/112,755;
nozzle then exerts a09/112,754; 09/112,811;
small force restoring09/112,812; 09/112,813;
the meniscus to a09/112,814; 09/112,764;
minimum area. This09/112,765; 09/112,767;
force refills the09/112,768; 09/112,807;
nozzle.09/112,806; 09/112,820;
09/112,821
ShutteredInk to the nozzleHigh speedRequiresUSSN 09/113,066;
oscillatingchamber is providedLow actuatorcommon ink09/112,818; 09/112,772;
inkat a pressure thatenergy, as thepressure09/112,815; 09/113,096;
pressureoscillates at twice theactuator needoscillator09/113,068; 09/112,808
drop ejectiononly open orMay not be
frequency. When aclose thesuitable for
drop is to be ejected,shutter, insteadpigmented inks
the shutter is openedof ejecting the
for 3 half cycles:ink drop
drop ejection,
actuator return, and
refill. The shutter is
then closed to prevent
the nozzle chamber
emptying during the
next negative
pressure cycle.
RefillAfter the mainHigh speed, asRequires twoUSSN 09/112,778
actuatoractuator has ejected athe nozzle isindependent
drop a second (refill)activelyactuators per
actuator is energized.refillednozzle
The refill actuator
pushes ink into the
nozzle chamber. The
refill actuator returns
slowly, to prevent its
return from emptying
the chamber again.
PositiveThe ink is held aHigh refill rate,Surface spillSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
inkslight positivetherefore amust beA2 and related patent
pressurepressure. After thehigh droppreventedapplications
ink drop is ejected,repetition rateHighlyAlternative for: USSN
the nozzle chamberis possiblehydrophobic09/112,751; 09/112,787;
fills quickly asprint head09/112,802; 09/112,803;
surface tension andsurfaces are09/113,097; 09/113,099;
ink pressure bothrequired09/113,084; 09/112,779;
operate to refill the09/113,077; 09/113,061;
nozzle.09/112,818; 09/112,816;
09/112,819; 09/113,095;
09/112,809; 09/112,780;
09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128,
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821

[0064] 6

METHOD OF RESTRICTING BACK-FLOW THROUGH INLET
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
Long inletThe ink inletDesignRestricts refillThermal ink jet
channelchannel to thesimplicityratePiezoelectric ink jet
nozzle chamber isOperationalMay result in aUSSN 09/112,807;
made long andsimplicityrelatively large09/112,806
relatively narrow,Reduceschip area
relying on viscouscrosstalkOnly partially
drag to reduce inleteffective
back-flow.
PositiveThe ink is under aDrop selectionRequires aSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
inkpositive pressure, soand separationmethod (suchA2 and related patent
pressurethat in the quiescentforces can beas a nozzle rimapplications
state some of the inkreducedor effectivePossible operation of the
drop alreadyFast refill timehydrophobizing,following:
protrudes from theor both) toUSSN 09/112,751;
nozzle.prevent09/112,787; 09/112,802;
This reduces theflooding of the09/112,803; 09/113,097;
pressure in theejection09/113,099; 09/113,084;
nozzle chambersurface of the09/112,778; 09/112,779;
which is required toprint head.09/113,077; 09/113,061;
eject a certain09/112,816; 09/112,819;
volume of ink. The09/113,095; 09/112,809;
reduction in09/112,780; 09/113,083;
chamber pressure09/113,121; 09/113,122;
results in a reduction09/112,793; 09/112,794;
in ink pushed out09/113,128; 09/113,127;
through the inlet.09/112,756; 09/112,755;
09/112,754; 09/112,811;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
BaffleOne or more bafflesThe refill rate isDesignHP Thermal Ink Jet
are placed in thenot as restrictedcomplexityTektronix piezoelectric ink
inlet ink flow. Whenas the long inletMay increasejet
the actuator ismethod.fabrication
energized, the rapidReducescomplexity
ink movementcrosstalk(e.g. Tektronix
creates eddies whichhot melt
restrict the flowPiezoelectric
through the inlet.print heads).
The slower refill
process is
unrestricted, and
does not result in
eddies.
FlexibleIn this methodSignificantlyNot applicableCanon
flaprecently disclosedreduces back-to most ink jet
restrictsby Canon, theflow for edge-configurations
inletexpanding actuatorshooter thermalIncreased
(bubble) pushes on aink jet devicesfabrication
flexible flap thatcomplexity
restricts the inlet.Inelastic
deformation of
polymer flap
results in creep
over extended
use
Inlet filterA filter is locatedAdditionalRestricts refillUSSN 09/112,803;
between the ink inletadvantage ofrate09/113,061; 09/113,083;
and the nozzleink filtrationMay result in09/112,793; 09/113,128;
chamber. The filterInk filter maycomplex09/113,127
has a multitude ofbe fabricatedconstruction
small holes or slots,with no
restricting ink flow.additional
The filter alsoprocess steps
removes particles
which may block the
nozzle.
Small inletThe ink inletDesignRestricts refillUSSN 09/112,787;
comparedchannel to thesimplicityrate09/112,814; 09/112,820
to nozzlenozzle chamber hasMay result in a
a substantiallyrelatively large
smaller cross sectionchip area
than that of theOnly partially
nozzle, resulting ineffective
easier ink egress out
of the nozzle than
out of the inlet.
InletA secondaryIncreases speedRequiresUSSN 09/112,778
shutteractuator controls theof the ink-jetseparate refill
position of a shutter,print headactuator and
closing off the inkoperationdrive circuit
inlet when the main
actuator is
energized.
The inlet isThe method avoidsBack-flowRequiresUSSN 09/112,751;
locatedthe problem of inletproblem iscareful design09/112,802; 09/113,097;
behind theback-flow byeliminatedto minimize09/113,099; 09/113,084;
ink-arranging the ink-the negative09/112,779; 09/113,077;
pushingpushing surface ofpressure09/112,816; 09/112,819;
surfacethe actuator betweenbehind the09/112,809; 09/112,780;
the inlet and thepaddle09/113,121; 09/112,794;
nozzle.09/112,756; 09/112,755;
09/112,754; 09/112,811;
09/112,812; 09/112,813;
09/112,765; 09/112,767;
09/112,768
Part of theThe actuator and aSignificantSmall increaseUSSN 09/113,084;
actuatorwall of the inkreductions inin fabrication09/113,095; 09/113,122;
moves tochamber areback-flow cancomplexity09/112,764
shut offarranged so that thebe achieved
the inletmotion of theCompact
actuator closes offdesigns possible
the inlet.
NozzleIn someInk back-flowNone related toSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
actuatorconfigurations ofproblem isink back-flowA2 and related patent
does notink jet, there is noeliminatedon actuationapplications
result inexpansion orValve-jet
ink back-movement of anTone-jet
flowactuator which may
cause ink back-flow
through the inlet.

[0065] 7

NOZZLE CLEARING METHOD
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
NormalAll of the nozzlesNo addedMay not beMost ink jet systems
nozzleare firedcomplexity onsufficient toUSSN 09/112,751;
firingperiodically, beforethe print headdisplace dried09/112,787; 09/112,802;
the ink has a chanceink09/112,803; 09/113,097;
to dry. When not in09/113,099; 09/113,084;
use the nozzles are09/112,778; 09/112,779;
sealed (capped)09/113,077; 09/113,061;
against air.09/112,816; 09/112,819;
The nozzle firing is09/113,095; 09/112,809;
usually performed09/112,780; 09/113,083;
during a special09/113,121; 09/113,122;
clearing cycle, after09/112,793; 09/112,794;
first moving the09/113,128; 09/113,127;
print head to a09/112,756; 09/112,755;
cleaning station.09/112,754; 09/112,811;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
ExtraIn systems whichCan be highlyRequiresSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
power toheat the ink, but doeffective if thehigher driveA2 and related patent
ink heaternot boil it underheater isvoltage forapplications
normal situations,adjacent to theclearing
nozzle clearing cannozzleMay require
be achieved by over-larger drive
powering the heatertransistors
and boiling ink at
the nozzle.
RapidThe actuator is firedDoes notEffectivenessMay be used with: USSN
success-in rapid succession.require extradepends09/112,751; 09/112,787;
ion ofIn somedrive circuits onsubstantially09/112,802; 09/112,803;
actuatorconfigurations, thisthe print headupon the09/113,097; 09/113,099;
pulsesmay cause heatCan be readilyconfiguration09/113,084; 09/112,778;
build-up at thecontrolled andof the ink jet09/112,779; 09/113,077;
nozzle which boilsinitiated bynozzle09/112,816; 09/112,819;
the ink, clearing thedigital logic09/113,095; 09/112,809;
nozzle. In other09/112,780; 09/113,083;
situations, it may09/113,121; 09/112,793;
cause sufficient09/112,794; 09/113,128;
vibrations to09/113,127; 09/112,756;
dislodge clogged09/112,755; 09/112,754;
nozzles.09/112,811; 09/112,813;
09/112,814; 09/112,764;
09/112,765; 09/112,767;
09/112,768; 09/112,807;
09/112,806; 09/112,820;
09/112,821
ExtraWhere an actuator isA simpleNot suitableMay be used with: USSN
power tonot normally drivensolution wherewhere there is09/112,802; 09/112,778;
inkto the limit of itsapplicablea hard limit to09/112,819; 09/113,095;
pushingmotion, nozzleactuator09/112,780; 09/113,083;
actuatorclearing may bemovement09/113,121; 09/112,793;
assisted by09/113,128; 09/113,127;
providing an09/112,756; 09/112,755;
enhanced drive09/112,765; 09/112,767;
signal to the09/112,768; 09/112,807;
actuator.09/112,806; 09/112,820;
09/112,821
AcousticAn ultrasonic waveA high nozzleHighUSSN 09/113,066;
resonanceis applied to the inkclearingimplementation09/112,818; 09/112,772;
chamber. This wavecapability cancost if09/112,815; 09/113,096;
is of an appropriatebe achievedsystem does09/113,068; 09/112,808
amplitude andMay benot already
frequency to causeimplemented atinclude an
sufficient force atvery low cost inacoustic
the nozzle to clearsystems whichactuator
blockages. This isalready include
easiest to achieve ifacoustic
the ultrasonic waveactuators
is at a resonant
frequency of the ink
cavity.
NozzleA microfabricatedCan clearAccurateSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
clearingplate is pushedseverelymechanicalA2 and related patent
plateagainst the nozzles.clogged nozzlesalignment isapplications
The plate has a postrequired
for every nozzle. AMoving parts
post moves throughare required
each nozzle,There is risk of
displacing dried ink.damage to the
nozzles
Accurate
fabrication is
required
InkThe pressure of theMay beRequiresMay be used with ink jets
pressureink is temporarilyeffective wherepressure pumpcovered by USSN
pulseincreased so that inkother methodsor other09/112,751; 09/112,787;
streams from all ofcannot be usedpressure09/112,802; 09/112,803;
the nozzles. Thisactuator09/113,097; 09/113,099;
may be used inExpensive09/113,084; 09/113,066;
conjunction withWasteful of09/112,778; 09/112,779;
actuator energizing.ink09/113,077; 09/113,061;
09/112,818; 09/112,816;
09/112,772; 09/112,819;
09/112,815; 09/113,096;
09/113,068; 09/113,095;
09/112,808; 09/112,809;
09/112,780; 09/113,083;
09/113,121; 09/113,122;
09/112,793; 09/112,794;
09/113,128; 09/113,127;
09/112,756; 09/112,755;
09/112,754; 09/112,811;
09/112,812; 09/112,813;
09/112,814; 09/112,764;
09/112,765; 09/112,767;
09/112,768; 09/112,807;
09/112,806; 09/112,820;
09/112,821
Print headA flexible ‘blade’ isEffective forDifficult to useMany ink jet systems
wiperwiped across theplanar printif print head
print head surface.head surfacessurface is non-
The blade is usuallyLow costplanar or very
fabricated from afragile
flexible polymer,Requires
e.g. rubber ormechanical
synthetic elastomer.parts
Blade can wear
out in high
volume print
systems
SeparateA separate heater isCan be effectiveFabricationCan be used with many ink
ink boilingprovided at thewhere othercomplexityjets covered by USSN
heaternozzle although thenozzle clearing09/112,751; 09/112,787;
normal drop e-methods cannot09/112,802; 09/112,803;
ection mechanismbe used09/113,097; 09/113,099;
does not require it.Can be09/113,084; 09/113,066;
The heaters do notimplemented at09/112,778; 09/112,779;
require individualno additional09/113,077; 09/113,061;
drive circuits, ascost in some ink09/112,818; 09/112,816;
many nozzles can bejet09/112,772; 09/112,819;
clearedconfigurations09/112,815; 09/113,096;
simultaneously, and09/113,068; 09/113,095;
no imaging is09/112,808; 09/112,809;
required.09/112,780; 09/113,083;
09/113,121; 09/113,122;
09/112,793; 09/112,794;
09/113,128; 09/113,127;
09/112,756; 09/112,755;
09/112,754; 09/112,811;
09/112,812; 09/112,813;
09/112,814; 09/112,764;
09/112,765; 09/112,767;
09/112,768; 09/112,807;
09/112,806; 09/112,820;
09/112,821

[0066] 8

NOZZLE PLATE CONSTRUCTION
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
Electro-A nozzle plate isFabricationHighHewlett Packard Thermal
formedseparately fabricatedsimplicitytemperaturesInk jet
nickelfrom electroformedand pressures
nickel, and bondedare required to
to the print headbond nozzle
chip.plate
Minimum
thickness
constraints
Differential
thermal
expansion
LaserIndividual nozzleNo masksEach hole mustCanon Bubblejet
ablated orholes are ablated byrequiredbe individually1988 Sercel et al., SPIE,
drilledan intense UV laserCan be quiteformedVol. 998 Excimer Beam
polymerin a nozzle plate,fastSpecialApplications, pp. 76-83
which is typically aSome controlequipment1993 Watanabe et al.,
polymer such asover nozzlerequiredUSP 5,208,604
polyimide orprofile isSlow where
polysulphonepossiblethere are many
Equipmentthousands of
required isnozzles per
relatively lowprint head
costMay produce
thin burrs at
exit holes
SiliconA separate nozzleHigh accuracyTwo partK. Bean, IEEE
micro-plate isis attainableconstructionTransactions on Electron
machinedmicromachinedHigh costDevices, Vol. ED-25, No.
from single crystalRequires10, 1978, pp 1185-1195
silicon, and bondedprecisionXerox 1990 Hawkins et al.,
to the print headalignmentUSP 4,899,181
wafer.Nozzles may
be clogged by
adhesive
GlassFine glassNo expensiveVery small1970 Zoltan USP
capillariescapillaries are drawnequipmentnozzle sizes3,683,212
from glass tubing.requiredare difficult to
This method hasSimple to makeform
been used forsingle nozzlesNot suited for
making individualmass
nozzles, but isproduction
difficult to use for
bulk manufacturing
of print heads with
thousands of
nozzles.
Monolithic,The nozzle plate isHigh accuracyRequiresSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
surfacedeposited as a layer(<1 μm)sacrificial layerA2 and related patent
micro-using standard VLSIMonolithicunder theapplications
machineddepositionLow costnozzle plate toUSSN 09/112,751;
using VLSItechniques. NozzlesExistingform the09/112,787; 09/112,803;
litho-are etched in theprocesses cannozzle09/113,077; 09/113,061;
graphicnozzle plate usingbe usedchamber09/112,815; 09/113,096;
processesVLSI lithographySurface may09/113,095; 09/112,809;
and etching.be fragile to09/113,083; 09/112,793;
the touch09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,813;
09/112,814; 09/112,764;
09/112,765; 09/112,767;
09/112,768; 09/112,807;
09/112,806; 09/112,820
Monolithic,The nozzle plate is aHigh accuracyRequires longUSSN 09/112,802;
etchedburied etch stop in(<1 μm)etch times09/113,097; 09/113,099;
throughthe wafer. NozzleMonolithicRequires a09/113,084; 09/113,066;
substratechambers are etchedLow costsupport wafer09/112,778; 09/112,779;
in the front of theNo differential09/112,818; 09/112,816;
wafer, and the waferexpansion09/112,772; 09/112,819;
is thinned from the09/113,068; 09/112,808;
back side. Nozzles09/112,780; 09/113,121;
are then etched in09/113,122
the etch stop layer.
No nozzleVarious methodsNo nozzles toDifficult toRicoh 1995 Sekiya et al
platehave been tried tobecome cloggedcontrol dropUSP 5,412,413
eliminate theposition1993 Hadimioglu et al EUP
nozzles entirely, toaccurately550,192
prevent nozzleCrosstalk1993 Elrod et al EUP
clogging. Theseproblems572,220
include thermal
bubble mechanisms
and acoustic lens
mechanisms
TroughEach drop ejectorReducedDrop firingUSSN 09/112,812
has a trough throughmanufacturingdirection is
which a paddlecomplexitysensitive to
moves. There is noMonolithicwicking.
nozzle plate.
Nozzle slitThe elimination ofNo nozzles toDifficult to1989 Saito et al
instead ofnozzle holes andbecome cloggedcontrol dropUSP 4,799,068
individualreplacement by a slitposition
nozzlesencompassing manyaccurately
actuator positionsCrosstalk
reduces nozzleproblems
clogging, but
increases crosstalk
due to ink surface
waves

[0067] 9

DROP EJECTION DIRECTION
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
EdgeInk flow is along theSimpleNozzlesCanon Bubblejet 1979
(‘edgesurface of the chip,constructionlimited to edgeEndo et al GB patent
shooter’)and ink drops areNo siliconHigh2,007,162
ejected from theetching requiredresolution isXerox heater-in-pit 1990
chip edge.Good heatdifficultHawkins et al USP
sinking viaFast color4,899,181
substrateprintingTone-jet
Mechanicallyrequires one
strongprint head per
Ease of chipcolor
handing
SurfaceInk flow is along theNo bulk siliconMaximum inkHewlett-Packard TIJ 1982
(‘roofsurface of the chip,etching requiredflow isVaught et al USP
shooter’)and ink drops areSilicon canseverely4,490,728
ejected from themake anrestrictedUSSN 09/112,787,
chip surface, normaleffective heat09/113,077; 09/113,061;
to the plane of thesink09/113,095; 09/112,809
chip.Mechanical
strength
ThroughInk flow is throughHigh ink flowRequires bulkSilverbrook, EP 0771 658
chip,the chip, and inkSuitable forsilicon etchingA2 and related patent
forwarddrops are ejectedpagewidth printapplications
(‘upfrom the frontheadsUSSN 09/112,803;
shooter’)surface of the chip.High nozzle09/112,815; 09/113,096;
packing density09/113,083; 09/112,793;
therefore low09/112,794; 09/113,128;
manufacturing09/113,127; 09/112,756;
cost09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
ThroughInk flow is throughHigh ink flowRequires waferUSSN 09/112,751;
chip,the chip, and inkSuitable forthinning09/112,802; 09/113,097;
reversedrops are ejectedpagewidth printRequires09/113,099; 09/113,084;
(‘downfrom the rear surfaceheadsspecial09/113,066; 09/112,778;
shooter’)of the chip.High nozzlehandling09/112,779; 09/112,818;
packing densityduring09/112,816; 09/112,772;
therefore lowmanufacture09/112,819;
manufacturing09/113,068; 09/112,808;
cost09/112,780; 09/113,121;
09/113,122
ThroughInk flow is throughSuitable forPagewidthEpson Stylus
actuatorthe actuator, whichpiezoelectricprint headsTektronix hot melt
is not fabricated asprint headsrequire severalpiezoelectric ink jets
part of the samethousand
substrate as theconnections to
drive transistors.drive circuits
Cannot be
manufactured
in standard
CMOS fabs
Complex
assembly
required

[0068] 10

INK TYPE
DescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
Aqueous,Water based inkEnvironmental-Slow dryingMost existing ink jets
dyewhich typicallyly friendlyCorrosiveUSSN 09/112,751;
contains: water, dye,No odorBleeds on09/112,787; 09/112,802;
surfactant,paper09/112,803; 09/113,097;
humectant, andMay09/113,099; 09/113,084;
biocide.strikethrough09/113,066; 09/112,778;
Modern ink dyesCockles paper09/112,779; 09/113,077;
have high water-09/113,061; 09/112,818;
fastness, light09/112,816; 09/112,772;
fastness09/112,819; 09/112,815;
09/113,096; 09/113,068;
09/113,095; 09/112,808;
09/112,809; 09/112,780;
09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
Silverbrook, EP 0771 658
A2 and related patent
applications
Aqueous,Water based inkEnvironmental-Slow dryingUSSN 09/112,787;
pigmentwhich typicallyly friendlyCorrosive09/112,803; 09/112,808;
contains: water,No odorPigment may09/113,122; 09/112,793;
pigment, surfactant,Reduced bleedclog nozzles09/113,127
humectant, andReducedPigment maySilverbrook, EP 0771 658
biocide.wickingclog actuatorA2 and related patent
Pigments have anReducedmechanismsapplications
advantage in reducedstrikethroughCockles paperPiezoelectric ink-jets
bleed, wicking andThermal ink jets (with
strikethrough.significant restrictions)
MethylMEK is a highlyVery fastOdorousUSSN 09/112,751;
Ethylvolatile solvent useddryingFlammable09/112,787; 09/112,802;
Ketonefor industrial printingPrints on09/112,803; 09/113,097;
(MEK)on difficult surfacesvarious09/113,099; 09/113,084;
such as aluminumsubstrates such09/113,066; 09/112,778;
cans.as metals and09/112,779; 09/113,077;
plastics09/113,061; 09/112,818;
09/112,816; 09/112,772;
09/112,819; 09/112,815;
09/113,096; 09/113,068;
09/113,095; 09/112,808;
09/112,809; 09/112,780;
09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
AlcoholAlcohol based inksFast dryingSlight odorUSSN 09/112,751;
(ethanol,can be used whereOperates atFlammable09/112,787; 09/112,802;
2-butanol,the printer mustsub-freezing09/112,803; 09/113,097;
andoperate attemperatures09/113,099; 09/113,084;
others)temperatures belowReduced paper09/113,066; 09/112,778;
the freezing point ofcockle09/112,779; 09/113,077;
water. An example ofLow cost09/113,061; 09/112,818;
this is in-camera09/112,816; 09/112,772;
consumer09/112,819; 09/112,815;
photographic09/113,096; 09/113,068;
printing.09/113,095; 09/112,808;
09/112,809; 09/112,780;
09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
PhaseThe ink is solid atNo dryingHigh viscosityTektronix hot melt
changeroom temperature,time-inkPrinted inkpiezoelectric ink jets
(hot melt)and is melted in theinstantlytypically has a1989 Nowak USP
print head beforefreezes on the‘waxy’ feel4,820,346
jetting. Hot melt inksprint mediumPrinted pagesUSSN 09/112,751;
are usually waxAlmost anymay ‘block’09/112,787; 09/112,802;
based, with a meltingprint mediumInk09/112,803; 09/113,097;
point around 80° C.can be usedtemperature09/113,099; 09/113,084;
After jetting the inkNo papermay be above09/113,066; 09/112,778;
freezes almostcockle occursthe curie point09/112,779; 09/113,077;
instantly uponNo wickingof permanent09/113,061; 09/112,818;
contacting the printoccursmagnets09/112,816; 09/112,772;
medium or a transferNo bleedInk heaters09/112,819; 09/112,815;
roller.occursconsume09/113,096; 09/113,068;
Nopower09/113,095; 09/112,808;
strikethroughLong warm-up09/112,809; 09/112,780;
occurstime09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
OilOil based inks areHigh solubilityHigh viscosity:USSN 09/112,751;
extensively used inmedium forthis is a09/112,787; 09/112,802;
offset printing. Theysome dyessignificant09/112,803; 09/113,097;
have advantages inDoes notlimitation for09/113,099; 09/113,084;
improvedcockle paperuse in ink jets,09/113,066; 09/112,778;
characteristics onDoes not wickwhich usually09/112,779; 09/113,077;
paper (especially nothrough paperrequire a low09/113,061; 09/112,818;
wicking or cockle).viscosity.09/112,816; 09/112,772;
Oil soluble dies andSome short09/112,819; 09/112,815;
pigments arechain and09/113,096; 09/113,068;
required.multi-branched09/113,095; 09/112,808;
oils have a09/112,809; 09/112,780;
sufficiently09/113,083; 09/113,121;
low viscosity.09/113,122; 09/112,793;
Slow drying09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821
Micro-A microemulsion is aStops ink bleedViscosityUSSN 09/112,751;
emulsionstable, self formingHigh dyehigher than09/112,787; 09/112,802;
emulsion of oil,solubilitywater09/112,803; 09/113,097;
water, and surfactant.Water, oil, andCost is slightly09/113,099; 09/113,084;
The characteristicamphiphilichigher than09/113,066; 09/112,778;
drop size is less thansoluble dieswater based09/112,779; 09/113,077;
100 nm, and iscan be usedink09/113,061; 09/112,818;
determined by theCan stabilizeHigh surfactant09/112,816; 09/112,772;
preferred curvature ofpigmentconcentration09/112,819; 09/112,815;
the surfactant.suspensionsrequired09/113,096; 09/113,068;
(around 5%)09/113,095; 09/112,808;
09/112,809; 09/112,780;
09/113,083; 09/113,121;
09/113,122; 09/112,793;
09/112,794; 09/113,128;
09/113,127; 09/112,756;
09/112,755; 09/112,754;
09/112,811; 09/112,812;
09/112,813; 09/112,814;
09/112,764; 09/112,765;
09/112,767; 09/112,768;
09/112,807; 09/112,806;
09/112,820; 09/112,821