Title:
Method Of Generating Manipulated Images With Digital Camera
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of generating manipulated images with a digital camera is provided in which objects within a digital image produced by the digital camera utilising an autofocus unit of the digital camera are detected by processing the digital image with a processor of the digital camera utilising focusing settings of the autofocus unit as an indicator of positions of said objects, and a manipulated image is generated by applying a digital image manipulating process of the processor to the detected objects.



Inventors:
Silverbrook, Kia (Balmain, AU)
Application Number:
12/505527
Publication Date:
11/12/2009
Filing Date:
07/19/2009
Assignee:
Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
348/222.1, 348/347, 348/E5.024, 348/E5.031, 348/E5.045
International Classes:
H04N5/225; B41J2/175; B41J3/42; B41J3/44; B41J11/00; B41J11/70; B41J15/04; B42D15/10; G03B13/36; G06F1/16; G06K1/12; G06K7/14; G06K19/06; G06K19/073; G07F7/08; G07F7/12; G11C11/56; H04N1/00; H04N1/032; H04N1/21; H04N1/32; H04N5/228; H04N5/262; B41J2/165; H04N5/232
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, LUONG TRUNG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SILVERBROOK RESEARCH PTY LTD (393 DARLING STREET, BALMAIN, null, 2041, AU)
Claims:
1. A method of generating manipulated images with a digital camera, comprising the steps of: detecting objects within a digital image produced by the digital camera utilising an autofocus unit of the digital camera by processing the digital image with a processor of the digital camera utilising focusing settings of the autofocus unit as an indicator of positions of said objects; and generating a manipulated image by applying a digital image manipulating process of the processor to the detected objects.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the focus settings include a current position of a zoom motor of the digital camera.

3. A method according to claim 2, further comprising the step of printing the manipulated image with a printing mechanism of the digital camera.

4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the digital image manipulating process selectively applies techniques to the digital image utilizing the focus settings.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This is a Continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/831,237 filed Apr. 26, 2004, which is a Continuation Application of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/112,750, filed on Jul. 10, 1998, now issued U.S. Pat. No. 6,727,948, all of which are herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an image processing method and apparatus and, in particular, discloses a process for utilising autofocus information in a digital image camera.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Recently, digital cameras have become increasingly popular. These cameras normally operate by means of imaging a desired image utilizing a charge coupled device (CCD) array and storing the imaged scene on an electronic storage medium for later down loading onto a computer system for subsequent manipulation and printing out. Normally, when utilizing a computer system to print out an image, sophisticated software may be available to manipulate the image in accordance with requirements.

Unfortunately such systems require significant post processing of a captured image and normally present the image in an orientation in which is was taken, relying on the post processing process to perform any necessary or required modifications of the captured image.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a method for enhanced processing of images captured by a digital camera utilising autofocus settings.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of generating a manipulated output image by means of a digital camera, the method comprising the steps of:

capturing a focused image using an automatic focusing technique generating focus settings;

generating a manipulated output image by applying a digital image manipulating process to the focused image, the digital image manipulating process utilizing the focus settings.

Preferably the focus settings include a current position of a zoom motor of the digital camera.

In a preferred embodiment the digital image manipulating process includes a step of locating an object within the focused image utilizing the focus settings.

The method may include the step of printing out the manipulated image by means of a printing mechanism incorporated into the digital camera.

It is preferred that the digital image manipulating process selectively applies techniques to the focused image on the basis of the focus settings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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 in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates the method of the preferred embodiment; and

FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of the ARTCAM type camera.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiment is preferably implemented through suitable programming of a hand held camera device such as that described in the concurrently filed application, Applicant's reference ART01, U.S. Ser. No. 09/113,060 entitled “A Digital Camera with Image Processing Capability” filed concurrently herewith by the present applicant the content of which is hereby specifically incorporated by cross reference and the details of which, and other related applications are set out in the tables below. FIG. 2 shows a block diagram thereof.

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 such as illustrated in FIG. 2. Further, the aforementioned specification discloses means and methods for performing various manipulations on images captured by the camera sensing device 30 leading to the production of various effects in any output image 40. 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 9 hereinafter being known as Artcards. The Artcam further has significant onboard processing power by an Artcam Central Processor unit (ACP) 32 which is interconnected to a memory device 34 for the storage of important data and images.

In the preferred embodiment, autofocus is achieved by processing of a CCD data stream to ensure maximum contrast. Techniques for determining a focus position based on a CCD data stream are known. For example, reference is made to “The Encyclopedia of Photography” editors Leslie Stroebel and Richard Zakia, published 1993 by Butterworth-Heinemann and “Applied Photographic Optics” by London & Boston, Focal Press, 1988. These techniques primarily rely on measurements of contrast between adjacent pixels over portions of an input image. The image is initially processed by the ACP in order to determine a correct autofocus setting.

This autofocus information is then utilized by the ACP 32 in certain modes, for example, when attempting to locate faces within the image, as a guide to the likely size of any face within the image, thereby simplifying the face location process.

Turning now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated an example of the method utilized to determine likely image characteristics for examination by a face detection algorithm 10.

Various images eg. 2, 3 and 4 are imaged by the camera device 28. As a by product of the operation of the auto-focusing the details of the focusing settings of the autofocus unit 5 are stored by the ACP 32. Additionally, a current position of the zoom motor 38 is also utilized as zoom setting 6. Both of these settings are determined by the ACP 32. Subsequently, the ACP 32 applies analysis techniques in heuristic system 8 to the detected values before producing an output 29 having a magnitude corresponding to the likely depth location of objects of interest 21, 31 or 41 within the image 2, 3 or 4 respectively.

Next, the depth value is utilised in a face detection algorithm 10 running on the ACP 31 in addition to the inputted sensed image 11 so as to locate objects within the image. A close output 29 corresponding to a range value 9 indicates a high probability of a portrait image, a medium range indicates a high probability of a group photograph and a further range indicates a higher probability of a landscape image. This probability information can be utilized as an aid for the face detection algorithm and also can be utilised for selecting between various parameters when producing “painting” effects within the image or painting the image with clip arts or the like, with different techniques or clip arts being applied depending on the distance to an object.

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.

The present invention is further best utilized in the Artcam device, the details of which are set out in the following paragraphs although it is not restricted thereto.

Ink Jet Technologies

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.

The most significant problem with thermal inkjet 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 inkjet applications. This leads to an efficiency of around 0.02%, from electricity input to drop momentum (and increased surface area) out.

The most significant problem with piezoelectric inkjet 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.

Ideally, the inkjet 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:

low power (less than 10 Watts)

high resolution capability (1,600 dpi or more)

photographic quality output

low manufacturing cost

small size (pagewidth times minimum cross section)

high speed (<2 seconds per page).

All of these features can be met or exceeded by the inkjet systems described below with differing levels of difficulty. Fortyfive different inkjet 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 table below.

The inkjet 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

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 inkjet type. The smallest print head designed is IJ38, 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.

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.

CROSS-REFERENCED APPLICATIONS

The following table is a guide to cross-referenced patent applications filed concurrently herewith and discussed hereinafter with the reference being utilized in subsequent tables when referring to a particular case:

Docket NoReferenceTitle
IJ01US6,227,652Radiant Plunger Ink Jet Printer
IJ02US6,213,588Electrostatic Ink Jet Printer
IJ03US6,213,589Planar Thermoelastic Bend Actuator Ink Jet
IJ04US6,231,163Stacked Electrostatic Ink Jet Printer
IJ05US6,247,795Reverse Spring Lever Ink Jet Printer
IJ06US6,394,581Paddle Type Ink Jet Printer
IJ07US6,244,691Permanent Magnet Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
IJ08US6,257,704Planar Swing Grill Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
IJ09US6,416,168Pump Action Refill Ink Jet Printer
IJ10US6,220,694Pulsed Magnetic Field Ink Jet Printer
IJ11US6,257,705Two Plate Reverse Firing Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
IJ12US6,247,794Linear Stepper Actuator Ink Jet Printer
IJ13US6,234,610Gear Driven Shutter Ink Jet Printer
IJ14US6,247,793Tapered Magnetic Pole Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
IJ15US6,264,306Linear Spring Electromagnetic Grill Ink Jet Printer
IJ16US6,241,342Lorenz Diaphragm Electromagnetic Ink Jet Printer
IJ17US6,247,792PTFE Surface Shooting Shuttered Oscillating Pressure Ink Jet Printer
IJ18US6,264,307Buckle Grip Oscillating Pressure Ink Jet Printer
IJ19US6,254,220Shutter Based Ink Jet Printer
IJ20US6,234,611Curling Calyx Thermoelastic Ink Jet Printer
IJ21US6,302,528Thermal Actuated Ink Jet Printer
IJ22US6,283,582Iris Motion Ink Jet Printer
IJ23US6,239,821Direct Firing Thermal Bend Actuator Ink Jet Printer
IJ24US6,338,547Conductive PTFE Ben Activator Vented Ink Jet Printer
IJ25US6,247,796Magnetostrictive Ink Jet Printer
IJ26US6,557,977Shape Memory Alloy Ink Jet Printer
IJ27US6,390,603Buckle Plate Ink Jet Printer
IJ28US6,362,843Thermal Elastic Rotary Impeller Ink Jet Printer
IJ29US6,293,653Thermoelastic Bend Actuator Ink Jet Printer
IJ30US6,312,107Thermoelastic Bend Actuator Using PTFE and Corrugated
Copper Ink Jet Printer
IJ31US6,227,653Bend Actuator Direct Ink Supply Ink Jet Printer
IJ32US6,234,609A High Young's Modulus Thermoelastic Ink Jet Printer
IJ33US6,238,040Thermally actuated slotted chamber wall ink jet printer
IJ34US6,188,415Ink Jet Printer having a thermal actuator comprising an
external coiled spring
IJ35US6,227,654Trough Container Ink Jet Printer
IJ36US6,209,989Dual Chamber Single Vertical Actuator Ink Jet
IJ37US6,247,791Dual Nozzle Single Horizontal Fulcrum Actuator Ink Jet
IJ38US6,336,710Dual Nozzle Single Horizontal Actuator Ink Jet
IJ39US6,217,153A single bend actuator cupped paddle ink jet printing device
IJ40US6,416,167A thermally actuated ink jet printer having a series of
thermal actuator units
IJ41US6,243,113A thermally actuated ink jet printer including a tapered
heater element
IJ42US6,283,581Radial Back-Curling Thermoelastic Ink Jet
IJ43US6,247,790Inverted Radial Back-Curling Thermoelastic Ink Jet
IJ44US6,260,953Surface bend actuator vented ink supply ink jet printer
IJ45US6,267,469Coil Acutuated Magnetic Plate Ink Jet Printer

Tables of Drop-on-Demand Inkjets

Eleven important characteristics of the fundamental operation of individual inkjet 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.

The following tables form the axes of an eleven dimensional table of inkjet types.

Actuator mechanism (18 types)

Basic operation mode (7 types)

Auxiliary mechanism (8 types)

Actuator amplification or modification method (17 types)

Actuator motion (19 types)

Nozzle refill method (4 types)

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

Nozzle clearing method (9 types)

Nozzle plate construction (9 types)

Drop ejection direction (5 types)

Ink type (7 types)

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 inkjet technology, many million configurations are viable. It is clearly impractical to elucidate all of the possible configurations. Instead, certain inkjet types have been investigated in detail. These are designated IJ01 to IJ45 above.

Other inkjet configurations can readily be derived from these fortyfive examples by substituting alternative configurations along one or more of the 11 axes. Most of the IJ01 to IJ45 examples can be made into inkjet print heads with characteristics superior to any currently available inkjet technology.

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 IJ01 to IJ45 series are also listed in the examples column. In some cases, a print technology may be listed more than once in a table, where it shares characteristics with more than one entry.

Suitable applications 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.

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

ACTUATOR MECHANISM (APPLIED ONLY TO SELECTED INK DROPS)
Actuator
MechanismDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
ThermalAn electrothermal heater heats theLarge force generatedHigh powerCanon Bubblejet
bubbleink to above boiling point,Simple constructionInk carrier limited to water1979 Endo et al GB
transferring significant heat to theNo moving partsLow efficiencypatent 2,007,162
aqueous ink. A bubble nucleatesFast operationHigh temperatures requiredXerox heater-in-pit
and quickly forms, expelling theSmall chip area requiredHigh mechanical stress1990 Hawkins et al
ink.for actuatorUnusual materials requiredU.S. Pat. No. 4,899,181
The efficiency of the process isLarge drive transistorsHewlett-Packard
low, with typically less thanCavitation causes actuator failureTIJ 1982 Vaught et
0.05% of the electrical energyKogation reduces bubble formational U.S. Pat. No. 4,490,728
being transformed into kineticLarge print heads are difficult to
energy of the drop.fabricate
PiezoelectricA piezoelectric crystal such asLow power consumptionVery large area required forKyser et al U.S. Pat. No.
lead lanthanum zirconate (PZT) isMany ink types can beactuator3,946,398
electrically activated, and eitherusedDifficult to integrate withZoltan U.S. Pat. No.
expands, shears, or bends to applyFast operationelectronics3,683,212
pressure to the ink, ejecting drops.High efficiencyHigh voltage drive transistors1973 Stemme U.S. Pat. No.
required3,747,120
Full pagewidth print headsEpson Stylus
impractical due to actuator sizeTektronix
Requires electrical poling in highIJ04
field strengths during manufacture
Electro-An electric field is used toLow power consumptionLow maximum strain (approx.Seiko Epson, Usui
strictiveactivate electrostriction in relaxorMany ink types can be0.01%)et all JP 253401/96
materials such as lead lanthanumusedLarge area required for actuator dueIJ04
zirconate titanate (PLZT) or leadLow thermal expansionto low strain
magnesium niobate (PMN).Electric field strengthResponse speed is marginal (~10 μs)
required (approx. 3.5 V/μm)High voltage drive transistors
can be generatedrequired
without difficultyFull pagewidth print heads
Does not requireimpractical due to actuator size
electrical poling
FerroelectricAn electric field is used to induceLow power consumptionDifficult to integrate withIJ04
a phase transition between theMany ink types can beelectronics
antiferroelectric (AFE) andusedUnusual materials such as PLZSnT
ferroelectric (FE) phase.Fast operation (<1 μs)are required
Perovskite materials such as tinRelatively highActuators require a large area
modified lead lanthanumlongitudinal strain
zirconate titanate (PLZSnT)High efficiency
exhibit large strains of up to 1%Electric field strength of
associated with the AFE to FEaround 3 V/μm can be
phase transition.readily provided
ElectrostaticConductive plates are separatedLow power consumptionDifficult to operate electrostaticIJ02, IJ04
platesby a compressible or fluidMany ink types can bedevices in an aqueous environment
dielectric (usually air). UponusedThe electrostatic actuator will
application of a voltage, the platesFast operationnormally need to be separated from
attract each other and displacethe ink
ink, causing drop ejection. TheVery large area required to achieve
conductive plates may be in ahigh forces
comb or honeycomb structure, orHigh voltage drive transistors may
stacked to increase the surfacebe required
area and therefore the force.Full pagewidth print heads are not
competitive due to actuator size
ElectrostaticA strong electric field is appliedLow current consumptionHigh voltage required1989 Saito et al,
pull on inkto the ink, whereupon electrostaticLow temperatureMay be damaged by sparks due toU.S. Pat. No. 4,799,068
attraction accelerates the inkair breakdown1989 Miura et al,
towards the print medium.Required field strength increases asU.S. Pat. No. 4,810,954
the drop size decreasesTone-jet
High voltage drive transistors
required
Electrostatic field attracts dust
PermanentAn electromagnet directly attractsLow power consumptionComplex fabricationIJ07, IJ10
magneta permanent magnet, displacingMany ink types can bePermanent magnetic material such
electro-ink and causing drop ejection.usedas Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB)
magneticRare earth magnets with a fieldFast operationrequired.
strength around 1 Tesla can beHigh efficiencyHigh local currents required
used. Examples are: SamariumEasy extension fromCopper metalization should be used
Cobalt (SaCo) and magneticsingle nozzles tofor long electromigration lifetime
materials in the neodymium ironpagewidth print headsand low resistivity
boron family (NdFeB,Pigmented inks are usually
NdDyFeBNb, NdDyFeB, etc)infeasible
Operating temperature limited to the
Curie temperature (around 540 K)
Soft magneticA solenoid induced a magneticLow power consumptionComplex fabricationIJ01, IJ05, IJ08,
core electro-field in a soft magnetic core orMany ink types can beMaterials not usually present in aIJ10
magneticyoke fabricated from a ferroususedCMOS fab such as NiFe, CoNiFe,IJ12, IJ14, IJ15,
material such as electroplated ironFast operationor CoFe are requiredIJ17
alloys such as CoNiFe [1], CoFe,High efficiencyHigh local currents required
or NiFe alloys. Typically, the softEasy extension fromCopper metalization should be used
magnetic material is in two parts,single nozzles tofor long electromigration lifetime
which are normally held apart bypagewidth print headsand low resistivity
a spring. When the solenoid isElectroplating is required
actuated, the two parts attract,High saturation flux density is
displacing the ink.required (2.0-2.1 T is achievable
with CoNiFe [1])
MagneticThe Lorenz force acting on aLow power consumptionForce acts as a twisting motionIJ06, IJ11, IJ13,
Lorenz forcecurrent carrying wire in aMany ink types can beTypically, only a quarter of theIJ16
magnetic field is utilized.usedsolenoid length provides force in a
This allows the magnetic field toFast operationuseful direction
be supplied externally to the printHigh efficiencyHigh local currents required
head, for example with rare earthEasy extension fromCopper metalization should be used
permanent magnets.single nozzles tofor long electromigration lifetime
Only the current carrying wirepagewidth print headsand low resistivity
need be fabricated on the print-Pigmented inks are usually
head, simplifying materialsinfeasible
requirements.
Magneto-The actuator uses the giantMany ink types can beForce acts as a twisting motionFischenbeck, U.S. Pat. No.
strictionmagnetostrictive effect ofusedUnusual materials such as Terfenol-4,032,929
materials such as Terfenol-D (anFast operationD are requiredIJ25
alloy of terbium, dysprosium andEasy extension fromHigh local currents required
iron developed at the Navalsingle nozzles toCopper metalization should be used
Ordnance Laboratory, hence Ter-pagewidth print headsfor long electromigration lifetime
Fe-NOL). For best efficiency, theHigh force is availableand low resistivity
actuator should be pre-stressed toPre-stressing may be required
approx. 8 MPa.
SurfaceInk under positive pressure is heldLow power consumptionRequires supplementary force toSilverbrook, EP
tensionin a nozzle by surface tension.Simple constructioneffect drop separation0771 658 A2 and
reductionThe surface tension of the ink isNo unusual materialsRequires special ink surfactantsrelated patent
reduced below the bubblerequired in fabricationSpeed may be limited by surfactantapplications
threshold, causing the ink toHigh efficiencyproperties
egress from the nozzle.Easy extension from
single nozzles to
pagewidth print heads
ViscosityThe ink viscosity is locallySimple constructionRequires supplementary force toSilverbrook, EP
reductionreduced to select which drops areNo unusual materialseffect drop separation0771 658 A2 and
to be ejected. A viscosityrequired in fabricationRequires special ink viscosityrelated patent
reduction can be achievedEasy extension frompropertiesapplications
electrothermally with most inks,single nozzles toHigh speed is difficult to achieve
but special inks can be engineeredpagewidth print headsRequires oscillating ink pressure
for a 100:1 viscosity reduction.A high temperature difference
(typically 80 degrees) is required
AcousticAn acoustic wave is generatedCan operate without aComplex drive circuitry1993 Hadimioglu et
and focussed upon the dropnozzle plateComplex fabricational, EUP 550,192
ejection region.Low efficiency1993 Elrod et al,
Poor control of drop positionEUP 572,220
Poor control of drop volume
ThermoelasticAn actuator which relies uponLow power consumptionEfficient aqueous operation requiresIJ03, IJ09, IJ17,
benddifferential thermal expansionMany ink types can bea thermal insulator on the hot sideIJ18
actuatorupon Joule heating is used.usedCorrosion prevention can beIJ19, IJ20, IJ21,
Simple planar fabricationdifficultIJ22
Small chip area requiredPigmented inks may be infeasible,IJ23, IJ24, IJ27,
for each actuatoras pigment particles may jam theIJ28
Fast operationbend actuatorIJ29, IJ30, IJ31,
High efficiencyIJ32
CMOS compatibleIJ33, IJ34, IJ35,
voltages and currentsIJ36
Standard MEMSIJ37, IJ38, IJ39,
processes can be usedIJ40
Easy extension fromIJ41
single nozzles to
pagewidth print heads
High CTEA material with a very highHigh force can beRequires special material (e.g.IJ09, IJ17, IJ18,
thermoelasticcoefficient of thermal expansiongeneratedPTFE)IJ20
actuator(CTE) such asPTFE is a candidate forRequires a PTFE depositionIJ21, IJ22, IJ23,
polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) islow dielectric constantprocess, which is not yet standard inIJ24
used. As high CTE materials areinsulation in ULSIULSI fabsIJ27, IJ28, IJ29,
usually non-conductive, a heaterVery low powerPTFE deposition cannot beIJ30
fabricated from a conductiveconsumptionfollowed with high temperatureIJ31, IJ42, IJ43,
material is incorporated. A 50 μmMany ink types can be(above 350° C.) processingIJ44
long PTFE bend actuator withusedPigmented inks may be infeasible,
polysilicon heater and 15 mWSimple planar fabricationas pigment particles may jam the
power input can provide 180 μNSmall chip area requiredbend actuator
force and 10 μm deflection.for each actuator
Actuator motions include:Fast operation
1) BendHigh efficiency
2) PushCMOS compatible
3) Bucklevoltages and currents
4) RotateEasy extension from
single nozzles to
pagewidth print heads
ConductiveA polymer with a high coefficientHigh force can beRequires special materialsIJ24
polymerof thermal expansion (such asgenerateddevelopment (High CTE conductive
thermoelasticPTFE) is doped with conductingVery low powerpolymer)
actuatorsubstances to increase itsconsumptionRequires a PTFE deposition
conductivity to about 3 orders ofMany ink types can beprocess, which is not yet standard in
magnitude below that of copper.usedULSI fabs
The conducting polymer expandsSimple planar fabricationPTFE deposition cannot be
when resistively heated.Small chip area requiredfollowed with high temperature
Examples of conducting dopantsfor each actuator(above 350° C.) processing
include:Fast operationEvaporation and CVD deposition
1) Carbon nanotubesHigh efficiencytechniques cannot be used
2) Metal fibersCMOS compatiblePigmented inks may be infeasible,
3) Conductive polymers such asvoltages and currentsas pigment particles may jam the
doped polythiopheneEasy extension frombend actuator
4) Carbon granulessingle nozzles to
pagewidth print heads
ShapeA shape memory alloy such asHigh force is availableFatigue limits maximum number ofIJ26
memory alloyTiNi (also known as Nitinol -(stresses of hundreds ofcycles
Nickel Titanium alloy developedMPa)Low strain (1%) is required to
at the Naval OrdnanceLarge strain is availableextend fatigue resistance
Laboratory) is thermally switched(more than 3%)Cycle rate limited by heat removal
between its weak martensitic stateHigh corrosion resistanceRequires unusual materials (TiNi)
and its high stiffness austenicSimple constructionThe latent heat of transformation
state. The shape of the actuator inEasy extension frommust be provided
its martensitic state is deformedsingle nozzles toHigh current operation
relative to the austenic shape. Thepagewidth print headsRequires pre-stressing to distort the
shape change causes ejection of aLow voltage operationmartensitic state
drop.
LinearLinear magnetic actuators includeLinear MagneticRequires unusual semiconductorIJ12
Magneticthe Linear Induction Actuatoractuators can bematerials such as soft magnetic
Actuator(LIA), Linear Permanent Magnetconstructed with highalloys (e.g. CoNiFe [1])
Synchronous Actuator (LPMSA),thrust, long travel, andSome varieties also require
Linear Reluctance Synchronoushigh efficiency usingpermanent magnetic materials such
Actuator (LRSA), Linearplanar semiconductoras Neodymium iron boron (NdFeB)
Switched Reluctance Actuatorfabrication techniquesRequires complex multi-phase drive
(LSRA), and the Linear StepperLong actuator travel iscircuitry
Actuator (LSA).availableHigh current operation
Medium force is available
Low voltage operation

BASIC OPERATION MODE
Operational
modeDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
ActuatorThis is the simplest mode ofSimple operationDrop repetition rate is usuallyThermal inkjet
directlyoperation: the actuator directlyNo external fieldslimited to less than 10 KHz.Piezoelectric inkjet
pushes inksupplies sufficient kinetic energyrequiredHowever, this is not fundamental toIJ01, IJ02, IJ03,
to expel the drop. The drop mustSatellite drops can bethe method, but is related to theIJ04
have a sufficient velocity toavoided if drop velocity isrefill method normally usedIJ05, IJ06, IJ07,
overcome the surface tension.less than 4 m/sAll of the drop kinetic energy mustIJ09
Can be efficient,be provided by the actuatorIJ11, IJ12, IJ14,
depending upon theSatellite drops usually form if dropIJ16
actuator usedvelocity is greater than 4.5 m/sIJ20, IJ22, IJ23,
IJ24
IJ25, IJ26, IJ27,
IJ28
IJ29, IJ30, IJ31,
IJ32
IJ33, IJ34, IJ35,
IJ36
IJ37, IJ38, IJ39,
IJ40
IJ41, IJ42, IJ43,
IJ44
ProximityThe drops to be printed areVery simple print headRequires close proximity betweenSilverbrook, EP
selected by some manner (e.g.fabrication can be usedthe print head and the print media or0771 658 A2 and
thermally induced surface tensionThe drop selection meanstransfer rollerrelated patent
reduction of pressurized ink).does not need to provideMay require two print headsapplications
Selected drops are separated fromthe energy required toprinting alternate rows of the image
the ink in the nozzle by contactseparate the drop from theMonolithic color print heads are
with the print medium or anozzledifficult
transfer roller.
ElectrostaticThe drops to be printed areVery simple print headRequires very high electrostaticSilverbrook, EP
pull on inkselected by some manner (e.g.fabrication can be usedfield0771 658 A2 and
thermally induced surface tensionThe drop selection meansElectrostatic field for small nozzlerelated patent
reduction of pressurized ink).does not need to providesizes is above air breakdownapplications
Selected drops are separated fromthe energy required toElectrostatic field may attract dustTone-Jet
the ink in the nozzle by a strongseparate the drop from the
electric field.nozzle
MagneticThe drops to be printed areVery simple print headRequires magnetic inkSilverbrook, EP
pullselected by some manner (e.g.fabrication can be usedInk colors other than black are0771 658 A2 and
on inkthermally induced surface tensionThe drop selection meansdifficultrelated patent
reduction of pressurized ink).does not need to provideRequires very high magnetic fieldsapplications
Selected drops are separated fromthe energy required to
the ink in the nozzle by a strongseparate the drop from the
magnetic field acting on thenozzle
magnetic ink.
ShutterThe actuator moves a shutter toHigh speed (>50 KHz)Moving parts are requiredIJ13, IJ17, IJ21
block ink flow to the nozzle. Theoperation can be achievedRequires ink pressure modulator
ink pressure is pulsed at adue to reduced refill timeFriction and wear must be
multiple of the drop ejectionDrop timing can be veryconsidered
frequency.accurateStiction is possible
The actuator energy can
be very low
ShutteredThe actuator moves a shutter toActuators with smallMoving parts are requiredIJ08, IJ15, IJ18,
grillblock ink flow through a grill totravel can be usedRequires ink pressure modulatorIJ19
the nozzle. The shutter movementActuators with smallFriction and wear must be
need only be equal to the width offorce can be usedconsidered
the grill holes.High speed (>50 KHz)Stiction is possible
operation can be achieved
PulsedA pulsed magnetic field attractsExtremely low energyRequires an external pulsedIJ10
magnetican ‘ink pusher’ at the dropoperation is possiblemagnetic field
pullejection frequency. An actuatorNo heat dissipationRequires special materials for both
on inkcontrols a catch, which preventsproblemsthe actuator and the ink pusher
pusherthe ink pusher from moving whenComplex construction
a drop is not to be ejected.

AUXILIARY MECHANISM (APPLIED TO ALL NOZZLES)
Auxiliary
MechanismDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
NoneThe actuator directly fires the inkSimplicity of constructionDrop ejection energy must beMost inkjets,
drop, and there is no external fieldSimplicity of operationsupplied by individual nozzleincluding
or other mechanism required.Small physical sizeactuatorpiezoelectric and
thermal bubble.
IJ01-IJ07, IJ09,
IJ11
IJ12, IJ14, IJ20,
IJ22
IJ23-IJ45
OscillatingThe ink pressure oscillates,Oscillating ink pressureRequires external ink pressureSilverbrook, EP
ink pressureproviding much of the dropcan provide a refill pulse,oscillator0771 658 A2 and
(includingejection energy. The actuatorallowing higher operatingInk pressure phase and amplituderelated patent
acousticselects which drops are to be firedspeedmust be carefully controlledapplications
stimulation)by selectively blocking orThe actuators mayAcoustic reflections in the inkIJ08, IJ13, IJ15,
enabling nozzles. The inkoperate with much lowerchamber must be designed forIJ17
pressure oscillation may beenergyIJ18, IJ19, IJ21
achieved by vibrating the printAcoustic lenses can be
head, or preferably by an actuatorused to focus the sound
in the ink supply.on the nozzles
MediaThe print head is placed in closeLow powerPrecision assembly requiredSilverbrook, EP
proximityproximity to the print medium.High accuracyPaper fibers may cause problems0771 658 A2 and
Selected drops protrude from theSimple print headCannot print on rough substratesrelated patent
print head further than unselectedconstructionapplications
drops, and contact the print
medium. The drop soaks into the
medium fast enough to cause drop
separation.
TransferDrops are printed to a transferHigh accuracyBulkySilverbrook, EP
rollerroller instead of straight to theWide range of printExpensive0771 658 A2 and
print medium. A transfer rollersubstrates can be usedComplex constructionrelated patent
can also be used for proximityInk can be dried on theapplications
drop separation.transfer rollerTektronix hot melt
piezoelectric inkjet
Any of the IJ series
ElectrostaticAn electric field is used toLow powerField strength required forSilverbrook, EP
accelerate selected drops towardsSimple print headseparation of small drops is near or0771 658 A2 and
the print medium.constructionabove air breakdownrelated patent
applications
Tone-Jet
DirectA magnetic field is used toLow powerRequires magnetic inkSilverbrook, EP
magneticaccelerate selected drops ofSimple print headRequires strong magnetic field0771 658 A2 and
fieldmagnetic ink towards the printconstructionrelated patent
medium.applications
CrossThe print head is placed in aDoes not requireRequires external magnetIJ06, IJ16
magneticconstant magnetic field. Themagnetic materials to beCurrent densities may be high,
fieldLorenz force in a current carryingintegrated in the printresulting in electromigration
wire is used to move the actuator.head manufacturingproblems
process
PulsedA pulsed magnetic field is used toVery low powerComplex print head constructionIJ10
magneticcyclically attract a paddle, whichoperation is possibleMagnetic materials required in print
fieldpushes on the ink. A smallSmall print head sizehead
actuator moves a catch, which
selectively prevents the paddle
from moving.

ACTUATOR AMPLIFICATION OR MODIFICATION METHOD
Actuator
amplificationDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
NoneNo actuator mechanicalOperational simplicityMany actuator mechanisms haveThermal Bubble
amplification is used. Theinsufficient travel, or insufficientInkjet
actuator directly drives the dropforce, to efficiently drive the dropIJ01, IJ02, IJ06,
ejection process.ejection processIJ07
IJ16, IJ25, IJ26
DifferentialAn actuator material expandsProvides greater travel inHigh stresses are involvedPiezoelectric
expansion bendmore on one side than on thea reduced print head areaCare must be taken that theIJ03, IJ09, IJ17-IJ24
actuatorother. The expansion may beThe bend actuatormaterials do not delaminateIJ27, IJ29-IJ39,
thermal, piezoelectric,converts a high force lowResidual bend resulting from highIJ42,
magnetostrictive, or othertravel actuatortemperature or high stress duringIJ43, IJ44
mechanism.mechanism to high travel,formation
lower force mechanism.
Transient bendA trilayer bend actuator where theVery good temperatureHigh stresses are involvedIJ40, IJ41
actuatortwo outside layers are identical.stabilityCare must be taken that the
This cancels bend due to ambientHigh speed, as a newmaterials do not delaminate
temperature and residual stress.drop can be fired before
The actuator only responds toheat dissipates
transient heating of one side or theCancels residual stress of
other.formation
Actuator stackA series of thin actuators areIncreased travelIncreased fabrication complexitySome piezoelectric
stacked. This can be appropriateReduced drive voltageIncreased possibility of shortink jets
where actuators require highcircuits due to pinholesIJ04
electric field strength, such as
electrostatic and piezoelectric
actuators.
MultipleMultiple smaller actuators areIncreases the forceActuator forces may not addIJ12, IJ13, IJ18,
actuatorsused simultaneously to move theavailable from an actuatorlinearly, reducing efficiencyIJ20
ink. Each actuator need provideMultiple actuators can beIJ22, IJ28, IJ42,
only a portion of the forcepositioned to control inkIJ43
required.flow accurately
Linear SpringA linear spring is used toMatches low travelRequires print head area for theIJ15
transform a motion with smallactuator with higherspring
travel and high force into a longertravel requirements
travel, lower force motion.Non-contact method of
motion transformation
ReverseThe actuator loads a spring. WhenBetter coupling to the inkFabrication complexityIJ05, IJ11
springthe actuator is turned off, theHigh stress in the spring
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.
CoiledA bend actuator is coiled toIncreases travelGenerally restricted to planarIJ17, IJ21, IJ34,
actuatorprovide greater travel in a reducedReduces chip areaimplementations due to extremeIJ35
chip area.Planar implementationsfabrication difficulty in other
are relatively easy toorientations.
fabricate.
Flexure bendA bend actuator has a smallSimple means ofCare must be taken not to exceedIJ10, IJ19, IJ33
actuatorregion near the fixture point,increasing travel of athe elastic limit in the flexure area
which flexes much more readilybend actuatorStress distribution is very uneven
than the remainder of the actuator.Difficult to accurately model with
The actuator flexing is effectivelyfinite element analysis
converted from an even coiling to
an angular bend, resulting in
greater travel of the actuator tip.
GearsGears can be used to increaseLow force, low travelMoving parts are requiredIJ13
travel at the expense of duration.actuators can be usedSeveral actuator cycles are required
Circular gears, rack and pinion,Can be fabricated usingMore complex drive electronics
ratchets, and other gearingstandard surface MEMSComplex construction
methods can be used.processesFriction, friction, and wear are
possible
CatchThe actuator controls a smallVery low actuator energyComplex constructionIJ10
catch. The catch either enables orVery small actuator sizeRequires external force
disables movement of an inkUnsuitable for pigmented inks
pusher that is controlled in a bulk
manner.
Buckle plateA buckle plate can be used toVery fast movementMust stay within elastic limits of theS. Hirata et al, “An
change a slow actuator into a fastachievablematerials for long device lifeInk-jet Head ...”,
motion. It can also convert a highHigh stresses involvedProc. IEEE MEMS,
force, low travel actuator into aGenerally high power requirementFebruary 1996, pp 418-423.
high travel, medium force motion.IJ18, IJ27
TaperedA tapered magnetic pole canLinearizes the magneticComplex constructionIJ14
magneticincrease travel at the expense offorce/distance curve
poleforce.
LeverA lever and fulcrum is used toMatches low travelHigh stress around the fulcrumIJ32, IJ36, IJ37
transform a motion with smallactuator with higher
travel and high force into atravel requirements
motion with longer travel andFulcrum area has no
lower force. The lever can alsolinear movement, and can
reverse the direction of travel.be used for a fluid seal
Rotary impellerThe actuator is connected to aHigh mechanicalComplex constructionIJ28
rotary impeller. A small angularadvantageUnsuitable for pigmented inks
deflection of the actuator resultsThe ratio of force to
in a rotation of the impeller vanes,travel of the actuator can
which push the ink againstbe matched to the nozzle
stationary vanes and out of therequirements by varying
nozzle.the number of impeller
vanes
Acoustic lensA refractive or diffractive (e.g.No moving partsLarge area required1993 Hadimioglu et
zone plate) acoustic lens is used toOnly relevant for acoustic ink jetsal, EUP 550,192
concentrate sound waves.1993 Elrod et al,
EUP 572,220
Sharp conductiveA sharp point is used toSimple constructionDifficult to fabricate using standardTone-jet
pointconcentrate an electrostatic field.VLSI processes for a surface
ejecting ink-jet
Only relevant for electrostatic ink
jets

ACTUATOR MOTION
Actuator
motionDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
VolumeThe volume of the actuatorSimple construction inHigh energy is typically required toHewlett-Packard
expansionchanges, pushing the ink in allthe case of thermal ink jetachieve volume expansion. ThisThermal Inkjet
directions.leads to thermal stress, cavitation,Canon Bubblejet
and kogation in thermal ink jet
implementations
Linear,The actuator moves in a directionEfficient coupling to inkHigh fabrication complexity may beIJ01, IJ02, IJ04,
normal tonormal to the print head surface.drops ejected normal torequired to achieve perpendicularIJ07
chip surfaceThe nozzle is typically in the linethe surfacemotionIJ11, IJ14
of movement.
Linear, parallelThe actuator moves parallel to theSuitable for planarFabrication complexityIJ12, IJ13, IJ15,
toprint head surface. Drop ejectionfabricationFrictionIJ33,
chip surfacemay still be normal to the surface.StictionIJ34, IJ35, IJ36
MembraneAn actuator with a high force butThe effective area of theFabrication complexity1982 Howkins U.S. Pat. No.
pushsmall area is used to push a stiffactuator becomes theActuator size4,459,601
membrane that is in contact withmembrane areaDifficulty of integration in a VLSI
the ink.process
RotaryThe actuator causes the rotation ofRotary levers may beDevice complexityIJ05, IJ08, IJ13,
some element, such a grill orused to increase travelMay have friction at a pivot pointIJ28
impellerSmall chip area
requirements
BendThe actuator bends whenA very small change inRequires the actuator to be made1970 Kyser et al
energized. This may be due todimensions can befrom at least two distinct layers, orU.S. Pat. No. 3,946,398
differential thermal expansion,converted to a largeto have a thermal difference across1973 Stemme U.S. Pat. No.
piezoelectric expansion,motion.the actuator3,747,120
magnetostriction, or other form ofIJ03, IJ09, IJ10,
relative dimensional change.IJ19
IJ23, IJ24, IJ25,
IJ29
IJ30, IJ31, IJ33,
IJ34
IJ35
SwivelThe actuator swivels around aAllows operation whereInefficient coupling to the inkIJ06
central pivot. This motion isthe net linear force on themotion
suitable where there are oppositepaddle is zero
forces applied to opposite sides ofSmall chip area
the paddle, e.g. Lorenz force.requirements
StraightenThe actuator is normally bent, andCan be used with shapeRequires careful balance of stressesIJ26, IJ32
straightens when energized.memory alloys where theto ensure that the quiescent bend is
austenic phase is planaraccurate
Double bendThe actuator bends in oneOne actuator can be usedDifficult to make the drops ejectedIJ36, IJ37, IJ38
direction when one element isto power two nozzles.by both bend directions identical.
energized, and bends the otherReduced chip size.A small efficiency loss compared to
way when another element isNot sensitive to ambientequivalent single bend actuators.
energized.temperature
ShearEnergizing the actuator causes aCan increase the effectiveNot readily applicable to other1985 Fishbeck U.S. Pat. No.
shear motion in the actuatortravel of piezoelectricactuator mechanisms4,584,590
material.actuators
RadialThe actuator squeezes an inkRelatively easy toHigh force required1970 Zoltan U.S. Pat. No.
constrictionreservoir, forcing ink from afabricate single nozzlesInefficient3,683,212
constricted nozzle.from glass tubing asDifficult to integrate with VLSI
macroscopic structuresprocesses
Coil/uncoilA coiled actuator uncoils or coilsEasy to fabricate as aDifficult to fabricate for non-planarIJ17, IJ21, IJ34,
more tightly. The motion of theplanar VLSI processdevicesIJ35
free end of the actuator ejects theSmall area required,Poor out-of-plane stiffness
ink.therefore low cost
BowThe actuator bows (or buckles) inCan increase the speed ofMaximum travel is constrainedIJ16, IJ18, IJ27
the middle when energized.travelHigh force required
Mechanically rigid
Push-PullTwo actuators control a shutter.The structure is pinned atNot readily suitable for inkjetsIJ18
One actuator pulls the shutter, andboth ends, so has a highwhich directly push the ink
the other pushes it.out-of-plane rigidity
Curl inwardsA set of actuators curl inwards toGood fluid flow to theDesign complexityIJ20, IJ42
reduce the volume of ink that theyregion behind the actuator
enclose.increases efficiency
CurlA set of actuators curl outwards,Relatively simpleRelatively large chip areaIJ43
outwardspressurizing ink in a chamberconstruction
surrounding the actuators, and
expelling ink from a nozzle in the
chamber.
IrisMultiple vanes enclose a volumeHigh efficiencyHigh fabrication complexityIJ22
of ink. These simultaneouslySmall chip areaNot suitable for pigmented inks
rotate, reducing the volume
between the vanes.
AcousticThe actuator vibrates at a highThe actuator can beLarge area required for efficient1993 Hadimioglu et
vibrationfrequency.physically distant fromoperation at useful frequenciesal, EUP 550,192
the inkAcoustic coupling and crosstalk1993 Elrod et al,
Complex drive circuitryEUP 572,220
Poor control of drop volume and
position
NoneIn various ink jet designs theNo moving partsVarious other tradeoffs are requiredSilverbrook, EP
actuator does not move.to eliminate moving parts0771 658 A2 and
related patent
applications
Tone-jet

NOZZLE REFILL METHOD
Nozzle refill
methodDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
SurfaceAfter the actuator is energized, itFabrication simplicityLow speedThermal inkjet
tensiontypically returns rapidly to itsOperational simplicitySurface tension force relativelyPiezoelectric inkjet
normal position. This rapid returnsmall compared to actuator forceIJ01-IJ07, IJ10-IJ14
sucks in air through the nozzleLong refill time usually dominatesIJ16, IJ20, IJ22-IJ45
opening. The ink surface tensionthe total repetition rate
at the nozzle then exerts a small
force restoring the meniscus to a
minimum area.
ShutteredInk to the nozzle chamber isHigh speedRequires common ink pressureIJ08, IJ13, IJ15,
oscillatingprovided at a pressure thatLow actuator energy, asoscillatorIJ17
ink pressureoscillates at twice the dropthe actuator need onlyMay not be suitable for pigmentedIJ18, IJ19, IJ21
ejection frequency. When a dropopen or close the shutter,inks
is to be ejected, the shutter isinstead of ejecting the ink
opened for 3 half cycles: dropdrop
ejection, actuator return, and
refill.
RefillAfter the main actuator hasHigh speed, as the nozzleRequires two independent actuatorsIJ09
actuatorejected a drop a second (refill)is actively refilledper nozzle
actuator is energized. The refill
actuator pushes ink into the
nozzle chamber. The refill
actuator returns slowly, to prevent
its return from emptying the
chamber again.
Positive inkThe ink is held a slight positiveHigh refill rate, thereforeSurface spill must be preventedSilverbrook, EP
pressurepressure. After the ink drop isa high drop repetition rateHighly hydrophobic print head0771 658 A2 and
ejected, the nozzle chamber fillsis possiblesurfaces are requiredrelated patent
quickly as surface tension and inkapplications
pressure both operate to refill theAlternative for:
nozzle.IJ01-IJ07, IJ10-IJ14
IJ16, IJ20, IJ22-IJ45

METHOD OF RESTRICTING BACK-FLOW THROUGH INLET
Inlet back-
flow
restriction
methodDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
Long inletThe ink inlet channel to the nozzleDesign simplicityRestricts refill rateThermal inkjet
channelchamber is made long andOperational simplicityMay result in a relatively large chipPiezoelectric inkjet
relatively narrow, relying onReduces crosstalkareaIJ42, IJ43
viscous drag to reduce inlet back-Only partially effective
flow.
Positive inkThe ink is under a positiveDrop selection andRequires a method (such as a nozzleSilverbrook, EP
pressurepressure, so that in the quiescentseparation forces can berim or effective hydrophobizing, or0771 658 A2 and
state some of the ink drop alreadyreducedboth) to prevent flooding of therelated patent
protrudes from the nozzle.Fast refill timeejection surface of the print head.applications
This reduces the pressure in thePossible operation
nozzle chamber which is requiredof the following:
to eject a certain volume of ink.IJ01-IJ07, IJ09-IJ12
The reduction in chamberIJ14, IJ16, IJ20,
pressure results in a reduction inIJ22,
ink pushed out through the inlet.IJ23-IJ34, IJ36-IJ41
IJ44
BaffleOne or more baffles are placed inThe refill rate is not asDesign complexityHP Thermal Ink Jet
the inlet ink flow. When therestricted as the long inletMay increase fabricationTektronix
actuator is energized, the rapid inkmethod.complexity (e.g. Tektronix hot meltpiezoelectric ink jet
movement creates eddies whichReduces crosstalkPiezoelectric print heads).
restrict the flow through the inlet.
The slower refill process is
unrestricted, and does not result in
eddies.
Flexible flapIn this method recently disclosedSignificantly reducesNot applicable to most inkjetCanon
restricts inletby Canon, the expanding actuatorback-flow for edge-configurations
(bubble) pushes on a flexible flapshooter thermal ink jetIncreased fabrication complexity
that restricts the inlet.devicesInelastic deformation of polymer
flap results in creep over extended
use
Inlet filterA filter is located between the inkAdditional advantage ofRestricts refill rateIJ04, IJ12, IJ24,
inlet and the nozzle chamber. Theink filtrationMay result in complex constructionIJ27
filter has a multitude of smallInk filter may beIJ29, IJ30
holes or slots, restricting ink flow.fabricated with no
The filter also removes particlesadditional process steps
which may block the nozzle.
Small inletThe ink inlet channel to the nozzleDesign simplicityRestricts refill rateIJ02, IJ37, IJ44
compared tochamber has a substantiallyMay result in a relatively large chip
nozzlesmaller cross section than that ofarea
the nozzle, resulting in easier inkOnly partially effective
egress out of the nozzle than out
of the inlet.
Inlet shutterA secondary actuator controls theIncreases speed of theRequires separate refill actuator andIJ09
position of a shutter, closing offink-jet print headdrive circuit
the ink inlet when the mainoperation
actuator is energized.
The inlet isThe method avoids the problem ofBack-flow problem isRequires careful design to minimizeIJ01, IJ03, IJ05,
locatedinlet back-flow by arranging theeliminatedthe negative pressure behind theIJ06
behind theink-pushing surface of thepaddleIJ07, IJ10, IJ11,
ink-pushingactuator between the inlet and theIJ14
surfacenozzle.IJ16, IJ22, IJ23,
IJ25
IJ28, IJ31, IJ32,
IJ33
IJ34, IJ35, IJ36,
IJ39
IJ40, IJ41
Part of theThe actuator and a wall of the inkSignificant reductions inSmall increase in fabricationIJ07, IJ20, IJ26,
actuatorchamber are arranged so that theback-flow can becomplexityIJ38
moves tomotion of the actuator closes offachieved
shut off thethe inlet.Compact designs possible
inlet
NozzleIn some configurations of ink jet,Ink back-flow problem isNone related to ink back-flow onSilverbrook, EP
actuator doesthere is no expansion oreliminatedactuation0771 658 A2 and
not result inmovement of an actuator whichrelated patent
inkmay cause ink back-flow throughapplications
back-flowthe inlet.Valve-jet
Tone-jet
IJ08, IJ13, IJ15,
IJ17
IJ18, IJ19, IJ21

NOZZLE CLEARING METHOD
Nozzle
Clearing
methodDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
NormalAll of the nozzles are firedNo added complexity onMay not be sufficient to displaceMost ink jet
nozzle firingperiodically, before the ink has athe print headdried inksystems
chance to dry. When not in useIJ01-IJ07, IJ09-IJ12
the nozzles are sealed (capped)IJ14, IJ16, IJ20,
against air.IJ22
The nozzle firing is usuallyIJ23-IJ34, IJ36-IJ45
performed during a special
clearing cycle, after first moving
the print head to a cleaning
station.
Extra powerIn systems which heat the ink, butCan be highly effective ifRequires higher drive voltage forSilverbrook, EP
to ink heaterdo not boil it under normalthe heater is adjacent toclearing0771 658 A2 and
situations, nozzle clearing can bethe nozzleMay require larger drive transistorsrelated patent
achieved by over-powering theapplications
heater and boiling ink at the
nozzle.
RapidThe actuator is fired in rapidDoes not require extraEffectiveness depends substantiallyMay be used with:
successionsuccession. In somedrive circuits on the printupon the configuration of the inkjetIJ01-IJ07, IJ09-IJ11
of actuatorconfigurations, this may causeheadnozzleIJ14, IJ16, IJ20,
pulsesheat build-up at the nozzle whichCan be readily controlledIJ22
boils the ink, clearing the nozzle.and initiated by digitalIJ23-IJ25, IJ27-IJ34
In other situations, it may causelogicIJ36-IJ45
sufficient vibrations to dislodge
clogged nozzles.
Extra powerWhere an actuator is not normallyA simple solution whereNot suitable where there is a hardMay be used with:
to inkdriven to the limit of its motion,applicablelimit to actuator movementIJ03, IJ09, IJ16,
pushingnozzle clearing may be assistedIJ20
actuatorby providing an enhanced driveIJ23, IJ24, IJ25,
signal to the actuator.IJ27
IJ29, IJ30, IJ31,
IJ32
IJ39, IJ40, IJ41,
IJ42
IJ43, IJ44, IJ45
AcousticAn ultrasonic wave is applied toA high nozzle clearingHigh implementation cost if systemIJ08, IJ13, IJ15,
resonancethe ink chamber. This wave is ofcapability can bedoes not already include an acousticIJ17
an appropriate amplitude andachievedactuatorIJ18, IJ19, IJ21
frequency to cause sufficient forceMay be implemented at
at the nozzle to clear blockages.very low cost in systems
This is easiest to achieve if thewhich already include
ultrasonic wave is at a resonantacoustic actuators
frequency of the ink cavity.
NozzleA microfabricated plate is pushedCan clear severelyAccurate mechanical alignment isSilverbrook, EP
clearingagainst the nozzles. The plate hasclogged nozzlesrequired0771 658 A2 and
platea post for every nozzle. The arrayMoving parts are requiredrelated patent
of postsThere is risk of damage to theapplications
nozzles
Accurate fabrication is required
Ink pressureThe pressure of the ink isMay be effective whereRequires pressure pump or otherMay be used with
pulsetemporarily increased so that inkother methods cannot bepressure actuatorall IJ series ink jets
streams from all of the nozzles.usedExpensive
This may be used in conjunctionWasteful of ink
with actuator energizing.
Print headA flexible ‘blade’ is wiped acrossEffective for planar printDifficult to use if print head surfaceMany ink jet
wiperthe print head surface. The bladehead surfacesis non-planar or very fragilesystems
is usually fabricated from aLow costRequires mechanical parts
flexible polymer, e.g. rubber orBlade can wear out in high volume
synthetic elastomer.print systems
Separate inkA separate heater is provided atCan be effective whereFabrication complexityCan be used with
boilingthe nozzle although the normalother nozzle clearingmany IJ series ink
heaterdrop e-ection mechanism doesmethods cannot be usedjets
not require it. The heaters do notCan be implemented at no
require individual drive circuits,additional cost in some
as many nozzles can be clearedinkjet configurations
simultaneously, and no imaging is
required.

NOZZLE PLATE CONSTRUCTION
Nozzle plate
constructionDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
ElectroformedA nozzle plate is separatelyFabrication simplicityHigh temperatures and pressures areHewlett Packard
nickelfabricated from electroformedrequired to bond nozzle plateThermal Inkjet
nickel, and bonded to the printMinimum thickness constraints
head chip.Differential thermal expansion
Laser ablated orIndividual nozzle holes areNo masks requiredEach hole must be individuallyCanon Bubblejet
drilled polymerablated by an intense UV laser inCan be quite fastformed1988 Sercel et al.,
a nozzle plate, which is typically aSome control over nozzleSpecial equipment requiredSPIE, Vol. 998
polymer such as polyimide orprofile is possibleSlow where there are manyExcimer Beam
polysulphoneEquipment required isthousands of nozzles per print headApplications, pp.
relatively low costMay produce thin burrs at exit holes76-83
1993 Watanabe et
al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,208,604
Silicon micro-A separate nozzle plate isHigh accuracy isTwo part constructionK. Bean, IEEE
machinedmicromachined from singleattainableHigh costTransactions on
crystal silicon, and bonded to theRequires precision alignmentElectron Devices,
print head wafer.Nozzles may be clogged byVol. ED-25, No. 10,
adhesive1978, pp 1185-1195
Xerox 1990
Hawkins et al., U.S. Pat. No.
4,899,181
GlassFine glass capillaries are drawnNo expensive equipmentVery small nozzle sizes are difficult1970 Zoltan U.S. Pat. No.
capillariesfrom glass tubing. This methodrequiredto form3,683,212
has been used for makingSimple to make singleNot suited for mass production
individual nozzles, but is difficultnozzles
to use for bulk manufacturing of
print heads with thousands of
nozzles.
Monolithic,The nozzle plate is deposited as aHigh accuracy (<1 μm)Requires sacrificial layer under theSilverbrook, EP
surfacelayer using standard VLSIMonolithicnozzle plate to form the nozzle0771 658 A2 and
micro-deposition techniques. NozzlesLow costchamberrelated patent
machinedare etched in the nozzle plateExisting processes can beSurface may be fragile to the touchapplications
using VLSIusing VLSI lithography andusedIJ01, IJ02, IJ04,
lithographicetching.IJ11
processesIJ12, IJ17, IJ18,
IJ20
IJ22, IJ24, IJ27,
IJ28
IJ29, IJ30, IJ31,
IJ32
IJ33, IJ34, IJ36,
IJ37
IJ38, IJ39, IJ40,
IJ41
IJ42, IJ43, IJ44
Monolithic,The nozzle plate is a buried etchHigh accuracy (<1 μm)Requires long etch timesIJ03, IJ05, IJ06,
etchedstop in the wafer. NozzleMonolithicRequires a support waferIJ07
throughchambers are etched in the frontLow costIJ08, IJ09, IJ10,
substrateof the wafer, and the wafer isNo differential expansionIJ13
thinned from the back side.IJ14, IJ15, IJ16,
Nozzles are then etched in theIJ19
etch stop layer.IJ21, IJ23, IJ25,
IJ26
No nozzleVarious methods have been triedNo nozzles to becomeDifficult to control drop positionRicoh 1995 Sekiya
plateto eliminate the nozzles entirely,cloggedaccuratelyet al U.S. Pat. No. 5,412,413
to prevent nozzle clogging. TheseCrosstalk problems1993 Hadimioglu et
include thermal bubbleal EUP 550,192
mechanisms and acoustic lens1993 Elrod et al
mechanismsEUP 572,220
TroughEach drop ejector has a troughReduced manufacturingDrop firing direction is sensitive toIJ35
through which a paddle moves.complexitywicking.
There is no nozzle plate.Monolithic
Nozzle slitThe elimination of nozzle holesNo nozzles to becomeDifficult to control drop position1989 Saito et al
instead ofand replacement by a slitcloggedaccuratelyU.S. Pat. No. 4,799,068
individualencompassing many actuatorCrosstalk problems
nozzlespositions reduces nozzle clogging,
but increases crosstalk due to ink
surface waves

DROP EJECTION DIRECTION
Ejection
directionDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
EdgeInk flow is along the surface ofSimple constructionNozzles limited to edgeCanon Bubblejet
(‘edge shooter’)the chip, and ink drops are ejectedNo silicon etchingHigh resolution is difficult1979 Endo et al GB
from the chip edge.requiredFast color printing requires onepatent 2,007,162
Good heat sinking viaprint head per colorXerox heater-in-pit
substrate1990 Hawkins et al
Mechanically strongU.S. Pat. No. 4,899,181
Ease of chip handingTone-jet
SurfaceInk flow is along the surface ofNo bulk silicon etchingMaximum ink flow is severely restrictedHewlett-Packard
(‘roof shooter’)the chip, and ink drops are ejectedrequiredTIJ 1982 Vaught et
from the chip surface, normal toSilicon can make anal U.S. Pat. No. 4,490,728
the plane of the chip.effective heat sinkIJ02, IJ11, IJ12,
Mechanical strengthIJ20
IJ22
Through chip,Ink flow is through the chip, andHigh ink flowRequires bulk silicon etchingSilverbrook, EP
forwardink drops are ejected from theSuitable for pagewidth0771 658 A2 and
(‘up shooter’)front surface of the chip.printrelated patent
High nozzle packingapplications
density therefore lowIJ04, IJ17, IJ18,
manufacturing costIJ24
IJ27-IJ45
ThroughInk flow is through the chip, andHigh ink flowRequires wafer thinningIJ01, IJ03, IJ05,
chip, reverseink drops are ejected from the rearSuitable for pagewidthRequires special handling duringIJ06
(‘down shooter’)surface of the chip.printmanufactureIJ07, IJ08, IJ09,
High nozzle packingIJ10
density therefore lowIJ13, IJ14, IJ15,
manufacturing costIJ16
IJ19, IJ21, IJ23,
IJ25
IJ26
ThroughInk flow is through the actuator,Suitable for piezoelectricPagewidth print heads requireEpson Stylus
actuatorwhich is not fabricated as part ofprint headsseveral thousand connections toTektronix hot melt
the same substrate as the drivedrive circuitspiezoelectric ink
transistors.Cannot be manufactured in standardjets
CMOS fabs
Complex assembly required

INK TYPE
Ink typeDescriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
Aqueous, dyeWater based ink which typicallyEnvironmentally friendlySlow dryingMost existing
contains: water, dye, surfactant,No odorCorrosiveinkjets
humectant, and biocide.Bleeds on paperAll IJ series ink jets
Modern ink dyes have high water-May strikethroughSilverbrook, EP
fastness, light fastnessCockles paper0771 658 A2 and
related patent
applications
Aqueous, pigmentWater based ink which typicallyEnvironmentally friendlySlow dryingIJ02, IJ04, IJ21,
contains: water, pigment,No odorCorrosiveIJ26
surfactant, humectant, andReduced bleedPigment may clog nozzlesIJ27, IJ30
biocide.Reduced wickingPigment may clog actuatorSilverbrook, EP
Pigments have an advantage inReduced strikethroughmechanisms0771 658 A2 and
reduced bleed, wicking andCockles paperrelated patent
strikethrough.applications
Piezoelectric ink-
jets
Thermal ink jets
(with significant
restrictions)
Methyl EthylMEK is a highly volatile solventVery fast dryingOdorousAll IJ series ink jets
Ketone (MEK)used for industrial printing onPrints on variousFlammable
difficult surfaces such assubstrates such as metals
aluminum cans.and plastics
AlcoholAlcohol based inks can be usedFast dryingSlight odorAll IJ series ink jets
(ethanol, 2-butanol,where the printer must operate atOperates at sub-freezingFlammable
and others)temperatures below the freezingtemperatures
point of water. An example of this isReduced paper cockle
in-camera consumerLow cost
photographic printing.
Phase changeThe ink is solid at roomNo drying time-inkHigh viscosityTektronix hot melt
(hot melt)temperature, and is melted in theinstantly freezes on thePrinted ink typically has a ‘waxy’piezoelectric ink
print head before jetting. Hot meltprint mediumfeeljets
inks are usually wax based, with aAlmost any print mediumPrinted pages may ‘block’1989 Nowak U.S. Pat. No.
melting point around 80° C.. Aftercan be usedInk temperature may be above the4,820,346
jetting the ink freezes almostNo paper cockle occurscurie point of permanent magnetsAll IJ series ink jets
instantly upon contacting the printNo wicking occursInk heaters consume power
medium or a transfer roller.No bleed occursLong warm-up time
No strikethrough occurs
OilOil based inks are extensivelyHigh solubility mediumHigh viscosity: this is a significantAll IJ series ink jets
used in offset printing. They havefor some dyeslimitation for use in inkjets, which
advantages in improvedDoes not cockle paperusually require a low viscosity.
characteristics on paperDoes not wick throughSome short chain and multi-
(especially no wicking or cockle).paperbranched oils have a sufficiently
Oil soluble dies and pigments arelow viscosity.
required.Slow drying
MicroemulsionA microemulsion is a stable, selfStops ink bleedViscosity higher than waterAll IJ series ink jets
forming emulsion of oil, water,High dye solubilityCost is slightly higher than water
and surfactant. The characteristicWater, oil, andbased ink
drop size is less than 100 nm, andamphiphilic soluble diesHigh surfactant concentration
is determined by the preferredcan be usedrequired (around 5%)
curvature of the surfactant.Can stabilize pigment
suspensions

Ink Jet Printing

A large number of new forms of ink jet printers have been developed to facilitate alternative ink jet technologies for the image processing and data distribution system. Various combinations of ink jet devices can be included in printer devices incorporated as part of the present invention. Australian Provisional Patent Applications relating to these ink jets which are specifically incorporated by cross reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianU.S. Pat./Patent
ProvisionalFilingApplication and
NumberDateTitleFiling Date
PO8066Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,227,652
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ01)
PO8072Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,213,588
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ02)
PO8040Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,213,589
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ03)
PO8071Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,231,163
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ04)
PO8047Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,247,795
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ05)
PO8035Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,394,581
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ06)
PO8044Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,244,691
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ07)
PO8063Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,257,704
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ08)
PO8057Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,416,168
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ09)
PO8056Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,220,694
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ10)
PO8069Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,257,705
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ11)
PO8049Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,247,794
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ12)
PO8036Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,234,610
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ13)
PO8048Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,247,793
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ14)
PO8070Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,264,306
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ15)
PO8067Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,241,342
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ16)
PO8001Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,247,792
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ17)
PO8038Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,264,307
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ18)
PO8033Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,254,220
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ19)
PO8002Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,234,611
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ20)
PO8068Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,302,528
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ21)
PO8062Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,283,582
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ22)
PO8034Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,239,821
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ23)
PO8039Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,338,547
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ24)
PO8041Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,247,796
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ25)
PO8004Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation09/113,122
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ26)
PO8037Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,390,603
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ27)
PO8043Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,362,843
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ28)
PO8042Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,293,653
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ29)
PO8064Jul. 17, 1997Image Creation6,312,107
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ30)
PO9389Sep. 23, 1997Image Creation6,227,653
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ31)
PO9391Sep. 23, 1997Image Creation6,234,609
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ32)
PP0888Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,238,040
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ33)
PP0891Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,188,415
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ34)
PP0890Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,227,654
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ35)
PP0873Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,209,989
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ36)
PP0993Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,247,791
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ37)
PP0890Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,336,710
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ38)
PP1398Jan. 19, 1998An Image Creation6,217,153
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ39)
PP2592Mar. 25, 1998An Image Creation6,416,167
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ40)
PP2593Mar. 25, 1998Image Creation6,243,113
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ41)
PP3991Jun. 9, 1998Image Creation6,283,581
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ42)
PP3987Jun. 9, 1998Image Creation6,247,790
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ43)
PP3985Jun. 9, 1998Image Creation6,260,953
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ44)
PP3983Jun. 9, 1998Image Creation6,267,469
Method and(Jul. 10, 1998)
Apparatus (IJ45)

Ink Jet Manufacturing

Further, the present application may utilize advanced semiconductor fabrication techniques in the construction of large arrays of ink jet printers. Suitable manufacturing techniques are described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianU.S. Pat./Patent
ProvisionalFilingApplication and
NumberDateTitleFiling Date
PO7935Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,224,780
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM01)
PO7936Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,235,212
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM02)
PO7937Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,280,643
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM03)
PO8061Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,284,147
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM04)
PO8054Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,214,244
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM05)
PO8065Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,071,750
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM06)
PO8055Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,267,905
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM07)
PO8053Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,251,298
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM08)
PO8078Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,258,285
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM09)
PO7933Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,225,138
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM10)
PO7950Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,241,904
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM11)
PO7949Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,299,786
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM12)
PO8060Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an09/113,124
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM13)
PO8059Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,231,773
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM14)
PO8073Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,190,931
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM15)
PO8076Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,248,249
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM16)
PO8075Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,290,862
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM17)
PO8079Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,241,906
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM18)
PO8050Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an09/113,116
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM19)
PO8052Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,241,905
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM20)
PO7948Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,451,216
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM21)
PO7951Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,231,772
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM22)
PO8074Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,274,056
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM23)
PO7941Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,290,861
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM24)
PO8077Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,248,248
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM25)
PO8058Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,306,671
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM26)
PO8051Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,331,258
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM27)
PO8045Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,110,754
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM28)
PO7952Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,294,101
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM29)
PO8046Jul. 15, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,416,679
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM30)
PO8503Aug. 11, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,264,849
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM30a)
PO9390Sep. 23, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,254,793
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM31)
PO9392Sep. 23, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,235,211
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM32)
PP0889Dec. 12, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,235,211
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM35)
PP0887Dec. 12, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,264,850
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM36)
PP0882Dec. 12, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,258,284
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM37)
PP0874Dec. 12, 1997A Method of Manufacture of an6,258,284
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM38)
PP1396Jan. 19, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,228,668
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM39)
PP2591Mar. 25, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,180,427
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM41)
PP3989Jun. 9, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,171,875
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM40)
PP3990Jun. 9, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,267,904
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM42)
PP3986Jun. 9, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,245,247
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM43)
PP3984Jun. 9, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,245,247
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM44)
PP3982Jun. 9, 1998A Method of Manufacture of an6,231,148
Image Creation Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IJM45)

Fluid Supply

Further, the present application may utilize an ink delivery system to the ink jet head. Delivery systems relating to the supply of ink to a series of ink jet nozzles are described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications, the disclosure of which are hereby incorporated by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianU.S. Pat./Patent
ProvisionalFilingApplication and
NumberDateTitleFiling Date
PO8003Jul. 15, 1997Supply Method and6,350,023
Apparatus (F1)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8005Jul. 15, 1997Supply Method and6,318,849
Apparatus (F2)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9404Sep. 23, 1997A Device and Method09/113,101
(F3)(Jul. 10, 1998)

MEMS Technology

Further, the present application may utilize advanced semiconductor microelectromechanical techniques in the construction of large arrays of ink jet printers. Suitable microelectromechanical techniques are described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianU.S. Pat./Patent
ProvisionalApplication and
NumberFiling DateTitleFiling Date
PO7943Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS01)
PO8006Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS02)6,087,638
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8007Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS03)09/113,093
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8008Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS04)6,340,222
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8010Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS05)6,041,600
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8011Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS06)6,299,300
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7947Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS07)6,067,797
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7945Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS08)09/113,081
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7944Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS09)6,286,935
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7946Jul. 15, 1997A device (MEMS10)6,044,646
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9393Sep. 23, 1997A Device and Method09/113,065
(MEMS11)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0875Dec. 12, 1997A Device (MEMS12)09/113,078
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0894Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method09/113,075
(MEMS13)(Jul. 10, 1998)

IR Technologies

Further, the present application may include the utilization of a disposable camera system such as those described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianU.S. Pat./Patent
ProvisionalFilingApplication and
NumberDateTitleFiling Date
PP0895Dec. 12, 1997An Image6,231,148
Creation Method(Jul. 10, 1998)
and Apparatus (IR01)
PP0870Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method09/113,106
(IR02)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0869Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method6,293,658
(IR04)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0887Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation09/113,104
Method(Jul. 10, 1998)
and Apparatus (IR05)
PP0885Dec. 12, 1997An Image Production6,238,033
System (IR06)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0884Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,312,070
Method(Jul. 10, 1998)
and Apparatus (IR10)
PP0886Dec. 12, 1997Image Creation6,238,111
Method(Jul. 10, 1998)
and Apparatus (IR12)
PP0871Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method09/113,086
(IR13)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0876Dec. 12, 1997An Image Processing09/113,094
Method and Apparatus(Jul. 10, 1998)
(IR14)
PP0877Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method6,378,970
(IR16)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0878Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method6,196,739
(IR17)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0879Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method09/112,774
(IR18)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0883Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method6,270,182
(IR19)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0880Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method6,152,619
(IR20)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0881Dec. 12, 1997A Device and Method09/113,092
(IR21)(Jul. 10, 1998)

DotCard Technologies

Further, the present application may include the utilization of a data distribution system such as that described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianUS Patent/Patent
ProvisionalFilingApplication and
NumberDateTitleFiling Date
PP2370Mar. 16, 1998Data Processing09/112,781
Method(Jul. 10, 1998)
and Apparatus (Dot01)
PP2371Mar. 16, 1998Data Processing09/113,052
Method(Jul. 10, 1998)
and Apparatus (Dot02)

Artcam Technologies

Further, the present application may include the utilization of camera and data processing techniques such as an Artcam type device as described in the following Australian provisional patent specifications incorporated here by cross-reference. The serial numbers of respective corresponding US patent applications are also provided for the sake of convenience.

AustralianU.S. Pat./Patent
ProvisionalFilingApplication and
NumberDateTitleFiling Date
PO7991Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/113,060
Apparatus (ART01)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7988Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and6,476,863
Apparatus (ART02)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7993Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/113,073
Apparatus (ART03)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9395Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,322,181
Apparatus (ART04)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8017Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,747
Apparatus (ART06)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8014Jul. 15, 1997Media Device (ART07)6,227,648
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8025Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,750
Apparatus (ART08)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8032Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,746
Apparatus (ART09)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7999Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,743
Apparatus (ART10)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7998Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,742
Apparatus (ART11)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8031Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,741
Apparatus (ART12)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8030Jul. 15, 1997Media Device (ART13)6,196,541
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7997Jul. 15, 1997Media Device (ART15)6,195,150
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7979Jul. 15, 1997Media Device (ART16)6,362,868
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8015Jul. 15, 1997Media Device (ART17)09/112,738
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7978Jul. 15, 1997Media Device (ART18)09/113, 067
(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7982Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and6,431,669
Apparatus (ART19)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7989Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and6,362,869
Apparatus (ART20)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8019Jul. 15, 1997Media Processing Method and6,472,052
Apparatus (ART21)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7980Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and6,356,715
Apparatus (ART22)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8018Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,777
Apparatus (ART24)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7938Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/113,224
Apparatus (ART25)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8016Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and6,366,693
Apparatus (ART26)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8024Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and6,329,990
Apparatus (ART27)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7940Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,072
Apparatus (ART28)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7939Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/112,785
Apparatus (ART29)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8501Aug. 11, 1997Image Processing Method and6,137,500
Apparatus (ART30)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8500Aug. 11, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,796
Apparatus (ART31)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7987Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,071
Apparatus (ART32)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8022Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and6,398,328
Apparatus (ART33)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8497Aug. 11, 1997Image Processing Method and09/113,090
Apparatus (ART34)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8020Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and6,431,704
Apparatus (ART38)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8023Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,222
Apparatus (ART39)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8504Aug. 11, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,786
Apparatus (ART42)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8000Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and6,415,054
Apparatus (ART43)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7977Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/112,782
Apparatus (ART44)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7934Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,056
Apparatus (ART45)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7990Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,059
Apparatus (ART46)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8499Aug. 11, 1997Image Processing Method and6,486,886
Apparatus (ART47)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8502Aug. 11, 1997Image Processing Method and6,381,361
Apparatus (ART48)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7981Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and6,317,192
Apparatus (ART50)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7986Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,057
Apparatus (ART51)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO7983Jul. 15, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,054
Apparatus (ART52)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8026Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,752
Apparatus (ART53)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8027Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,759
Apparatus (ART54)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO8028Jul. 15, 1997Image Processing Method and09/112,757
Apparatus (ART56)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9394Sep. 23, 1997Image Processing Method and6,357,135
Apparatus (ART57)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9396Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and09/113,107
Apparatus (ART58)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9397Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,271,931
Apparatus (ART59)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9398Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,353,772
Apparatus (ART60)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9399Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,106,147
Apparatus (ART61)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9400Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and09/112,790
Apparatus (ART62)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9401Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,304,291
Apparatus (ART63)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9402Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and09/112,788
Apparatus (ART64)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9403Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,305,770
Apparatus (ART65)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PO9405Sep. 23, 1997Data Processing Method and6,289,262
Apparatus (ART66)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP0959Dec. 16, 1997A Data Processing Method6,315,200
and Apparatus (ART68)(Jul. 10, 1998)
PP1397Jan. 19, 1998A Media Device (ART69)6,217,165
(Jul. 10, 1998)





 
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