Electronic Design

Inkjet Printer Draws The Line In Manufacturing Technology

Products can become more compact and flexible by effectively combining materials. With Dimatix's DMP-2800 line, designers can print a wide range of materials onto a surface with a high degree of accuracy (Fig. 1).

These printers can place nanoparticlebased metallic and organic materials with 10-µm accuracy using a rotatable printhead system that handles variable print spacing (Fig. 2). As a result, the printers can create new products. They also can be employed in analysis. For example, users can place DNA material precisely on bio-sensing arrays for clinical examination.

The only limits to the DMP-2800's applications are the characteristics of the printhead and cartridge system and the user's imagination. The DMC-11610 cartridge has 16 nozzles and a 1.5-ml capacity (Fig. 3). The MEMS-based printhead delivers 10-pl drops through each jet (Fig. 4). The maximum particle size is 20 µm.

Users can fill empty cartridges with whatever material they need. Also, the printers can place LED displays on a variety of surfaces, including flexible surfaces. An additional pass with a metal layer can provide external connectivity.

Of course, it will take some time and effort to determine whether a particular combination of printing material and substrate will work together. But Dimatix and its customers have already examined a number of possibilities. Most liquids are suitable candidates. Also, fine solids can be used with a suitable carrier solution.

Measuring 26 by 23 by 16 in., the DMP-2800 printers are small enough to fit on a benchtop. They connect to a PC via a USB interface. The system is a plotter with a 9- by 12-in. printing area. An optional fiducial camera is key when printing with multiple passes using different print cartridges. Replacing the single-print cartridge is easy. Additional options include drop visualization, a heated vacuum table, and integrated maintenance.

The system supports fluid temperature control of the print cartridge. This can keep the material at a temperature for optimal printing. It also can keep the temperature constant for an organic solution that may break down if temperature limits are exceeded.

The DMP-2811 printer includes a dropwatch as well as a heated theta platen. The DMP-2831 adds a fiducial camera. Each system includes PC software, 40 DMC-11610 cartridges, and a standard one-year warranty. DMP-2811 pricing starts at under $25,000. Pricing for the DMP-2831 starts at less than $30,000.


TAGS: Components
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