HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Powder and inkjet printing
aengel
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HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:15 pm

Inkjet printheads can be divided into 2 groups :

The first group, which is useful to 3D printing enthusiasts, are printheads which have wide latitude for ink viscosity. These heads allow inks from 5 cPs to 50 cPs at room temperature, and higher viscosities at elevated temperatures.

This group is comprised of Xaar, Fujifilm Dimatix, Seiko, and maybe Ricoh / Konica. These heads are commonly used to apply ceramic inks.

The second group of heads is low viscosity heads, which is almost everybody else.

Interestingly these head manufacturers sometimes provide software or hardware to control the electrical characteristics of the head.

For example Fujifilm Dimatix makes a complete system that allows complete control over the electrical characteristics of the head.

For basic control software, one example is PrintMon, which is likely shareware, and available on the internet.

One head is the Seiko 510. There are pci-cards and usb cards available to interface the personal computer running PrintMon to electronics downstream, and ultimately to the printhead.

There is a Xaar USB interface box, which may have capabilities which are useful to 3D. This interface box is within the budget of the craftsperson or a small business.

What do you think? Have you used these pci-cards or usb cards?

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dragonator
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by dragonator » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:12 am

I have not used PCI or USB cards. I have not really used any of these heads and only considered using the Xaar head. I was not aware you could get a USB or PCI controller for that.

Is the controller also within the budget of a hobbyist? The Xaar itself is a bit on the edge of expensive.

aengel
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:54 pm

Hi Dragonator :

Good question, I was not aware you could get a USB or PCI controller for that.

PrintMon software and pci-cards and usb cards are available for Seiko, etc. Seiko, Xaar, Fujifilm, maybe Ricoh/Minolta are useful to the 3D enthusiast, as they can jet the uv curing resins suitable for 3D. Allnex has put together a brochure about uv curing inkjet resins. The formulations are very simple. (Onyx and MainTop are available for RIP, sometimes as "shareware".

Here is the conceptual drawing for Seiko. The detailed cable schematics are being drawn up over the next few weeks.

Does anyone want the detailed schematics posted here as well?

About Xaar, I am interested in paying someone to compile code and gerbers to send to a printed circuit board assembly company offshore, per Hacking the Xaar printhead thread on this forum. Anyone reading this forum is welcome to contact me about doing this project. Please contact me asap as this is an immediate project to commission.

Regarding inkjet head costs, used inkjet heads are available occasionally at low prices at the usual places. For example, used Xaars are available, as well as Seikos, etc.

However, new heads from factory authorized distributors are readily available, and are the best way to go when considering setup, longevity, etc.
Attachments
inkjet drawing for China buying agent.png
inkjet drawing for China buying agent.png (16.47 KiB) Viewed 5375 times

aengel
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:27 pm

The assembly should be suitable for 3D printing using uv resins. These resins have viscosities in the 8-40 cps range.

So far we are progressing with our identification of the chips for the ink jet assembly. Here are the simplified diagrams of the schematics.

Now we are commissioning the drawing of the detailed schematics, and the fabrication of the test cables.

What do you think? Are we on the optimum path for a 3D printer with a Seiko SPT 510 printhead? I invite you to PLEASE FLAME ME!!!
Attachments
510 inkjet chip schematic example2.jpg
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510 inkjet chip schematic example 1.jpg
510 inkjet chip schematic example 1.jpg (22.92 KiB) Viewed 5335 times

davidk
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by davidk » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:52 pm

Hi,
This is a very interesting topic and thank you for sharing; I hope here we'll find a diy minimum usable configuration for a pro printhead control.
Aengel, can you post the images at a better resolution?

aengel
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:59 pm

I have been pleased with the UV led wafer lamps I have purchased. If I am not mistaken, they emit at 380-vis, which is better; they do not generate ozone; they run on a house mains current (110V nominal in the USA); and they are relatively low cost.

I have seen these units with power supplies for less than USD$150.00. These units are available from a wide variety of sellers. I assume most of them are manufactured in Asia.

These lamps have allowed me to easily test uv curing resins for surprisingly thick 3D coatings.
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uv.jpg
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aengel
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:15 pm

Here is a 50+ page presentation describing the characteristics of most of the commercial inkjet printheads available.

The presentation includes some data about uv ink suitability. On pages 44-46 etc. it has lists of comparative data describing Max cP Viscosity, DPI, Drop Volume, etc., all of which are of interest to 3D printing.

This public presentation document can be downloaded at no cost at :

http://www.vcesolutions.com/wp-content/ ... ements.pdf

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dragonator
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by dragonator » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:30 pm

Sadly right now I do not have the time to completely analyze all your documents thoroughly, but from what I have seen so far, there is a lot of interesting stuff worth investigating. My only hope is that any of these commercial printheads are within the price range of hobbyist. A €1000 is justifiable if you have a company selling stuff, but is more difficult to justify for most hobby uses.

Once I am done with Oasis and the HP45, I will take a good look into the documents you have shared.

aengel
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:23 pm

Here is an assembly that might allow a XP PC or possibly a Windows 10 PC to drive 2 Seiko 510 heads, and also maybe just one head. The Seiko 510 should be suitable for 3D uv curing. This assembly has not been tested by me. Note that these boards are available for sale from a wide variety of vendors. PLEASE FLAME ME!

PrintMon software

+

http://www.cx-union.com/English/Product/783140821.html

+

http://www.cx-union.com/English/Product/753196645.html

+
http://www.cx-union.com/English/Product/794160732.html

+

https://www.ebay.com/itm/272323908579

OR

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-DesignJet-9 ... SwgApXBxcm

+

https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Stock-Origi ... SwWM9Znkmu

Cables example :

http://faqinfiniti.ru/usb_and_pci.html

aengel
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Re: HACKING an inkjet printer printhead

Post by aengel » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:33 pm

Single head cards are relatively low cost (about USD$500), and perform most or all the functions of a wide format printer. These single head cards, sometimes called 1H cards, are commonly used for printing garment labels.

I have only found single head cards for the Epson DX5, DX6, DX7 and other Epson heads. These heads are commonly used for water based sublimation printing inks. Since the viscosity of the inks used for these heads is so low, I doubt they could be used for uv curing 3D resins.

Here are assorted vendors :

https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fs ... kjet+board

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