Micro Piezo Inkjet Technology

Micro Piezo Inkjet Technology

Epson's inkjet printing technology is used in home, office, and commercial and industrial printers. Since our printing systems form images by directly depositing microscopic droplets of ink on sheets of paper or other media, they generate virtually no waste ink, are far superior to analog and laser printing systems in terms of the environment and efficiency, and can theoretically print on almost any medium. Let's look at the Micro Piezo inkjet technology that powers every Epson inkjet printer.

Advantages of our Printing Technology

Provided using YouTube services
YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc.

Micro Piezo Inkjet Technology

There are two main ways of ejecting ink from a printer. The first is thermal technology, which uses a heater to heat the ink and form bubbles that cause the ink to be ejected. The other is piezo technology, which applies voltage to change the shape of piezoelectric elements, the mechanical motion of which ejects the ink. Micro Piezo printheads are extraordinarily durable because they are not subjected to heat-induced functional deterioration. They are compatible even with inks that would undergo changes of material properties if heated. Printers with piezo technology can use a wide variety of inks, including dye and pigment inks.

Micro Piezo Printheads

Epson Micro Piezo printheads achieve superb placement accuracy with fast ejection of up to 50,000 droplets per second by controlling the meniscus at the tip of each nozzle and by using variable size dot technology (VSDT ). VSDT controls the volume of ejected ink droplets by precisely controlling the voltage wave form that drives the piezoelectric elements.

Meniscus control

Meniscus control

This technology harnesses the motion of precisely controlled piezoelectric elements to control the meniscus. By rapidly suppressing the residual vibration of the meniscus, it holds down the mist caused by residual vibration and ensures straight ejection of large and small ink droplets that are nearly perfect spheres and land with superb placement accuracy.

Variable Size Dot Technology

Variable Size Dot Technology

By precisely controlling the voltage wave form that drives the piezoelectric elements, VSDT controls the volume of the ink in ejected droplets. Ink droplets as small as 1.5 picoliters, or one one-trillionth of a liter, can be deposited in precisely the amounts and locations needed. Since each nozzle can selectively eject ink droplets in a range of sizes, users can enjoy fast output and beautiful image expression with virtually no graininess.

Creating Advanced Printheads

Printheads

Many issues had to be overcome to create Epson Micro Piezo printheads with all the advantages they offer. One challenge was coming up with an ink ejection mechanism using piezoelectric elements. Generally, piezoelectric elements with smaller surface area have less displacement than those with greater surface area, if they are of the same thickness. Therefore, increasing the level of resolution means less displacement of piezoelectric elements and less ink that can be ejected from the nozzle at one time.

Increasing piezoelectric element displacement is essential to selectively ejecting ink droplets of varying sizes.

The thinner the piezoelectric elements, the greater their displacement under the same applied voltage. However, thinner piezoelectric elements are more fragile and thus hard to fabricate and handle. To solve the problem, Epson adopted a Multi-Layer Piezo, consisting of a stack of thin piezoelectric elements, as an actuator. We then developed a MACH (Multi-layer Actuator Head) printhead to eject ink through vertical vibration of the piezoelectric elements. This approach realized high density and responsiveness and dramatically advanced inkjet printing.

MACH

Several technologies were essential to achieving MACH technology. They included high-level fabrication and manufacturing of actuators, ultra-precise assembly to build the printheads, and advanced control to draw out the performance of the printheads. Bringing all these technologies together enabled Epson's MACH Micro Piezo printheads to deliver inkjet printing with high image quality, precision, and speed. MACH technology is not only at work in Epson printers today, but is employed by customers around the world, who are using it in a wide range of printing applications.

The Potential of PrecisionCore Technology

Provided using YouTube services
YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc.

Epson's Micro Piezo printheads continue to evolve today. PrecisionCore technology was created as an advancement on Micro Piezo inkjet technology to bring inkjet printing to a new level. PrecisionCore was created by merging a number of original Epson technologies, including dramatically advanced thin-film piezo (TFP) technology, high-precision MEMS fabrication processes that work in microscopic detail, ultra-precision assembly, and more, with the inkjet technology Epson has built up over many years.

The PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip, built with an eagerness for high precision and compactness, significantly enhances performance as the basic module of the printhead. With greater speed and image quality than ever before, the same print chip can be used flexibly to build a wide range of printheads for printing applications ranging from office to commercial and industrial.

PrecisionCore technology expands the possibilities of inkjet printing from simple printing on paper to a wide range of fields, including even electronics and biotech applications. And through open innovation, we are working with partners that have all types of services and ideas to spur the creation of new markets.

PrecisionCore

Page Top

Page Top