Despite its well-established benefits in many markets, from the home office to industrial wide-format printing, inkjet suffers from one major constraint: it’s limited to jetting ink.
Suppose we could go beyond ink and jet the materials that are used everyday in the manufacturing, engineering and personal care industries. Materials like paint, adhesives and varnish.
These industries would, of course, like to know how to save money. They’d also like to become safer, more agile, and more environmentally friendly. In short, they’re ripe for the kind of transformation that inkjet has produced in other markets.
But for this to happen – for inkjet to become anyjet –we need first to remove a barrier: the assumption that the technology can’t handle viscous fluids.
It’s taken for granted, for example, that inkjet can’t be used with paint. Today anyone who wanted to eject paint from an inkjet head would need to add a lot of solvent. And anyone who wanted to jet dilute paint onto an absorbent material, such as paper, would find that the solvent soaks into the material. Removing it would be challenging and expensive.
This is a well-known problem ─ and it can’t be solved within the current format of inkjet printheads.
When we started Archipelago Technology we set out to solve this problem and create a platform that would enable virtually anyone to jet virtually anything.
So we’ve developed Powerdrop ─ a high-energy ejection process that enables the size of droplet and the energy of the ejection to be scaled readily.
Powerdrop jets paint, ceramic glaze, sticky adhesives and even molten material at temperatures of 180°C.
Archipelago will be showcasing Powerdrop at InPrint 2016 in Milan. We hope you can join us there.
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Dr Guy Newcombe is CEO of Archipelago Technology