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 user 2007-06-05 at 1:32:00 pm Views: 78
  • #17948

    Israeli printing technology could deliver 1,000 pages a minute
    a bookstore that prints your purchases while you settle the bill or a
    personalized newspaper that contains only the news you want to read.
    Such expedient printing may soon become a reality using a new Israeli
    technology that will enable printing 1,000 pages a minute at affordable

    Two researchers from The College of Judea and Samaria -
    Moshe and Nissim Einat – have developed a revolutionary printing
    technique called Jetrix, which enables simultaneous high- speed
    printing of an entire page of text. The technology combines printing
    and Liquid Crystal Technology (LCD) methods to make a page-sized
    printing array that emits ink instead of light.”We are reducing the
    limitations of printing heads,” explains Moshe Einat, senior lecturer
    at the college’s Department of Electrical and Electronic
    Engineering.Einat’s inspiration for rethinking print methods came from
    flat-screen display technologies. In the past display screens used a
    cathode ray tube to ‘scan’ the picture across the screen similar to the
    way a printer fills a page with text. With LCDs a screen-sized array of
    light emitting diodes creates the displayed picture and simultaneously
    changes to display each new image. Einat posed the question whether the
    same concept could not be applied to a printed page?”If you can do it
    with light, why not with ink?” he asked.

    Early printers used a
    continuous jet of ink to print on pages but were later replaced by
    modern Drop On Demand (DOD) printers in which a traveling head of tiny
    nozzles squirts ink at the page. The dots combine to produce the
    desired print. Current printers use a single print head that scans
    across the page but mechanical and physical limitations present a range
    of barriers that cap print speeds.Combining a multitude of ink nozzles
    together into larger print heads is complex and fraught with technical
    difficulties. Einat’s solution is a matrix of printer heads fed by
    multiple ink chambers. With a matrix as large as the page, each head is
    fired only once per page allowing a much longer relaxation time and
    negating the need for a scanning head.The key to the new technology is
    the way ink is fed to the print head. The Jetrix print head has no
    manifold and is comprised of segments containing micro-reservoirs of
    ink each connected to just a few nozzles. Each segment

    only provides ink to a few local nozzles making the segments autonomous.
    no direct connection between the different segments the matrix size can
    be increased without limit creating a print head as large as the
    paper.”You can make a matrix of as many segments as you want,” Einat
    told ISRAEL21c. The result is simultaneous printing of the entire
    matrix on the page. Released from the limitations of relaxation times
    and mechanical scanning high print speeds can be achieved without a
    loss in quality.In Einat’s view, the idea is more than just an
    innovation; it marks a turning point in core technology for printers.
    In the past print speed was limited by the rate at which ink could be
    transferred from the ink source to the page. The Jetrix head removes
    that barrier and the limiting factor will now become another part of
    the print process, such as the rate at which paper can be supplied to
    or output from the printer, or the time it takes the ink to dry on the
    pages.So far Einat has made a matrix of 12 x 12 centimeters that
    demonstrated the theory is sound and that the capillary action is fast
    enough to keep the nozzles supplied with ink. Despite its size the
    prototype matrix contains57,600 nozzles, so small that the delicate
    capillaries and nozzles were created with the same processes used to
    manufacture computer chips. The print head works only in black and
    white but Einat is confident that it can be adapted for color printing

    Development has cost $140,000 funded by Israel’s Industry
    and Trade Ministry and ‘angel money’. Costs are kept low because much
    of the technology is based on existing LCD know-how, a fact that will
    also keep down the costs fo.full-size working printers. Current top of
    the range printers used to print bank statements and utility bills are
    able to print over a thousand pages a minute but the room-sized
    printers can cost over $100,000 a piece.Einat predicts that a simple
    printer using his technology should be far more affordable, and even
    within the budget of home users. Such flexible and expedient printing
    has a wide range of applications.”Anything that is printed today can be
    done with it,” Einat says.Rapid printing could lead to a variety of ‘on
    demand’ printing products. Bookstores could print books as the customer
    waits, and at 1,000 pages a minute, the wait wouldn’t be very long.
    Printing on demand would make significant savings for publishers that
    today often see 40 percent of books remain on the shelves in
    stores.’They could print right there in the shop, fresh off the press,’
    says Einat who also envisions vending machines at airports printing
    books for travelers as they wait to board a flight.The print method may
    also give a new lease of life to newspapers and magazines that are
    losing customers to Internet-based media. A press could run off
    thousands of personalized newspapers that contain only the news topics
    that interest each individual reader.The Jetrix print head was first
    presented publicly at the Global Entrepolis Singapore in 2006 and since
    then has been generating broad interest from the print industry.
    Several global printer companies are keeping a keen eye ondevelopments
    with the expectation of a full-working printer. In the meantime Einat
    plans to build an even larger prototype before moving on to a full-size
    working printer.Should the technology prove itself, it may also expand
    into other industries. Einat theorizes that the same principle could be
    used to print microcircuits, which would revolutionize that industry,
    although he concedes that at the moment, that is still a long way off.