Memjet color printheads use what we call "waterfall" technology. Simply put, each printhead fires millions of ink drops per second. It's more energy efficient. It's more mechanically sound. Today, in the office there is nothing faster–color or monochrome. The Memjet printhead is a radical shift in printhead design. It literally changes everything.
Our breakthrough printhead technology delivers breakthrough performance, while lowering cost and providing quality color output.
Memjet Waterfall Printhead Technology™ achieves high-speed color printing at low costs as a single page-wide solution for the office or configured in multiples (and multiple ways) to achieve entirely new ways to print in industrial and commercial markets. The printhead requires minimal warm-up time and prints in one pass with out scanning back and forth. While dramatically improving performance, this fixed-head architecture also reduces the noise, vibration, mechanical complexity and drop-firing complexity associated with traditional inkjet architectures.
Memjet printheads are designed as a long-life, customer-replaceable component, allowing end-users to keep their printers running at peak performance year after year while protecting their investment.
For maximum scalability, the size of the printhead enables a range of applications from a variety of different sized printers. Each printhead packs 70,400 nozzles into a silicon structure that delivers 1,600 dpi native print quality that is more dense and cost-efficient than other leading inkjet IC designs.
Put it all together and Memjet printheads represent a clear departure from existing inkjet, laser and LED architectures and offer a compelling choice for printing and imaging customers.
A traditional scanning printhead feeds the paper incrementally in one direction as the printhead scans back and forth multiple times across the page to create part of the printed image. This architecture typically results in significantly lower performance as well as increased noise and vibration.
The Memjet print path contains 11 IC chips, 70,400 nozzles and runs down the middle of the printhead. It is connected electrically to the flex board and separated from both the flex board and the paper guide in order to provide a clear surface for cleaning and maintenance.
Memjet Print Path
The ink connections on the printhead allow ink to flow from the ink delivery system into and out of the printhead for optimal ink flow during printing, priming and maintenance functions.
The speed of a Memjet system is achieved through the integration and optimization of software and firmware as well as printhead technology. With its unparalleled nozzle quantity and density—up to 17 times that of existing printheads in the market—a typical Memjet printhead can continuously fire up to 750 million drops per second. At a speed of 12 inches (305mm) per second, the printhead produces 1600 x 800 dpi quality, the “normal” print quality needed to produce typical technical documents. At a speed of 6 inches (152mm) per second, the printhead produces 1600 x 1600 dpi output and is capable of high-quality graphics.
When you stitch 5 Memjet printheads together, you can achieve 42 inches (1066mm) of high-quality, high-speed, wide format excellence.
Speed and quality can be achieved simultaneously because there are enough tightly packed nozzles, firing with adequate speed, to achieve sufficient coverage and quality in a single pass. Because the printhead does not scan from side to side, ink drop placement is extremely accurate. Ink drops average 14-microns diameter, a fraction of the size of a human hair.
The printhead's nozzle structure (0.72mm x 222.8 mm) uses significantly less silicon than legacy inkjet technology. Less silicon results in lower cost components and lower cost devices.
Memjet's exclusive printer head includes 70,400 nozzles.
Memjet printhead IC chips contain 5 ink channels and two rows of nozzles per channel. Each individual nozzle structure is 31.7-microns across, enabling 800 dpi, with the second row of nozzles for each color slightly offset from the first to deliver1600 dpi in combination. The five ink channels can be flexibly configured.
The Memjet printhead contains 11 IC chips (20 mm each) placed side by side across the printhead with an approximately 1-micron gap between the IC chips. In order to avoid print quality issues at the gap between chips, Memjet has a uniquely patented "drop triangle" element at the right edge of each chip. The nozzles in the triangle element are timed to fire as if they are sitting with the rows of nozzles above them, avoiding any missing nozzles across the seam between IC chips.
The Memjet nozzle layer is comprised of silicon nitride, an extremely durable composition, and coated with a surface material providing for a smooth, flat surface that resists debris and is easier to maintain.
The nozzles on the Memjet printhead can fire drop sizes from 1-2 picoliters. The initial printhead is tuned to fire 1.4 picoliter drops resulting in an estimated 14-micron drop diameter, a fraction of the size of a human hair.
While there are a number of potential Memjet nozzle designs, current Memjet nozzles are uniquely formulated with the heating element in the middle of the ink chamber. This "suspended heater" design allows drops to be ejected using only 170 nanojoules of energy. As drops are ejected, new cooler ink flows into the chamber surrounding and cooling the heating element. The result is that nozzle temperatures are maintained at 20 degrees above ambient. Heat management is integral to Memjet printhead designs. Careful heat management enables continuous low energy printing as well as the tight nozzle configurations needed to achieve 1600 dpi print quality in one pass.