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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Inkjet Nozzles May Someday Be Printing Your House From the Gound Up


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It sounds incredible but according to an article in the February issue of Popular Science the nozzle in that inkjet on your desktop may be only a step or two away from breathtaking advances in technology including "printing" circuit boards, spraying precise doses of medicine into your bloodstream and even printing/spraying your custom house to order, plumbing electric and all, in just one day.

Highly efficient burning of auto and jet engine fuel, creation of solid objects from toys, to circuit boards, to ultra thin TV mats, to possibly even replacement body parts based on your DNA, the future of the inkjet nozzle is powerful indeed.

As the article puts it:

"How does a printer go from spitting out pictures of Uncle Bob to powering jet planes? The secret of the inkjet’s unheralded versatility lies in its print head—a silicon or composite plate a tenth of an inch wide studded with as many micro-nozzles as a manufacturer can cram onto it. The nozzles fill with ink, and either heat or an electric charge forces out uniform droplets [see “Inkjet 101,” below]. Refined over the past 20 years from heads with 12 nozzles to ones with more than 3,000, the inkjet is the first cheap, mass-produced machine to control minute pearls of fluids—it ultimately jump-started the field of microfluidics. This precise control of ever-smaller droplets (some now a small fraction the size of a pinpoint), coupled with faster printing speeds has opened up dozens of new and decidedly more glamorous applications: printing cellphones and human livers, delivering drugs more efficiently and without side effects, producing fuels without nasty by-products."

But don't settle for the quote above. Go to the Popular Science website and read the whole article.

Since I recently added a link to the Shark Tank over on the sidebar to the right, it was only fair that I covered the ink Jets TONIGHT.

Until next time,

Peter Pun
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