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inkjet head kit available now

Posted by fullspeceng 
inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 11:43AM
As a service to the hobby community, I'm offering an inkjet kit in the near future.

Here's some videos and details in the descriptions:
[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]

Anyway, right now I can sell the heads + ffc connector. It would be nice to have a small SMD circuit to mount to the reprap and I'll post the schematics and hope someone can help layout the board/program the code.

Right now it's on a parallax propeller but thats a bit over kill if all you want is to fire a stream of ink and do all the control with the reprap software.

The circuit is very simple so hope someone with expertise in cost cutting can take it up. Since I have a lab power supply and plenty of higher end equipment including a CNC XYZ gantry, I have all that I need.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 12:27PM
Do you have a copy of the schematics for the circuitry.

David
sid
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 12:36PM
I guess there's one a 3dprinter blog....
[homemade3dprinter.blogspot.com]

(for lexmark iirc)

'sid
VDX
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 01:36PM
... i have the book "Inkjet Applications" by Matt Gilliland ( [www.amazon.com] ) with some circuitry and software for a HP-BW-inkjet.

I think some basics and combination wit other brands souldn't be a big problem ...

Viktor
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 02:51PM
I will post the circuit shortly. It's always nice to have something that looks good before you show it.

It is very simple. Just get a ULN2803 chip. Hook up 24V to pin 10, gnd to pin9 and pins 1-8 to the TTL microcontroller and pins 11-18 to the inkjet head.

Each pairs of pins fires 1 nozzle.

The biggest advantage is it only requires ONE chip and a few wires. All the other circuits I have seen are outside the practical limit of the amature.

If someone can help out with the coding on a cheaper MCU like a PIC microcontroller, we can make it hook up to the standard reprap software. Just turn on/off the ink stream when you would turn on/off the extruder.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 03:07PM
Neat. I was just looking at some inkjet cartridges, thinking that they'd be an easy way to add some color to our off-white objects! How far does the ink spray nicely? Might be able to mount it a few mm above the extruder nozzle, and just do a second pass for inking.

Wade
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 07, 2009 03:39PM
You can shoot ink several inches but 2mm is recommended for best quality. If your goal is painting it probably doesn't matter as much. The ink carts only come in red,blue,black from Amazon.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 08, 2009 02:25AM
Cool could you make a driver for an epson printer head? Epson printer heads are piezoelectric, which means you can shoot a larger variety of stuff through them, like stuff that is either flammable or alive. Epson heads can also be cleaned, which is good if something goes wrong.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 08, 2009 03:03AM
The Epson heads use a special drive signal that is protected by a patent so I can't make a driver for it. At least two other people have successfully driven them but few have bothered to copy the results because of the complicated electronics. You need a high speed DAC + current driver + it's not really legal. The HP is open source and uses a single simple pulse so no problems there. Another problem is the Epson heads aren't available for sale.

For piezoelectric heads, I'd recommend a Xaar head which can also do solvent inks but they're a lot more expensive and suitable only for a commerical product.

Go with the HP unless you want to spend a lot of money and effort.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 09, 2009 03:39AM
Do you have any information on driving any multi-colour cartridges?

I know I could use two cartridges, but one would be simpler.

David
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 09, 2009 07:12PM
No the HP 51640 is the only cartridge that I have full datasheets for since it was published in the Inkjet Applications manual. It's available in black, red, and blue. You can probably refill it with your own color to get CMYK with 4 carts as you said.

I also have full datasheets and manuals for the Xaar heads so I can make a product for that easily also but there needs to be enough demand for me to do so.

You can probably just use a logic analyzer and oscilloscope to figure out the signals going into another HP head like the 40 series.

[spritesmods.com] hacked such a head. However, I question his methods. In the Inkjet Applications book, it says you need to give exactly 4.5us at 24V. If you use 21V you need to give it 6us.

Spritesmod fires some inkjet some random pulse time at some voltage around 40V.

This doesn't seem very reliable to me. You can easily check out the signals with a bypass circuit but at the end of the day it isn't worth my effort when the HP 51640 works and does it is supposed to.

If you have 600x600dpix4 colors=1.44 megabits of data per square ink you need to transfer and process.

It's all doable for sure but unless you want it bad, it's probably not worth it.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 10, 2009 01:14AM
Here's the schematics and pcb. You can simplify the routing and make it a single sided pcb board.

[www.fullspectrumengineering.com]
VDX
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 10, 2009 09:11AM
... ahh, OK - i couldn't see the videos in your first post, but solved this now, so i finally realized, you worked with Gillilands book too.

Until now i didn't have the HP-51604A-inkhead and tried with some others salvaged from old Lexmark and other HP-printers.

Have you already tried with other fluids than the original ink?

Viktor
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 10, 2009 10:21AM
The problem with other inkjet heads is that the holder or datasheets are not available.

You could hack it and maybe it will work but then no one else is going to be able to reproduce your results.

My goal is just to provide an easy source for the holders and possibly make a pcb for others to use.

The current PCB is so simple that you can breadboard it except the FFC connector pitch is tiny and better to be on a pcb.

Again, the goal is to encourage experimentation. You can buy an ink head from amazon for $13 and solder the wires directly to the head if you really want to be cheap but you will need very steady hands.

I haven't tried anything but HP ink but I encourage other people to do so.
VDX
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 10, 2009 01:16PM
... i'm in Germany, so ordering at Amazon USA is a pain - finally i payed nearly 120 USD for Gillilands book (instead of 30 USD at Amazon) after shipping, VAT- and transfer-fees eye popping smiley

Viktor
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 10, 2009 05:03PM
Wow. Dude I would have just sent you the information you needed if you asked. Next time send me $120 instead lol
VDX
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 11, 2009 11:39AM
... i know ... this was a (catastrophic) test how ordering/shipping from USA works, but then it seems the involved banks frauded me and the colleague - finally we payed 3 times the bank-transfer-fee eye popping smiley

Next time i'll mail my sister (she lives near NewYork) what i'm interested in, so she could bring it with her next time visiting

Viktor
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 11, 2009 03:26PM
I don't think international shipping should be that difficult. I order things from ledshoppe.com all the time. It's amazing how I can buy a usb bluetooth adapter and have it shipped from Hong Kong for $3 shipping included!

They just use paypal for money and I don't see why you can't do the same next time.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 18, 2009 08:55AM
fullspeceng Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't think international shipping should be
> that difficult. I order things from ledshoppe.com
> all the time. It's amazing how I can buy a usb
> bluetooth adapter and have it shipped from Hong
> Kong for $3 shipping included!
>
> They just use paypal for money and I don't see why
> you can't do the same next time.

Do you think you will ever fix the color scheme on your website? Black text on Dark Blue backgrounds is not fun.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 18, 2009 10:31PM
Thanks for pointing it out. It appears as light blue on IE7 and IE8 but it does look black on blue on Google Chrome.

Not sure why but we will look into it.
sid
Re: inkjet head kit available now
August 19, 2009 02:54AM
fullspeceng, use hexcolors if you don't already.
Most colornames are browserspecific (except white, blue, black, red, yellow and green)

keltor, you can overwrite that sort of colorschemes with your webbrowser
In opera it's called user-css and in Firefox you would neeed a plugin to edit or disable the css

'sid
Re: inkjet head kit available now
February 20, 2010 04:51AM
Hello,

I am building a custom application based on the hp51604a inkjet cartridge. Since the Parallax kit is no longer available, I am starting from scratch with the drivers and hardware.

I was wondering if anyone has a copy of the files that went with the Parallax kit. I am most interested in the font files, as I would like to avoid recreating it if at all possible. If yes, could you please drop me an email? Perhaps we can work something out to our mutual benefit.

Cheers,
Ken
ken_ihara@hotmail.com
Re: inkjet head kit available now
February 20, 2010 10:02AM
Ken,

We've got a PDF here which is a snapshot of current research:
[objects.reprap.org]

fullspeceng,
Would you like to start documenting on the wiki?


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: inkjet head kit available now
February 24, 2010 09:03AM
Hello

We need a system like you have on first video video. It should be possible to control with PC ink spraying processing from nozzles. Cartridge will stay at one place. Could you advice me how to start, or if you have ready kit, we can purchase it.

David
Re: inkjet head kit available now
March 02, 2011 07:10AM
fullspeceng Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No the HP 51640 is the only cartridge that I have
> full datasheets for since it was published in the
> Inkjet Applications manual. It's available in
> black, red, and blue. You can probably refill it
> with your own color to get CMYK with 4 carts as
> you said.
>
> I also have full datasheets and manuals for the
> Xaar heads so I can make a product for that easily
> also but there needs to be enough demand for me to
> do so.
>
> You can probably just use a logic analyzer and
> oscilloscope to figure out the signals going into
> another HP head like the 40 series.
>
> [spritesmods.com] hacked such a
> head. However, I question his methods. In the
> Inkjet Applications book, it says you need to give
> exactly 4.5us at 24V. If you use 21V you need to
> give it 6us.
>
> Spritesmod fires some inkjet some random pulse
> time at some voltage around 40V.
>
> This doesn't seem very reliable to me. You can
> easily check out the signals with a bypass circuit
> but at the end of the day it isn't worth my effort
> when the HP 51640 works and does it is supposed
> to.
>
> If you have 600x600dpix4 colors=1.44 megabits of
> data per square ink you need to transfer and
> process.
>
> It's all doable for sure but unless you want it
> bad, it's probably not worth it.


Could you please give me the full datasheets and manuals of xaar printheads?
beacause of my location( Iran ) i can't access them from xaar directly
thanks amir.anoosheh@yahoo.com
Re: inkjet head kit available now
March 04, 2011 01:36AM
I'm more concearned about the software side. STL files contain no data on the textures
Re: inkjet head kit available now
April 20, 2011 05:00AM
Hi,

I run a printing company. I have a product that requires printing variable information where inkjet printing will be ideal. How do you synchonise the printing with the paper travel? I really will like to take this a lot further. Please advise
Re: inkjet head kit available now
February 04, 2013 02:52AM
Hi,
I would like to get a board to drive the Xaar printheads.
Please advise
George
Re: inkjet head kit available now
February 17, 2013 05:21AM
HP 51640 head ~12 nozzles ~25eur+10shipping => 2.91 eur per nozzle
Xaar Electron ~128nozzles ~170 eur => 1.3 eur per nozzle

As far as price per nozzle can make sense.
Regardless of price, on the overall i think Xaar is at least 2 leagues above hp, plus being piezo and have more ink freedom.
Re: inkjet head kit available now
March 28, 2013 12:46PM
I've been reading your post and the comments that followed.

Have you been able to get this off the ground and do you have the holder for the cartridge? I believe the holders are no longer available. But we should be able to print these on the 3-D printer if we have a cad file.

I worked on many HP cartridges for 12 years and this was literally the very first product that HP put out. 1980 I belive.

Interfacing to this one might be a bit difficult and it is a single color cartridge with fairly low resolutin. There are other cartridges that would work for this application as well. But no book written on them. If you just want to get a single jet to fire this will work but no way to solder to the glass contacts without the cartridge holder.

I'd also be interested to know if you have a circuit for this as well.

Thanks,

Mike A.
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