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Detecting missing ink jets by measuring impact force

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236944D
Publication Date: 2014-May-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A 3D printing system requires periodic confirmation that each ink jet is operating correctly to ensure quality levels are maintained throughout a lengthy part formation process. Previous methods require printing with large numbers of jets and weighing the result to detect variations. Those methods also do not allow for any individual jet properties to be measured. The proposed new method is to detect the impact force as each drop of material is jetted onto the part being built or onto a sacrificial substrate.

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Detecting missing ink jets by measuring impact force

A 3D printing system requires periodic confirmation that each ink jet is operating correctly to ensure quality levels are maintained throughout a lengthy part formation process.  Previous methods require printing with large numbers of jets and weighing the result to detect variations. Those methods also do not allow for any individual jet properties to be measured. The proposed new method is to detect the impact force as each drop of material is jetted onto the part being built or onto a sacrificial substrate.

This idea proposes that the impact force of individual ink jets be measured to determine if a jet is missing. This can be accomplished by many different methods. They include, but are not limited to the following:

·         A device to measure force can be attached to the platform upon which the part is being built. Each drop of material fired from the print head will impart an impact force onto the part. As the part is built up and the mass increases, this will get harder to measure. The acceleration of the mass will decrease as the total mass increases. This would allow detection of individual jets.

·         Alternatively, if a load cell is used to measure the impact force, the weight of the object can also be measured and compared to the expected value. Individual jets could not be diagnosed, but the overall system health could be monitored.

·         A sacrificial target could also be used to measure the impact force. A smaller mas...