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From: Jim Yanik
Subject: Re: Etch resist Ink with Ink Jet printer Direct on PCB ?
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 02:58:11 +0000 (UTC)
Organization: Friends of Lummox
References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 02:58:11 +0000 (UTC)
email@example.com (Bill Sloman) wrote in
> Jim Yanik wrote in message
>> "Coolkits" wrote in
>> > Has anyone every tried putting Etch resist Ink in a BubbleJet or
>> > InkJet printer and printing a PCB design directy onto the copper
>> > side of a PCB. In this way one could skip the UV lighting and
>> > developing stage. I've seen that some Epson printers can print
>> > directy onto thick hard materials, but thats only been used to
>> > print directly onto CD's.
>> > Has anybody tried this ? would normal ink work or should a special
>> > ink be made ?
>> > Greezt,
>> I suspect most ink-jet inks are water-soluble,and thus would dissolve
>> in an etching solution. The performance of other inks would be
>> questionable.How are the printhead seals and gaskets going to
>> tolerate the solvents?
> Most ink-jet printers use the Canon/HP BubbleJet technology, where a
> little heater warms up a water based ink to produce a bubble of steam,
> which shoots a droplet of ink at the paper.
> Because the print-head runs hot, and in water, it corrodes pretty
> fast, so these printers build the print-head into the ink cartridge,
> and limit the volume of ink to make sure that the print-head gets
> replaced before the corrosion is too bad.
> They don't sound too suitable for dispensing etch resistant inks.
> Epson uses a piezo-electric print-head, which squirts droplets of
> alcohol-based ink (don't try to drink it - the alcohol isn't ethanol
> but something less volatile, possibly iso-propyl alcohol or something
> heavier). The print head runs cool and doesn't corrode, so your
> ink-cartridge just contains ink (and a good deal more ink than the
> BubbleJet ink cartridges).
> These sorts of printers may be able to dispense etch resistant inks,
> but my old Epson Stylus Color 800 spends ages (and gallons of ink)
> rinsing the print head whenever I turn it on after it has been off for
> more than a day or two, and if your etch-resistant ink doesn't behave
> in much the same way as their regular inks, it will clog the print
> head, after which you can more or less throw the printer away.
> Tony Williams has worked out how to get into one of the Epson Stylus
> print-heads (not a procedure supported by Epson) and rinse it clean
> with cheaper solvents than their ink, but I lost his instructions
> (embarrassing mistake)and ended up buying an end-of-line bargain
> colour printer rather than cleaning the old print-head in my by then
> five-year-old b/w printer.
> Bill Sloman, Nijmegen
One other thing to consider is that ink-jet inks soak into paper,but will
not on a copperclad surface,perhaps getting smeared from moving printhead
Would dot coverage be good enough to prevent pinholes? It would not be a
true solid line or polygon.
Maybe a thermal-wax printer would be better.
Jim Yanik,NRA member
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