Xaar has launched its 5-step service for the evaluation of fluids for use in new product development and advanced manufacturing applications. The service aims to help companies establish the suitability of inkjet technology and fluids in new applications without incurring large upfront costs. To support the new service, the company has invested in a dedicated laboratory. This is equipped with a number of custom test rigs for sample production and fluid testing including a Notion Systems n.jet 3D printer.
Each new project starts with the initial fluid evaluation where guidance is provided on issues such as ink development and material compatibility as well as options for complex rheology testing and fluid physicals measurement.
Stage 2 moves to jetting optimisation encompassing printhead waveform configuration, alongside application and fluid optimisation. Stage 3 involves actual sample production utilising one of the custom test rigs. 3D and other advanced sample production is made possible using a Notions Systems n.jet printer and Xaar 1003 GS12 printheads. This Photopolymer Jetting (PPJ) machine is capable of printing layers between 0.0185 mm to 0.0025 mm taking approximately six seconds per layer, enabling features as small as 0.1 mm.
Once samples have been produced, stage 4 moves to upscaling the development application, focusing on the provision of the relevant Xaar inkjet system. Stage 5 then completes each project through providing continued support and delivering application improvements, testing and advice.
‘Inkjet technology is now highly relevant across a multitude of new product development applications, and we wanted to enable companies to be able to review the suitability of inkjet printing in their product development programmes without the need for significant capital investment or upfront costs,’ said Mike Seal, Xaar’s business development manager, Advanced Manufacturing and 3D printheads.
Xaar’s 5-step service is currently enabling companies to evaluate the jetting of fluids with high viscosities. Most inkjet printheads are capable of jetting materials with viscosities with a range of 10-25 mPa.s (10-25 cP). Now, thanks to improvements in Xaar’s TF Technology, fluids which have significantly higher viscosities can be successfully jetted through Xaar’s printheads.
‘Providing access to our inkjet development expertise through our 5-step service helps clients get to market quicker by reducing their own development timelines and costs. From 3D printing through to functional fluid applications such as optics and flat panel displays, the possibilities and applications for inkjet printing are extremely diverse, and our dedicated team and 5-step service is here to support throughout each development project,’ concluded Mike.