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Study on driving waveform design process for multi-nozzle piezoelectric printhead in material-jetting 3D printing

Yih-Lin Cheng (Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan)
Tzu-Wei Tseng (Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 17 June 2021

Issue publication date: 15 July 2021

250

Abstract

Purpose

Material-jetting (MJ) three-dimensional (3D) printing processes are competitive due to their printing resolution and printing speed. Driving waveform design of piezoelectric printhead in MJ would affect droplet formation and performance, but there are very limited studies on it besides patents and know-hows by commercial manufacturers. Therefore, in this research, the waveform design process to efficiently attain suitable parameters for a multi-nozzle piezoelectric printhead was studied. Therefore, this research aims to study the waveform design process to efficiently attain suitable parameters for a multi-nozzle piezoelectric printhead.

Design/methodology/approach

Ricoh’s Gen4L printhead was adopted. A high-speed camera captured pictures of jetted droplets and droplet velocity was calculated. The waveforms included single-, double- and triple-pulse trapezoidal patterns. The effects of parameters were investigated and the suitable ones were determined based on the avoidance of satellite drops and preference of higher droplet velocity.

Findings

In a single-pulse waveform, an increase of fill time (Tf) decreased the droplet velocity. The maximum velocity happened at the same pulse width, the sum of fill time and hold time (Tf + Th). In double- and triple-pulse, a voltage difference (Vd) above zero in the holding stage was adopted except the last pulse to avoid satellite drops. Suitable parameters for the selected resin were obtained and the time-saving design process was established.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the effects of parameters and observed data trends, suggested procedures to determine suitable parameters were proposed with fewer experiments.

Practical implications

This study has verified the feasibility of suggested design procedures on another resin. The required number of trials was reduced significantly.

Originality/value

This research investigated the process of driving waveform design for the multi-nozzle piezoelectric printhead. The suggested procedures of finding suitable waveform parameters can reduce experimental trials and will be applicable to other MJ 3D printers when new materials are introduced.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (project # MOST105-2218-E-011–002).

Citation

Cheng, Y.-L. and Tseng, T.-W. (2021), "Study on driving waveform design process for multi-nozzle piezoelectric printhead in material-jetting 3D printing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 1172-1180. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-05-2019-0120

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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