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.
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.
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.
Based on the effects of parameters and observed data trends, suggested procedures to determine suitable parameters were proposed with fewer experiments.
This study has verified the feasibility of suggested design procedures on another resin. The required number of trials was reduced significantly.
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.
The authors would like to thank the funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (project # MOST105-2218-E-011–002).
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
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