FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc. today announced that it is supplying its Q-Class inkjet printheads to a New Hampshire-based technology developer for what is believed to be the first implementation of grayscale technology used for grand-format 3.2 meter wide graphics reproduction.
The developer – Redwood Technologies of Moultonboro, New Hampshire – specializes in the design, development and integration of hardware and software for the private label digital Inkjet Industry. The company's Nemesis logic board is able to drive inkjet printheads in 3.2-meter (126-inch-wide) grand-format printers in true grayscale mode, in addition to the purely "on-off" binary operation characteristic of conventional grand-format printing.
"Production printing on media 10 feet wide is no small feat," remarked Redwood Technologies founder and president Mike Mills. "It requires precision-engineered electro-mechanical assemblies driving sophisticated inkjet delivery systems equipped with multiple printheads that must operate in concert quickly and flawlessly to achieve the desired visual effect. Adding grayscale to that list of requirements raises the level of complexity dramatically. It also opens the door to possibilities previously unattainable," Mills explained.
"Unbeatable" for Development and Production
"We selected FUJIFILM Dimatix Q-Class printheads for their ability to deliver precision, speed and consistency. A critical component of that decision was Dimatix VersaDrop jetting technology, which makes it possible for us to apply all the Q-Class advantages to true grayscale printing," he continued.
"Although each of these Dimatix technologies is at the leading edge in its own right; the combination of VersaDrop flexibility and Q-Class technology is unbeatable both from a development perspective and for production performance," said Mills. "It's exactly what we needed to design a family of price-competitive printers and retrofit components able to deliver flawless photorealistic quality imaging."
The Dimatix Q-Class is FUJIFILM Dimatix' breakthrough piezoelectric drop-on-demand (Piezo DOD) inkjet platform around which it is building a new family of printheads and head arrays for high speed scanning and single pass printer architectures. The low crosstalk and excellent channel-to-channel uniformity allows Q-Class printheads to deliver unparalleled jetting straightness at unprecedented speed while supporting both binary and grayscale VersaDrop™ operation. Their high chemical resistance and precision also gives Q-Class printheads the ability to reliably jet UV-curable, organic solvent and aqueous ink formulations onto a broad range of substrates.
FUJIFILM Dimatix patented VersaDrop jetting technology takes advantage of the inherent high frequency response of Q-Class printheads, enabling each of several hundred nozzles in one or more piezoelectric printhead arrays to deliver a desired amount of fluid in each drop of ink. By varying the size of the drop fired, rather than the number of drops fired or the number of passes by the printhead to create each pixel, VersaDrop technology makes it possible for inkjet systems to satisfy a wide range of commercial print requirements, including applications demanding smooth tonal gradations and extremely fine features printed within the same job.
VersaDrop technology also offers a more robust solution compared to other grayscale methods for modulating drop size, by producing a single drop at high speed rather than a burst of drops at significantly slower speeds.