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Comparing Piezo heads with thermal inkjet heads

Discussion in 'InkJet Continuous Flow Systems' started by OutOFtheinkwell, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Mar 30, 2012
    OutOFtheinkwell

    OutOFtheinkwell Printing Ninja

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    I started printing using the thermal heads that push inks using heat but then switched over to Piezo heads that use electric pulses that create the tiny bits of inks that are spit onto the paper and are not hot.
    I have come to believe personally that the piezo heads are more trouble free and better in many ways but I also see many people using printers that work with the thermal heads that prefer those. Since I'm no expert by any means on the subject I'm putting this message out in the site here to ask any and all why they prefer one or the other of these two methods for printing. To start the ball rolling I will say that I like Piezo heads because you can't burn out a head if the ink goes dry! Your turn!
     
  2. Mar 30, 2012
    jtoolman

    jtoolman Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    Epson Piezo Head - will not fry when run dry. BUT,,,,, cannot be replaced easily by end user - cost more than the original printer just to buy + installation cost. Still,,, very good technology as it lays down a theoretically more even droplet according to the hype.

    Thermal heads, often built into the cart itself. If it malfunctions, you are only out the price of the cart. Canons and Higher end Z model HP use easily replacable heads that will not put you in the poor house if they need to be replaced. If clogged, they can be easily replaced or repmoved for cleaning, which is another subject altogether. They will fry if run dry. Droplet micro structure is more crenated with irrecgular edges, according to those who have actually took the time and effort to do a microscopical analysis.

    If there a visual difference in prints made by either type?? Probably not
     
  3. Mar 30, 2012
    mikling

    mikling Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    piezo heads came out of industrial processes where they are better suited for continuous duty and more tolerant of variances. They are not suited very well for start and stop short burst printing where they are more wasteful of ink because of the requirement to maintain a proper meniscus on the nozzle. Maintenance routines on these require a fair amount of ink depending on the internal volume within the head.

    Thermal heads will undergo more wear and are less tolerant of varying conditons but the ability to keep the nozzle wetted ready for printing is better. As a result it wastes less ink in stop and start printing operation and maintenance routines. The piezo head is not as accessible as a thermal head generally. Any real deep clogs in a piezo head is subject to luck in clearing it and lots of it. ( In industrial continuous processes, there are no clog issues) Thermal heads should be considered a consumable if the print load is significant.

    Pros and cons of both depending on the required application really. If I was printing a little at a time and have extended periods of no printing, I would not recommend a piezo head. For lots and lots of daily printing, the piezo head might be a good candidate.
     
  4. Mar 30, 2012
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    I would also like to add that Thermal heads are easier to remove and clean if they develop a problem
    which means less down time and their cartridges are way faster for refilling.

    I have only lost one head due to old age and the one on my shoulders is still the original too, stratman.. :)
     
  5. Mar 30, 2012
    OutOFtheinkwell

    OutOFtheinkwell Printing Ninja

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    See How much we can learn from each other. All good information. Mikling's comment about high use of a printer might make a piezo head a good choice hit the mark for us because we print a great deal, and jtoolman's comments as always were a fine overview of both types of techknowledgy. Good to know that Canon heads are easily and relatively cheaply replaced! Thanks for all the good input!
     
  6. Mar 30, 2012
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    Cut me off at the pass, eh? :duc :p
     
  7. Mar 30, 2012
    OutOFtheinkwell

    OutOFtheinkwell Printing Ninja

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    Yeah! I wonder if squirting a little windex in my ear would clear up my brain clog?
     
  8. Mar 30, 2012
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    It might not do anything for your hearing but you sure will be able to see a lot clearer..:ep
     
  9. Mar 30, 2012
    ThrillaMozilla

    ThrillaMozilla Printer Master

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    Windex is for your glasses. For your ears use water. :)

    By the way, I don't mean to sound too casual about this, but going dry does not automatically fry heads. The HP C309a manual says you can run it until it quits printing, and I can attest that that's right. I don't know for sure if it fries a little ink on there and damages the head in the long run, but in the short run, it's fine. You're not supposed to keep printing, though. Actually, I think HP got sued for telling people they had to take out cartridges when there was still a lot of ink in there. Maybe we need to get a bunch of sacrificial printers and find out.
     
  10. Mar 30, 2012
    fotofreek

    fotofreek Printer Master Moderator

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    Nine or ten years ago I was using an epson printer - a real workhorse. It was several years old, and it started to clog. Wwith a built-in printhead the consumer could not remove it for cleaning as it required precise alignment. I was in contact with a fellow named Arthur Entlich who had worked out a technique for cleaning the printhead while still in the printer. It worked quite well for a long while. Arthur was the person who acquainted me with the use of Windex (diluted with water and a bit of alcohol) for printhead cleaning as part of his technique.

    At the same time, I was traveling a great deal and returning from trips with 600 to 800 digital images. I wanted to start refilling but found it not nearly as easy or sucessful as the technique for refilling the bci-6 canon carts that I had read about. Purchased an i960 Canon printer, started refilling with MIS (Imaging Specialist inks), and gave my Epson printer away. The Canon was a step up in droplet size and placement at that time and had much easier printhead maintenance. I have replaced the printhead and still have it on one of our computers for general printing needs.

    I understand that there are now Epson carts that are easy to refill. Although I am still in the BCI-6 world of refilling and have a few printers in reserve with CLI-8 carts, it appears that even the most recent Canon carts are easy to refill in spite of their efforts to thwart us. The only negative I've run across is that Canon has stopped manufacturing printheads for some of the older, really excellent printers.
     

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