Types of Ink Storage
Depending on the type of printer, ink storage will be either container or bottle storage.
Cartridge storage systems are most often found in UV printers. Inkjet cartridges will either come in a set of two: one with black ink and one with color ink, or individual cartridges for each color. When cartridges are individual, they typically come in cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, and light magenta. A cartridge has a microchip embedded in it, which receives information from the printing machine. The printing machine tells the cartridge what ink to print, and the cartridge then releases the ink onto the desired substrate.
Flatbed inkjet systems and other direct to shape printing equipment might use bottle storage systems to hold the ink before it is released onto the substrate. Bottle storage systems are held into a mechanism called a printhead which contains the various bottles and performs the ink dropping from nozzles into a pattern to create the desired image or text. The number of nozzles that the printhead holds can increase quality and allow you to choose from more spot colors for your printing.
A printhead works by using piezoelectricity. Microscopic piezoelectric parts, such as ceramics and crystals, are found behind the print nozzles. Upon applying an electrical charge to these parts, they bend backward, spraying a precise amount of ink onto the desired substrate. The ink is expelled at a high velocity and is repeated thousands of times per second. It is possible for half a million drops of ink to be released during one print job.
As the ink is released, a printer control board will control the shooting sequence in which the ink is laid down on the surface. Ink will often be released in C, M, Y, K sequence so that the ink will blend properly on the material.
Which Storage System is Best for Your Print Project?
The ink storage system that is used for your print job will depend largely on the number of objects that need to be printed on. For larger print jobs, using a cartridge system can be much more costly and time-consuming, because the cartridges will need to be changed frequently once the ink in each is depleted.
Ink storage systems are a vital part of how a printer creates and delivers an image onto your desired product or substrate. By knowing the different systems available, and how each system works, you can make a better decision about which method will provide you with the best final printed piece. Contact Inkcups today to learn more at (978) 646-8980.