Ink Factory has developed and produced 3D-printed inkjet cartridges that work in an inkjet printer, presenting the possibilities of the technology for consumers and businesses in the industry.
The company revealed that it had "been following the growing trend of 3D printing with some interest", and noted that "it was only a matter of time before the conversation" turns to "what could we create".
Ink Factory added that it had considered two questions: "would it be possible for the home user to print their own ink cartridges and so save money, [and] would it ever be possible in the future to produce some sort of 'print your own' inkjet cartridge kit?". As a consequence, the company purchased a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer and some colored plastics, and drew up a plan to produce printed inkjet cartridges over the course of a few weeks.
In terms of a model, the company chose Kodak 30C and Kodak 30B inkjet cartridges based on its "level of industry knowledge", and next created a 3D model in SolidWorks, a CAD (Computer-Assisted Design) program that can create 3D object, with the two cartridges replicated in digital form. It next utilized the software included with the 3D printer to "create a file that could be sent to the 3D printer", called MakerWare, which contained a "slicing engine' that tells the machine how to print the model.
Once the models were imported into MakerWare, Ink Factory exported the files to the printer for the printing process, noting that "during the process several modifications had to be made", but that "we soon had a working inkjet cartridge". The next and final step was to test the cartridges in a Kodak ESP C110 color inkjet machine, with the results – including a color test page printed without errors.
The company added as a conclusion that "we have learnt a lot about 3D printing" and that the recent news that Microsoft would be including 3D printing software from MakerBot in a forthcoming Windows 8 update showed that "3D printing is fast becoming a part of everyday technology as we move forward".
Source: UK company makes "world’s first" working 3D-printed cartridge
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- Since 1999 we have been a major supplier of original brand (OEM), compatible replacement and remanufactured Premium Quality inkjet cartridges, laser toner cartridges and other printer supplies. Our customers range in size and include the United States Government, small and large businesses, schools and individuals. Each of our customers is equally important to us and is treated with the same friendly professionalism. Visit us at Price Less Inkjet Cartridge Co.