Clog-Free Inkjet Printer Inspired by the Human Eye

Clog-Free Inkjet Printer Inspired by the Human Eye“The eye and an ink jet nozzle have a common problem: they must not be allowed to dry while, simultaneously, they must open,” explains Jae Wan Kwon, associate professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri. Kwon, with the help of MU engineering doctoral student Riberet Almieda, solved the problem of the clogging inkjet printer by imitating the human eye’s own solution to dry exposure, a scientific approach known as biomimicry.

Inspired by the thin film of oil that the eyelid spreads over the layer of tears to keep them from evaporating, Kwon’s clog-preventing nozzle cover uses a a droplet of silicone oil to cover the opening of the nozzle when not in use. This droplet is moved in and out of place by an electrical field, as tiny eyelid-mimicking shutters at the small scale of the printer nozzle would be stuck in place by surface tension, unable to move as desired.

via Clog-Free Inkjet Printer Inspired by the Human Eye.

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